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Spring storm to bring 15 to 20 cm of snow, rain to Ottawa

An early spring storm is expected to bring heavy snow and rain to Ottawa and eastern Ontario on Wednesday and going into Thursday.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Ottawa-Gatineau and the Upper Ottawa Valley, calling for 15 to 20 cm of snowfall beginning this afternoon or early this evening.

The forecaster says rain is expected to move into the region early this morning and slowly transition to snow late in the day. Snow will continue tonight and taper off Thursday.

Poor travel conditions are expected, especially on Thursday morning.

Temperatures will likely hover close to the freezing mark, making the snow heavy and wet in nature. Wednesday’s daytime high will be 6 C with a low of minus 1 C tonight.

As a result, local power outages are possible.

“Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. 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,” Environment Canada said.

Total snowfall amounts could be between 10 to 20 cm with peak snowfall rates of 2 to 4 cm per hour.

It could be gusty as well – easterly winds at 40 km/h throughout the day could gust to 60 km/h

The snow is expected to taper off on Thursday, with about 5 cm of snow forecasted.

The record for greatest rainfall on April 3 in Ottawa is 18.6 mm, set back in 1990. The record for greatest snowfall on April 3 in Ottawa is 26.7 cm, set in 1975. The record for April 4 is 9.2 cm, established in 2004.

Environment Canada also issued a snowfall warning for parts of the Ottawa Valley. Renfrew, Arnprior and Calabogie could see snowfall amounts between 15 to 30 cm.

A special weather statement is in effect for Kingston and Brockville, with 10 to 30 mm of rain expected on Wednesday. Heavy snow could potentially exceed 10 cm this evening and early Thursday.

Ottawa only received 5.2 cm of snow in March.

A report from Environment Canada says the 5.2 cm of snow in March was 14 per cent of the normal snowfall Ottawa sees in the month (38.3 cm).

Thursday’s forecast

Snow will taper off Thursday with snowfall amounting to 5 cm.

Temperatures will remain steady near 1 C. The evening will be cloudy with a 70 per cent chance of flurries.

Friday will be cloudy with a 60 per cent chance of flurries or rain showers.

High will be 6 C.

The weekend calls for a mix of sun and clouds with warming temperatures.

Saturday will have a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 11 C.

Sunday will have a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 15 C.

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