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'Major wind storm' brewing in the GTA, to arrive Sunday

Last Updated Feb 23, 2019 at 11:10 pm EST

A potentially damaging wind storm is expected to land on the GTA’s doorstep Sunday with Environment Canada issuing a wind warning for the region and all of southern Ontario.

Damaging westerly winds with frequent gusts of between 90 to 110 km/h are expected to develop Sunday morning after the passage of a sharp cold front.

“Very strong wind gusts near 100 km/h that may cause damage or power outages are expected late Sunday morning into Sunday night,” said the national weather service.

“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage.”

The wind gusts could potentially reach 120 km/h near the east end of Lake Erie and over Prince Edward County near Lake Ontario.

Hydro One is preparing for the possibility of widespread power outages across southern, central and eastern Ontario as a result of the wind storm.

They say crews and support staff across areas predicted to be hardest hit are being moved into position in order to assess any damage and respond to any outages as quickly and as safely as possible.

“Be sure to stay clear of any fallen power lines,” says the utility. “If you spot a fallen line, keep at least 10 meters back, even if it does not appear to be live.”

680 NEWS weather specialist Denise Andreacchi said rain will start in the GTA on Saturday evening and continue into the overnight hours, with the potential for thunderstorms.

Then on Sunday, the rain continues to fall but it will be accompanied by a strong wind out of the southwest. The temperature will climb to 8 C and then fall sharply by late Sunday to -7 C.

As the temperature plunges, the rain will change to snow with up to five centimetres expected to fall by Monday morning.

“Locally, we’re looking at amounts of about two to five centimetres and all of this fresh snow is going to be whipped around, so we could be talking about whiteout conditions, blowing and drifting snow, and travel is going to become hazardous out on the roads,” Andreacchi said.

The intense winds will continue into Sunday night and gradually ease off by Monday.