GTA-bound storm wreaks havoc in U.S.
The weather system that could bring 20 to 30 cm of snow to GTA Tuesday night started in Texas and Oklahoma, where the white stuff started falling Monday evening.
Dallas and parts of central and northern Oklahoma woke up Tuesday to 23 centimetres of snow.
The frigid weather shut down schools and cancelled flights along the storm’s path, including Texas, Oklahoma, St. Louis, Kansas and Chicago.
“There are blizzard warnings from central Oklahoma all the way up to Detroit,” said meteorologist Chris Nuttall for the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas.
David Phillips, senior climatologist from Environment Canada said the system travelling northwest still has a long way to go until it hits the city.
“Its power, its punch and potency will be felt on Wednesday,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Kansas and St. Louis areas are expected to receive the brunt of the storm, creeping its way north.
On Monday, icy roads in Kansas were blamed for one traffic fatality and numerous other accidents.
The governor released a statement that public offices would be closed on Tuesday due to the severe weather conditions.
By Wednesday morning, more than 20 cm of snow will land in many parts of the central United States. Winds will reach speeds of more than 50 km/h, accompanied by temperatures of -20 C before as the storm makes its way up to the Great Lakes Tuesday night.
The U.S. National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning and hazardous weather outlook for the Chicago area on Tuesday, but the snow is not expected to begin there until Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, said Amy Sealy, National Weather Service meteorologist for the Chicago area.
She said they are preparing for the biggest storm since 1967 by closing schools early on Tuesday and cancelling flights.
Some areas in Chicago could see as much as 50 cm of snow by Wednesday, she added. Meanwhile in Toronto, there’s a 40 per cent chance the flurries that fell Tuesday morning will return in the afternoon.
No more than two centimetres are expected to fall by that time before the major snow fall occurs at around midnight, said Phillips.
“At this point we may release a blizzard warning” he said, which is usually issued when the winds reach more than 50 km/h, visibility less than one kilometre and “mean wind chills,” he added.
“This is quite the nasty system and it should affect more than 100 million people in North America,” Phillips said.
Toronto’s Emergency Medical Services is scaling down its administration Tuesday to keep more staff on the road, said Duty Officer Allen Cameron, as the city prepares for the worst snow storm in almost three years.
-- Daniela Germano, Staff Reporter