Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A time for change...

My last issue of the Kemptville Advance

Happy New Year to everyone. What a year it has been. So many changes with the roller coaster gas prices & economy and a wild weather year just for added fun. Environment Canada has released the top weather stories of 2008. You can view them at this link Top 2008 Weather Stories.

As the calender rolls over from 2008 to 2009 I am preparing to embark on another chapter in my life. I am leaving the Kemptville Advance after 8 years to move back home to Montreal. I will be sharing my time again between Quebec and Ontario as I have family in both provinces. My time here at the Advance has been wonderful, filled with awesome people and the daily excitement of a small town newsroom. Chris, Nathan, Paul, Connie, Doug, Theresa, Diana and Drew - thank you from the bottom of my heart, what a great group of co-workers. So much goes on in this community everyday. Kemptville continues to grow and I hope remain prosperous. It has a solid foundation of community groups and organizations none more valuable than the Kemptville Volunteer Fire Department. I just want to tip my hat to the guys and gals of KFD who go out in any weather and often grace the pages of our papers and this blog with their heroic efforts. Well done.

Keep supporting your local paper Kemptville - for without it you would loose an important voice. Thank you so much for all your kind words and support throughout the last 8 years. The blog goes on. I will continue to do my first passion, the weather. There will still be local weather and reports, that will not change. Check back often and drop me a line. Happy New Year to all.

Be safe, it will be clear and very cold tonight to welcome in 2009. Look for wind chills values in the -20's. It will be stormy out west and a massive snowstorm for Atlantic Canada. Ontario and most of western Quebec will remain dry. Drive safe tonight...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Years Travel

Update 10AM: It has been a nasty morning on the roads in eastern Ontario. Gusty winds and dropping temperatures have created the ideal situation for black ice. The Kemptville Fire Department has responded to at least 5 accidents in our immediate area. All were single vehicles rolling into the ditch on the 416. The photo above is our rescue unit responding and passing by a fallen tree from Sunday's storm.

Brockville Recorder and Times photo of wind damage Sunday.

It is a silly morning along the 416 in Kemptville. The light snow overnight, about 2cm, has been driven around by 40-60km/h winds as a front races by again. The temperatures are beginning to slowly drop and this has resulted in icy roads. KFD and the OPP were called to a semi in the ditch near Oxford Station Road, this was followed by two more rollovers near Beach Road and the 416 just south of Kemptville.

Drivers need to slow down. The number of crashes and cars in the ditch this winter has been unreal. I have travelled hundreds of kilometres and trust me if you put winter tires on and adjust your speed to the weather (SUV's included!) you will arrive.

The New Years Forecast is looking more wintry then the Christmas one was. At this time we are on a conveyor belt of fast moving west to east weather systems. One this morning, another tonight and yet another on Friday. These will bring light snow and gusty winds. In between we can expect sunny and cold weather. It will drop to -15C in the light snow tonight, and not much warmer than that on Wednesday. The good news is that New Years Eve and day will be dry. Slow down, and drive safe.

Hydro One still has about 70,000 customers without power from the storm on Sunday. They were hampered by 90km/h winds again in parts of the province. It may be the balance of the week before full power is restored. The wind on Sunday not only closed the 401 in several spots but also County Road 44 in Kemptville, and Rideau River Road because of downed power lines. The Thousand Islands Bridge at Mallorytown was also closed after the wind toppled a 5th wheel from Quebec onto its side. The bridge remained closed for 5 hours.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Winds blast Ontario/Quebec

The 401 yesterday afternoon was jammed for miles after wires fell across the highway and several accidents occurred as well.

A strong cold front brought an end to the record warmth in Ontario (it was 13.5C in Kemptville) and ushered in fierce 100km/h plus winds. The winds began in Windsor early in the morning and reached us here in the east by 2pm or so. Gusts were recorded to 119km/h at Point Petre, 104km/h at Windsor, 111km/h at Wiarton, 102km/h at Cornwall, 98km/h at Brockville and 89km/h at Montreal. The result was a swath of damage, downed trees and power lines. Nearly 200,000 Hydro customers were left in the dark, many into this morning. One line fell across the 401 between Morrisburg and Iroquois. The highway was closed for several hours creating a massive traffic jam that I was stuck in for about 2 hours. Once reopened the highway had to be closed by the OPP again after accidents occurred in both directions again as a result of the wind. The 401 east was closed at Johnstown after a car rolled near the International Bridge.

All roads are opened this morning and winds have eased. Another cold front will move across the region late today with about 5cm of snow and 40-60km/h winds causing some blowing and drifting snow. That should begin after dark tonight and be over by morning. Driving could become tricky.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Severe Wind Warning

The cold air yesterday held stubbornly to the St. Lawrence Valley and Montreal. Freezing rain spread across the island of Montreal and northeast towards Quebec City and lasted till 5pm, much later than expected. Hundreds of accidents were reported on the icy roads that persisted late into the evening.

