Environment Canada issued snow squall and heavy snowfall warnings for several communities in northeastern Ontario on Friday.

Communities under a snow squall warning include Sault Ste. Marie, Superior East, North Bay, Powassan, Mattawa, West Nipissing, French River, Espanola, Killarney, Manitoulin Island, Elliot Lake, Ranger Lake, Agawa, Lake Superior Park, St. Joseph Island, Searchmont, Montreal River Harbour and Batchawana Bay.

"Snow squalls are expected," Environment Canada said in a news release. "Under the snow squall bands, visibilities will be significantly reduced due to the heavy snow combined with blowing snow, and snow will quickly accumulate."

Snow squalls are likely to move in by mid-afternoon and continue through Saturday. Local snowfall accumulations of 15 to 30 cm are expected in these snow squalls.

The combination of strong and gusty winds reaching up to 60-70 km/h and heavy snow at times will result in a significant reduction in visibility in local blowing snow.

"Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions," the release said. "Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow. If visibility is reduced while driving, turn on your lights and maintain a safe following distance. If visibility is reduced while driving, slow down, watch for tail lights ahead and be prepared to stop. Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve."

Snow squall warnings are issued when bands of snow form that produce intense accumulating snow or near zero visibilities.

A heavy snowfall warning is in effect for Wawa and Pukaskwa Park, where as much as 10 cm and winds up to 50 km/h are expected.