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December 15, 2007

Really, really, really, really bad snow storm on the way

Environment Canada issued a Winter Storm Warning today for a massive snow storm that's about to hit our city. Somebody at the weather office must have had a thesaurus handy ... the warning is below, and we've emphasized some of the great descriptions they've used to describe the storm:

Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans
7:03 PM EST Saturday 15 December 2007
Winter storm warning for
Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans continued

A near-crippling snow storm with heavy snow and blowing snow as well as some ice pellets tonight and Sunday.

This is a warning that dangerous winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring in these regions. Monitor weather conditions..Listen for updated statements.

A massive winter storm is about to strike much of southern and eastern Ontario with near record snowfall amounts. Latest analyses indicates that the developing low pressure system is moving across western Kentucky preceeded by a burgeoning area of moderate snow with some freezing precipitation extending north to Lake Erie.

The low will move northeast towards the lower Great Lakes and intensify rapidly as it reaches Ohio Sunday morning then track across New York state into New England Sunday night. This storm track will place much of southern and eastern Ontario directly under the brunt of heavy snow. A few claps of thunder along with bursts of very heavy snow are also likely.

The brunt of the main snow event will begin this evening in the southwest and rapidly envelop all regions east to Ottawa in the overnight hours. Copious amounts of snow as well as strong winds causing blowing snow are expected. Freezing rain is also possible near Lake Erie.

Widespread snowfall accumulations of 20 to 30 cm are expected in most areas tonight and Sunday. Some local amounts of 40 cm or more are quite likely in a few areas by Sunday night..Especially from the west end of Lake Ontario and eastwards into far eastern Ontario.

Significant blowing snow is expected to accompany the heavy snow due to strong northeast winds gusting to 60 km/h whipping up the freshly fallen snow and causing whiteout conditions. In addition freezing rain is possible especially near Lake Erie for a few hours overnight and Sunday morning as milder air pays a brief visit aloft. Ice pellets are also quite possible generally along and south of a line from Grand Bend to near Toronto and east to Cornwall.

The public should be prepared to change plans accordingly to avoid unnecessary travel during this storm. This massive snow storm has the potential to cause near-paralyzing conditions as road travel on any unplowed streets may become next to impossible on Sunday. All motorists who must travel are urgently advised to use extreme caution and plan for much extra time to reach their destination.

There is a high degree of certainty with this storm as the concensus of weather model data is virtually unanimously forecasting this event.

Ottawa Weather Guide


  1. I like the last sentence about the consensus of weather model data.

    Especially because it is only "virtually unanimous".

    I'm picturing a computer with a robot voice saying "sunny skies tomorrow".

  2. I think we're virtually unanimous in saying it's the most dramatic and stirring weather forecast in living memory.

    I hope they keep that weather writer.


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