Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the city of Ottawa, recommending that residents in the national capital stay off the roads on Wednesday unless they absolutely have to travel.
Significant snowfall followed by freezing rain later this afternoon or evening will turn roads, highways, walkways and parking lots into “icy, slippery and hazardous” surfaces, the weather agency warns.
“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions,” Environment Canada says. “Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve.”
The latest snowfall in Ottawa began overnight on Tuesday. As of 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday, Environment Canada said 10 to 15 centimetres of snow had fallen and predicts the city might get up to 25 centimetres before the snowflakes morph into freezing rain later in the day.
The agency’s forecast for Wednesday predicts temperatures with a high of -3 C, with a wind chill of -7 C in the afternoon and -9 C in the evening.
Due to the weather conditions, the City of Ottawa announced it’s implementing a winter overnight parking ban between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. across the city. The ban prohibits all residents (except for on-street parking permit holders) from parking on city streets, in order to clear the way for snow removal crews.
Non-permit holders may be ticketed and towed, the city warned. The overnight parking ban will remain in effect until further notice.
During these bans, residents can park for free in covered municipal parking garages. Information on which garages are available for overnight parking is available on the city’s website.
Even if residents have no plans to drive today, Ottawa police are recommending they clean the snow off their vehicles before the freezing rain comes down.
“Once frozen, it makes for a dangerous flying object,” the Ottawa Police Service tweeted.