Thunder Bay

LRCA monitoring conditions as April storm drops more snow on Thunder Bay area

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is monitoring conditions as the Thunder Bay area experiences another storm that's forecasted to bring up to 25 centimetres of snow over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Environment Canada says warmer temperatures, sunshine coming on the weekend

An April storm brought snow and slush to northwestern Ontario on Wednesday. Environment Canada said up to 25 centimetres of snow could fall in the Thunder Bay, Atikokan, and Nipigon areas by the time the storm ends on Thursday. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

The Lakehead Region Conservation Authority is monitoring conditions as the Thunder Bay area experiences another storm that's forecasted to bring up to 25 centimetres of snow over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

"We're definitely watching conditions," said LRCA CEO Tammy Cook. "The melt so far has been what we like to see, where it's a little bit above freezing during the day, and then  ... below freezing temperatures at night."

"Hopefully we'll see that in the next few weeks, because we have a lot of snow to melt into spring."

Cook said the LRCA will issue flood warnings or advisories as needed as the region moves into what she called "a bit of a delayed spring."

Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for the Thunder Bay, Atikokan, and Nipigon areas on Tuesday, saying that up to 25 centimetres of snow could fall in those areas over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Special weather statements were also issued for many other parts of the region, with the weather agency warning that about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow could fall during the storm.

Temperatures, however, hovered around zero on Wednesday, bringing rain and sleet into the mix, as well.

Weather conditions were causing problems in some rural areas around Thunder Bay on Wednesday morning.

"I'm seeing a complete whiteout," Shebandowan resident Sheri Turner told CBC News on Wednesday. "I'm seeing winds. I'm seeing very old trees that branches have broken off."

"I lost my hydro here, now," she said. "The highway's closed, and yet it's pretty much white out my window."

Turner said about three feet of snow had accumulated on her deck by late Wednesday morning.

"I grew up in the Slate River Valley," she said. "I've never seen a winter like this."

The winter storm led to some road closures in the Thunder Bay area Wednesday, including the closure of Highway 11/17 from Shabaqua to Kakabeka Falls. 

Highway 102 between Mapleward Road and Sistonen's Corners was also closed in both directions due to "poor road and weather conditions," 511 Ontario said on Twitter.

Earlier Wednesday, Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay announced all school buses were cancelled due to weather and road conditions.

Some rural schools — including Crestview, Valley Central, Whitefish Valley, Gorham and Ware, and Kakabeka Falls — were also closed on Wednesday. All other schools were open.

Low-pressure system

Steven Flisfeder, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the snow will continue throughout Wednesday, and get heavier overnight.

"It's going to continue through [Thursday]," he said, adding light flurries are possible early Friday, as well. "It's not going to be completely out of the area until sometime late Friday or Saturday."

Flisfeder said the cause of the storm is a low-pressure system tracking eastward across the Great Lakes.

"It's a big system, slow moving," he said. "Which is why it's such a problem for the northwestern Ontario area, picking up extra moisture from the lakes as it traverses across the province."

"So, definitely a big issue for most of northern Ontario."

However, after the storm leaves the area late Friday, things will start looking up weather-wise.

"Friday itself is going to be kind of on the cold side, but, generally speaking, okay," he said. "Once we get into the weekend, much better conditions, temperatures closer to normal and you will see some sunshine finally."

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