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April 22, 2012

Mother Nature celebrates Earth Day by cooking up a winter storm for Ottawa

The Rocket
The Rocket. Statue at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau.  Photo by Ross Dunn, shared in the OttawaStart Flickr Group.

Here's a special weather statement released Sunday morning by Environment Canada:
A low pressure system developing over Northern Florida early this morning is expected to move along the eastern seaboard, and undergo rapid development today. This system is expected to track northward and reach Eastern Ontario by Monday evening, then east of James Bay by Tuesday evening.
Current indications suggest that precipitation ahead of this low will push northward and westward, beginning over areas near the St Lawrence river overnight. The precipitation will reach areas from Renfrew to Newmarket and the Niagara Peninsula by Monday morning, and then to all areas east of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron to Central Lake Erie by Monday evening. 
The precipitation is expected to begin as a mix of rain, wet snow And ice pellets before changing over to rain. With the temperatures hovering above freezing, precipitation is likely to remain as wet snow over the Haliburton Highlands, where 5 to 10 cm are possible. Areas surrounding the Haliburton Highlands could see about 5 cm of wet snow. The rest of south Central Ontario may receive a cm or two, with higher amounts possible over higher terrain. Eastern Ontario is expected to see about 2 cm before changing to near 25 mm of rain. While these snow amounts are less than snowfall warning criteria, it is significant for this time of year. 
In addition, this system will bring in strong north winds Monday, with gusts up to 70 km/h for southwestern and south Central Ontario. This will keep temperatures 7 to 10 degrees below seasonal. 
Conditions are expected to improve somewhat on Tuesday as the precipitation and strong winds taper off. 
The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings as warnings may be required or extended.

The full forecast is available on the OttawaStart Weather Guide...

See also: Ottawa Nature Guide
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