Winter is coming: 2nd blast of snow and frigid temperatures in the forecast

The city is bracing itself for a second blast of wintry weather, and officials are hoping Londoners don’t forget how to drive this time.

Environment Canada has issued a snow squall watch for London and the surrounding area, warning residents that light flurries Wednesday morning will turn into snow squalls early in the afternoon. A combination of heavy and blowing snow means significantly reduced visibility on city roads and area highways until midnight.

“Accumulation for this afternoon could be up to 10 centimetres, and for this evening another five centimetres,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Weiqing Zhang.

A bulletin from the weather agency says travel may become hazardous because of sudden changes in the weather, and that visibility could drop suddenly to zero. It may also become hard to navigate highways, roads, and sidewalks, because of snow accumulation.

The drive into work shouldn’t be treacherous; throughout the morning there are light flurries stemming from a small snow system. It’s the northwesterly winds coming in behind that system, carrying squalls in from Lake Huron, which are expected to cause problems.

Zhang said the squalls won’t stay in one place; they’ll gradually move across London heading west. They’ll also leave the city with chilling temperatures.

“It’ll be very cold [Thursday] morning,” she explained.

“We forecast -13 degrees. With windchill, probably feeling like -17, -18.”

But things will start to get more seasonable after that. During the day Thursday, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud, 40 per cent chance of flurries, and a high of -7 C. Friday will be sunny with a high of 3, and there’s a small chance of rain over the weekend with a high of 6 C Saturday and 5 C on Sunday.

Despite hints of Jack Frost throughout the past few weeks, London was hit with its first significant blast of blowing snow and ice last Thursday. Emergency crews were called to dozens of crashes inside the city and on area highways, and provincial police said they were “disappointed” by drivers’ inability to navigate winter conditions.

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