Sunday, February 01, 2015

Frigid Monday as Groundhog Day storm shifts north

A dramatic picture via Twitter of FDNY firefighters tackling not only a major fire Saturday, January 31 in New York City, but also the elements. This is NYC, but it could be Montreal or any other city in the northeast or eastern Canada that has been suffering with extreme cold for most of January.
A strengthening winter storm over the US Midwest will now impact most of southern Ontario and extreme southern Quebec today and Monday. As I said Saturday morning, this system needed to be monitored closely and indeed a more northerly track is expected. Snow is now forecast today from Windsor to Toronto with 10-25cm. It will not be close enough to deal Montreal a major storm at this time, but just the same there will be snow and blowing snow by Monday morning. Today will be sunny and cold with temperatures up to -15C (5F). Expect increasing clouds tonight with snow developing by morning along the US border and expanding up to the St. Lawrence River early Monday. The snow will be accompanied by strong northeast winds up to 50km/h and frigid windchill readings. With a low tonight of -24C (-11F) and a high on Monday of only -19C (-2F) it will be cold. Windchill readings will be in the -30's Monday along with areas of blowing snow making travel challenging. The further south you go, the more snow you will encounter. Expect 5-10cm (2-4") from Montreal south to the US border, as well as eastern Ontario, 10-20cm (4-8") over northern Vermont and New York with 20-30cm (8-12") or more across southern New England. It will end late Monday followed by clearing and cold weather for Tuesday, but more snow by Wednesday

This same storm will impact regions from Minnesota to New York today into Monday with a wide range of warnings posted including a blizzard warning for northeast Illinois and Chicago. Warnings are in effect for southern Ontario as well as all of northern New York and Vermont. The storm will impact New England into Atlantic Canada on Monday. Thousands of flights across the Midwest have already been cancelled. The snow will also hit Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Monday where Phil will give his annual February 2 Groundhog Day prediction for the rest of the winter.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Frigid weekend for Montreal

The 10-15cm of snow that fell on southern Quebec Friday made for a slick commute in Montreal. (ValleyWX Photo) 
Another shot of arctic air has arrived in southern Quebec this morning. Skies are clear, but it is breezy and very cold in Montreal with a 10am temperature of -21C and windchill values down in the minus 30's. It will be sunny all day with increasing clouds late in the day. A weak front will cross the area tonight with a just a few flurries. It will be cold again on Sunday and well into next week. Another winter storm is forecast to develop today over the Midwest US and spread snow to places like Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh before heading east to NYC and Boston on Sunday. We will likely remain on the northern edge of this system late Sunday and Monday with just some clouds, but it will have to be monitored for a northward shift.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Breezy & cold Superbowl Weekend for Quebec

The calm before the snow...The setting sun illuminates this lighthouse along the frozen shores of the St. Lawrence River in Lachine on Wednesday. (ValleyWX Photo)
A clipper system is moving across southern Quebec this morning with light snow. A good 10cm will be the final tally in Montreal, with as much as 15cm north and south of the city. Roads are snow covered this morning but temperatures are mild, currently at our high for the day of -4C (25F). The snow will taper off by noon with dropping temperatures and gusty northwest winds. The wind will be between 30-50km/h for the balance of the day creating areas of blowing and drifting snow as well as low windchill values across southern Quebec and Ontario. A windchill warning is in effect for the US side of the St. Lawrence Valley as well as portions of New York and Vermont. With temperatures dropping to -22C (-8F) tonight and winds in excess of 30km/h, the windchill will be dangerous, as low as -33C (-28F) in Montreal and Ottawa.

The weekend will be sunny but cold with highs only near -15C (5F) and lows down to -22C (-8F) in Montreal. The cold will last well into next week with well below normal temperatures forecast. The only good news, the rain falling in Phoenix, home of the 2015 NFL Superbowl, will stop in time for Sunday's big game. It will be sunny at game time with a forecast high of 19C (67F). GO PATS!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Mini storm" to affect southern Quebec & Ontario

Special Weather Statement posted for most of eastern Ontario and portions of southern Quebec for snow and blowing snow. Winter Weather Advisory for the St. Lawrence Valley of New York and northern Champlain Valley of NY & Vermont. No warnings yet for Montreal but it will be an "advisory" type snowfall if Environment Canada used such terminology.

