toronto freezing rain ice

Toronto could soon be encased in ice from freezing rain after a brief heat spell

Sorry Toronto, but it looks like that brief spell of springlike weather has left the city behind, and it's about to get real messy in the 6ix.

Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for the City of Toronto just before 11 a.m. Thursday, warning of ice accretion that could turn roads, highways, and sidewalks into dangerous sheets of ice this evening and into Friday morning.

EnvironCan warns of "a wintry mix of precipitation" arriving in the city Thursday evening, cautioning that the event is expected to begin as rain or ice pellets in some parts of Toronto before transitioning to a mix of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Luckily, thanks to the unseasonably warm weather system that has just left Toronto behind, the government weather agency says that "ice accretion may be limited during the onset as ground temperatures may be above zero."

Anyone out on the roads could still have to contend with a few millimetres of ice accretion, creating extremely dangerous conditions for commuters.

EnvironCan expects the freezing rain conditions to persist through the evening and overnight hours in some areas before tapering off to a freezing drizzle or light snow in time for the Friday morning rush hour commute.

Though roads are expected to be treacherous, Toronto is getting off light compared to areas north of the GTA, where The Weather Network predicts this same system will bring snowfall in the range of 5-10 cm.

Weather conditions will continue to see-saw as we enter the winter home stretch, with The Weather Network calling for above-seasonal temperatures to return for the rest of the weekend.

That warmth will only be displaced by much colder weather into next week that may "result in an active and unsettled pattern, with the potential for messy and potentially high impact wintry systems."

Lead photo by

Scott Rogers

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