The first major winter storm is expected to hit the upper Great Lakes today with strong winds and blowing snow, not to mention snowsqualls, but Sault Ste. Marie could escape the brunt of the storm.
Environment Canada has issued a snowsquall watch for the northern areas, but forecasters say the accumulating snowfall of 10 cm or more will fall north and east of the city. Sault Ste. Marie could pick up 5cm by Friday morning.
Northeastern Ontario: a lake effect snow band is expected to develop in cold southwesterly winds off of Lake Michigan tonight after a strong cold front crosses the region. Current indications suggest that the band will remain east of Sault Ste Marie but may affect St Joseph Island as well as portions of highway 17 between Sault Ste Marie and Elliot Lake. Several centimetres of snow are likely by Friday morning.
Snow squall watch in effect for:
Agawa – Lake Superior Park
Searchmont – Montreal River Harbour – Batchawana Bay
Snow squalls are likely to develop east of Lake Superior late this afternoon after the passage of a strong cold front. The snow squalls are expected to intensify tonight. The snow squalls are likely to continue on Friday, especially for regions south of Wawa. West winds gusting to 60 to 80 km/h will also cause blowing snow.
Snowfall accumulations of 5 to 10 cm per 12 hours are possible along with very low visibilities in heavy snow and blowing snow.
Travel may be hazardous due to sudden changes in the weather. Public Safety Canada encourages everyone to make an emergency plan and get an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit and a flashlight.
Snow Squall Watches are issued when conditions are favourable for the formation of bands of snow that could produce intense accumulating snow or near zero visibilities.