Flights, canceled courses and power outages are reported as the winter storm sweeps across parts of Canada

Planes are seen at YVR International Airport after a heavy snowfall in Richmond, BC in December 2022.  Severe winter conditions swept across Canada on Wednesday, prompting travel warnings.  (Ben Nelms/CBC - photo credit)

Planes are seen at YVR International Airport after a heavy snowfall in Richmond, BC in December 2022. Severe winter conditions swept across Canada on Wednesday, prompting travel warnings. (Ben Nelms/CBC – photo credit)

Harsh winter conditions swept across parts of Canada on Wednesday, causing travel disruptions, school cancellations and power outages.

Amid warnings that the winter storm, coming out of the west, could affect air travel to and from central Canada, Air Canada had delayed or canceled more than 160 flights for the day — about 26 percent — by late Wednesday afternoon, according to the tracking service FlightAware .

WestJet said it canceled 37 flights – for Wednesday and Thursday – at airports in Toronto, London, Ontario and Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

Both airlines said delays in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal could stretch into Thursday.

“We are monitoring the weather and have made some flight plan adjustments in anticipation of the storm and this will continue as the situation evolves,” Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said in an email, adding that customers are being rebooked or can opt for a refund.

WestJet said in an email that all guests would be rebooked on the first available flight within 48 hours.

Jazz Aviation, which operates regional flights for Air Canada Express, has canceled 75 of its Wednesday flights, or 16 percent, according to FlightAware.

CLOCK | Another onset of winter hits large parts of Canada and the USA:

Other airlines had already canceled nearly 2,500 flights in the United States by early Wednesday afternoon, according to FlightAware, threatening to snarl travel and connecting flights for many others.

Environment and climate change Canada says the heavy snow that hit part of southern Ontario this afternoon will be followed overnight by ice pellets and freezing rain.

It forecasts snowfall of 10 to 15 centimeters with wind gusts of 50 to 70 kilometers per hour as the low pressure area advances from the American Southwest.

As the storm disrupts air travel, here’s what’s happening in different parts of the country.


Snowfall in southern Ontario increased during rush hour on Wednesday.

In an Environment Canada warning late Tuesday, the agency said “surfaces such as highways, roads, sidewalks and parking lots are becoming icy, slippery and dangerous.”

“If you have poor visibility while driving, slow down, watch for taillights, and stop.”

Evan Mitsui/CBC

Evan Mitsui/CBC

The Toronto area is forecast to accumulate between 4 and 6 inches of icy snow before the storm largely abates Thursday morning. The city’s Transit Commission said 41 of its bus stops were out of service as of 5 p.m. ET because they were located in hilly areas that are difficult to navigate in winter conditions.

But the freezing drizzle may continue through Thursday, said Katrina Eyk, Environment Canada’s chief meteorologist, with light snowfall well into the afternoon and evening.

While the forecast for the Toronto area looks bad, the weather could get even worse in other parts of the province.

Power outages were reported in Windsor-Essex. As of 7 p.m. ET, Enwin Utilities said there were multiple outages in the area, with the hardest-hit area being South Windsor, where 2,260 homes and businesses are without power.

ELK Energy – which supplies Essex, Lakeshore and Kingsville – says it’s also experiencing multiple outages in its area.

“All crews have been dispatched to restore hydropower as quickly and safely as possible,” the company said on Twitter.

Essex Powerlines said it is experiencing an outage in Leamington which has affected 4,159 customers as of around 7pm ET.

In addition, St Clair College has canceled all classes at its Windsor and Chatham campuses that were scheduled to run from 1pm until evening and school bus services for students in Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton have also been cancelled .

Brock University in St. Catharines has also canceled classes as of 6 p.m. Environment Canada says major power outages are likely near Niagara, London and other areas of southwestern Ontario, where freezing rain, moderate winds and up to 20 millimeters of ice formation are forecast.

Snowfall warnings are in effect in most parts of eastern Ontario, including Ottawa, Brockville and Cornwall. There’s one for Gatineau too, Que.

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Lake Ontario area, including Kingston and Belleville. The difference is that about 15 centimeters of snow should be mixed with ice pellets and freezing rain is possible.

In northern Ontario, Environment Canada issued extreme cold warnings for several areas, saying some — Sachigo Lake, Webequie, Fort Severn, Pickle Lake and Pikangikum — can expect wind chills of about -50C Wednesday night and through Thursday morning.

British Columbia

A rapidly descending Pacific frontal system brought freezing temperatures and snow to British Columbia Tuesday night.

There was already some snow overnight on Tuesday in the Lower Mainland, Coquitlam, Burnaby Mountain and parts of the Fraser Valley.

“For Vancouver, that means afternoon highs that remain around the freezing mark and overnight lows that could drop below -6C,” said CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

Submitted by Elisha Dacey

Submitted by Elisha Dacey

Temperatures across BC are expected to remain five to 15 degrees below the seasonal temperature through the end of the week, she said.

Mail delivery and school bus services were canceled in Prince George on Tuesday after the region received more than 30 centimeters of snow in 24 hours.

Strong winds in the southern parts of Howe Sound will continue Wednesday morning through Thursday morning. Environment Canada warns that gusts of up to 90 kilometers per hour can lead to power outages and fallen branches.


In many areas of the province, daily highs are 20 degrees colder than normal for this time of year.

Daily highs around -5C are typically seen in Saskatoon and Regina at this time of year, according to Environment Canada. Wednesday’s highs should be closer to -26C.

Sometimes the wind makes it feel like temperatures are in the -40s.

By midday on Wednesday, almost the entire province was riddled with extreme cold warnings.

Temperatures approaching seasonal norms are expected to hit southern and central Saskatchewan through Sunday, but Natalie Hasell, a high alert meteorologist at Environment Canada, said the next four weeks will still be cooler than normal.


Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for the entire province.

The agency said temperatures are expected to feel like -40C in Calgary and southern Alberta for the next three days.

Additionally, 12 inches of snow is expected in some communities in southern Calgary in the coming week.

CLOCK | Heavy Snow Covers Calgary:

Farther north, Edmonton temperatures should drop to similar lows.

Edmonton Transit offers special night service on three bus routes. Buses stop at all bus stops to pick up passengers who need to get out of the cold. Boyle Street operates a winter warming bus.

In the meantime, showers and other assistive devices are available at the Bissell Center and Boyle Street Community Services. the city’s Campment Response Team conducts wellness checks; and all public library sites and recreation facilities are open for warming purposes.


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