‘Ten degree drop in an hour’, Environment Canada lays out how cold front will hit Ottawa

Temperatures are set to drop incredibly quickly in Ottawa on Wednesday during the evening commute as Environment Canada warns of a flash freeze in the region.

Environment Canada told CityNews that it is expected to happen sometime between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Many areas in Ontario that have seen the front go through have [experienced] temperature drops of around 10 degrees in an hour,” says meteorologist Geoff Coulon. “So we could easily see drops from 13 degrees to three in an hour and then after that quickly approach the freezing mark and dip below it.”

Coulon warns that any standing water that’s around, including leftover snow patches, could quickly freeze and cause icy conditions.

“So certainly a very different commute home than it was coming in this morning,” he says. “Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions.”

Currently, there are flash freeze warnings in effect for many eastern Ontario areas, such as Brockville, Kingston, Prescott, Cornwall, Alexandria, and Killaloe.

Environment Canada says the cold front is tied to a very intense low-pressure system that’s tracking through northern Ontario. It has been responsible for a variety of different types of weather across the province.

In southwestern and central Ontario, the front caused intense downpours with lightning. Small hail was also reported during the thunderstorms, says Coulon.

Parts of northern Ontario have been under winter storm warnings, where they’ve been getting a combination of cold air, wind and blowing and falling snow causing very poor visibilities.

“It’s been very much a winter event in northern Ontario and a spring event in parts of southern and eastern Ontario,” says Coulon. “But now that cold air is also working its way through eastern Ontario as well and we’ll see similar temperatures to what they’re seeing right now in parts of northern Ontario.”

While the cold front is expected to hit the city and pass by quickly, the lingering cold is forecast to stick around into Thursday.

Fluctuating temperatures forecast for Ottawa

Environment Canada says wake up temperatures Thursday morning will be around -14 but with the wind, it’s going to feel more like -24 C. The daytime high on Thursday is -7 C, which is below Ottawa’s normal high of -1 C for Feb. 28.

The weather service forecasts that temperatures will return to milder than seasonable values for Friday and then through the weekend.

There will be mostly cloudy skies over the weekend, with above seasonable temperatures getting up to highs between 9 C and 11 C.

Monday temperatures are also expected to remain well above normal.

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