Winter Operations Update - Thursday, January 12 - Morning

Models are indicating 20 to 30 centimetres of snow, possibly more, in the Ottawa region overnight.

Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the City of Ottawa with significant snowfall beginning tonight. Residents woke up to few centimetres of accumulation and crews were deployed in the early hours this morning. Given this storm is a culmination of two systems colliding, there is still uncertainty on how the storm will track, making it difficult to predict snowfall amounts. However, models are indicating 20 to 30 centimetres of snow, possibly more, in the Ottawa region.

Forecast and Conditions

Today, up to 5 centimetres of snow is expected. As reported yesterday, the core of this event is still slated for this evening and overnight into Friday morning with 10 to 15 centimetres of snow expected through the overnight hours. Accumulation amounts will spike beyond 8pm, where hourly rates of 1 to 2 centimetres are likely. Heading into Friday we are expecting between 5 to 10 centimetres of snow that will continue until the late morning or early afternoon. Winds late Thursday evening and into Friday morning are expected with peak gusts around 40 to 60 kilometres per hour possible.

Snow will be heavy with rapid accumulation, and at times, visibility will be reduced to near zero, resulting in difficult travel conditions. 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. If you are travelling, please exercise extreme caution by adjusting to the conditions of the transportation network.

Our Response

All available resources have been deployed, and will be working around the clock; because of the duration and intensity of this storm, operations will take longer than usual to complete.

Our supervisors will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day today and during the late evening and overnight. Our focus will be on clearing and treating priority sidewalks, roads, and the winter cycling network. Given the amount of precipitation expected, some residents may find it challenging to get out of their communities. We anticipate crews will transition to the residential neighbourhoods tomorrow morning.

A Winter Weather Parking Ban is Being Called

A Winter Weather Parking Ban will be in effect tomorrow Friday, January 13 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. Information on 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 are out should drive to the conditions of the road. 
  • 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.

Next Steps

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.

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Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1