Published Monday, February 15, 2021 7:36AM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 15, 2021 8:20AM EST
Toronto and the regions of York, Halton, Durham, and Peel are all under a snowfall warning and Environment Canada is predicting two rounds of heavy snow today.
The first blast of winter weather is expected to arrive this morning along with five centimetres of snowfall this afternoon.
A winter storm warning is in effect for Burlington and Oakville, along with other parts of southern Ontario, including Niagara Region. These regions could see between 20 and 35 centimetres of snow over the next 24 hours.
While there will likely be fewer people on the roads today due to the Family Day holiday, Environment Canada warned of "quickly changing" and "deteriorating" travel conditions.
"Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow," the advisory read.
The snow is expected to taper off by late Tuesday morning.
Eric Holmes, a spokesperson for the city's transportation department, said staff have been preparing for this winter storm since last week.
"What we are looking at is two potential storm systems; one during the day today and then one overnight that is going to bring quite a bit of snow," he told CP24 on Monday morning.
"With a storm of this size, the cleanup is an important thing. As soon as the snow starts to accumulate, you are going to see the salt trucks out and they are going to make rounds and rounds and rounds to keep the roads as safe as possible."
At 2.5 centimetres of accumulation, plows will hit expressways and at five centimetres, plowing operations will begin on major roads. Plows don't begin clearing residential streets until there is eight centimetres of accumulation.
Holmes said even when the snow stops, there will still be a significant amount of work to do to clean up the streets.
"The cleanup following the storm, that is a nuanced operation. It can take days. So we ask people to wait to call 311 if they are concerned about the snow clearing operation," he said. "That is because our crews are going to be out for the next couple days, plowing out roads, plowing out sidewalks, making transit stops safe. And that operation is going to continue."
Frigid temperatures today and tomorrow are expected to give way to warmer weather later this week.
Toronto will see a high of -6 C today but it will feel closer to -14 with the wind chill this afternoon. A high of -7 is in the forecast for Tuesday but wind chill values will make it feel like -18.
On Wednesday, Toronto will see sunshine and a high of -3 C and temperatures are expected to hover around the freezing mark on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.