A massive winter storm is headed toward Ottawa with the worst of it stopping south of the city and smacking the 401 corridor with 20 to 25 cm of snow.
The flakes were not expected to start falling in the region until around 9 a.m. and could bring about 10 cm with the heaviest accumulation in the afternoon.
The manager of the City of Ottawa's road crews said they are ready for today's storm. The day shift will start a little late and the night shift will come in early to make sure there is a seamless transition and plows are constantly on the roads.
Kevin Wylie said the major challenge will be staying ahead of the buildup of snow.
"When you get heavy accumulation during the rush hour, and it's probably going to be wet snow that packs on, we've got a lot of volume of vehicles driving over the roads packing it right in to the asphalt," he said.
"So, we'll have our crews out making sure we've got salt down before the accumulation starts and then just trying to scrape it off as quick as it comes," said Wylie.
He said they're planning on starting to plow residential roads and sidewalks around midnight, after the snow has tapered off.
Meteorologist Geoff Coulson says this storm is also ushering in more cold temperatures, "falling to minus 10 by late afternoon."
"It's going to feel more like minus 17 or minus 18 with the wind chill and then biting wind chills overnight tonight as we drop down to about minus 16 into Thursday morning but those winds making it feel more like minus 25," he said.
Coulson said while spring is due to arrive at 1 p.m. March 20 we're not likely to escape the cold until April.