The London region was spared from the worst of the snow squalls coming in off Lake Huron overnight, but the threat from Old Man Winter is far from over.
A snow squall warning from Environment Canada remains in effect for London, Parkhill, and Eastern Middlesex County. A snow squall watch is in effect for Strathroy, Komoka, and Western Middlesex County.
School buses have been cancelled for Oxford County Friday morning.
According to the announcement from officials with the Thames Valley District School Board, schools will remain open but buses for Oxford County have been cancelled due to the weather.
Forecasters believe the squalls could blow into town Friday morning just as rush hour traffic kicks into high gear.
“Folks commuting in to London from Woodstock, it should be a nasty drive, and folks commuting into London from the southwest had better be prepared for a sudden deterioration in the London area as they drive into the snow,” said Environment Canada Meteorologist Rob Kuhn. “With this lake effect snow, it’s very sensitive to the exact wind direction. Even a wind direction change of as little as 5 degrees on the compass, you barely notice it, but that could make a huge difference as to whether London gets snow or whether or not it falls just to the east or the west of the city.”
According to the national weather service, the lake effect snow activity will continue Friday with local accumulations of 15 to 25 centimetres possible in the strongest snow squalls. Should a snow squall lock in over a location for a few hours, local snowfall amounts near 30 centimetres are possible.
“It could be that anybody just east of London but still in Middlesex County, they have the biggest chance to get some hefty amounts of snow,” said Kuhn.
Dangerous winter driving conditions are expected in the snow squalls due to rapidly accumulating snow and local blowing snow. Motorists should consider changing travel plans accordingly.
The squalls will drift out of the region overnight Friday, and we’ll get a bit of a break before another storm system from the western United States arrives Sunday afternoon. Forecasters are predicting a potential mix of snow and rain, though it’s too early to tell how much precipitation to expect.
After taking the proactive measure of anti-icing the main roads and bridges on Thursday, London’s head of roadside operations John Parsons said Friday they’re ready for whatever the weather brings.
“If we get to a point where there’s greater than 5 centimetres of snow, we’ll have some of our plows down on our main routes,” said Parsons. “Our salt trucks do have front plows but as it accumulates, if we get over 10 centimetres, we would move on to the residential streets. At this point in time, it’s very difficult to tell because it is a squall and we’re not sure if it will stay to the east or not, but we are ready to move in with 66 road plows if we need them.”