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‘SantaBomb’ storm is coming to the Toronto area for Christmas

‘SantaBomb’ is coming for Christmas, but it won’t be a repeat of last year’s ice storm.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

A strong storm that Twitter users are calling "SantaBomb" is projected to touch down in the Greater Toronto Area right before Christmas and will bring rain, strong winds and possibly snow.

The storm's timing is stoking fears that last year's Snowmageddon – the 2013 ice storm that essentially shut down the whole city – will be repeated. Last year, freezing rain and snowfall struck Central and Eastern Canada, causing millions of dollars in damage to electric power lines and trees and left thousands of residents without power for days.

However, the recent warmer temperatures mean that there is not going to be another ice storm, said Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada. "The setup between this one and last are different in temperatures," he said.

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Mr. Coulson and several other meteorologists are forecasting rain on Christmas Eve in line with the mild winter across the region.

But snow might arrive by Christmas morning. Mr. Coulson said the region will feel a drop in temperatures, stronger winds and then possibly snowfall or more rain.

He added that the storm has the potential to be dangerous and disruptive.

But different weather models are projecting a wide range of possibilities of what the storm could turn out to be.

Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, said the common theme of the projections is that something is coming to town.

"This is one of those situations where we know something is going to happen. We just need to keep monitoring to see what that something is going to be."

"It doesn't mean we're going to get a ton of snow or a ton of rain, but certainly winds would be a guaranteed factor," Ms. Vettese said. "Our job, over the next few days, is to decide how is this going to look in the end."

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The "SantaBomb" name may be inspired by a real meteorological term: "weather bomb." But that is technically not accurate. Weather bombs are low-pressure systems that develop rapidly and they rarely happen over land.

One of the biggest concerns about "SantaBomb" is whether it will affect the departure of planes out of Southern and Eastern Canada during the holidays.

But both meteorologists said the final outcome of the storm will still be unknown until the start of next week.

Throughout the weekend, they advise people to check the list of weather warnings once or twice to see if "SantaBomb" will ultimately make us pout or not.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Ms. Vettese as a meteorologist from the Weather Channel; in fact, she works for The Weather Network.

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