Northern Ontario is facing a winter weather challenge as freezing rain warnings and fog advisories are in effect for many parts of the region. The freezing rain is expected to last until Saturday morning, while the fog could persist until Sunday night.
Freezing rain causes slippery roads and power outages
According to Environment Canada, freezing rain is occurring or expected to occur in areas such as Sudbury, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Kapuskasing. The freezing rain is caused by a low pressure system that is moving eastward across the province.
The freezing rain could create slippery and icy conditions on roads, sidewalks, and bridges. Drivers are advised to slow down and use extra caution. The freezing rain could also cause power outages due to ice accumulation on power lines and tree branches.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reported several collisions and road closures due to the freezing rain on Friday. For example, Highway 17 was closed between Wawa and Batchawana Bay due to multiple collisions. The OPP also reminded drivers to adjust their driving habits according to the weather conditions.
Fog reduces visibility and delays flights
Meanwhile, fog advisories are in effect for most parts of the province, including southern and eastern Ontario. The fog is expected to dissipate in the south by midday Saturday, but is forecast to return in eastern Ontario by Sunday night.
The fog is caused by moisture trapped in the lower levels of the atmosphere, resulting in cloudy conditions and low visibility. The fog could reduce visibility to less than 200 metres in some areas, making travel difficult and dangerous.
The fog also affected air travel, as some flights were delayed or cancelled at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport on Friday . Travellers are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
Winter weather expected to improve by Sunday
The good news is that the winter weather is expected to improve by Sunday, as the low pressure system moves away from the province. Environment Canada predicts that most areas will see a mix of sun and cloud, with temperatures ranging from -5°C to 5°C.
However, some areas near Lake Huron and Georgian Bay could still see snow squalls on Sunday, as cold and gusty winds blow over the relatively warm waters of the lakes. Snow squall warnings are in effect for communities such as Owen Sound, Barrie, and Collingwood.
Snow squalls are bands of heavy snow that can reduce visibility to near zero and produce sudden whiteout conditions. They can also dump significant amounts of snow in a short period of time, creating hazardous driving conditions.
Environment Canada advises the public to monitor weather alerts and updates, and to be prepared for changing road conditions. The weather agency also reminds the public to dress warmly and to keep emergency supplies in their vehicles.