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Storms bring heavy snow, high winds to Northwestern Ontario

Winter isn't done with Northwestern Ontario yet.

Environment Canada issues storm warnings for much of the region

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for much of Northwestern Ontario. Up to 30 centimetres of snow is expected over the course of Sunday and Monday. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

Winter isn't done with Northwestern Ontario yet.

Snow began to fall on Thunder Bay Sunday afternoon, part of a system that's expected to bring heavy snowfall and high winds to several parts of Northwestern Ontario.

The system, and the winter storm warnings, are expected to remain in place until Monday evening, said Ria Alsen, a severe weather meteorologist with Environment Canada.

High winds, heavy snow

The storm warnings say between 20 and 30 cm of snow will fall on the Thunder Bay, Nipigon, Marathon, Geraldton, Manitouwage, Hornepayne, and Superior north and west areas.

Wind gusts up to 50 km/h are also expected.

"It's a major system that's coming through, Alsen said. "Basically, a 24-hour event is what we're looking at."

Northwestern Ontario isn't the only place getting hit by inclement weather; much of southern Ontario was also under storm warnings on Sunday. In those cases, the warnings are for rain and freezing rain, and they're affecting air travel throughout the province — the Thunder Bay International Airport showed several flights to and from southern Ontario destinations like Toronto were cancelled on Sunday.

Southern Ontario's weather is part of the same system that's hitting Northwestern Ontario, Alsen said.

System covers 'immense' area

"The centre of the low is over Ohio," she said. "It's an immense area that's being affected by this one low-pressure system."

"There's showers and thunderstorms all the way south to Cuba."

Alsen said that's why the storm is bringing so much precipitation to other areas, like Ontario.

"The moisture is coming off the Gulf of Mexico," she said. "This system has a lot of moisture to tap into, coming from the Gulf."

Seasonal temperatures coming

There is good news, however: after the storm passes, a return to seasonal conditions is in the forecast.

Daytime highs are forecast to be –1 C on Sunday, and then –4 C on Monday.

But the rest of the week paints a different picture. Tuesday and Wednesday are calling for highs of 8 C, which will climb to 10 C Thursday. Friday and Saturday will see a high of 11 C.

"We have a ridge of high pressure that builds in after this low goes through, and that looks like it's going to stick around for about a week or so, and give us fair weather and mild temps," Alsen said. "Looks like we might be finally starting to turn the corner."

"I won't say no to ... more snow, because it's still not impossible, late April," she said. "But it definitely looks like we're starting to see a warming trend."