A freezing rain warning and a rainfall warning were both issued by Environment Canada to the Waterloo-Wellington area.
The two Saturday statement updates come after an initial rainfall warning by the agency on Friday ahead of many treacherous Southern Ontario storms.
Heavy rainfall of up to 90 mm is expected throughout the weekend in the area.
“As of noon [on Saturday] it’s already the wettest January day on record,” said Frank Seglenieks, Waterloo Weather station coordinator. “These records go back over 100 years.”
The month of January usually receives an average of 65 mm in precipitation.
“We’re on track to maybe even get above that,” said Seglenieks. “We might have all of the average January precipitation happening in this one day.”
The Grand River Conservation Authority has also issued a flood warning for the entire Grand River watershed.January 12, 2020
“As the storm transitions we want people to make sure they are staying well back from those stream banks,” said Cam Linwood of the GRCA. “The water is very cold at this time of year.”
Freezing rain is anticipated to create 10-20mm of ice accretion by Sunday morning.
“It’s very difficult to predict how freezing rain will react, when it’ll occur, and how the watershed will respond,” said Linwood.
Environmental Canada says surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways, and parking lots will become hazardous and that non-essential travel should be postponed.
“Certainly anybody travelling Saturday night should be wary of the conditions,” said Seglenieks. “There’s going to be ice somewhere in the region. Don’t try to travel through that because it could be very bad.”
Wind gusts are also expected to pick up to 50 km/h on Sunday and may cause power outages combined with freezing rain.
Significant rainfall has resulted in high water levels throughout @RegionWaterloo.
Please exercise caution around all water bodies and keep children and pets away from rivers and creeks.#ONStorm pic.twitter.com/aiQ97YaxeB