Winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada

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For the latest news on the weather Monday, Dec. 4, click here: Ottawa under winter weather travel advisory Monday morning, school buses cancelled

Environment Canada upped the ante Sunday morning on the heavy weather expected to hit Ottawa, issuing a full-blown winter storm warning.

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“Heavy snowfall and freezing rain expected (Sunday) into Monday morning,” the agency said in a bulletin Sunday morning.

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“Snow mixed with freezing rain will begin late this morning or early this afternoon,” Environment Canada said.

“Freezing rain will then transition over completely to snow this evening and become heavy at times. The snow will taper to flurries Monday morning.”

In a Sunday afternoon update, the agency said, “Freezing rain changing to heavy snow tonight.” It listed hazards as: “Freezing rain with ice accretion of 2 to 4 mm possible; snowfall accumulations near 15 cm; reduced visibility at times in heavy snow; and peak snowfall rates of 2 to 3 cm per hour possible tonight.”

The City of Ottawa says it has been watching events closely.

The city announced Sunday that a daytime winter weather parking ban will be in effect on Monday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. across Ottawa. These hours might be extended if additional time is needed to complete winter road operations, the city.

During a winter weather parking ban, parking is prohibited on city streets so crews can plow easily and effectively. Vehicles parked on the street during a ban may be ticketed and towed. On-street monthly parking permit holders are exempt from this restriction when they are parked in residential parking permit zones.

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Here is the city’s snowclearing schedule for regular storms.

However, the schedule could be cancelled if the city declares “a significant weather event.”

That declaration suspends regular maintenance standards “until the city formally declares the significant weather event has ended.”

Meanwhile, the city is urging residents to exercise caution over the weekend as roads and parking services supervisors monitor the transportation network, and says clearing all that snow may take a long time.

“Once accumulation starts, crews will be working on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads and our winter cycling network in accordance with the council-approved maintenance quality standards,” said Quentin Levesque, the city’s director of roads and parking services, in a statement.

“We are asking for patience as operations may take longer than normal as the snow is expected to be wet and heavy and crews adjust to the variable weather conditions.”

City snow clearing schedules:

Snow clearing is done using a road-priority system, with high-use, emergency and transit routes cleared first:

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Highway 174, the Transitway, major roads and arterials.
After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 2 to 4 hours to complete.

2.5 centimetres accumulation:
Sidewalks in the downtown core and the winter cycling network
After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 4 hours to complete

5 centimetres accumulation:
Secondary roads and minor collectors such as Wall Road, Dovercourt Avenue, Donald Street, Springbrook Drive, etc.
After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take up to 6 hours to complete

5 centimetres accumulation:
Residential sidewalks
After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 12 to 16 hours to complete

7 or more centimetres of accumulation
Residential roads and lanes such as Billings Bridge, Waverley Street, Smith Road, etc.
After the last snowflake has fallen, these routes may take 10 to 16 hours to complete.

Steps in snow removal following a storm Photo by City of Ottawa

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