Mixed and messy weather may affect holiday commutes

Messy weather in December 2019. Photo by Lucas Mulder/Kingstonist.

A major winter storm is headed to the Kingston area just ahead of the holiday weekend. Environment Canada is predicting precipitation will begin late Thursday and continue well into the weekend.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, the national weather agency issued a special weather statement, which is in effect for Kingston, Odessa, Frontenac Islands, Napanee, Consecon, Picton, and Sandbanks Provincial Park.

“Precipitation may begin as rain or snow late Thursday before possibly transitioning to rain in many areas by early Friday. Temperatures are expected to plummet on Friday leading to a potential flash freeze for locations that receive rainfall. Rapidly falling temperatures will be accompanied by strong to potentially damaging winds, along with snow that may be heavy at times,” the special weather statement reads.

The weather agency went on to note that, while there is high confidence in a high-impact winter storm, the details regarding wind speeds, precipitation types, and amounts remain are still highly uncertain. “There are some indications that significant rainfall amounts are possible in some areas. Please monitor your local forecast and the latest alerts for your area.”

In a Water Safety Statement, Cataraqui Conservation stated that forecasts are calling for rainfall amounts of 30 to 45+ mm over an 18 to 24-hour period from December 22 to 23. Read the full article here.

Environment Canada also suggested that travellers consider altering their plans for the holiday weekend, as “travel conditions may become dangerous,” noting that utility outages are possible, and “temperatures Friday night into the weekend will likely be the coldest of the season to date.”

Ahead of this incoming storm, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are also reminding everyone to be prepared and plan ahead for winter travel.

“A leading cause of collisions in winter is poor driving, not poor driving conditions. With the potential for a variety of winter weather ahead for the busy travel weekend, the OPP would like drivers to remember these tips when preparing for travel,” the OPP said, offering the following tips:

  • Check the weather before heading out
  • Slow down and stay in control
  • Carry a survival kit in your car
  • Make sure windows are fully clear before heading out
  • Keep your fuel tank at least half full so that you don’t run out of gas if stranded, and to prevent condensation in your fuel tank.
  • Allow extra time to travel
  • Do not call 911 to check road conditions!

Kingstonist will continue to monitor weather conditions and provide updates if/when possible.

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