Heavy snowfall, gusting winds and even freezing rain – almost all of southern Ontario is under a Special Weather Statement in preparation of the big snow storm coming our way. If you plan to head outdoors this Thursday, get ready to layer up.

Environment Canada issued the statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning for Thursday’s anticipated storm, where we expect to see about 10 cm of snow. This monster storm, which according to The Weather Network, will affect a “good chunk of North America,” is expected to bring hazardous weather conditions to the province, late Thursday morning through Thursday night.

Southern Ontario may expect, in particular Toronto, snowfall amounts of 10 to 15 cm by early Friday morning, southeasterly wind gusts up to 70 km/h, particularly near Lake Ontario and the possibility of “ice accretion” from freezing rain, according to the EC.

“The snow will become heavy at times Thursday afternoon, particularly impacting the Thursday evening commute. Slightly lower snowfall amounts are likely near the shoreline of Lake Ontario where snow may transition to rain. Snow will gradually taper to flurries Friday morning,” read the statement.

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ontario storm
Photo via Environment Canada

The statement spans across southern Ontario from Windsor to Ottawa region. Some regions may even get local amounts up to 20 cm over the higher terrain north of Lake Ontario. But for Toronto, it seems like we’ll get more icy and slippery road conditions due to possible freezing rain on top of that snowfall.

If you plan to head outdoors, unless its essential, Environment Canada suggests postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Depending on the wind gusts, loose objects may be tossed by the wind and local power outages may occur, according to EC.

Does this mean Toronto will be getting a white Christmas? The Weather Network 14 day forecast anticipates some snowy days but it all depends if this snow decides to stick around. It’s still too early to say if it will be. For now, we got bigger storms to worry about.