Thursday, November 27, 2014

Temperature roller coaster ride for Montreal

Heavy wet snow left nearly 100,000 customers in the dark in New Hampshire. 
(New Hampshire Union Leader Photo)
We missed another storm, that makes 4 already in this young season for metro Montreal. Winter has raged across wide portions of North America this November and yesterday was no different. A strong Nor'Easter moved from Cape Cod into Atlantic Canada overnight producing a wide swath of heavy wet snow. Amounts in excess of 15cm (6 inches) fell in Vermont and the Townships with 25cm (10 inches) or more from Albany, NY across southern Vermont and into New Hampshire, Maine and New Brunswick. The weight of the snow brought down tree branches on power lines with widespread power outages reported. Nearly 200,000 customers were without power in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine with another 40,000 in New Brunswick. The weather also resulted in the cancellation or delay of over 4000 flights on the busy day before US Thanksgiving. On the roads it was no better with several major accidents and at least one fatality in Maine.

The ground is white in Lacolle as snow missed Montreal but did fall along the US border. (Quebec 511)
The snow never quite made it to Montreal, in many cases showing up on radar but evaporating before hitting the ground. However the ground is white south of Montreal from Lacolle east into Sherbrooke and the Townships. Not even one flake fell on L'Ile Perrot. Roads are in good shape this morning if you are heading south into Plattsburgh or Burlington. There are slick spots but the crews have done a tremendous job. Towards Sherbrooke and Stanstead roads are still snow covered as the snow is still falling there.

Temperature Roller Coaster
Montreal will now hop on the temperature roller coaster for a ride many of us don't want to be on. I am not a fan of weather like this to be quite honest. Today and Friday we will be near normal around 0C (32F) for highs. That will be followed by -2C (28C) on Saturday but plus 8C (48F) on Sunday and plus 12C (54F) on Monday. However by Tuesday a cold front will drop us back down to -8C (18F). The trend will then repeat itself next week. A few flurries are possible tonight into Friday morning and then again Saturday night. Showers are likely Sunday and Monday. No majors storms on the horizon at this time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nor'Easter to brush southern Quebec - impact US travel

From AccuWeather this morning. These amounts have shifted a little north and west , with the 1-3 inch line coming closer to Montreal later today and tonight.
The busiest travel day of the year in the US is being greeted with a Nor'Easter along the American east coast. Low pressure currently near the Delmarva area will move northeast to lie near Cape Cod this evening. A swath of moisture is moving north and will overspread New York and New England today. Rain is forecast along the immediate coast and wet snow inland with accumulations forecast of 6-12" (15-30cm). The heaviest snow will fall from Albany, New York across central Vermont and into New Hampshire, into Maine and New Brunswick.

Montreal will remain on the northern edge of the storm. The forecast track has shifted slightly west so the chance for some accumulating snow along the border areas has increased. Montreal is only expecting a few flurries this afternoon, but 2-4cm is possible form the south shore to the US border. If your travels take you towards Sherbrooke, they can expect 10-15cm (4-6 inches), so travel will be affected. Expect snow covered highways heading south and east by late today with lowering visibility. Winds have finally died down today after a nasty couple of days in southern Quebec. They will increase latter today out of the northeast this time to 30km/h. Cold air has moved into Montreal, so after a record high of 18C (65F) on Monday it is only -1C (30F) this morning. It will not get any warmer today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fierce winds & record highs for Quebec/Ontario

Winds gusting to over 100km/h in Montreal tore this roof off a building Monday evening. (Photo Meteomedia Twitter)
There is so much to talk about this morning in the weather department as the seasons clash. Deep 978mb low pressure over the northern Great Lakes is the dividing line between early fall and winter weather. Montreal was on the warm side of the storm on Monday as strong southerly winds helped push temperatures to nearly 20C. New record highs were established at Trudeau Airport, 17.8C beating the old record of 17.5 set in 1999. Records were also set at Sainte-Anne and L'Ile Perrot at 20C, St Anicet and Cornwall, Ontario at 21.3C (70F), Ottawa 19.4C and Toronto 18.3C.

Winds in excess of 90km/h across eastern Ontario caused plenty of damage to signs, roof shingles and trees. This one was toppled west of Kemptville, Ontario. Power was also out to over 70,000 customers. (Photo: J.Kinnear)

A strong cold front swept across the city of Montreal around 7pm last evening with powerful winds, thunder and lightning. The strongest wind gust of the year was observed at Trudeau Airport around 6:50pm at 107km/h (67mph). Wind gusts all night have been frequently over 80km/h in Montreal. The wind knocked out power to over 45,000 customers in Quebec. That number is down this morning as Hydro Quebec crews work to repair the damage. A roof was even ripped from a home on Beaudry near St. Catherine Street. No injuries were reported. Heavy rain fell along the front as well as yesterday morning with 16mm reported at the airport and on L'Ile Perrot.

