Toronto is about to be hit by another blast of wintry weather just two weeks after one of the heaviest snowfalls in recent memory.
Environment Canada has issued a winter weather travel advisory with 10 to 20 centimeters of snow expected by Thursday morning – on top of piles of white stuff still sitting on the ground from the last time.
“Motorists should expect hazardous winter driving conditions and adjust their travel plans accordingly,” the federal weather agency advised. “Surfaces such as highways, roads, sidewalks and parking lots can become icy and slippery.”
What you can expect
Rain showers are expected to begin this afternoon, turning to snow through the evening. Five centimeters of snow is possible on Wednesday, Environment Canada said.
By 1 p.m., rain and light snow had begun to fall in some areas.
Snow will continue to fall overnight, dumping another 5-10 centimeters. The temperature should remain stable, around -2°C, but will feel like -8°C with the wind chill.
Thursday will also likely see spells of snow, although the federal weather agency says it’s unclear how much more we might see. The temperature should drop to -5°C, more like -11, with a low of -14.
The mercury will continue to fall on Friday, peaking at -9°C before rising to -3°C on Sunday.
Snowfall to be spread over time, line 311 open
Unlike the January 17 blizzard, this snowfall event should be more spread out over time, which should make for a more manageable clearing. The City of Toronto says residents will be able to call 311 for service requests, which isn’t usually the case for snowstorms.
The city announces that it will deploy 600 snow plows, 360 sidewalk plows, 200 salt trucks and 1,500 employees. The equipment was positioned near arteries leading to the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway so streetcar routes could be prioritized and for emergency vehicle access, it says.
#SnowTO What happens when?
🌧️ Road salting will begin as soon as the rain turns to freezing rain.
❄️Plowing on the roads & sidewalks will begin as soon as the snow begins to accumulate, ensuring the city’s roads are as safe as possible for tomorrow morning’s travels. pic.twitter.com/kjQFPwNxHK
Barbara Gray, general manager of transportation services, said as the snow will fall longer, crews will be able to salt and clear the roads more easily and efficiently.
“This will be a highly coordinated, multi-day cleanup to ensure our road network remains safe and accessible. We are therefore once again asking people to be patient as we drive through the city,” he said. she stated.
The city will salt the roads on Wednesday as soon as the rain turns to freezing rain, Gray said. They expect to start plowing the roads and sidewalks as soon as the snow begins to accumulate on the ground.
The Toronto Transit Commission said it activated its weather plan, deploying 50 additional buses from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The TTC has also closed Line 3 Scarborough RT, using buses instead until weather permits.