Eastern Canada faces first blast of winter weather

Winter weather has arrived in much of the country, and Environment Canada says parts of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should brace for stormy weather.

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An earlier bout of heavy snow and ice pellets struck the Maritimes over the weekend, and the environmental agency says the wintry weather is expected to continue there.

Environment Canada issued a winter storm watch on Monday morning for counties across southern Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

According to the warning, a storm system is expected to spread snow beginning Tuesday morning and lasting until early Wednesday.

"Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations," the watch says.

Meanwhile, Southern Quebec is also under winter storm watches and warnings.

Environment Canada says "hazardous winter conditions" are expected in the region, as a severe weather system blows north from Texas, bringing with it an estimated 15 and 35 centimetres of snow by Wednesday morning.

The agency predicts total snowfall amounts of 20 to 35 centimetres in the city of Montreal.

The same "intense" Texas storm system is expected to bring freezing rain, snow, ice pellets and winds up to 60 kilometres per hour to Southern Ontario.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for the City of Toronto on Monday, calling the system the first winter storm of the season.

According to the statement, snow is expected to develop Monday evening and will quickly cover the ground with five to 10 centimetres, before changing to ice pellets in the early morning hours.

This will be combined with strong winds, creating poor visibility from blowing snow.

Environment Canada says it "strongly urges" Toronto travellers to adjust their plans to avoid driving during the heaviest snowfall, in the late evening and overnight.

"Significant impacts are expected for travellers, due to slippery roads, very poor visibilities and the fact this is the first significant winter storm of the season," the statement says.

In Ottawa, the environmental agency is calling for hazardous winter conditions and 20 to 35 centimetres of snow.

"Snow and blowing snow will begin this evening and continue into Tuesday and then finally taper off Tuesday afternoon," the warning reads.

The agency also warned that visibility could be reduced to "near-zero" at times, due to the blowing snow.

"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate," the statement says.

Elsewhere in the province, in regions such as Niagara, Waterloo and Windsor, freezing rain is expected to cause ice accumulation of five to 10 millimetres, and winds up to 70 kilometres per hour may knock out power.

Vicious storms wreaked havoc in the southern United States earlier this week, causing deadly tornadoes in Alabama and Texas, and flooding and snow across the Midwest.

For the full list of Canadian winter storm warnings, watches and statements, as well as a list of the regions affected, visit Environment Canada's website.



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