East Coast Snowstorm
Temperatures are down this morning and will stay there all day. After the summer like warmth on Monday, we will be lucky to surpass 5C (41F) today in Montreal. The other story this morning is the potential east coast snowstorm. That front that brought us the wind will stall along the east coast and allow low pressure to develop off the North Carolina coast and move northeast. The storm will pass near Cape Cod on Wednesday night. Snow is forecast to fall across a wide swath of New England, Atlantic Canada and the northeast US. This comes during the busiest travel time of the year stateside, the Thanksgiving holiday. The potential storm has prompted a wide range of watches and warnings for 15-30cm (6-12inches) of snow. At this time is looks like the snow will just brush the border regions of southern Quebec.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A 24 break from winter in southern Ontario & Quebec

The crazy western New York weather will write a new chapter today as strong south winds drive the temperature over 60F. The warmth combined with showers will help produce flooding as the 3 to 6 feet of lake effect snow melts rapidly. (Photo AOL News)
A warm front is in the process of lifting across southern Quebec this morning. Heavy rain overnight has put down about 13mm with all of our snow cover gone. Temperatures are very mild at 8C (48F) this morning. The rain will come to an end by 10am with just a chance of showers for the balance of the day. It will be windy and warm with southerly gusts to 70km/h possible today into tonight in Montreal, and a near record high of 15C (59F). The record high for today in Montreal was 17.5C (64F) set in 1999.

An arctic cold front will blast across Ontario and Quebec tonight and Tuesday with winds gusting as high as 90km/h in some locations and much cooler air arriving. Wind warnings have been posted for many regions of southern Ontario. Temperatures will fall to around 5C (41F) Tuesday and remain there most of the day. It will drop to the freezing point Tuesday night. On Wednesday cold air streaming across the Great Lakes will produce more lake effect snow, especially in central Ontario. A coastal storm is also forecast to develop and move up the American east coast just in time for the busy U.S. Thanksgiving travel period. We will watch that closely to see what impact, if any, it has on southern Quebec. It will turn much colder by the weekend with lows down as cold as -10C and highs remaining well below freezing.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Warmer air and rain by Monday

The Lake Ontario snow plume stretched over 320km (200 miles) from western NY as far east as southern Quebec on Thursday. The image above from CBC was taken at Bishops University in Lennoxville.
A big warming trend if expected in Montreal and across most of Ontario, Quebec and New England. High pressure will give sunshine today with a cold high near -4C (25F). We start the day on L'Ile Perrot at -8C (18F), one of the coldest mornings this season so far. Clouds will increase on Saturday along with the chance for showers and flurries. This is thanks to a warm front lifting across the St. Lawrence Valley. Depending on how much cold air remains trapped at the surface, a period of freezing rain is even possible overnight Saturday for some portion of our region. By Sunday very warm air will stream into southern Quebec on southerly winds producing highs near 10C (50F). It will seem like summer by Monday with a forecast high of 15C (59F). Along with the warmth will come rain late Sunday and Monday as low pressure lifts north across the central Great Lakes. Colder air will return by later next week with a chance for some snow.

Buffalo Update
The snow will come to an end across western New York today as the lake effect machine is turned off. Totals will be historic once all is counted with amounts generally of 2 to 7 feet in the hardest hit locations south of Buffalo and near Watertown. The death toll is at 12 with numerous other injuries reported. The National Guard continues to help with the clearing effort including trying to remove snow off roofs. Already over 30 structures have had their roofs collapse from the weight of the snowfall. A driving ban remains in effect south of Buffalo as highways remain closed. The NHL game between Buffalo and the Rangers has been postponed. The NFL game this Sunday between the Bills and the Jets has been moved to Ford Field in Detroit. Attention will now turn to a serious flood risk starting Saturday. The warm air and rain forecast will likely melt the snow rapidly resulting in flooding. A flood watch is already in effect for several western New York counties.

