First snow of the year

But we’re making up for lost time! It has snowed all around us but I think the city melts the first few snows on the way down, when conditions are borderline.

I saw my first few flakes of snow yesterday; then a storm moved in overnight and we’re getting snow, freezing rain, rain, and then snow in that order for the next 20 or so hours, courtesy of a “Colorado low.”

Although it was a record that Toronto went through November without any snow, my usual impression is that we have the first snow that stays on the ground about December 10, so we’re on track for the last few years.

However, here’s the rather impressive storm warning…

WINTER STORM WARNING: City of Toronto issued at 5:17 a.m. EST Wednesday 9 December 2009

..Snow heavy at times accompanied by strong winds today.. This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..listen for updated statements.

..Winter storm warning.. An intense low pressure system currently centred near Lake Michigan continues to bring much precipitation to parts of Ontario today.

Snow associated with this system has fallen over southern Ontario except in the national capital region where it will soon start this morning. Snow has now changed to rain in extreme southwestern Ontario. The changeover from snow to rain will spread eastward throughout the day and into the evening hours for most areas. Rain will change back to snow sometime this evening. Additional snow amounts will range from a trace to 5 centimetres for the greater Toronto area and vicinity..5 to 10 centimetres for areas to north..and near 15 centimetres towards the Ottawa valley by this evening.

Strong easterly winds up to 60 km/h will accompany the snow today significantly lowering visibilities in blowing snow. Periods of heavy snow are also likely. Also..very strong southwesterly becoming westerly winds of 60 km/h gusting up to 90 will follow tonight.

..Wind warning..
Very strong winds will develop tonight along the north shore of the lower Great Lakes in association with the winter storm that is sweeping through portions of the province today. Southwesterly becoming westerly winds of 60 km/h gusting to 90 are expected for these regions. This wind warning includes only the areas along the Lake Erie shoreline..as those along the north shore of Lake Ontario have been accounted for under the winter storm warning currently in effect for them. Winds will likely diminish from west to east sometime overnight into Thursday morning.

..Snow squall watch..
Conditions will be favourable for snow squalls to develop in the wake of the winter storm that is sweeping through portions of the province today. Flurries at times heavy and snow squalls will likely develop beginning overnight and intensify on Thursday. The exact locations and snowfall amounts are still uncertain at present. Generally local amounts of 15 centimetres or more in snow squalls may be expected by Thursday evening. In addition the accompanying strong westerly winds will cause blowing snow and reduce visibilities to near zero. Motorists are encouraged to use extra caution and allow extra travel time. Snow squalls may persist for the next couple of days in some regions before they weaken. Environment Canada will continue to monitor this developing situation closely. Further warnings may be issued as warranted.

Time to dig out the fur-lined shoelaces!

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