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Winter weather warning prompts delays, cancellations on busiest travelling weekend

Snow covers the Lions Gate bridge in Vancouver, B.C. Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. A wet heavy snowstorm has blanketed the lower mainland with snow making driving dangerous.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Just in time for the busiest travelling weekend of the year, Mother Nature is offering holiday commuters a mixed bag of weather that could leave roads slippery and force flight delays.

Environment Canada says a disturbance from Texas is behind freezing precipitations that will move across Southern Ontario into Friday evening. Depending on the location, people can expect a blend of wet snow, ice pellets, freezing rain or rain.

Things could get even worse overnight from Saturday to Sunday, when a second system could usher a major ice storm.

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Further east, the Richelieu Valley, south of Montreal, can expect five millimetres of freezing precipitation tonight and light freezing precipitation Saturday.

At the same time, on the west coast, Vancouver and Victoria were getting snow, which was expected to turn to rain near the coast.

The weather's impact was still limited on early Friday at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, where less than two per cent of flights (12 arrivals and 11 departures) had been cancelled.

However, several airlines warned of further disturbances.

Air Canada said that flights today at airports in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and Newark, NJ, could be affected by forecasted snow and de-icing.

Air Canada said it is expected flight disruptions to continue in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto through the weekend.

WestJet also warned that storms could delays or cancellations to its flights in British Columbia (Vancouver, Abbotsford, Victoria, Comox and Nanaimo) and eastern Canada (Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal).

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Porter also cautioned travellers with flights in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Chicago and Quebec to check for possible delays or cancellations.

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