With fall nearing its official end, it’s time to bring out the warm clothes and snow shovels, as a severe winter storm is expected to hit parts of Canada this week.
According to Environment Canada, some areas will be hit with more significant rain or snow than others, including Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario south, Quebec south, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and some parts of Yukon.
Other regions like B.C. and New Brunswick are under special cold weather advisories, with the federal weather agency advising people to drive safely and be mindful of dangerous wind chills that can cause frostbite.
READ MORE: Crashing and sliding: Videos capture road chaos as snow blankets parts of B.C.
The blast of winter weather is part of a strong and widespread air pressure system coming from the United States that will bring snowfall, wind and icy conditions to several Canadian provinces, Environment Canada meteorologist Steven Flisfeder told Global News earlier this week.
“It’s gonna be touching anywhere from far southeastern Saskatchewan all the way to the Maritimes. As the system progresses eastward, southern Quebec will be affected before it finally makes its way toward New Brunswick and Nova Scotia,” said Flisfeder.
Here’s a look at how the weather system has started impacting some provinces.
A winter storm has descended on Ontario, with freezing rain and ice pellets set to transition to heavy snowfall later Thursday afternoon.
Environment Canada has placed the majority of southern Ontario and parts of northern Ontario under snowfall and freezing rain warnings and is advising against non-essential travel.
The snow is expected to make for a rough evening commute in the Greater Toronto Area before moving east to other parts of southern Ontario.
This has been caused by the low-pressure system travelling from the U.S. — known as the Colorado low, Flisfeder told The Canadian Press on Thursday.
“It doesn’t look as potent in terms of the winds but (a weather system) could deliver more heavy snow in some areas, setting that base for a white Christmas this year,” Flisfeder said.
The majority of southern Quebec has also been placed under a snowfall warning.
Environment Canada is forecasting total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 cm from Friday morning to Saturday morning.
“Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult,” said Environment Canada.
Environment Canada said a prolonged period of “unseasonably cold temperatures” will settle over Yukon and northern British Columbia regions.
The drop in temperatures is expected to begin Thursday evening in the far north and Friday for all other areas. It will likely last a week or more, according to the federal weather agency.
“A massive Arctic blast (of air) is about to hit B.C. just in time for the official transition into winter on Wednesday, Dec. 21,” said Global BC senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon.
“Although conditions across B.C. have been generally colder than average for over a month now, the temperatures are expected to get even colder,” she added.
Manitoba is also under a special weather statement. Environment Canada has warned of “prolonged snow” continuing over southern Manitoba with some local areas receiving upwards of 20-30 cm by the weekend.
“As the area of low pressure moves through the Midwestern states towards the Great Lakes on Thursday, a hang-back area of snowfall is expected to linger over southern Manitoba through the end of the week,” the agency said.
Significant snowfall across most of New Brunswick is likely Saturday, according to Environment Canada, but it’s uncertain when the snow will start and when it will end.
“The snow is expected to be wet in nature and may be mixed with rain, especially along coastal areas,” said the agency.
The total snowfall amount is expected to be in the range of 10 to 20 cm.
Global News meteorologist Ross Hull said on Wednesday that more snow is expected over the weekend.
“It doesn’t look as potent in terms of the winds but (a weather system) could deliver more heavy snow in some areas, setting that base for a white Christmas this year,” said Hull.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northeastern Newfoundland will be seeing heavy rain with the potential for pooling, as the frozen ground reduces the ability to absorb the rainfall, according to Environment Canada.
The rain is expected to mix with snow at times inland, including in the Gander area. Accumulating snow may occur over elevated backcountry terrain to the south and west of Gander Lake.
Snowfall with total amounts of 10 to 15 cm is expected in Northwest Territories.
Snow had already begun over western sections of the N.W.T. Thursday morning and will arrive near Great Slave Lake by early evening. Snow will taper off Friday evening, the agency said.
Nunavut is expected to get up to 20 cm of snow, according to an alert issued Thursday.
Heavy snow will fall over the Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet townsites Thursday night.
“Snowfall will begin in the afternoon on Thursday, with the heaviest snowfall occurring overnight. Conditions will improve by Friday afternoon,” Environment Canada said.
The majority of Yukon will see snow accumulation of 10 to 15 cm.
“Snow will ease early (Thursday) evening but gusty northwesterly winds may reduce visibility in blowing snow overnight,” Environment Canada said.
The gusty northwesterly winds will also bring in Arctic air resulting in rapidly falling temperatures Thursday night and wind chills reaching -40 C.
– with files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Simon Little, Shane Gibson and Hannah Jackson