The Details...
Low pressure will move from the Great Lakes today down the St. Lawrence Valley bringing snow and blowing snow to Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City starting late today and lasting into Friday. The storm is rather disorganized in nature but will still bring us more snow than we have seen at any other time in January. We start the day at -20C (-4F) on L'Ile Perrot, clear and cold once again, a theme that has been replayed countless times this January. Clouds will increase today with snow developing by late afternoon from Kingston to Cornwall before moving into Montreal by the evening commute. Once it starts it will snow steadily until noon or so Friday. Expect a good 10cm (4 inches) in most locations with 15cm (6 inches) right along the St. Lawrence River, including metro Montreal. Temperatures will warm today to -4C (25F) and up to -1C (30F) early Friday morning, before an arctic front plunges the temperature down to -13C (9F) by days end. It will turn windy as well Friday, gusting up to 50km/h causing blowing snow in Ontario and Quebec. Driving may be challenging at times. Skies will slowly clear Friday night setting up a sunny but very cold weekend. Lows will be near -22C (-8F) with highs no better than -13C (9F).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Storm ends for New England - snow for Montreal Thursday

A car is buried under nearly 30 inches of snow in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire on Tuesday. (Seacoast Online Photo)
A strong coastal storm produced record amounts of snow across eastern coastal New England on Wednesday with nearly 24 inches in Boston and a whopping 34.5 inches in Worcester, Massachusetts, their biggest one day storm ever. The system also produced heavy snow across Atlantic Canada with over 35cm in Moncton and blizzard conditions for hours. Winds were very strong, approaching hurricane force along the New England coast and driving a huge amount of ocean water and waves into the shoreline. Flooding and damage was reported south of Boston in Scituate and Marshfield among other locations. The collapse of a seawall in Marshfield during the height of the storm, damaged several homes with injuries reported. The National Guard was forced to carry out evacuations in some towns. The strong winds also knocked out power to thousands especially in Cape Cod and the islands. Heavy snow also hit New Hampshire and Maine with close to 30 inches in Hampton.

Pounding waves caused damage to many homes in Marshfield, Mass. (via Twitter @KarenWBZradio)
The snow worked its way inland but tapered off quickly with only light amounts across northern Vermont and portions of southern Quebec. The snow got as close as the south shore of Montreal, but no accumulations were reported in the city or here on L'Ile Perrot.

Looking ahead we can expect clearing skies today across the region, but it will be cold, only -10C (14F). Clear skies tonight with a low of -14C (6F) will give way to increasing clouds on Thursday as the next low pressure area approaches form the Great Lakes. It will be milder Thursday with a high of -6C (21F). We can expect snow to start late in the day in eastern Ontario and spread into Quebec by the evening commute. Steady snow and gusty winds are likely into Friday morning with a good 10cm (4 inches) expected in Montreal and Ottawa. It will turn cold again for the weekend with another shot at measurable snow by Monday. More on that as the week progresses.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nor'Easter slams Boston but spares NYC & Montreal

A classic, spectacular image of the east coast storm from space. Clouds as far back as Montreal with a cold front trailing into the Caribbean Sea and dry air in the middle working its way into Nova Scotia.
After a media frenzy in New York City on Monday, and the eventual shutdown of that cities subway system for the first time in its history, it appears the storm will spare NYC. Airlines cancelled thousands of flights today in and out of the Big Apple in preparation for the onslaught forecast. The problem is, snowstorms are very difficult to pin down, especially coastal systems. Determining where the heaviest snow will set up is always a challenge. This storm did develop as expected and it very strong this morning, southeast of the Massachusetts coastline. But the heaviest snow spared New York City and is pounding eastern Long Island, as well as southern New England including Boston.

No cars and no snow for the Big Apple this morning. (Sun Sentinel)
This classic northeaster that looks like a storm out of a textbook is dealing a heavy blow to coastal communities in Massachusetts. Overnight 20 foot seas pounded the region with flooding reported in places like Plymouth and Scituate. Winds gusting to near hurricane force of 75mph hit Nantucket Island as well as coastal areas into Maine into Nova Scotia. Around 11 inches of snow has been reported in Boston and it is still snowing heavily in that city. Inland in southern New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts as much as 16 inches has been reported with two feet still forecast. Further north in Atlantic Canada, blizzard warnings are in effect with the region virtually shut down today. All flights have been cancelled and schools are closed with 30cm of wind driven snow expected.

