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Winter weather blasts Central, Atlantic Canada – Canada – CBC News

Winter weather blasts Central, Atlantic Canada – Canada – CBC News.

Snow plows prepare to clear slushy streets in Toronto on Monday as forecasters warn freezing rain will turn roads in much of Southern Ontario into ice paths. Snow plows prepare to clear slushy streets in Toronto on Monday as forecasters warn freezing rain will turn roads in much of Southern Ontario into ice paths. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Prairies deep freeze

Prairies deep freeze 2:33

Newfoundland power update

Newfoundland power update1:24

Storm hits Atlantic Canada

Storm hits Atlantic Canada2:18

 

 

The relentless weather is causing misery this morning across much of Canada, with southern Ontario hit with freezing rain, wind-chill warnings in some parts of the Prairies and 30,000 Newfoundlanders still in the dark after a mass power outage on the weekend.

 

 

In Ontario, parts of the province were hit with massive snowfalls, while other areas, including the Toronto region, were pelted with snow and freezing rain.

 

CANADA/Both drivers and pedestrians in Toronto are being urged to be aware of a possible flash-freeze in time for Monday’s rush hour. (Devaan Ingraham/Reuters)

“In southern Ontario, that temperature is starting to drop and quickly,” CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said Monday morning. “That slushy mix on the roads is icing up quickly.”

Both drivers and pedestrians are urged to be aware of a possible flash freeze during the morning commute. A flash-freeze warning comes when a steep temperature drop causes water from rain or melted snow to quickly freeze.

The weather wreaked havoc at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Monday morning, with hundreds of flights cancelled or delayed. Both Air Canada and WestJet advised customers to check their flight status before heading to the airport.

Due to weather, please check with your airline for delays or cancellations and give yourself extra time to get to the airport safely.

— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 6, 2014

“I wasn’t five minutes here at the airport before people started telling me horror stories of being stuck on an airplane for hours on end,” CBC reporter Linda Ward said from the airport.

“Passengers are telling me their planes just couldn’t get to the gate because of so many cancelled planes, so it’s definitely a very frustrating scene here this morning … The people who were on those planes [are] very angry, very tired, very hungry … They say all in all this was just a horrible travel experience.”

Environment Canada extended wind-chill and flash freeze warnings for the Toronto area on Monday morning, warning temperatures will feel as cold as –35 C to –40 C Monday night and into Tuesday morning.

A mix of snow and rain in Toronto, and snow further north, produced hundreds of accidents on the roads and highways Sunday evening, including one crash in Brampton that left one man dead.

Local school boards warned parents to check online Monday morning to see if any schools cancelled classes for the day. The Toronto Catholic District School Board said it would release a decision by 6 a.m. ET and the Toronto District School Board warned of potential closures.

Much of Quebec was also facing adverse weather warnings Monday morning. Environment Canada issued winter storm, freezing rain and wind warnings for most of the province.

Storm wallops Atlantic Canada

The winter weather blast also left much of Atlantic Canada under weather advisories.

  • Police advise motorists, including all officers, to stay off the roads as dangerous whiteout conditions brought on by snow and wind continue to lash much of Atlantic Canada. Here, a pedestrian in Halifax braves the blizzard.
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“Atlantic Canada is a real mess … where I see the risk of freezing rain continuing this morning as a warm front pushes north,” Scotland said.

“For much of the Maritimes, this will switch over to rain through the morning and early afternoon … and further east warnings are out for Newfoundland who deal with this mess tonight through tomorrow — gusty wind, freezing rain and heavy rain.”

Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings for most of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Nova Scotia was under freezing rain and rainfall warnings, while Newfoundland was under freezing rain, blizzard and wind warnings.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, about 30,000 Newfoundland Power customers were still without electricity Monday morning after a power plant went offline in the latest power problem to hit the province in recent days.

Residents and businesses throughout the province were told to conserve energy as the province grapples with rolling power outages.

As generation becomes avail. from @nlhydro we are continuing to add customers. Conservation is still extremely important. #darknl

— Newfoundland Power (@NFPower) January 6, 2014

Aging infrastructure, a terminal station fire and a blizzard that ripped through the province Friday night combined to overburden an already stretched electricity grid, according to Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

At the peak of the power outages Saturday morning, about 190,000 customers were in the dark, Newfoundland Power said.

