Major winter storm expected to hit Central Ontario before Christmas

Snow. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

People may want to adjust their holiday travel plans with Environment Canada predicting that a winter storm will sweep across the region later this week.

A special weather statement is in effect for Barrie, Orillia, Midland, Collingwood, Hillsdale, Coldwater, Orr Lake, Lagoon City, and Washago, with a “significant winter storm” in the forecast.

The national weather agency says precipitation may begin as rain or snow late Thursday before possibly changing to rain in many areas early Friday.

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Temperatures are expected to plummet on Friday leading to a potential flash freeze for locations that receive rainfall, the weather agency predicts.

Meteorologists say rapidly falling temperatures will be accompanied by strong to potentially damaging winds along with possibly heavy snow.

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Blizzard conditions possibly develop later in the day Friday into the weekend for areas downwind of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

 The weather agency says a multi-day lake effect snow event is expected into the weekend in the wake of the system for locations east of the Great Lakes.

The weather agency says details regarding wind speeds, precipitation types and amounts remain highly uncertain at this time.

Travellers should consider altering plans through the holiday weekend as travel conditions may become dangerous and extensive utility outages are possible, Environment Canada says.

Environment Canada is predicting temperatures Friday night into the weekend will likely be the coldest of the season to date.

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