Although the official start to winter is still a few weeks away, Mother Nature isn’t going to wait that long, she is ready today! Buckle up, Ottawa, winter is about to begin!
Forecast and conditions
Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning, with snow expected to begin early this afternoon and continue into Monday morning. The snow may become mixed with ice pellets or transition to periods of freezing rain this afternoon in some areas. The snow is expected to become heavy this evening, with peak snowfall rates of 2 to 3 centimetres per hour, and continue through tonight before tapering to flurries late Monday morning. Wind gusts this afternoon and evening are likely to hit 30 to 40 kilometres per hour, which will cause whiteout conditions on the roads when paired with intense hourly snow. Total snow accumulations of 15 to 20 centimetres are expected, with the possibility of higher amounts in localized areas throughout the city.
Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow. If you are travelling, please exercise extreme caution by adjusting to the conditions of the transportation network.
The Roads and Parking Services team is ready! We have spent the weekend getting our equipment prepared and our salt domes filled. All available resources will be deployed to respond, and this event will take some time to clean up.
Our supervisors will be monitoring conditions throughout the day today and during the late evening and overnight, and crews will be deployed once accumulation begins. As the snow continues to fall this evening, our focus will be on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads, and the winter cycling network. Given the amount of precipitation expected, some residents may find it challenging to get out of their communities until crews have been able to clear the residential sidewalks and streets. The snow is expected to be wet and heavy and given the fluctuating temperature it will take crews time to get through the entire transportation network, but rest assured, they will be hard at work.
Conditions will be messy and visibility, at times, may be restricted. We encourage those who can, to plan ahead today by completing their errands and to find off-street parking as travel over the next 36 hours should be limited unless it is essential.
A Daytime Winter Weather Parking Ban is Being Called
A Winter Weather Parking Ban will be in effect tomorrow Monday, December 4 from 10am to 7pm. When vehicles are removed from our streets, the Roads and Parking Services team can clear snow efficiently to create a wide-open roadway.
During this time, all vehicles must be removed from the roadway - unless you have an eligible parking permit or are accessing parking in our exempted commercial main streets. Though eligible parking permit holders are exempt, we encourage those who can, to remove their vehicles to prevent them from being snowed in. The City of Ottawa has added an additional 18 parking lots for residents to park during a parking ban. Vehicles may remain parked at these sites for the duration of the ban and must be removed after the City announces that the ban has been lifted. Information on all parking options during a winter weather parking ban is available on Ottawa.ca/winterparking.
Residents can stay in the know about our winter weather parking bans by signing up for e-alerts at Ottawa.ca, or by downloading the City of Ottawa app.
Resident Support is Required
- Safety is a priority for our team, and we will be out in full force working to keep Ottawa’s sidewalks, priority roads and the winter cycling network treated and clear. Conditions are messy and changing, and those who have to travel should adjust to the conditions of the transportation network.
- Flashing blue lights means we are hard at work. If you see a sidewalk plow approaching, please step aside into an open driveway. Always remember to stay at least 3 car lengths behind our vehicles – please never pass our vehicles.
- There is no need to create a service request for routine snow clearing. We are on the job and our efforts are currently needed out in the community; service requests should only be created for emergencies.
- Please place garbage, recycling, and organic collection bins in your driveway and not on the road or sidewalks. Residents can sign up to receive reminders and service alerts for their waste collection day by email or phone call at ottawa.ca/CollectionCalendar or can download the Ottawa Collection Calendar mobile app for Apple and Android devices to confirm their collection day.
- Do you need volunteer hours? Become a Snow Angel! Support your community by helping someone you know who is elderly or has a disability, by clearing snow or ice from their driveway, steps or walkway. More information on the Snow Angel Program is available on Ottawa.ca.
Roads and Parking Services will continue to monitor this system and the transportation network over the next 36 hours. Conditions will make things difficult to navigate - we will adapt and try to stay ahead of this winter storm. Support from our residents is crucial as we respond to this event.