As forecast, parts of Ontario received up to 15 centimetres of snow overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, providing the province with its first real taste of the upcoming cold winter. The snowfall that hit parts of Ontario on Halloween night gave trick-or-treaters in the province’s snowbelt regions a harsh surprise as October came to an end. In places like Kingston and Belleville, trick-or-treating was halted by heavy snowfall.
Last Sunday, temperatures had dropped as much as 15°C, and as cooler weather moved in, many places saw their first snowfall of the season over the course of few hours. Along the frontal barrier that has caused so much atmospheric instability in North America over the past week—including a sharp decrease in temperature and even a substantial first layer of snow on most of the Prairies—a weak low-pressure system was expected to form.
A portion of the moisture was drawn by this system, causing precipitation to spread throughout southern and eastern Ontario overnight on Sunday and into Monday. A large portion of that precipitation turned into snow in cottage country and the National Capital Region as temperatures hover just below freezing.
The unexpected snowfall also caused some extremely dangerous driving conditions on the province’s highways. This is one of the most dangerous times on highways specialists warn. Many drivers have not switched their summer tires to winter tires and that’s where the trouble starts. Colder temperatures and first snow cause summer tires to ineffectively grip to the asphalt and potentially causing accidents and injuries.
OPP recommends winter tires:
“Even on front-wheel drive vehicles, installing four winter tires is advised for optimal control in slick and snowy weather.”
The actual stopping distance of the car is known as the braking distance. On an icy road, the stopping distance is six times more than on a dry one. Additionally, there is less side friction, which significantly raises the possibility of losing control.
Places like Kingston had been transformed into winter wonderlands by late evening, capping out the eerie season. In Strathroy, snowfall is said to have reached — and possibly surpassed — the 15-centimeter level, making it some of the strongest ever recorded.