Ottawa Citizen

Snow­storm 2.0: Ot­tawa braces for post-christ­mas ‘wall of white’

So far, only a to­tal of 15 cen­time­tres pre­dicted but timed well to snarl morn­ing com­mute

- ZEV SINGER

Ot­tawa was brac­ing for a “wall of white” that was ex­pected to hit early Thurs­day, greet­ing awak­en­ing res­i­dents with a fresh blan­ket of snow and a messy morn­ing com­mute.

The city was ex­pected to be at the edge of a mas­sive and pow­er­ful storm that was al­ready hit­ting the east­ern United States hard af­ter rip­ping through the South. But the low-pres­sure sys­tem was still bring an in­tense snowfall.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada me­te­o­rol­o­gist Arnold Ash­ton said the snow would start fall­ing be­tween 2 and 3 a.m. in Ot­tawa. By dawn, there should be two to four cen­time­tres on top of last week’s un­ex­pected large dump, and the snow will keep coming, he said, with an ad­di­tional five to 10 cm, most of it in the morn­ing be­fore eas­ing off in the af­ter­noon.

“It’s go­ing to come in as a wall of white,” he said, “which is what it’s been do­ing as it’s been head­ing north across the north­ern-tier states and south­ern On­tario.”

In to­tal, Ot­tawa could see up to 15 cm of snow from the storm — not a huge amount for the city, but timed well to mess up morn­ing rush hour, ac­cord­ing to Ash­ton.

“The snow will be coming down pretty hard in the overnight hours,” he said. “It won’t be a pretty com­mute.”

The pos­si­bil­ity also re­mained that the storm’s path could shift enough to give Ot­tawa an even larger dump of snow.

“Things are still evolv­ing. It’s still early on,” he said.

As of Wed­nes­day evening, only a small num­ber of flights in or out of Ot­tawa In­ter­na­tional Air­port had been can­celled, but trav­ellers should watch for up­dates.

One bright side of the storm is that the cold weather will mean the snow it brings will be fluffy rather that the heavy, wet snow in last Fri­day’s storm, which caused many branches to break and left 110,000 Hy­droQuébec cus­tomers with­out power and ad­di­tional power out­ages in East­ern On­tario and the Ot­tawa Val­ley. Sev­eral thou­sand of those were still with­out power Wed­nes­day.

“We’re not an­tic­i­pat­ing any hy­dro is­sues re­lated to the storm,” he said.

While blow­ing snow would be a prob­lem along the St. Lawrence River, Ash­ton said that would not be a ma­jor is­sue in Ot­tawa.

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 ?? WAYNE CUDDINGTON /OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN ?? Cus­tomers line up at the cash as shop­pers look for Box­ing Day bar­gains at Best Buy on Merivale Road on Wed­nes­day.
WAYNE CUDDINGTON /OT­TAWA CIT­I­ZEN Cus­tomers line up at the cash as shop­pers look for Box­ing Day bar­gains at Best Buy on Merivale Road on Wed­nes­day.

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