Holiday weekend weather forecast across Canada

Holiday weekend weather forecast across Canada

Environment Canada has issued a coast-to-coast warning or declaration for this bank holiday weekend.

Every province and territory experiences extreme weather, prompting the federal organization to warn Canadians ahead of the busiest travel weekend of the year.

Winter storm warnings, canceled flights, power outages and travel advice are dominating this holiday season.

Three rounds of a snow-rain mix will batter the west coast, while another storm system is expected to sweep and then freeze the east. The Prairies and Territories are under ongoing extreme cold warnings as Canadians prepare for a weekend inside.

Here’s a regional breakdown of what to expect this weekend:


Motorists in southern BC are being warned to stay off the roads as a third storm system hit the region on Friday.

This comes after a week of wild weather for the coast after parts of the lower mainland received more than two years’ worth of snow in less than three days.

Environment Canada is warning of heavy snow, ice pellets and freezing rain for Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley through Saturday.

“On the BC coast you can expect round one today, round two through Saturday,” Your Morning meteorologist at CTV Kelsey McEwen said on Friday. “Late Sunday the third round of rain and snow hits the BC coast.”

Metro Vancouver expects another 5 to 20 inches of snow after receiving 10 to 15 inches earlier this week.

“We’re going to see 100 millimeters of rain over the weekend in parts of Vancouver Island,” McEwen said.

In preparation for a “three rounds of humidity” Friday, WestJet was proactively canceling flights at BC airports

Flights to and from Vancouver International Airport from 11:50 p.m. PST Thursday through late Friday afternoon were canceled, leaving passengers scrambling to find alternative routes.

“Rarely do we see such heavy snowfall, followed by freezing rain and heavy rain. We want everyone to stay safe,” BC Transport Minister Rob Fleming said at a news conference Thursday.

Environment Canada changed its winter storm clocks to late Thursday morning winter storm warnings for Vancouver Island. All types of winter weather, from freezing rain to snow, are expected on the island Thursday through Saturday.

Much of northern BC is on extreme cold warnings, according to Environment Canada.


Extreme cold warnings are still in place across most of Alberta and Saskatchewan, with wind chill readings falling below -40C.

Environment Canada says temperatures will rise over the weekend. The federal agency issues extreme cold warnings when there is an increased health risk, such as frostbite and hypothermia.

By Sunday, the last wave of moisture to hit BC will move toward the prairie, bringing snow into Saturday and Sunday for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, McEwen said Friday.

Like many airports across the country, travelers have been stranded at Calgary International Airport as flight cancellations for WestJet continue to pile up. Some people have been trying to get to BC for days as all WestJet flights to and from Vancouver have been canceled until late Friday afternoon.

The airline said it allows people to change or cancel their flights for free before December 26.

Due to the extreme cold on the prairies, flights are canceled or delayed due to ice.

Saskatchewan is also under extreme cold warnings through Friday, with some areas feeling relief as milder temperatures arrive.

Flights have been canceled at Regina Airport, with the President and CEO of Regina Airport Authority saying in a video posted to Twitter that the airport is seeing a 30 percent flight cancellation rate and a 50 percent delay rate this week.

Northern and southern Manitoba are under extreme cold warnings, Environment Canada said Friday. Warnings are issued for Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage la Prairie with wind chill readings near -40C on Friday.

Some communities are also under a snowdrift warning, with poor visibility expected to ease by Friday night.

Manitoba shelters are filling up as people try to stay warm over the holiday weekend.


A “weather bomb” happens across Ontario from Friday through Sunday. As warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico mixes with arctic winds over the province, Ontar residents can expect strong winds, snow and freezing rain as conditions “deteriorate rapidly.”

“If that cold front shifts eastward, it will already result in a dramatic temperature drop from Windsor to Hamilton,” McEwen said. “So expect to have to snow quickly if it rains.”

School boards in London, Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa canceled classes today, and city crews are preparing for a multi-day purge.

