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  Thursday, October 23rd   

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Will the Sault Be Hit by "Frankenstorm"?

LOCAL2 Staff for local2 sault ste. marie
October 28th, 2012 at 12:53am



march 3 winter stormEnvironment Canada issued a special weather statement just after midnight Sunday about the "frankenstorm" media have been going on about these past few days. Will the Sault be affected?

Probably not. The storm is expected to arrive in the province on Monday, crossing over the lower great lakes, but then it will curve back out to the east. Just how close to the Sault the storm gets is the big question, though. At this point, snowfall up to 15cm is expected in Sudbury, Manitoulin, Blind River and areas northeast.

FOR PARTS OF NORTHERN ONTARIO, AS FAR WEST AS BLIND RIVER:

A large and powerful fall storm that is expected to affect Southern Ontario is also threatening to spread snow into parts of Northeastern Ontario for Monday.

Significant snowfall amounts of 5 to 15 cm are quite possible on Monday. In addition strong northerly winds may also result in very low visibility in blowing snow in areas where the temperature Remains at or below freezing.

Snowfall amounts will depend on the exact track and intensity of the storm itself as it moves closer to the regions on Monday. They will also depend on the temperature, as areas where the temperature stays just above freezing may receive some of the precipitation in the form of rain or a rain-wet snow mix.

FOR SOUTHERN AND EASTERN ONTARIO:

The remnants of hurricane Sandy will arrive late Monday as a large and powerful post tropical fall storm over Southern Ontario. It will likely track from the Atlantic ocean across the mid Atlantic states then take an unusual path towards the Lower Great Lakes.

If the storm curves towards the Eastern Seaboard, which a consensus of numerous computer weather models continues to suggest, there is little doubt the Northeastern United States will take the brunt of the storm. There is also the potential for significant impacts in Southern and Eastern Ontario. Significant rainfall appears likely late Monday into Tuesday. Strong and gusty winds will also accompany this storm if it takes this path. The storm will likely weaken later Tuesday and on Halloween, but it will remain cool, damp and may still be somewhat windy for the trick-or-treaters.

A narrow band of wet snow is possible over the Haliburton Highlands and the higher ground southwest of Georgian Bay. It may be the first measurable snowfall of the season if temperatures flirt with the freezing mark, but it does not appear to be significant at this time.

A complicating factor is the presence of a stalled front now over Southern Ontario. Moisture-laden post-tropical storms interacting with fronts can produce significant rainfall. Persistent rain is forecast near this front for today and Monday leading up to the arrival of Sandy. It may amount to 20 to 30 mm or more over this period, especially across Niagara, southcentral Ontario and north to Georgian Bay. An additional 30 to 50 mm is expected with Sandy with excessive amounts of 50 to 100 mm possible. The forecast track would also produce widespread 50 to 70 km/h strong winds across Southern Ontario beginning later Monday. Severe gusts to 100 km/h are also likely, as well as storm force winds on the Great Lakes. The combination of sodden ground, strong winds and some residual leaves on trees will likely lead to areas with power outages due to fallen limbs and some downed trees snapping wires.

It is important to put this storm in perspective. The main reason it continues to receive considerable press is the forecast intensity by various weather models, as well as the heavily-populated Northeastern United States that would feel its greatest impact. Many weather models continue to forecast the storm achieving an unprecedented low central pressure as it comes ashore late Monday. Generally speaking, the lower the pressure: the more intense the winds and rain around the storm. Even if the computer models are overdoing the strength of this storm, it may still be a memorable wind-blasted soaker of a fall storm to reckon with.

Rainfall and wind warnings may be issued by Monday morning for parts of Southern and Eastern Ontario as this event draws closer and its exact path and intensity become less uncertain.

More information can be found in the tropical cyclone statement issued by the Canadian Hurricane Centre of Environment Canada.

Please monitor the latest forecasts and warnings from Environment Canada at www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.

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