A special weather statement is in effect for much of southern Ontario, including Toronto and the rest of the GTA, warning of a “significant freezing rain threat” later Saturday and “heavy rain” into Sunday.
Environment Canada notes that a “slow-moving low pressure system” will move into southern Ontario on Saturday, and precipitation will begin as rain. However, “increasing northeasterly winds” will bring colder air from an arctic high pressure system to the north, and that rain will turn to freezing rain and ice pellets.
The freezing rain will change back to rain, which will be “possibly heavy at times,” early Sunday as temperatures rise, the federal agency said in its weather statement.
While dark skies and rain are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, the weather “gets really complicated once we get into the weekend,” Etienne Gregoire, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, told CBC Toronto.
Gregoire noted that the severity of the coming storm can’t be predicted just yet. He said more targeted watches or warnings will be issued as the weekend approaches.
Ice accumulations of 20 mm or more are possible in some places. That, combined with gusty winds, may down power lines and trees, potentially causing “widespread power outages,” the agency warned.
Gregoire also noted that some areas may get as much as 50 mm of rain. He advised travellers to keep an eye on weather alerts.
“It’s all about being prepared,” Gregoire said. “And really at the end of the day, if you don’t have to drive into this area of freezing rain, just don’t.”