In Quebec, any snow expected is sill limited to the border regions as well as the Gaspe where warnings are posted. Only 1cm or 2 is forecast for Montreal. Strong winds will funnel down the St. Lawrence Valley with gusts to 90km/h forecast in Quebec City, and already approaching 60km/h in Montreal. It is very cold in Montreal this morning with windchill readings around -26C. (-15F). The high will only be -11C, windy, cold and flurries.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Strong Nor'Easter to hammer east coast - brush Quebec

Long Island Expressway in New York this afternoon (via Twitter WPXI)
 5pm EST Update...
A powerful and perhaps historic Nor'Easter is developing this afternoon off the coast of North Carolina and is expected to move towards Cape Cod on Tuesday. Rapid intensification is expected with a 40-50 millibar pressure drop in less than 24 hours forecast. Heavy snow is already falling well in advance of the main storm across southern New England and metro New York City. Forecast blizzard conditions are expected overnight with accumulations reaching 12-24 inches and even up to 36" from metro NYC northeast into Massachusetts. Strong winds are forecast up to 65mph. Coastal flooding is also a big concern with warnings now posted. Thousands of flights have been cancelled already in northeast hubs with the prospect of a complete shutdown Tuesday in New York and Boston. A travel ban has been declared in Massachusetts for Tuesday. This storm could rival the historic Blizzard of 78. Away from the coast heavy snow is forecast northward into central Vermont and New Hampshire. Blizzard conditions are also forecast for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. Heavy snow will fall along the Gaspe coast of Quebec.

Latest forecast amounts as of 3:30pm Monday

Effects in Quebec
In southern Quebec strong northeast winds will develop on Tuesday gusting from 60km/h in metro Montreal up to 90km/h in Quebec City where warnings are in effect. Windchill values will be very cold with a high of only -11C expected and windchill readings down in the minus 20's. As far as snow goes, we are looking at 5cm for Montreal tomorrow evening, and upwards of 10-15cm for the Townships into the Beauce. Blowing snow will greatly reduce visibility in and east of Quebec City Tuesday night.

Wicked winter storm to pound New England & New York

Montreal, once again, will remain on the western edge of a coastal snowstorm.
There is plenty of weather to talk about this morning so let's get right into it. First it is another cold morning in Montreal, but very calm. The current temperature at my home on L'Ile Perrot is -25C (-13F). Montreal can expect sunshine today with a high near -12C. Yesterday was cold in the east but record warmth occurred across western Canada. Dozens of new record highs were established including 17.2C (63F) in Calagry and 9.6C (49F) in Edmonton. On the east coast what was left of the first snowstorm to affect Atlantic Canada produced winds in excess of 150km/h in Newfoundland. That same storm brought 15-30cm of snow over the weekend to most of Atlantic Canada.

Powerful Historic Nor'Easter
That brings us to the current storm, a weak, unsuspecting area of low pressure meandering across the Ohio Valley this morning. That system will move off the middle Atlantic coast today and explode into a powerful Nor'Easter. The storm will then slowly move northeast towards Nova Scotia over the next 48 hours. With arctic air in place, copious amounts of Atlantic moisture will be drawn into New York and New England producing historic snowfalls in some locations. The computer models are indicating 2 to 3 feet (60-90cm) of snow in a swath from metro New York and New Jersey into central Massachusetts. In addition to the snow, strong winds will gust to hurricane force along the coast and perhaps 50mph inland. Visibility will be nil in snow and blowing snow with travel nearly impossible on Tuesday. Coastal flooding will also impact the region especially along the flood prone Massachusetts and New Hampshire coasts. With blizzard conditions forecast, expect major travel delays anywhere along the east coast on Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday. The storm will also impact interior portions of New England, Quebec and Atlantic Canada with 15-30cm of wind whipped snow.

At this time, the St. Lawrence Valley and Montreal are expected to remain on the western edge of the storm with a cold northeast wind to 60km/h as well as a few flurries. Snowfall amounts in the city will be light as high pressure over us will limit mositure. As you move south and east towards Sherbrooke and Vermont, snow amounts will increase to between 5-15cm. Beyond the border area it just keeps getting deeper as you head south and east. I strongly recommend postponing any travel plans that take you into New England or east into portions of the Gaspe or the Maritimes Tuesday.