The first major snowstorm of the season is hitting Ottawa today.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

An Alberta Clipper moving across the region is expected to bring 15 to 20 cm of snow by tonight.  The snow will slowly taper off to flurries Wednesday morning.  Environment Canada says the Belleville-Napanee region will receive 15 cm of snow later this afternoon. 

As the snow began Monday night, road conditions quickly deteriorated.  The City of Ottawa has deployed its fleet of snowplows and sanders to clear the roads for the commute.

Central area roads manager Bryden Denyes says the city will “be out maintaining winter cycling networks and sidewalks. But, we can’t be everywhere at once.”

The city says snow removal is based on a roar-priority system, with high-use roads and emergency and transit routes cleared first. Major roads, arterials and major collector roads will be cleared  first.  Residential roads and lanes will be cleared within 16 hours of the snow ending.

Sidewalks in Ottawa’s downtown core will be cleared within six hours of the snow ending, while bus stops will be cleared within 24 hours after clean-up.

More information on the City of Ottawa’s snow clearing plans are listed on the city’s website.

Air Canada and WestJet are advising travellers to check their flight status before heading to the Ottawa Airport today. Flight information is listed on the airport's website