'Major ice storm' may hit parts of Eastern Ontario this weekend

Snow, ice pellets, freezing rain on tap for Almaguin this weekend

While dark skies and rain are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday, the weather "gets really complicated once we get into the weekend", Etienne Gregoire, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, told CBC Toronto. Any freezing rain that occurs is expected to be light.

Weather watchers say that it's looking increasingly likely that a "major ice storm" will strike southerly parts of the province this weekend.

Saturday's forecast is for periods of snow, a high of 0 C and a low of -3 C.

A low-pressure system was expected to move into southern Ontario on Saturday and hang around for most of Sunday, bringing a significant amount of rain and freezing rain with it. Northeasterly winds could draw colder air from an arctic high-pressure system from the north, resulting in a changeover from rain to freezing rain or ice pellets.

Increasing number of distracted drivers on the road
Still, everyone has seen other drivers on a device driving in a risky manner next to them during a commute or a trip around town. Last year's DDAW efforts resulted in over 18,000 warnings and citations for distracted driving offenses.

It's hard to know exactly which areas will be affected, but areas closer to Lake Ontario and near the Highway 401 corridor may remain just above the freezing mark (meaning less-if any-ice buildup).

Expect a few rounds of precipitation with a "significant threat of prolonged freezing rain" in some areas. That, combined with gusty winds, may down power lines and trees, potentially causing "widespread power outages", the agency warned. The freezing rain is expected to last until Sunday morning before changing to more heavy rainfall.

The national weather agency added that driving conditions could also be "hazardous" in some areas.

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