Declaration of a Significant Weather Event
When weather conditions affect road maintenance, the Region may need to declare a Significant Weather Event (SWE).
Hazardous weather conditions can make it dangerous to drive and walk on Regional roads. When this happens, a municipality can declare a Declaration of a Significant Weather Event on the roads it maintains.
Weather Warnings can initiate a Significant Weather Event
Environment Canada issues a Weather Warning when hazardous weather conditions are expected or ongoing.
These hazardous conditions include:
- Significant snow accumulation during a 24-hour period.
- Ice formation that wasn’t predicted.
- High winds leading to blowing snow and large snow drifts.
- Extreme cold temperatures when de-icing won’t be as effective.
The Region sets standard amounts of time (standard timelines) for clearing its roadways and designated bike lanes.
We evaluate Weather Warnings to see if predicted weather conditions might affect our standard timelines. If so, we can declare a Significant Weather Event. During a Significant Weather Event:
- Regional service levels do not change, but winter clearing activities may take longer to complete. Crews will continue to work on clearing roadways, turn lanes and crosswalks until the SWE has ended.
- It may take longer than usual to get roads and bike lanes cleared and back to normal.
How to stay safe during a Significant Weather Event
An SWE means there are ongoing, hazardous road conditions that will make it difficult to drive and walk on regional roads.
When we declare a SWE, we may recommend staying off the roads and bike lanes and staying home, if possible.
If you must go out, please drive with caution. Stay a safe distance away from maintenance vehicles to give them space to work.
An SWE can apply to different weather zones
Peel Region has 5 weather zones.
When we declare an SWE, it generally applies to all Regional roads. It can, however, effect just 1 area of Peel.
How to know if there’s an SWE
We’ll declare the end of an SWE when it’s appropriate to do so. The usual service levels for plowing, clearing snow and ice and de-icing will then resume.