Winter Storms: Information & Facts

A house covered in ice and snow

A fresh coat of snow sends many Canadians to the toboggan hill or skating rink, but when winter weather reaches extremes, it can be very dangerous. Cold weather brings with it many safety risks, including high winds, poor visibility and slippery roads during blizzards and ice storms. Canadians in most parts of the country experience some type of severe winter storm throughout the cold months.

Know the difference between a winter storm warning and a winter storm watch:
  • A Winter Storm Warning means a severe winter storm is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Evacuate if advised to do so.
  • A Winter Storm Watch means a winter storm is possible in your area. Stay alert for more information.
Preparing for Winter Storms and Ice Storms: Before, During & After

Winter Storm & Ice Storm Basics

Winter storms may include heavy snowfalls, ice storms, and blizzards with high winds and blowing snow. These storms can cause power outages that last for days, and can make certain roads impassable. 

Since this is often also accompanied by extreme cold, these storms can create very dangerous conditions, particularly for people with vulnerabilities and health issues.

Every part of Canada can experience winter storms, and many regions are at high risk for winter storms between November and April.

With proper planning and preparation, you and your family can remain safe and comfortable during winter storms. 

Check out Environment Canada’s Public Weather Alerts site for updated weather warnings. Stay informed on winter storms through local radio or television stations -- keep a battery powered or wind-up radio in your home to stay up-to-date during power outages.

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