One final note, yesterdays plume of snow off Lake Ontario at one point in the morning, stretched over 200 miles from western New York into southern Quebec. Heavy snow fell near Lacolle and over towards Sherbrooke with as much as 10cm (4 inches) in just a couple of hours. This has been one of the most impressive lake effect events I have seen in m years watching the weather.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BIG warming trend forecast - more snow for Buffalo

This is an amazing radar image from the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, NY showing just how far from Lake Ontario the snow is reaching. Environment Canada has posted watches and warnings for extreme southern Quebec along the US border for a quick 10cm of snow and blowing snow. Travel with caution. I am watching it closely to see if it meanders towards Montreal.
 A major warming trend is forecast by the end of this upcoming weekend, until then it will be windy, cold and perhaps a little snow for Montreal. The big story this morning continues to be the unseasonably cold air and early season snows across the Great Lakes. Montreal is at -2C this morning and we have a fresh 2cm of snow on the ground. Expect a windy day with flurries and a high near 0C (32F). A strong cold front will cross the area this afternoon with a few snow showers followed by a cold night with lows near -9C (16F). Friday will be windy and cold once again with highs near -4C (25F). Winds over the next 24 hours will be between 30-60km/h.

Just a stupid amount of snow in West Seneca, New York south of Buffalo. Another 1 to 3 feet of lake effect snow is forecast today into Friday before the storm ends.
Buffalo Snow
The snow across western New York continues to be beyond impressive. A passing trough of low pressure briefly pushed the snow plume north of the battered Buffalo south towns and into the Niagara region of Ontario last evening. Heavy snow, thunder and lightning and strong winds put down a quick 15cm (6 inches) in places like St. Catherines,  Fort Erie and Niagara Falls before shifting back south again into New York. This morning the heavy snow is falling from metro Buffalo south into Erie County. Another 1 to 3 feet of snow is forecast over the next 24 hours on top of the 4 to 6 feet that fell this week. This amount is becoming dangerous putting a tremendous strain on all dwellings. A driving ban is in effect as well the National Guard has been called out to help with rescue and relief efforts. So far 8 deaths have been blamed on the storm. The snow has brought life to a standstill in the affected areas, this may include the NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets scheduled for Sunday. Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park is under tons of snow. The Bills are offering $10 per hour to fans as well as free tickets to those who can help shovel out the facility. So far the game remains on schedule for Sunday. Relief is in sight by Saturday with a major warm up and some rain. That may lead to flooding and a tremendous concern for any roofs not cleared of the massive quantity of snow.

Forgotten in the news has been Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County, NY off Lake Ontario that has had just as much snow. More snow is forecast there as well making travel down Interstate 81 around Watertown nearly impossible today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Epic snows across western New York - a little for Montreal

A quick shot of snow on L'Ile Perrot last night left about 5cm (2") on the ground. (ValleyWX)
Late last evening a weak trough of low pressure crossed the St. Lawrence Valley and for a brief period tapped into the Lake Ontario snow plume. The result was a quick 5cm (2 inches) of snow at my home on L'Ile Perrot between 9-11pm. Gusty winds accompanied the snow and with this mornings current temperature of -8C, it feels and looks like winter. A little less snow fell on most of the island of Montreal with more towards the US border. It will be partly sunny today but breezy and cold with a high of -3C. More light snow is forecast tonight before another shot of cold air to end the week. A warm up is on the horizon by the end of the weekend. More on that later.

The New York State Thruway south of Buffalo is impassable, clogged with 3-4 feet of snow. Travel in western New York on I-81 and I-90 is not possible for long stretches. (NY State Police Photo)
Western New York Snowstorm
Our weather is part of a bigger picture of record cold and early season snow across a wide chunk of North America. By now many of you have seen the wild pictures from western New York. Typically this area is very familiar with heavy snow but this lake effect event has been historic. In less than 24 hours over 50 inches of snow fell on the south-towns of Buffalo with 30-40 inches near and south of Watertown, New York. As is typical with lake effect snow, the bands are elongated but narrow, affecting 10 miles or so with the most intense snow. Such was the case on Tuesday with Lancaster, NY receiving 42 inches of snow while Buffalo Airport, just 3 miles away to the northwest, had only 3 inches. Where the snow has fallen it has been disabling with a state of emergency in effect and the National Guard called into action. Miles of the New York Thruway are closed, littered with abandoned and in some cases occupied cars. Police and fire have had to respond on snowmobiles and in some cases on foot. The storm has turned deadly with 5 fatalities reported as of this morning. The snow has lifted north into the Niagara and Fort Erie, Ontario region this morning and will slowly taper as a wind shift occurs. It will however return on Thursday as a fresh batch of arctic air races across the open waters of Lakes Erie and Ontario as well as Huron.