Loading articles...

Ice pellets, freezing rain pummel the GTA

Last Updated Feb 6, 2019 at 6:25 pm EDT

A nasty mix of wintry weather continues to dump ice pellets and freezing rain on the GTA, making the roads and sidewalks treacherous.

Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning Wednesday for the GTA, including Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill. The rest of the GTA is under a winter weather travel advisory.

The mix of ice pellets and freezing rain could continue for most of the day before changing to freezing rain, the national weather agency said.

Freezing drizzle is expected to continue overnight and into Thursday morning.

Ice accumulation will likely range between five and 15 millimetres in impacted areas, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Peter Kimbell said, largely falling short of maximums of 30 millimetres set during ice storms that blanketed eastern Ontario in 1998 and the Toronto region in 2013.

“It’s certainly significant,” Kimbell said, citing the impact on schools and transportation. “But it’s not in the same category as the bigger ice storms that we’ve seen before.”

The effects of the storm should be further mitigated on Thursday, he said, when sub-zero temperatures climb above the freezing mark for much of the impacted area and help melt some of the accumulated ice.

Canada Post has suspended delivery for the remainder of the day due to unsafe weather conditions.

“In light of the severe weather conditions in Southern Ontario and the GTA, it is not safe to deliver mail today. Delivery will resume once conditions improve and it is safe to do so,” read a statement from Canada Post. “We encourage customers to clear the snow and ice from their walkways, stairs, and driveways, to ensure safe access to the front door for both their visitors, as well as their mail carriers, when service resumes.”

Several boards in the GTA cancelled school buses, while others cancelled buses and closed schools. Several colleges and universities also closed their campuses. Click here for a full list.

The 506 Carlton and 512 St. Clair streetcar routes have been replaced by buses. On the 501 Queen line, buses are running between in the east and west ends, while streetcars are running downtown.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report