'Significant winter storm' expected to hit Toronto ahead of Christmas weekend

Environment Canada is warning that a "significant weather storm" is expected to hit Toronto late this week ahead of the Christmas weekend.

'Consider altering plans through the holiday weekend,' Environment Canada says

A person crosses the Bathurst Street Bridge on Jan. 17, 2022 in Toronto when a blizzard hit the city. (Lisa Xing/CBC)

A "significant weather storm" is expected to hit Toronto late this week ahead of the Christmas weekend, Environment Canada warns. 

The storm could bring rain, snow, winds and potentially a flash freeze to the city.

"Consider altering plans through the holiday weekend as travel conditions may become dangerous," the federal weather agency said in a special weather statement on Monday.

Toronto could see rain or snow late Thursday and that precipitation might turn into rain in many areas early Friday, Environment Canada said.

Temperatures are forecast to drop on Friday, which could mean a potential flash freeze, according to the forecast.

Power outages possible

Strong, potentially damaging winds are expected to accompany the rapid drop in temperature, along with snow that may be heavy at times.

The federal weather agency added that while it is confident that the storm will have an impact, it doesn't yet have details on wind speeds, or rainfall and snowfall amounts.

Residents are urged to keep an eye on local forecasts.

Power outages are possible, and temperatures on Friday night into the weekend could be the coldest that Toronto has seen so far this winter, Environment Canada said.

Residents are urged to make an emergency plan and prepare an emergency kit with drinking water, food, medicine, a first aid kit and a flashlight.

Much of southern Ontario is under a special weather statement. Blizzard conditions are possible late Friday into the weekend for areas "downwind" of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

As for areas east of the Great Lakes, a "multi-day lake effect snow event" is expected into the weekend in the wake of the system, Environment Canada said.