It’ll be a hazardous weekend for drivers as a three-day winter storm brings periods of freezing rain and flurries. And it will have started by your Friday commute.

The messy weather is due to start Thursday night. Environment Canada is predicting periods of rain or wet snow starting in the evening with a risk of freezing rain late this evening and overnight.

It’ll be windy, with winds up to 20 km/h until around midnight. The low will be zero.

On Friday, the agency is predicting periods of rain ending in the evening, then cloudy with a 60 per cent chance of rain. There’s a risk of freezing rain late in the afternoon and early evening with winds of 20 km/h.

Temperatures will be warm for the season though — a high of 4 C, falling to 1 C in the afternoon.

Saturday will bring a 60 per cent chance of flurries and some bitter cold. Temperatures will be a low of -6 C and a high of zero.

On Sunday, Hamilton can expect more bad weather. There will be periods of freezing rain or rain with a low of -2 C and a high of 2 C.

Here’s the forecast for the rest of the week:

  • Monday, Dec. 23: Sun and cloud with a low of -8 C and a high of -3 C.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 24: Sun and cloud with a low of -12 C and a high of -4 C.
  • Christmas Day: Sun and cloud and a low of -6 C and a high of -1 C.

The Hamilton Fire Department is prepared to answer a lot of vehicle accident calls over the weekend, said spokesperson Claudio Mostacci. The crunch has already started.

"We're all over the place with traffic accidents" on Thursday, he said.

"With the weather being the way it is, I can anticipate that our numbers will be up" on the weekend, he said.

"But hopefully not. I have my fingers crossed. Hopefully no one gets into an accident. But with the roads like that, there will be accidents."

How to drive this weekend

Hamilton Police Service has offered some tips on how to drive in winter weather conditions like those expected this weekend.

  1. Avoid driving in hazardous conditions if possible.
  2. Leave early and give yourself lots of time to reach your destination.
  3. Leave plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you.
  4. Give yourself double the braking distance you normally would when you're stopping.
  5. When entering a curve, brake before the curve to slow down.
  6. Get some winter tires. Top up your fluids, especially wiper fluid. Brush snow and ice from all of your windows as well as your tail lights, turn signals and headlights.
  7. Focus on the road. Don't get distracted by cell phones, eating, smoking or talking.