The Weather Network – Days of lake-effect snow, plunging temperatures set to hit Ontario

Thursday, March 24th 2022, 10:30 am – February-like temperatures and a northwest wind over the Great Lakes will be the perfect combination for days lake-effect snow coming up.

Spring is here, Ontario, but unfortunately you’ll struggle to find any consistent signs of it. In fact, Thursday will offer the last double digit temperature day for the foreseeable future. The lake-effect snow machine is set to start up again this weekend, as an upper trough provides ample cold air and gusty northwest winds. There are chances for days of lake-effect snow to persist, coupled with temperatures more typical of February than late March. Daytime highs will plunge even further by next week, as a small lobe of the Polar Vortex is expected to slide in. More on this wintry set-up as we march further into spring, here.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2022 for an in-depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!


We saw a raw and wintry Wednesday across Ontario, as a sprawling system produced heavy snow in the northwest, freezing rain for parts of the south, and a cold wind that whipped up waves on the lakes. A steady rain and some rumbles of thunder also pushed through late Wednesday night, as some instability accompanied the front across the region.

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Temperatures will soar well above seasonal on Thursday, sitting nicely in the low double digits with a gusty southwest wind. Enjoy the blast of warmth however, as it will be brief, with the weekend proving how unsettled the spring season can truly be.

The lake-effect machine is starting up once again, as an upper trough provides ample cold air and gusty northwest winds.


A weak disturbance on Friday will bring a widespread wintry mix across central and southern Ontario. There will not be a significant amount of precipitation, but periods of scattered showers, mixing and flurries can be expected along with some blustery winds.

“Temperatures are forecast to cool even more into Saturday, as a secondary trough dives into the region from the Prairies,” says Kelly Sonnenburg, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “With extra mid to upper level spin, more significant bursts of snow at times will be possible across areas in southern Ontario.”

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By Sunday, a more dominant northwest flow will set up across the area feeding more persistent lake-effect snow bands into the traditional snowbelts of southern Ontario and stretching further south and east at times into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

As far as temperatures go, they will resemble more of late February as opposed to late March.

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“Unfortunately if you’re hoping for some better news on the other side of the weekend, you’re out of luck,” Sonnenburg warns. “Temperatures will plunge even further into Monday as a small lobe of the Polar Vortex is expected to slide across parts of Ontario into early next week.”

Temperatures will hover about 10-15°C below normal.

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The well below seasonal conditions look to be a one day event, though chilly temperatures will persist. At this point, there are no signs of any consistent warm weather in sight through the beginning of April, as we will continue to see shots of chilly weather spread through.

Be sure to check back for the latest updates on the changing conditions across Ontario.

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