TORONTO - A major winter storm bearing down on the U.S. Plain states is threatening to dump up to 25 cm of snow on parts of Canada starting Christmas Eve.
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements telling travellers heading out on the highways or to airports in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec of possibly harsh winter conditions.
The weather office says parts of southern Manitoba could get 15 to 25 cm of snow from Thursday into Saturday from a storm that will track northeast towards Iowa by Christmas Day.
The heaviest snow and strongest winds from the storm system will likely remain south of the U.S. border and senior climatologist David Phillips notes the snow won't all fall in one day in southern Manitoba, so it doesn't reach warning criteria.
Snow will move into southwestern Ontario on Christmas Eve, with a risk of freezing rain before changing into rain.
A rain-snow mix and possibly freezing rain should move across the lower lakes and north to Georgian Bay on Christmas before reaching eastern Ontario overnight into Boxing Day.
Western and central Quebec could see a mix of precipitation and strong winds on Boxing Day and the day after.