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Winter storm blasts across Ontario, parts of Quebec

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A snowstorm is battering southern Ontario and parts of Quebec Monday, with Environment Canada issuing a blizzard warning for some regions due to wind and poor visibility, with anywhere from 15 to 50 centimetres of snow expected to fall across the provinces.

Across southern Ontario, the regions of Halton-Peel, Belleville-Quinte-Northumberland, Dunnville – Caledonia-Haldimand, Hamilton, Toronto, Niagara and York-Durham are under a blizzard warning.

All other regions under a public weather alert are under either a snowfall or winter storm warning, with up to 50 centimetres of snow expected to fall in certain regions.

Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips said on CTV News Channel Monday that the storm could be “one of the snowiest days in recent history,” after parts of the country were in a “snow drought” this winter.

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“This storm is a hard hitter but it really is also a quick hitter,” Phillips said. “It arrived on time like it was following a script…very few areas will escape this…with really a lot of snow in certain areas, looking at these numbers for Toronto, this isn’t even a two or three-day event, this is less than a day.”

Phillips said the storm was going to dump a lot of snow with very strong winds, which is what makes it an “impactful event.”

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“You’re going to have to be pushing it, plowing it and shovelling it two or three times before it settles down,” he said of the amount of snow expected in some regions.

“It’s a very potent storm, there are a lot of dangers with it,” Phillips said, citing factors such as very poor visibility in Toronto.

In Quebec, the regions of Waskaganish, Parent-Gouin Resevoir, Matagami, Chibougamau and Abitibi are under extreme cold warnings, with wind chill estimated to make it feel like -38 to -42 C Monday and possibly into Tuesday morning.

Several other Quebec regions are under winter storm and snowfall warnings, with up to 25 centimetres expected to fall across certain regions.

Environment Canada is warning that travel is expected to be extremely hazardous across the Greater Toronto Area due to widespread poor visibility and there may be “a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.”

The weather agency is also warning those who get stuck or stranded on the road to remain with their vehicle, as it “offers a form of protection from the cold.”

“A single person walking through the snow is harder to find than a stranded car or truck, if you do travel and become lost, remain where you are until the blizzard has passed,” the blizzard warning for Toronto states online. “Protect yourself from wind, cold and disorientation by staying sheltered, indoors or with your vehicle.”

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