Winter Operations Update - Wednesday, January 4 - Afternoon

An update from the City of Ottawa's Roads and Parking Services Department.

While we may have started a new year, Mother Nature is up to her old tricks again! Roads and Parking Services has been monitoring the forecast for the better part of the week, and it appears that the first winter weather event of the year is on its way. With wintery mix in the forecast, the next 36 hours may pose some challenges for our travelling network.  

Surface conditions on our sidewalks, roads, and the winter cycling network may become wet, icy, or covered with snow – perhaps even all at the same time. If you are out travelling, please give yourself extra space to stop and adjust to the conditions of the network.  

Forecast and Conditions

Environment Canada has issued a Winter Weather Travel Advisory for Ottawa and a Freezing Rain Warning for those in the south of the City. Rain, snow, freezing rain and ice pellets are all in the forecast and what falls – including how much – will depend on the temperature at the time of the precipitations. The forecast has been changing and remains very fluid, making this event very difficult to predict.  

This morning the event began with freezing drizzle through certain parts of the City. As the temperature rose to just above freezing by mid-morning, precipitations changed to rain, and scattered showers persisted and will continue through the afternoon. Through the evening hours, wind gusts of 30 to 50 kilometres an hour are in the forecast along with varying precipitations, possibly bringing a mix of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow through the overnight hours. While Environment Canada is still forecasting a total accumulation of 5 to 10 centimetres of snow mixed with ice pellets before Thursday morning, the near-freezing temperature is creating great uncertainty around this amount as the type of precipitation could quickly change to either rain, freezing rain or ice pellets. Periods of light snow will linger through Thursday, and any additional accumulations are expected to be minor. 

Our Response

The forecast has not only been changing but has been changing quickly. We will continue to keep a close eye on the forecast and Supervisors will be out monitoring the network as the event unfolds. Teams – including staff and equipment – are ready and will respond to the fluctuating conditions.  

As the exact path of this event – including levels and amounts of precipitations remain uncertain – we have decided NOT to call a Winter Weather Parking Ban. However, we encourage everyone who has access to off street parking to remove their vehicle from the road.   

While this operational update is reporting on the current forecast, please remember that this event remains fluid and could quickly change. We will be in touch as the event continues but it is likely that things will change before then. In the interim, we encourage everyone to monitor their local forecast for the most up-to-date weather information.   

ottawa.ca/winter

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