The winter weather is coming, although we have had such a nice fall. Nearby communites to the northwest, Manitouwadge – Hornepayne, Nipigon – Marathon – Superior North, and others are all being warned via a ‘Special Weather Statement’ via Environment Canada. An early season snowstorm with snowfall accumulation in excess of 15 cm possible Friday into Saturday. The snow, heavy at times, is expected to be accompanied by brisk northerly winds resulting in some blowing snow in exposed areas. Travelling conditions are expected to deteriorate quickly beginning Friday.
The nearby communities of Manitouwadge – Hornepayne are under a ‘Winter Storm Watch”: Early season winter storm with 15 to 25 cm snow, local blowing snow and risk of freezing rain. Precipitation will start out as rain or wet snow on Thursday evening then change over to snow with the risk of freezing rain by Friday morning. Latest indications suggest most regions will receive 15 to 25 cm of snow by Saturday morning. In areas where freezing rain develops, snowfall amounts may be closer to 15 cm.
Strong and gusty northerly winds are also expected to whip up loose and freshly fallen snow, with local blowing snow expected in exposed areas. Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.
Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.
With the first snowfall of the season expected for Thunder Bay and area, Thunder Bay Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding motorists to drive with extra care and caution. OPP encourage all motorists to ensure their vehicles are fully prepared to meet the challenges winter driving brings. Motorists are advised of the following safety tips to help everyone arrive at their destination safely.
- Drivers must slow down – Speed too fast for conditions is the main causal factor of winter collisions
- Drive according to current road and weather conditions.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, longer stopping distances may be required.
- Clean frost and snow off all windows, mirrors, and lights.
- Consider installing four winter tires on your vehicle, install good wiper blades and keep an ample supply of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Monitor road and weather conditions – Plan your trip and check local weather conditions before heading out. Consider postponing or cancelling your trip if the weather does not improve.
The following is a list of some recommended items to carry in your vehicle:
- A charged cell phone in case of an emergency
- An ice scraper, snow brush, a small shovel, sand, salt or other traction aid
- Booster cables, road flares, fuel line anti-freeze, and tow rope
- Extra clothing and footwear, a blanket, high energy non-perishable food, matches and a candle
- Flashlight, small tool kit, first aid kit
Please do not call 911 or the OPP Provincial Communication Centre for road information.
The Ministry of Transportation’s Traveller Information Services provides road information for provincial highways in Ontario by telephone, call 5-1-1 or online with accessible information on the MTO Ontario 511 website at www.ontario.ca/511
Be prepared for winter driving, stay safe!