Severe ice storm likely throughout the weekend

Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for:

  • Kingston – Odessa – Frontenac Islands
  • Napanee – Consecon
  • Picton – Sandbanks Park

Significant ice build-up due to a severe ice storm is expected throughout the weekend.

Environment Canada says that a moisture laden low pressure area over the Central Plains States will amble slowly towards the lower Great Lakes this weekend. As the low gets closer, brisk northeasterly winds will pump in cold arctic air, forcing temperatures to fall to near or below the zero degree mark on Saturday.

Rain associated with this low will switch over to freezing rain on Saturday, and will likely persist for a number of hours into Saturday evening. Freezing rain may become mixed with or turn over to ice pellets at times, with some areas receiving a few centimetres of the ice pellet mess.

Freezing rain is expected to end for a few hours on Saturday evening, with patchy freezing drizzle likely during the lull. However, as the low gets close to Southern Ontario Saturday night, freezing rain is expected to move back in, and may persist well into Sunday before changing over to rain, heavy at times. Some uncertainty exists as to the time the precipitation switches over to rain on Sunday.

Ice build up of 10 to 20 mm appears quite likely across the region by Sunday morning. Ice accretion may be considerably less in areas very close to Lake Ontario as temperatures there may actually remain very close to the freezing mark.

Some areas inland from Lake Ontario may receive more than 20 mm of freezing rain, which would result in higher amounts of ice accretion especially if temperatures hover a couple degrees below zero.

Ice accumulations of this magnitude combined with gusty northeast winds to 60 km/h may result in widespread power outages due to fallen tree limbs and power lines.

Dangerous winter driving conditions are expected on untreated roads Saturday and Sunday.

Flooding may become a threat in some areas by Sunday evening.

Rain is expected to taper off later Monday.

Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and extremely hazardous. If you must travel, keep others informed of your schedule and destination and carry an emergency kit and mobile phone. Beware of branches or electrical wires that could break under the weight of ice. Extended and widespread utility outages are possible. For information on emergency plans and kits go to http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/