An impending pattern change across Canada will leave parts of Ontario and Quebec squarely beneath an active storm track heading into this week. Despite the relatively calm weather of late, many roads, sidewalks, and storm drains are still packed with icy slush from the mid-January blizzard. Spend a little time Sunday or early this week taking care of all that snow before the next round of active weather arrives -- you’ll be glad you did. More on what we’re looking at in the days to come, below.
CANADA WILL ENDURE A PATTERN FLIP SOON
The country is in the midst of a pattern flip that will see colder weather return to the Prairies while communities in the east see a spate of above-seasonal temperatures.
This flip-flop will leave Ontario and Quebec stuck in the middle beneath an atmospheric battleground that pits warmer air to the south against Arctic air to the north.
An active storm track will develop across this temperature showdown, steering any systems straight over the Great Lakes region. This will put southern Ontario and southern Quebec in line for one or more waves of unsettled weather by the middle of this week.
Any systems that follow this boundary could bring the potential for heavy rain, snow, or even ice depending on the setup.
The threat for active weather poses enough challenges on its own, but it’s a tough situation seeing as many areas that could see significant weather next week are still trying to clean up from the last big snowstorm.
LEFTOVER SNOW FROM THE LAST STORM WILL POSE A CHALLENGE
The blizzard that thumped large portions of southern Ontario and Quebec on Jan. 17 is still readily apparent everywhere you turn.
Mountains of snow loom large everywhere. Many side roads, sidewalks, driveways, and vehicles remain caked in snow and slush more than a week after the storm. Storm drains across the region are covered and clogged.
It’s still a mess, and we’re not looking forward to any thaws in the near future that could solve the problem. Temperatures in Toronto might rise above freezing for the first time in nearly two weeks by Tuesday. But with a predicted high in the low single digits, don’t expect that snow to go anywhere in a hurry.
With the threat for active weather on the way, it’s wise to use the next couple of days to take care of any snow, slush, and ice that needs removing before it’s too late. Any remaining snow or ice on the ground will only add to the list of headaches no matter what type of precipitation falls.
Existing snow would make additional snow removal difficult. Rain could lead to flooding with clogged storm drains, and then exacerbate the risk of a flash freeze. Ice would further solidify what’s already on the ground. It would be a mess on top of a mess. The chance for impactful weather is enough on its own without worrying about the last storm’s bounty.
IT’S TOO EARLY FOR SPECIFICS, BUT KEEP THE RISK ON YOUR RADAR
The stark temperature contrast between the north and the south will certainly place an active storm track along or near the Great Lakes region. Between the favourable pattern and weather models signaling the risk for stormy conditions, it’s worth keeping in mind the opportunity for disruptive weather next week.
Forecasters will have a clearer idea of impacts, locations, and amounts once we get through the weekend.
We have plenty of time to get ready for whatever comes our way by the middle of next week. Get all your preparations and last-minute cleanup efforts done as soon as possible so you can handle the next round of potential stormy weather with a clean slate.
Stay tuned to The Weather Network and check back frequently for all the latest updates as we head into the beginning of February.