London

Flights cancelled, cars in ditches as heavy snow falls through London region

Environment Canada says London, Ont., and surrounding regions will see up to 15 centimetres of snow rapidly accumulate late into Wednesday afternoon.

The worst of the storm will have passed by Thursday morning, says weather agency

Environment Canada says Wednesday's snowfall signals the end of mild temperatures seen at the start of the 2023 winter season.
Environment Canada says Wednesday's snowfall signals the end of mild temperatures seen at the start of the 2023 winter season. (Allison Devereaux/CBC)

Environment Canada says London and the surrounding regions will see up to 15 centimetres of snow accumulate late into Wednesday afternoon.

The snow is expected to taper off in the evening and overnight hours, leading to reduced road visibility and a slower-than-normal commute.

"Slow things down on the roadways, leave lots of space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you and even for pedestrians in the area, being aware that there could be slippery conditions on sidewalks right across the London area," said Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The worst of the storm system will have passed by Thursday morning. However, flurries are being forecasted, bringing an additional 2 to 4 centimetres of lake-effect snow.

Temperatures will remain below the freezing point for the coming days.

It's safe to say that Wednesday's blast of winter weather marks the end of a milder trend seen in late December through early January, Coulson said.

"We are getting back to more seasonal temperatures to finish off the month of January," he said. "In fact, many of the computer models now indicate we may actually be looking at somewhat colder than normal conditions to end January and lead us into February."

Several Westjet and Air Canada flights have been cancelled and delayed at the London Airport as the weather deteriorates. Airport CEO Scott McFadzean said they would likely depart by midday Thursday.

There were at least 15 single motor vehicle collisions reported along Highways 401 and 402 by mid-Wednesday afternoon, according to west region provincial police. The incidents have been minor, mostly with cars finding themselves in ditches throughout Middlesex County.

"If you drive appropriately and you watch your speed, you pay attention to what's going on around you, you will get to where you're going safely," said OPP Const. Jeff Hare.

"It's the ones that seem to drive fast and maybe take curves too fast or brake too hard too suddenly. They're the ones that are getting themselves in trouble and finding themselves in the ditch."

A snowfall warning remains in effect for London, Parkhill, Strathroy, Komoka, and Eastern and Western Middlesex County areas. The warning is expected to end overnight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela McInnes is a reporter for CBC London. She is a graduate of Western University's journalism program. You can reach her at angela.mcinnes@cbc.ca.

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