SUMMARY: Winter storm brings snow, rain to Toronto region

A winter storm brought snow and rain to the Greater Toronto Area and parts of southern Ontario on Tuesday, creating wet and slushy road conditions for drivers.

The day started with snow before turning to rain later in the afternoon.

There were no major travel delays or collisions Tuesday as the storm moved through the region.

The rain is expected to stop overnight. Wednesday will be cloudy with a high of 2C and a 60 per cent chance of showers or flurries.

Here’s a recap of our coverage of the first winter storm of 2024 in Toronto.

5 pm

Rain continues to fall in the Greater Toronto Area, making for a wet and slushy ride on local highways and roads.

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to dozens of collisions today.

“Most of them are just individual vehicles that hit the walls – they get stuck in the slush or they lose control (and) hit the cars in front of them,” said OPP Sgt. says Kerry Schmidt.

“It’s just a sloppy, muddy mess right now. It will continue to be that way during the afternoon rush hour and into the evening hours, so, you know, be prepared for a wet, sloppy day or night of driving conditions.” “.

He adds that there has been a constant flow of tow trucks and “tangled cars” arriving at collision reporting centers.

Drivers involved in a collision should get off the road as quickly as possible and go to a safe location, especially if their vehicle is still drivable, Schmidt says.

“Because if you lose control in an area and you stop there and get out of your vehicle, you’re putting yourself in great danger because of the possibility of another car doing the exact same thing,” he says.

Given the weather conditions, Schmidt says drivers should give themselves time and space while driving.

“We just want to remind people that things happen quickly, and if you’re not paying 100 percent attention, you can be surprised,” he says. “A little bit of sleet can make you overreact to other traffic and all of a sudden you’re just trying to brake and you end up hydroplaning or just sliding down this wet, slushy road.”

3:30 pm

The snow has turned to rain, which could cause motorists to drive through slushy water.

A rain warning remains in force For Toronto and the rest of the Golden Horseshoe, 20 to 35 millimeters of rain are predicted this afternoon and evening.

“Frozen ground has a reduced capacity to absorb this rain,” the federal agency said, adding that water is expected to pool on roads.

The rain is expected to end overnight.

According to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), flooding is not expected in the watersheds, but due to the amount of rainfall expected, rivers within the GTA may experience higher than normal water levels and higher flows for a couple of days.

“The combination of snow, ice, rain and changing water levels could create hazardous conditions near rivers or other bodies of water and slippery or unstable banks,” the TRCA said in its advisory.

“All coastlines, rivers and streams within the GTA should be considered hazardous as this rainfall will result in increased flows and rapidly changing water levels.”

2 p.m.

Toronto police say roads have been more or less “normal” so far in terms of the volume of collisions. But they are still reminding people to expect the unexpected on the roads amid a messy weather mix that includes snow, ice pellets and rain.

“Leave extra room, give yourself extra time and you know the most important thing is, again, speed. If you go too fast, you’re setting yourself up for failure,” Officer Sean Shapiro told CP24. “That’s where we see people lose control and slide because it takes longer to slow down and stop in slippery conditions and things can change.

“You know we’ve got sleet now, we’re down a couple degrees, we might have ice again and that really changes the dynamic of how your vehicle is going to handle.”

Those involved in a minor collision should exchange information and go to a collision reporting center if the vehicles are drivable, Shapiro said. Police will attend to more serious collisions where there are injuries or crime involved.

  • Some other tips for drivers:

  • Stock up on windshield washer fluid

  • Keep cat litter in the trunk to help you get out of a situation where your vehicle gets stuck.

  • Be sure to bring warm clothing in case your vehicle gets stuck and you need to wait for help.

11:45

The city says it will open walk-in warming centers today at 5 p.m. for any homeless person in need of relief from the weather. The centers offer a warm place to rest and access to snacks, bathrooms and referrals to emergency shelters.

