Freezing rain causes flight delays for major Canadian, U.S. cities

An ice storm making its way across southern Ontario is causing some travel headaches for Canadians.

Environment Canada issued freezing rain warnings covering the Greater Toronto Area, west to Lake Huron and south to Lake Erie, on Wednesday.

Global News’ chief meteorologists Anthony Farnell explained Wednesday that the freezing rain will last until Thursday.

“Ice pellets are turning to freezing rain and freezing drizzle this afternoon and while icy conditions will last into the day Thursday. The heaviest amounts have already fallen across the region,” he said.

“It may take some parts of the GTA until late Thursday afternoon to get above freezing as another round of rain moves in.”

Beyond those areas, the weather is impacting those who had travel plans to several major Canadian cities.

Air Canada issued travel advisories for national flights in and out of Montreal, and Ontario cities Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, London and Kingston. A warning was also issued for Chicago.

The advisories will last all day Wednesday and potentially into Thursday.

WestJet also issued weather advisories for several flights, including ones travelling to and from Ontario cities Hamilton, Kitchener/Waterloo, Ottawa, Windsor, London and Toronto, along with Montreal and Quebec City.

Toward the west, Alberta flights to and from Edmonton, Lloydminster, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Calgary were under advisories due to extreme cold weather.

Porter Airlines also posted on its website that Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor flights may be affected.

Several other airlines, including United and Delta, issued similar warnings for U.S. cities hit by winter weather.

The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for a large swath of the Midwest, spanning Nebraska through Michigan.

The warnings come in the wake of the snow, ice and shivering cold hitting normally mild cities in the West.

Pearson International Airport also urged passengers to check their flight status before arriving at the airport.

Aside from air travel delays, the freezing rain also caused schools and some businesses to close across the Toronto area.

— With files from The Associated Press, The Canadian Press

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