Winter storm warning issued for Central Ontario: Residents warned to prepare for the worst

Click to play video: 'Global News Morning Forecast: December 22'
Global News Morning Forecast: December 22
Eilish Bonang gives us the weather forecast for the Maritimes – Dec 22, 2022

With stormy weather on the horizon, Environment Canada is upgrading its special weather statement to a winter storm warning for parts of Simcoe County and Muskoka.

The storm is expected to stretch across parts of southern Ontario just ahead of Christmas Day.

The winter storm warning is in effect for the Barrie, Orillia, and Midland areas, also impacting Collingwood, Hillsdale, Coldwater, Orr Lake, Lagoon City, and Washago.

Environment Canada is predicting wind gusts near 90 km/h creating widespread blowing snow that could significantly reduce visibility.

Snowfall amounts of five to 15 centimetres are expected by Friday night.

“The snow will combine with the strong winds to cause poor visibility on roads, and also because the winds are so bad, 90 km/h, there’s always that possibility of power outages,” said Gerald Chang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Story continues below advertisement

Chang said people should prepare ahead of time for the possibility of not having power on Friday and Saturday and have a plan for things like if they don’t have heat and said people should not leave any shopping until the last minute.

“The window of opportunity for Central Ontario to prepare is today. We don’t have a lot of time,” he said.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“If you have travel plans, if you can, do it today,” Chang said. “Because once you get to Friday, Saturday, and this storm is affecting all of eastern Canada, two-thirds of Canadians will be affected, and so it’s not just affecting central Ontario — it’s affecting all of Ontario, Quebec and all the Atlantic provinces.”

Story continues below advertisement

Higher amounts are expected due to lake-effect snow, with significant lake-effect snow expected through the weekend.

Environment Canada expects temperatures to plummet Friday morning, leading to a flash freeze producing icy and slippery surfaces.

Click to play video: 'Holiday travel plans still up in the air'
Holiday travel plans still up in the air

The weather agency said strong winds and blowing snow are expected to develop Friday morning and continue into Saturday.

Lake effect snow is predicted to develop off Georgian Bay on Friday night and continue through Sunday.

People are advised to avoid travel if possible.

“Travel is expected to be hazardous due to reduced visibility in some locations. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery,” the weather agency said.

Story continues below advertisement

Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.

For information on emergency plans and kits, go to the Government of Canada’s website.

Sponsored content