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Snow, ice pellets and freezing rain headed to Eastern Canada this weekend

Travellers at Pearson on the busiest holiday travel day of the year last year, December 21, 2012. Environment Canada is warning of significant winter weather starting on Friday that could snarl travel.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
December 21, 2013 - 11:27 AM


MONTREAL - A mix of snow, ice pellets and freezing rain is expected as part of a powerful winter storm blanketing much of Eastern Canada this weekend.

Environment Canada has issued weather warnings for an area stretching from southern Ontario all the way to Prince Edward Island.

Freezing rain began falling overnight in Quebec and police say difficult road conditions may have played a role in three deaths in three separate highway accidents.

The storm has already led to cancellations and delays at Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. There area also cancellations and delays at Pearson Airport in Toronto.

Several flights arriving and departing from the Kelowna International Airport have been delayed already Saturday thanks to the domino effect created by the eastern Canadian weather. WestJet is recommending travellers flying domestically to check in 2 hours before their flights. International travellers should get to the airport 3 hours before their plane is due to takeoff.

Environment Canada says a "major ice storm" is expected across a large swath of southern Ontario beginning later today as a "more potent" system moves in from the United States.

"There is still uncertainty surrounding the exact position of the storm track," the national weather agency said on its website.

"Any change in the storm centre's track will affect precipitation amounts and type. However, it is expected that holiday travel will be significantly impacted."

Up to 30 millimetres of freezing rain could fall on southern Ontario, while parts of the province may see snow and ice pellets totalling up to 15 centimetres.

In the Montreal area, a total of 15 to 30 cm of snow mixed with ice pellets is expected over the weekend. Between 15 and 40 mm of freezing rain is also expected in several areas south of the St. Lawrence River.

Further east, extended periods of freezing rain are expected to begin this evening and persist until late Sunday in New Brunswick and P.E.I.

Environment Canada meteorologist Andy Firth says the freezing rain will change to snow overnight in central New Brunswick and P.E.I., with up to 25 centimetres expected.

Firth says up to 40 millimetres of freezing rain and rain could fall over southwestern and central parts of Nova Scotia, beginning overnight and lasting more than 12 hours.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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