Winter weather causes -30 degree windchill values, and a Hwy. 402 closure

An arctic air mass that’s bringing -30 C windchill values to London and much of Ontario also caused snow squalls and a major road closure west of the city, near Lake Huron.

Both directions of Highway 402 were closed for more than 12 hours starting Sunday evening, from Centre Road near Strathroy to Mandaumin Road near Sarnia.

In a tweet posted shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, West Region OPP said both directions had been reopened.

Strathroy, Komoka, and Western Middlesex County were under a snow squall warning from Environment Canada that has since ended, with meteorologist Rosemary Tabory expecting the region to get between 5 to 10 cm of snow.

“That ends later afternoon, or early evening. We’re expecting a ridge of high pressure to come in and shut off the snow factory from Lake Huron,” said Tabory.

Police have re-opened Forest Road between Forest and Highway 402, and are warning of poor driving conditions on the re-opened stretch of Lakeshore Road between Mandaumin Road and Camlachie Road.

But Tabory says anything running parallel with Highway 402 Monday will be treacherous, and is warning anyone travelling between London and Sarnia to be cautious.

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A snow squall watch was lifted for London, Parkhill, and Eastern Middlesex County shortly before 5 a.m. The area was under an extreme cold warning until mid-afternoon Monday.

Tabory noted the windchill values would be harshest in the morning, feeling near -30 C.

“The wind is supposed to die down through the day, temperatures will moderate a little bit. This afternoon won’t be nearly as bad, but it’s still going to be uncomfortable. And we’re looking again to have cold temperatures again tonight but less wind.”

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Tabory says windchill values overnight will be about -24 C, before a dramatic change in the forecast for Tuesday.

“We start getting into a southerly flow, and that will bring high temperatures of -4 C.”

Extreme cold warnings are issued when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frost bite and hypothermia.

And if it’s too cold for you to stay outside, Tabory says it’s also too cold for your pet.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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