Weather: Toronto Prepares for Winter Storm

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TORONTO – Weather – Toronto continues to prepare for a bout of winter weather.

While from Thunder Bay winter weather and driving conditions are far more common, Toronto does a lot to prepare for cold winter weather.

Toronto Pearson is a major aviation hub. The impact of delays and storm related cancellations will echo across the country.

Toronto Pearson takes winter storm preparation very seriously to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and employees. Here are some of the measures the airport takes to prepare for winter storms:

  1. Snow Clearing and Removal: The airport has a fleet of over 200 snow removal vehicles, including plows, sweepers, and blowers. These vehicles are used to clear the runways, taxiways, aprons, and roads. In addition to clearing snow, the airport also removes snow from the airfield to designated snow storage areas.
  2. De-icing: During the winter months, aircraft must be de-iced to ensure they are free of any ice or snow buildup that could affect their performance. The airport has several de-icing facilities that are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to efficiently and safely de-ice aircraft.
  3. Staffing: The airport increases staffing levels during winter storms to ensure that there are enough employees to clear snow, de-ice aircraft, and maintain safe operations.
  4. Coordination with Airlines: The airport works closely with airlines to ensure that flights are safely and efficiently managed during winter storms. This includes coordinating de-icing schedules, prioritizing flights, and keeping airlines informed of any weather-related updates.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the City of Toronto, with the storm expected to commence later today. The storm presents several hazards including heavy snowfall and ice pellets, with a total accumulation of 10 to 15 cm. It’s possible that accumulations may be lower in areas that experience a greater period of mixing with ice pellets and freezing rain. Additionally, there’s a risk of freezing rain, with the possibility of light ice accretion.

The wintry mix is anticipated to begin late this afternoon and continue through early Thursday morning. The snow will transition from light to heavy at times later this afternoon or early evening, with the possibility of intermittently changing to freezing rain tonight. The wintry mix will subside early Thursday morning to patchy freezing drizzle.

Another light wintry mix of precipitation may occur on Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. It’s important to exercise caution and take appropriate safety measures while navigating through these conditions.

TTC Streetcar
Streetcars running on the TTC lines were built in Thunder Bay

The Toronto Transit Commission is preparing extra service and other severe winter measures for the winter storm that is forecast to hit Toronto this afternoon.

Based on current weather predictions, this storm is likely to impact surface travel the most. The TTC will mobilize additional operators and vehicles to ensure minimal impact for customers. Those who need to travel during this snow event are encouraged to use transit to get to their destination safely and reliably.

This service enhancement and other actions already underway are part of the TTC’s enhanced Severe Weather Plan. Other steps being taken include:

• Line 3 Scarborough SRT is currently operating. However, as the weather turns to a snow event, the line will be closed and fully replaced with buses until weather allows for it to re-open. This closure/replacement is expected to happen at 7 p.m. this evening.
• Forty-one bus stops located in hilly areas that are difficult for buses to navigate in snow and ice will be taken out of service at 5 p.m. this afternoon.
• Anti-icing and snow clearing protocols in place in all bus, streetcar and subway divisions.
• Subway trains will be stored in tunnels along the main lines to avoid issues getting out of the yards.
• The entire streetcar overhead network and vehicles have been treated with an anti-icing application. Should any issues arise on 512 St Clair, the route will be serviced with replacement buses.
• Private contractor tow trucks are ready to assist with any trapped vehicles and the TTC’s fleet of snow-clearing equipment will be deployed as conditions progress.
• The TTC will stay in regular communication with the City to ensure crews are aware of issues on transit routes.
• Social media and web updates will be pushed out frequently to keep customers informed.