Ontario hit by heavy snow, freezing rain, and record-breaking downpours, Canada


Snow, freezing rain, and record heavy downpours lashed Ontario, Canada over the weekend, January 10 into 12, 2020. Capital Ottawa received 43.1 mm (1.7 inches) of rain on Saturday, making it the city's wettest January 11 since records started in 1873. London saw 56 mm (2.2 inches) of rain, also setting a new daily record.

Hours of freezing rain created icy scenes in many spots in Ontario, with a lot of trees and roads covered in ice. Power towers were also affected, leading to outages.

On January 11, Ottawa received-record breaking rainfall up to midnight with 43.1 (1.7 inches) of precipitation divided up between rain, freezing rain, ice pellets, and snow, according to John Wilson, weather specialist for Canadian radio stations.

This makes it Ottawa's wettest January 11 since records began in 1873, and so far the city's wettest January day since 2010, weather historian and forecaster Rolf Campbell confirmed.

Also on the same day, London city in Southwestern Ontario received 56 mm (2.2 inches) of rain, setting a new record for January 11. The previous record for the date was 33 mm (1.3 inches), set in 1980.

Moreover, according to Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimball, records show that the biggest one-day downpour in January for London prior to Saturday's record was 49.5 mm (1.9 inches) set on January 29, 1893.

This means that London may also break the 127-year record for one-day rainfall in the month of January, Kimball added.

Heavy rainfall during the weekend has caused a spike in water levels in rivers and streams throughout the Southwestern Ontario region, posing risks of further flooding.

On Sunday morning, January 12, downpour caused the Thames River to burst its banks, flooding low-lying areas of London. Areas of Chatham-Kent had received local floods as well, including the center of Chatham.

Lower Thames Valley Rainwater Protection Authority said an average of 53 mm (2.1 inches) rainfall was recorded in the western half of the catchment area. "While that water is making its way through the system, we can expect that the river will continue to rise," said Jason Homewood, water resources and regulations engineer.

Teresa Hollingsworth, a spokesperson for the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA), reminded citizens to stay safe as the ground and banks are slippery and reminded people to avoid getting near the water.

Featured image credit: @ONwxchaser/Twitter


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