'High' chance of white Christmas as snow lingers in Southwestern Ontario, Environment Canada says

The London area’s early winter whacking has taken an ugly turn, as police investigate the cold as a factor in an incident that left a man in medical distress near an east-end school overnight.

Police say the unnamed man remained in hospital in critical condition Thursday. He was found in the parking lot of Sir John A. Macdonald elementary school at 1150Landor St., near Highbury Avenue and Cheapside Street, about 4a.m.- writes lfpress.com.

“We are exploring the possibility that the reason the male was found in medical distress was due to the elements and the extremely cold temperature overnight,” Const. Sandasha Bough said in an email.

Bough said London police are still investigating the case.

The mercury plunged to –12C at 4a.m. at the London International Airport, a temperature that felt more like –19C with the wind chill factored in, according to Environment Canada.

After snowsqualls earlier this week blanketed parts of the London area with up to 30 centimetres of snow, the national weather agency has lifted the snowsquall watches and warnings for Southwestern Ontario.

But that doesn’t mean winter weather is backing off.

Environment Canada meteorologist Peter Kimbell is predicting some light flurry activity starting Thursday and into today in the region. The dusting will amount to a couple centimetres of snow, Kimbell said.

“The worst has probably passed,” he said.

Though the mercury will rise to a high of 0C Sunday and 2C the day after, Kimbell said the slight warm-up won’t be enough to melt the mounds of snow that have accumulated in parts of the region.

“I wouldn’t expect that whatever is on the ground now will melt,” he said.

“It’s winter and it’s white and this is what we’d expect for mid-December and here it is.”

In Sarnia-Lambton, a stiff northerly Arctic wind brought bands of the white stuff off Lake Huron, squalls with the potential to dump up to 15 centimetres of snow.

The eastbound lanes of Highway402 near Nauvoo Road in Watford were closed for several hours Thursday afternoon because of a crash that left two transport trucks on their sides. One driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries, OPP said.

West of London, the westbound Highway 401 was closed and traffic was backed up for hours after two other transport trucks skidded into the ditch between Colonel Talbot Road and Union Road Thursday morning.

Poor driving conditions kept all school buses in Elgin County off the roads Thursday.

Though the forecast could change, Kimbell said another storm could slam Southwestern Ontario next Thursday.

“A lot of things can change,” he cautioned.

“But I think the chances are very high we’ll have a white Christmas.”

Read more news of London on our site.

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