Prairie deep freeze

Meanwhile, much of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are under extreme wind chill warnings, where residents are facing temperatures that feel as cold as –40 C with wind chill.

“To the east, wind chill warnings are out from Hanna in eastern Alberta through southern Saskatchewan [and] Manitoba,” Scotland said.

“Across this warned area, current temps are well into the – 30s C with wind chills well into the – 40s.”

The potentially record-low temperatures are heightening fears of frostbite and hypothermia.

“Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions,” warns Environment Canada.

Cold U.S. Temperatures Expected To Break Records As ‘Polar Vortex’ Blasts Midwest

Cold U.S. Temperatures Expected To Break Records As ‘Polar Vortex’ Blasts Midwest.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The weather warnings are dire: Life threatening wind chills. Historic cold outbreak. Bitter cold temperatures.

Winter is normally cold, but starting Sunday tundra-like temperatures are poised to deliver a rare and potentially dangerous sledgehammer blow to much of the Midwest, driving temperatures so far below zero that records will shatter.

One reason? A “polar vortex,” as one meteorologist calls it, which will send cold air piled up at the North Pole down to the U.S., funneling it as far south as the Gulf Coast.

The temperature predictions are startling: 25 below zero in Fargo, N.D., minus 31 in International Falls, Minn., and 15 below in Indianapolis and Chicago. At those temperatures, exposed skin can get frostbitten in minutes and hypothermia can quickly set in because wind chills could hit 50, 60 or even 70 below zero.

Temperature records will likely be broken during the short, yet forceful deep freeze that will begin in many places on Sunday and extend into early next week. That’s thanks to a perfect combination of the jet stream, cold surface temperatures and the polar vortex — a counterclockwise-rotating pool of cold, dense air, said Ryan Maue, of Tallahassee, Fla., a meteorologist for Weather Bell.

“All the ingredients are there for a near-record or historic cold outbreak,” he said. “If you’re under 40 (years old), you’ve not seen this stuff before.”

Snow already on the ground and fresh powder expected in some places ahead of the cold air will reduce the sun’s heating effect, so nighttime lows will plummet thanks to strong northwest winds that will deliver the Arctic blast, Maue said. And there’s no warming effect from the Gulf to counteract the cold air, he said.

The cold blast will sweep through parts of New England, where residents will have just dug out from a snowstorm and the frigid temperatures that followed. Parts of the central Midwest could also see up to a foot of snow just as the cold sweeps in pulling temperatures to 10 below zero in the St. Louis area.

Even places accustomed to normally mild to warmer winters will see a plunge in temperatures early next week, including Atlanta where the high is expected to hover in the mid-20s on Tuesday.

“This one happens to be really big and it’s going to dive deep into the continental U.S. And all that cold air is going to come with it,” said Sally Johnson, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

It’s relatively uncommon to have such frigid air blanket so much of the U.S., maybe once a decade or every couple of decades, Maue said. But in the long-run the deep temperature dives are less meaningful for comparison to other storms than daytime highs that are below-zero and long cold spells, he said.

And so far, this winter is proving to be a cold one.

“Right now for the winter we will have had two significant shots of major Arctic air and we’re only through the first week of January. And we had a pretty cold December,” Maue said.

Cities and states are already taking precautions. Minnesota called off school for Monday statewide, the first such closing in 17 years, because of projected highs in the minus teens and lows as cold as 30 below. Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., students also won’t be in class Monday. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple urged superintendents to keep children’s safety in making the decision after the state forecast called for “life threatening wind chills” through Tuesday morning.

Sunday’s playoff game in Green Bay could be among one of the coldest NFL games ever played. Temperatures at Lambeau Field are expected to be a frigid minus 2 degrees when the Packers and San Francisco 49ers kick off, and by the fourth quarter it’ll be a bone-chilling minus 7, with wind chills approaching minus 30, according to the National Weather Service. Officials are warning fans to take extra safety measures to stay warm including dressing in layers and sipping warm drinks.

And though this cold spell will last just a few days as warmer air comes behind, it likely will freeze over the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, meaning frigid temperatures will likely last the rest of winter, Maue said.

“It raises the chances for future cold,” he said, adding it could include next month’s Super Bowl in New York.

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