Warming centers are located at:

  • 136 Spadina Rd. (south of Dupont Street)

  • 75 Elizabeth St. (behind City Hall; west of Bay St., south of Dundas St. W.)

  • North York Warming Center, 15 Olive Ave. (east of Yonge St., south of Finch Ave. E.)

  • 885 Scarborough Rd. Golf Club (east of Markham Rd., south of Ellesmere Rd.)

You can find more information about shelters and warming centers. on the city website.

11:30 a.m.

The TTC says it is adding additional staff and maintenance vehicles across the transit system to ensure its vehicles continue to operate today.

The transit agency also says it will actively monitor 56 bus stops in areas where heavy snow and freezing rain could make it difficult for vehicles to operate. Passengers are advised to check if your stop is in service before travelling.

Wheel-Trans service is running today, but the TTC says customers may experience delays and longer wait times.

In the meantime, the OPP offers more advice for drivers:

10:30 a.m.

Toronto police are urging drivers to use extra caution on the roads as the storm begins.

“Toronto is expecting a winter storm today. Please use caution if you must venture outside,” the force said in a statement on X. “Drivers: Slow down and drive according to weather conditions. Stay safe, everyone.”

winter storm

9:45 a.m.

Snow has started to fall in downtown Toronto. According to CP24 Meteorologist Bill Coulter, the heaviest wet snow will continue to fall until 2:00 pm in the early afternoon.

“Then the heavier wet snow turns along the lakeshore to rain,” Coulter said. “At Pearson it takes a little bit longer, probably around 4pm, for the rain to change. And then we all see the temperature rise to about 4C at Pearson and then it rains until about midnight.”

snow in toronto

09:30 am

Environment Canada issued a significant rain warning mid-morning Tuesday, saying between 20 and 35 mm of rain was expected to fall in the Toronto area.

Precipitation is expected to change from snow to rain in the afternoon or early evening, according to the advisory.

“Frozen ground has a reduced capacity to absorb this rain,” the weather agency said. “Localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. “Heavy rain can cause flash flooding and puddles of water on roads.”

7:45 a.m.

Ontario Provincial Police are urging people to be aware of the weather today when hitting the road.

Speaking with CP24, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the expected mix of rain and snow could be misleading for some drivers in terms of what to expect.

“We’re also expecting potentially heavy rain that could cause ponding and that can also have hydroplaning effects and obviously loss of control if you start jumping on the water,” Schmidt said. “So make sure you drive according to those conditions. If you see open water, you see ponds or you see snow and ice on the roads, slow down and take your time.”

He also noted that weather conditions are expected to vary across the GTA, so people should also be prepared for changing road conditions and exercise caution.

“If you drive around the region, you may be driving from rain to ice to snow and you never know what the roads will look like when you have to stop,” Schmidt said.

7 am

Toronto Pearson International Airport says it is monitoring developments around the storm. The airport recommends people allow extra time to get to the airport and check their flight status online before departing.

6:15 a.m.

Several school bus cancellations have been announced in some parts of the GTA and southern Ontario. In most cases, schools remain open for learning even if buses are canceled. The TDSB says no cancellations are expected in Toronto. A complete list of school bus cancellations can be found here.

6 am

Conditions remain clear in Toronto early this morning and no weather issues are anticipated for the morning rush hour. However a Winter Weather Travel Advisory It is valid for today.

Environment Canada says Toronto could see snowfall of 5 to 10 cm and hazardous travel conditions are possible starting this morning in the GTA and lasting into tonight.

The agency says the GTA could see heavy snow at times as the storm system moves across southern Ontario. Snow is expected to turn to rain later in the day, with between 20 and 30 mm.

Snowfall amounts could be significantly lower closer to Lake Ontario.

“Difficult travel conditions are likely once the snow arrives. At this point, it appears the heaviest snow will arrive after the morning commute, but the afternoon commute could be significantly impacted,” the agency said in your statement. “Motorists should expect hazardous winter driving conditions and adjust their travel plans accordingly. Surfaces such as highways, roads, trails and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow.”


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