DC, UOIT brace for up to 25 cm of the ‘white stuff’

The calm before the predicted storm. A look at UOIT before the snow falls Tuesday. Photo credit: Kathryn Fraser

A winter storm is heading our way and it looks like a messy Tuesday for Durham and UOIT students.

The province is under a winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada. Freezing rain, ice pellets, heavy snow and strong wind gusts are expected.

Ross Hull, a meteorologist at Global News Toronto, says Durham Region will see lots of precipitation.

“Durham and the Oshawa area could see 20-plus centimetres, so I think 20 to 25 centimetres is likely a good number there,” he says. “[We’ll have] strong winds, 40-80 km/h so the snow will be blowing around.”

Hull says there will also be ice pellets, freezing rain and the potential for lake effect snow, meaning those living closer to Lake Ontario could see more snowfall. He also says the timeline for this storm is easy to track.

“The snow will escalate and intensify over 7 am to 12 in the afternoon,” Hull says. “I think the evening commute is going to be the hardest hit with this storm. At that point, there will be likely 20 centimetres of snow on the ground, add to that mixed precipitation and some gusty winds as well.”

Hull says the system originated and moved off the West Coast.

“It basically kind of moved over the west plains, Colorado. It’s intensifying, it’s pulling moisture from the Gulf of Mexico,” he says. “As it moves north in the colder air, that moisture is going to be turning into snow.”

Hull says the storm will hit eastern Ontario the hardest. Ottawa, Kingston and southwestern Quebec could experience 30 to 50 cm of snow.

“They’re going to be under the heaviest snow bands for the longest periods of time.”

Hull’s advice for DC and UOIT students? Be careful.

“Look out for announcements on closures because I do think there’s a potential for closures,” he says. This storm comes after Durham and UOIT cancelled classes last Wednesday due to freezing rain in the region.

“If classes are cancelled, give yourself plenty of extra time to get around on Tuesday because transit, driving, all those things will be delayed because of this system – big time.”