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Southern Ontario prepares for brush with powerful winter storm

Drifted snow nearly buries a street sign in rural Pratt County, Kan. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Feb. 26, 2013 in Topeka, Kan. For the second time in a week, a major winter storm paralyzed parts of the nation's midsection Tuesday, dumping a fresh layer of heavy, wet snow atop cities still choked with piles from the previous system and making travel perilous from the Oklahoma panhandle to the Great Lakes. The weight of the snow strained power lines and cut electricity to more than 100,000 homes and businesses.

Bo Rader/AP

A winter storm blamed for at least three deaths in the central United States began moving into southwestern Ontario on Tuesday afternoon.

Forecasters say the southwest can expect rain mixed at times with ice pellets and perhaps some freezing rain from the storm that knocked out power to more than 100,000 U.S. homes and businesses.

As it moves northeastward, Environment Canada says the rain is expected to become mixed with wet snow, but mainly rain is expected near Lake Erie and along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

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Forecasters say a changeover to all snow can be expected with a possibility of 10 to 15 centimetres of heavy snow that could lead to a messy commute Wednesday morning.

Areas around Georgian Bay and across eastern Ontario are expected to get 10 to 15 centimetres of snow as the Texas low meanders over Lake Erie on Wednesday.

Amounts will be lower near the Lake Ontario shore where precipitation may fall as a mix of wet snow and rain, with even some brief freezing rain possible.

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