April 13, 2018 4:47 pm
Updated: April 14, 2018 11:04 am

Freezing rain warning issued for London region as ‘potentially historic ice storm’ expected

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for London and surrounding areas

Global News

A freezing rain warning remained in place Saturday morning for London and Middlesex County, as Environment Canada cautioned of a “potentially historic ice storm” over the weekend.

A large section of southern Ontario, stretching as far west as Windsor and Essex County to as far east as Belleville and Northumberland County, is under a freezing rain warning.

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A slow-moving, moisture-laden, low-pressure system from the Central Plains States is making its way through the region where it will come into contact with brisk northeast winds, the advisory says. That frigid Arctic air will cause temperatures to drop below freezing.

The national weather agency said rain showers would turn to freezing rain early Saturday afternoon, and likely continue into the evening. The freezing rain will ease up, briefly, Saturday night, but will make a quick return as the low approaches and continue into Sunday before transitioning into rain as temperatures rise.

READ MORE: Potential ice storm may cause widespread power outages across southern Ontario

Across the region, Environment Canada says ice build up to 25 millimetres is likely by Sunday morning, with higher amounts possible in some areas. Strong gusty winds of 70 to 80 km/h are also expected Saturday night into Sunday. Together, widespread power outages are likely, the advisory says, adding travel is not recommended.

Rain on Sunday may be heavy at times, prompting possible rainfall warnings. Enough rain may fall in the afternoon and evening that flooding could be an issue in some places, the advisory says.

Ahead of the showers, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority issued a flood watch bulletin Friday, saying rainfall amounts over the weekend could reach totals of 60 to 90 millimetres. Flooding in typically flood-prone areas is likely if higher rainfall amounts materialize.

“Water levels will rise throughout the weekend, with peaks developing early Monday in Mitchell, Stratford, and Woodstock and later in the day in London,” the bulletin says. “Water levels will remain elevated throughout next week.”

Water levels won’t rise as high as they did in February, the bulletin says, adding UTRCA officials would monitor the situation.

“Residents are reminded to use extreme caution near all watercourses, and to keep children and pets away. Streambanks are slippery and the water is very cold.”

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