Thunder Bay

Another winter storm hits northwestern Ontario

It may be April, but winter isn't done with northwestern Ontario yet.

Rain, snow mix begins early Wednesday as major accumulation expected for the region

Up to 30 centimetres of snow could fall on some areas of northwestern Ontario, including Thunder Bay, this week. (Gord Ellis/CBC)

It may be April, but winter isn't done with northwestern Ontario yet.

Environment Canada has issued snowfall warnings for the Thunder Bay, Nipigon and Atikokan areas, where up to 25 centimetres of snow could fall over the course of Wednesday and Thursday.

Special weather statements remain in effect for several other parts of the region, which are expected to see about 10 to 15 centimetres of snow throughout the next two days:

  • Kenora.
  • Red Lake-Ear Falls.
  • Dryden-Ignace.
  • Fort Frances-Rainy Lake.
  • Geraldton-Manitouwage-Hornepayne.
  • Sioux Lookout.

Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng said the snow is expected to begin early Wednesday morning.

"This is not the powdery snow that we get in the middle of winter, because we are looking at temperatures just hovering around the freezing mark," he said Tuesday. "This is the type of snow that's going to be heavy. It's going to be wet. So with that, when you are  ... shovelling, do take it slow because it is going to be quite strenuous."

City roads manager Ian Spoljarich said snow-removal crews will be out early Wednesday if the forecast holds true.

"We do have someone out patrolling the roads, and we'll be making that call when it's time," he said. "If the snow comes as projected, we'll have equipment in at 2 a.m. plowing priority routes, and then we'll have our sidewalk plows in at 3 a.m. doing the mainline sidewalks."

Cheng said the good news is that temperatures are expected to start warming up this weekend.

"Once we get out of this storm, we are looking at temperatures almost flirting with double digits for the weekend, for daytime highs, especially Saturday and Sunday, with a high pressure [system] coming in to north western Ontario," he said. "However, we are still in early April, and the snow could still happen once again."

Spoljarich said crews have also been working to push back snowbanks and open up catch basins and culverts to try to prevent flooding.

He said the snow is also making it more difficult than usual to repair potholes on city streets.

"We've had crews out consistently addressing these potholes, but it's just difficult with the wet weather for that asphalt to stick in the holes as it's supposed to," he said. "So if we can get a little drier conditions here, it'll definitely make it easier on us."