With the winter storm that is being tracked headed this way for this weekend Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement for Brantford, the County of Brant, Woodstock, Tillsonburg, and Oxford County as well as many other parts of Southern Ontario.
It reads as follows;
Snow and very cold temperatures expected this weekend.
Southwestern Ontario is expected to be on the northern fringe of a major winter storm tracking well south of the Great Lakes this weekend.
Periods of snow associated with this storm will begin late tonight and continue into Saturday evening. The latest analysis continues to suggest that snowfall amounts will range from 10 to 15 cm near Lake Erie to 2 to 5 cm north of Highway 7.
Areas close to Lake Huron are also likely to receive additional snowfall accumulations on Sunday due to snow squalls.
Accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Also, surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.
Cold temperatures and moderate winds of 30 gusting to 50 km/h will accompany the snow resulting in some blowing snow as well as wind chill values near minus 20 Saturday. Even colder wind chill values approaching minus 30 are possible Sunday into Monday morning.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ONstorm@canada.ca or tweet reports using #ONStorm.
But there is some unpredictability for the coming storm, forecasters are having a difficult time deciding its exact path and a slight turn north or south could mean the difference between a storm that hammers Southern Ontario and one that leaves just a bit of snow behind. That is why if you are in the Burlington/Oakville area for the weekend you will find a Winter Storm Watch issued, which are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.
The Watch reads;
Winter storm conditions possible Saturday.
A major winter storm will track south of the Great Lakes this weekend. Snow associated with this storm will begin Saturday morning and taper off Saturday night.
Latest analysis suggests that the heaviest snowfall amounts will occur between Hamilton and the Niagara region where strong northeast winds will draw extra moisture from Lake Ontario. However, it is still possible that accumulations exceeding 15 cm may affect the Burlington area as well as Haldimand county.
Amounts should drop off rather sharply north of Burlington towards Oakville.
In addition, strong winds of 40 gusting to 60 km/h will generate blowing snow and cold wind chill values near minus 20.
Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.
And as for Hamilton it is under a Winter Storm Warning;
Snow at times heavy is expected to develop early Saturday morning and taper off Saturday night.
Although the storm system responsible will track well to the south of the Great Lakes, northeast winds off Lake Ontario will pick up considerable extra moisture resulting in higher snowfall totals near Lake Ontario. The latest analysis continues to suggest snowfall accumulations of 15 to 25 cm. Snowfall amounts should be considerably less north of Hamilton and Burlington.
In addition, strong northeast winds gusting to 60 km/h will generate widespread blowing snow and cold wind chill values near minus 20. Near zero visibility will be likely at times.
Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. 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.
These statements, watches, and warnings can change at any time as the computer models predicting the storms path develop and become clearer. It is advised that you be prepared for any scenario and keep an eye or ear on the forecast as we head into what could be a wild or mild weekend.
If you are not sure what being prepared for a heavy winter storm should look like the County of Brant posted some helpful tips at www.brant.ca/emergencyplanning.
Image and Information from Environment Canada.