As much as 15 cm of snow to blanket Ottawa

Ontario’s first winter storm of the season is expected to slam into the nation’s capital Tuesday, blanketing Ottawa with about 15 centimetres of the white stuff, Environment Canada is warning.

Residents in western Quebec and eastern Ontario can expect to see heavy rain become thick white snow beginning Tuesday evening.

“Expect the change sometime around 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening,” said CTV Ottawa meteorologist J.J. Clarke.

By the time residents wake up on Wednesday, a blanket of snow will cover the ground in the regions between Ottawa, Renfrew and Algonquin.

Areas under a winter storm watch include: Prescott, Russell, Cornwall, Lancaster, Maxville, Alexandria, Plevna, Sharbot Lake, western Lanark County, Renfrew, Pembroke and Barry’s Bay.

The storm system, which is intensifying over the eastern U.S. seaboard, will bring with it northwesterly winds gusting up to 70 km/h, causing whiteout conditions and dangerously low visibility for drivers.

The fall storm will hit as many bright coloured leaves still hang on Ottawa trees. Large amounts of packed wet snow may bring down tree trees limbs and power lines, warned Environment Canada.

Last year, the first major snowfall hit the area on November 16. The winter of 2007-08 was one of snowiest in recent memory, with snowfall levels approaching the 1970-71 record of 441.1 centimetres.

Sidewalks and front porches should be all clear for trick-or-treaters on Halloween night as sunny sky and warm temperatures are forecast for the region on Thursday and Friday.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081028/Ottawa_storm_081028/20081028?hub=TopStories

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