Toronto residents were greeted by a covering of snow on the ground early Sunday after a low pressure system brought unexpected precipitation to the city.
Environment Canada says between two and five centimetres of snow fell on Toronto between 10 p.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. on Sunday. Lower amounts of snow were seen closer to Lake Ontario, while higher amounts, around five centimetres, were seen north of Highway 401.
But the wintry weather, which has included freezing temperatures, is expected to be fairly short-lived, says Kelly Hobelman, severe weather meteorologist for Environment Canada in Toronto. Near seasonal weather for this time of year is expected on Wednesday.
“I would describe this as very typical for this time of year,” she said.
“We are still at the very end of March. And it’s very normal to see weather systems just like this, where you get significant amounts of rain and snowfall as well. It’s definitely not that abnormal to see snow in March or even in the first parts of April. We shouldn’t be shocked.”
‘Significant’ rainfall of up to 23 mm fell on city
Hobelman said a low pressure system moved over southern Ontario on Saturday, bringing up to 23 millimetres of rain, which she called significant. The rain turned to snow overnight.
The rain prompted the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to keep its “Watershed Conditions Statement: Water Safety” message in effect on Sunday.
“Forecasted rainfall amounts may result in high water levels and flows in watercourses. Ponding may occur in low-lying areas,” the authority said.
“The combination of slippery and unstable banks could create hazardous conditions close to any river, stream or other water bodies. All shorelines, rivers and streams within the GTA should be considered hazardous.”
Temperature to climb higher every day
On Sunday, the forecast calls for a 40 per cent chance of flurries in the afternoon and evening. The skies are expected to clear near midnight.
The high on Sunday is forecast to be 2 C. The low on Sunday night is expected to be –7 C with a wind chill that will make it feel like –13.
Hobelman said temperatures will continue to climb between Sunday and Wednesday. “Today will be the coldest day of the week. It only goes up from here,” she said.
The snow is expected to melt and disappear by Tuesday.
On Monday, the high is forecast to be 4 C, with a low of –1 C at night, while on Tuesday, the high is forecast to be 6 C, with a low of 2 C at night.
And on Wednesday, seasonal weather is expected to return, with the high temperature forecast to be 8 C.