Freezing rain could cause power outages, Environment Canada says

A wintry blast of cold air today caused wet, frigid temperatures. If it freezes overnight, it could cause power outages, Environment Canada says.
A very cold spring rain soaked Hamilton Thursday morning. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Hamilton residents might want to brace themselves for power outages Thursday evening if temperatures dip slightly below freezing, says Environment Canada.

With freezing rain during the day Thursday, the biggest worry is that ice could cause power outages from downed tree lines and power lines, Environment Canada says.

This could be brought on by ice build up combined with northeast winds gusting to 60 km/h.

It was a cold, wet day in Hamilton, although not as frosty as some forecasters had predicted.

Environment Canada predicted poor travel conditions for much of the day, particularly on unsalted roads. Subtle fluctuations in temperature determined whether we had rain, ice or sleet, said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.

If the temperature dips too much, there is the potential for 2 to 5 mm of ice accumulation on hard surfaces such as roads and sidewalks.

"Up the mountain and away from the lake, as much as 5-10 mm of ice is possible, which poses the risk for downed branches and power lines," Scotland said. "Areas further north and west up the escarpment see a higher risk of accumulating ice today."

The risk of freezing rain continues into Thursday evening, switching back to rain overnight. Winds could also pose an issue for drivers with gusts approaching 70 km/h out of the northeast, Scotland said.

Environment Canada says temperatures should rise above freezing by Friday morning.

Kelly Anderson, a spokesperson for the city's public works department, told CBC Hamilton Wednesday that the city's entire fleet of snow plows and salters is available for deployment if the roads need clearing.

"Roads staff are monitoring the forecast and are ready to respond to the weather conditions," she wrote in an email. "We will call in additional staff to assist if needed."

To stay up to date with GO's bus and train schedules, visit the service updates page.

Officials at Pearson Airport are advising passengers scheduled to fly on Thursday to check flight information before coming to the airport either. Call the airline directly or by check the flight information at

For more information about the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, visit the arrivals and departures page.