Residents of Ontario and Quebec are facing a severe winter Monday as snow from two storms continues to lash the provinces.
Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for both regions, with Ontario expecting a total snowfall of 30 to 40 centimeters.
Environment Canada warns of winter storms headed for southern Quebec
Some Ontario regions, including Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa, are under a “blizzard warning” because of the potential for dangerous conditions with heavy snow and high winds.
The weather agency said snow up to 50 cm is possible in some areas, and gusts of up to 60 km/h are blowing snow through the air.
Meanwhile, some areas of Quebec such as Laurentians and Greater Montreal can receive up to 35 cm of snow.
Blizzard worst-case scenarios are expected to be over by lunchtime in the Toronto area as well as Ottawa and Gatineau, QC.
In the meantime, however, Environment Canada warns that the trip is “expected to be extremely dangerous due to widespread poor visibility.”
“The branches of the tree may break due to heavy snowfall. The journey is expected to be very difficult or impossible due to near-zero visibility,” it read in several Blizzard warnings.
“If you get stuck in a vehicle, don’t come out. The vehicle provides a form of protection from the cold. A lone person walking in snow is harder than a stranded car or truck.”
Blizzard warnings are issued when “widespread low visibility of 400 meters or less” is expected to last for at least four hours, the weather agency warned.
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Federal forecasters said a low pressure system around the Great Lakes would drop snow in parts of Ontario beginning Sunday night, while a storm in the United States would be making its way into southern Quebec.
Winter storms, the first major weather events of the year, have forced school boards in the provinces to rethink their plans for in-person learning at schools for the day.
In Ontario, many schools are closed. Some have switched to online learning, while others claim Monday is a complete “snow day” with no instruction. Students across the province were set to learn in person on Monday, as the province delayed return due to the COVID-19 spread.
Anthony Farnell, chief meteorologist at Global News, said just before 8 a.m., 37 centimeters of snow had fallen on the east end of Toronto. He said that 10 to 15 cm more snow is likely to fall.
“Pavement plows are doing their best. But it hasn’t snowed like this in years. If you don’t want to go anywhere, don’t. Cars got stuck everywhere,” Farnell said.
In Quebec, school boards that announced school closures on Monday included the English Montreal School Board, Lester B. Pearson School Board and Marguerite Bourgeois School Board. Many private schools have also announced closure.
Monday was also set as Quebec’s first school day for elementary and high school students across the province after the winter break.
Both the storms are likely to continue throughout the day.
— With files from Gabby Rodrigues, Alessia Simona Marata and The Canadian Press
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.