OTTAWA -- In like a lion, indeed.

As the calendar turns to March, a snow squall watch is in effect for Ottawa and the surrounding area.

"Snow Squalls are expected later this afternoon and evening," the notice from Environment Canada says. "Snow squalls are likely behind a cold front this afternoon into this evening. The afternoon commute could be impacted in urban areas. The squalls should move into New York State by 9 p.m."

An earlier version of the snow squall watch said 5 to 10 centimetres of snow was possible, however, the afternoon forecast for Monday includes about 2 centimetres of snow, with wind gusts up to 60 km/h. 

Motorists are being told to exercise caution.

The snow squall watch is in effect for Ottawa-Gatineau and areas west and south of the city, ranging from Pembroke all the way down to Brockville and Cornwall. A snow squall warning is currently in place for Barry's Bay and Killaloe. 

Apart from the brief blowing snow, Monday is expected to be cloudy with a 40 per cent chance of drizzle early in the morning. The temperature starts above freezing but will drop to -9 C in the afternoon, feeling more like -16 with the wind chill.

Overnight, the low will be -13 C, with a wind chill of -27 and a risk of frostbite.

A frostbite advisory for Ottawa is in effect. 

Tuesday will start with a risk of frostbite, but will then be sunny with a high of -5 C and a mix of sun and cloud.

Things will warm up even more on Wednesday, with a high of 2 C, but cool back down on Thursday and Friday to around -5 C.