Boxing Day shoppers may have to contend with a significant bout of snowfall expected to hit southern Ontario Wednesday afternoon.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Tuesday afternoon for the GTA and much of southern Ontario as a low-pressure system intensifying in Louisiana is expected to bring snowfall starting late Wednesday and lasting into Thursday.

The national weather agency said areas from Sarnia to Toronto and Ottawa could see five to 10 centimetres of total snowfall, while areas from Windsor to Niagara and Hamilton, as well as along the St. Lawrence Valley are expected to see 10 to 15 centimetres.

“The GTA is bracing for its first major snowfall of the season but there's good news for Boxing Day shoppers -- the heavier bands of snow are expected to land some time in the evening, around dinner time,” said CP24 weather specialist Jamie Gutfreund. “Light snow will fall throughout the early evening but a heavier snowfall should come later and into the overnight.”

The falling snow combined with northeast winds to 50 or 60 kilometres an hour may create blowing snow and reduced visibility, Environment Canada warned.

The public is asked to monitor forecasts and warnings for more information on possible impacts on driving conditions.

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