NIAGARA – The following is the text of the official warning issued Thursday evening by Environment Canada’s Weather office:
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Significant snowfall of 15 to 25 cm today.
A winter storm will continue to affect the regions today.
This Texas low has intensified into a major winter storm as it approached Southern Ontario. An expanding area of heavy snow has moved into Southern Ontario and will spread eastward this morning.
The heaviest snow will occur during the morning rush hour along the highway 401 corridor from London across the Waterloo region and the Greater Toronto area. Heavy snow will spread quickly east during the day to affect Kingston through Brockville to Cornwall. Strong and gusty northeasterly winds will whip up the freshly fallen snow and result in very low visibility at times in blowing snow.
Total snowfall amounts of 15 to 25 centimetres are likely across the regions. Snowfall rates of 2 to 4 centimetres per hour are possible during the heaviest snow, and if this occurs, near zero visibility in the heavy snow may be a significant issue to deal with.
Hazardous winter travelling conditions from near zero visibility, areas of heavy snow and local blowing snow are expected. Rapidly accumulating snow will also contribute to dangerous driving conditions. Travel plans should be changed accordingly.
The snow will end in areas west of the Greater Toronto area late in the afternoon, in the Toronto area in the evening and overnight in easternmost sections as the storm centre moves away.
A Texas low has tracked northeast to Ohio and will follow a path over Lake Erie into Western New York State later today. The storm centre will move away tonight and merge with another winter storm forecast to affect parts of New England and the Maritimes.
Please refer to your local public forecast for further details.