Winter Operations Update for Dec. 21, 2022

Late Thursday, the forecast shows that precipitations may begin with rain or snow before many parts of the city sees this transition to rain early on Friday.

Environment Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement for a wintery mix that is expected to reach the Nation’s Capital Thursday evening. 

The City's Roads and Parking Services Team is continuing its work on reducing the snow accumulation and snow pack from our transportation network – specifically on our sidewalks, the winter cycling network and on our residential streets – in order to prevent and limit the amount of potential ice buildup. Crews have also been proactively opening up catch basins throughout the City, focusing on problem areas and locations that are prone to water pooling and localized flooding through the winter months during periods of rain.

Forecast and conditions

Late Thursday, the forecast shows that precipitations may begin with rain or snow before many parts of the city sees this transition to rain early on Friday. With Friday’s temperature expected to reach into the high single digits before quickly plummeting Friday evening, there is the potential for flash freezing conditions. Travelling surfaces around the City that see rain could freeze, creating extremely icy and slippery conditions. That’s not all; the rapidly falling temperatures may be paired with strong to potentially damaging winds and snow – snow that may be heavy at times creating blizzard-like conditions – which are possible late Friday and into the weekend.

It’s important to note that while the forecast currently shows great certainty around the impacts that this event will have on our transportation network, specific details – such as wind speeds, the types or timing of precipitations and amounts of accumulation – remain uncertain at this time. Our team is closely watching the forecast, and supervisors will be out monitoring the transportation network throughout the week and will ensure that any problem spot that remains from this last event is addressed.

City crews will be out in full force to respond to the conditions.

The Office of Emergency Management has been engaged. It has entered into “Monitoring” from a response escalation perspective, and is ready to coordinate a Citywide response, if necessary. 


Resident support is needed

This last event brought 38 centimetres of snow to certain areas, naturally blocking many catch basins across the City. The City's teams are working hard on opening these up ahead of this week’s event, but we cannot do it alone. As the temperature is expected to rise on Wednesday, City staff are asking for the support of residents who are able, to please clear their local catch basin. Cleared catch basins allows water to drain from the streets unrestricted, preventing water from pooling on our roads which in turn, helps them from freezing over should the temperature drop. As the temperature is forecasted to drop late Friday, clearing catch basins ahead of this event is crucial in preventing slippery and hazardous travelling conditions. The City's catch basin locator map is located here:

Can’t do it yourself? You may also report a blocked catch basin by creating an online service request by visiting


With the holiday break just a few days away, we understand that many may have last-minute errands to run. In anticipation of the conditions that are expected later this week, City staff are urging everyone to plan ahead by completing their errands before the winter weather event reaches the City on Thursday.


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