Southwest Ontario and the greater Toronto area woke up to rain and temperatures hovering around 0C on Friday morning. Temperatures were already dropping in Hamilton by mid-morning.

“Hamilton, your temperature has dropped from above freezing to below freezing and you already have significant wind chill with really gusty winds,” McEwen said at 9:00 a.m. EST on the CTV News Channel. “There’s going to be a flash freeze (as) the winds are really picking up and we’re going to see potential blizzard conditions for the Niagara region to Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.”

Most of northern Ontario has been riddled with warnings from Environment Canada, with some areas experiencing extreme cold, snowstorms and winter storms.

Sudbury expects between 25 and 40 inches of snow by Saturday morning as winds pick up and visibility worsens.

“Very windy today over the lower Great Lakes, eastern Ontario and southern Quebec forecasting winds between 70 and 100 kilometers per hour,” McEwen said Friday.

Cloud Bay and the communities around Lake Superior will experience snowstorm conditions with wind gusts expected to reach 45 to 50 mph through Saturday, according to Environment Canada.

Snow will fall on the lake effect portion of the system in eastern Ontario through Saturday. Ottawa and surrounding areas along Highway 401 are warned of rain, with the total amount around Belleville estimated at 20 to 30 millimeters.

A severe winter storm is expected to continue through Saturday in the nation’s capital, with 5cm of snowfall expected for Saturday morning.

Hydro Ottawa responded to more than 30 power outages as of 6:00 a.m. EST on Friday that affected more than 12,000 customers. The City of Ottawa has declared a significant weather event and is urging people to stay home.

On Saturday morning, snow will have covered the ice with wind gusts expected to be between 70 and 80 km/h.

“Expect power outages, but also snow squalls and lake effect snow that will get us into Saturday,” McEwen said. “We will also see significant waves off Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. If you have a coastal community or property be aware there is flooding today through Saturday.”


A wind warning with gusts of up to 90 km/h is expected for the Montreal area until Friday evening.

“Flash Freeze Warnings are issued when a rapid drop in temperature is expected, which can cause water from rain or melted snow to freeze rapidly on roads and sidewalks,” Environment Canada’s website says.

Communities in southern Quebec were warned of storm surge, winter storms, wind and snowfall by Environment Canada on Friday.

Montreal schools are closed in anticipation of poor winter conditions.

More than 213,000 Hydro-Quebec customers lost power as of 10 a.m. Friday. The regions around Quebec City, the Laurentians and the Outaouais will be hardest hit due to high winds. which prompted local police to urge people to secure the structures.

Parts of northern Quebec are under wind, winter storm and snowstorm warnings.

The storm, which is sweeping through eastern Ontario, will hit Quebec late Friday and into Saturday night, bringing between 4 and 6 inches of snow.

“Quebec, the coldest air of the season for the weekend,” McEwen said. “That drives snow and snow gusts through Sunday.”


The storm system in Ontario and Quebec will transition to the Atlantic provinces late Friday through Saturday. Canada’s East Coast has endured two more extreme weather storm systems this month and is preparing for more.

A messy mix of rain, snow and strong winds is expected across Atlantic Canada this weekend.

“Rain and damaging winds are arriving all day today (Friday) for Nova Scotia, PEI, that’s mostly rain for you,” McEwen said. “But in New Brunswick, we’re going to see a chaotic mix of rain and snow throughout the day the further north you go in the province.”

The system is expected to bring snow to parts of NB and Newfoundland from Friday through Saturday morning.

“We are also monitoring water levels along the coast, with damaging storm surges expected,” McEwen said.

Environment Canada has issued rain, fall, storm surge and wind warnings for all Atlantic provinces.


The Yukon continues to experience extreme cold warnings Friday morning, with fog warnings continuing in Dawson and Mayo beginning Thursday.

Extreme cold warnings are in place across the North West Territories, with temperatures falling below -45C in parts of the Yellowknife region.

Nunavut has wind and blizzard warnings for the island community of Sanikiluaq on Friday morning.

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