It’s Wednesday Ottawa, and right on schedule, another winter storm is coming to the Capital thanks to a Texas low. Environment Canada has issued a Snowfall Warning for the region indicating significant snowfall beginning late this afternoon that will continue into Thursday. The silver lining you ask? It will be over before the weekend!
Forecast and Conditions
Starting late Wednesday afternoon and running right through to Thursday afternoon, this next system is expected to bring between 15 to 20 centimetres of snowfall. Most of the snow accumulation will be packed into Wednesday evening and overnight – with snow falling at a rate of approximately 2 to 3 centimetres per hour. During the most intense snowfall period, winds of 40 to 60 kilometres per hour are possible.
The very cold air surrounding this snow is expected to make it light and dry, instead of heavy and wet, and the blowing snow will reduce visibility, 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 should be limited unless it is essential. If you are travelling, please exercise extreme caution by adjusting to the conditions of the transportation network.
All available resources will be deployed, and working around the clock. For the past two weeks, crews that have been working steady on snow removal operations have made great progress across the city. However, resources have been reallocated and are ready to respond to this storm. Snow removal operations will resume once our storm response has ended and residential streets within our urban core that have not yet been completed, will be prioritized.
Our supervisors are monitoring conditions today and will continue into the late evening and overnight. During the evening and overnight hours, our focus will be on clearing and treating sidewalks, priority roads, and the winter cycling network.
A Daytime Winter Weather Parking Ban is Being Called
A Winter Weather Parking Ban will be in effect tomorrow Thursday, January 26 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. Residents can sign up to receive reminders and service alerts for their waste collection day by email, phone or Twitter at ottawa.ca/CollectionCalendar.
- 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.
The Roads and Parking Services team will continue to monitor the weather over the next 36 hours and adjust our response accordingly.
Support from our residents is crucial and we appreciate your patience. We are committed to keeping you informed as we respond to this event and will provide another update tomorrow morning.
Stay safe and travel with care.