This morning is a much different story. The temperature has soared to 7C in Montreal, 11C in Kemptville and 15C in Cornwall. (Nearly 60F on December 28, a very rare event). A strong arctic cold front is on our doorstep, and it has prompted High Wind Warnings for the St. Lawrence Valley and the rest of southern Ontario and Quebec as well as Northern NY. Winds are expected to gust to 100km/h for several hours along the front. This morning so far they have reached 110km/h at Long Point on Lake Erie and 85km/h in Toronto and are spreading east. Winds of this strength are capable of damage to trees and power lines. The winds will ease later tonight. The temperature is expected to fall to the freezing point by the supper hour in most places. Some light rain is possible along the front with flurries behind it.

A weak disturbance will bring more light snow late Monday, before a cold and clear New Years Eve and Day.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Calm Boxing Day

High pressure over the area will result in a calm weather day across eastern Ontario and western Quebec today. Temperatures will be chilly around -5C with increasing clouds. Tonight deep low pressure will move from the northern Rockies across the Great Lakes and into northern Ontario. The storm will push a surge of near record warmth north into Ontario and Quebec. Rain will spread into the region tomorrow, with up to 30mm possible. Temperatures will warm to near 10C in Montreal and Ottawa. It will begin to slowly cool off on Sunday, and we will be back below freezing with a chance of some snow by Tuesday. Before the change to rain on Saturday, some spotty freezing rain is possible, especially late overnight tonight. It will quickly change to rain by morning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Christmas Express

The UTVIKEN from Nassau in the Bahamas rolls past Montreal in the icy seaway. This is one of the last ships in the system. The Seaway will close on Boxing day

Merry Christmas everyone...all the best to all my readers. Peace and happiness today and all year, lets be good to each other.

Boy did Santa have a wicked time last night. The wind was incredible, we are on the 8th floor in Montreal, and it sounded like a train outside our window all night. After about 20cm of snow, the temperature shot up to 7C in Montreal and 6C in Kemptville with rain Christmas Eve. Lots of water around. As the cold front moved east into our area it was accompanied by 100km/h winds in Massena and Cornwall and 80km/h winds in Montreal. The peak gust in Kemptville was only 33km/h in the sheltered Rideau Valley. The winds toppled trees and power was out in many parts of upstate New York. The wind gusted to 112MPH, yes mph on Mount Washington in New Hampshire. I am sure Santa had a fun time controlling the sled. Winds are easing today in sunshine and dropping temperatures with just a few flurries scattered about.

Boxing Day will be quiet and then we turn our attention to the next storm which will move into our area Saturday with heavy rain, over 30mm and warm temperatures. The risk of flooding will be possible. Make sure you free up drainage spouts, sewers and your rooftops of snow and ice before the heavy rain moves in.

Be safe today...all the best.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Less than Peaceful Forecast

Thank you Vicki for the drawing, she nailed it perfectly. Visit her website at Act of Imagination

Let me start by saying Merry Christmas. Secondly, welcome to the weather roller coaster, strap in, it is going to be a rough ride. We have had 10-15cm of snow overnight across most regions in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. This will gradually transition to a mix of precipitation as warmer air moves in from the south. Gradually all precipitation will change to light rain as temperatures warm above freezing. The freezing rain may be stubborn in the Ottawa Valley and north of Montreal as the cold air is more difficult to move out. The warmth will be short lived as a strong cold front sweeps across Ontario and then Quebec from late afternoon into the overnight. The front will be accompanied by fierce winds of 50-80km/h which could prompt warnings and even cause a little Christmas morning power failure in places. Christmas Day will be calm with temperatures falling towards -10C. A cold night Thursday night will be followed by a big warm up into Saturday with more rain and temperatures well above freezing. The ride will end Sunday as temperatures return to normal and the storm track flattens and gives us a break for a day or two.

Merry Christmas and please drive safe, give yoursel plenty of timetoday and tonight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Travel Forecast

UPDATE 4PM: Warm air advection is causing an area of light snow to break out well ahead of the main band of snow from Montreal to Cornwall. Travel remains good in that area but is deteriorating west of Kingston towards Toronto. Look for snow tonight, between 5-15cm in most areas changing to rain with freezing rain in eastern Ontario by mid-day Wednesday. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories remain posted through Christmas Eve.

UPDATE 11:00AM: Winter Storm Watch issued for Kemptville and Eastern Ontario for 10-15cm of snow tonight and then freezing rain into Wednesday afternoon

Merry Christmas everyone... I wish I had better news in the weather department, but one word comes to mind, messy. After a dry and cold day yesterday we are looking at increasing clouds this morning, with the leading edge of the next system already into southwestern Ontario. Environment Canada has posted winter storm watches for parts of the province along the 401 with winter weather advisories in effect in New York and Vermont. Nothing has been posted yet for eastern Ontario or Quebec. Travel will become poor later tonight.

Look for light snow to reach Kemptville by this evening and continue overnight before mixing with and changing to sleet and freezing rain, and eventually rain. The temperature will continue to rise from our low this morning of -26C towards plus 6C or so by late in the day Wednesday. Then it will drop again for Christmas Day with any precipitation changing back to flurries. It will also be breezy with this system especially along the Seaway. Most areas will see 5-10cm of snow before the change to mixed precipitation.

At this time Christmas Day looks mild at 0C with just a few flurries. Sadly all that wonderful powder we have will be soaked with rain and then freeze up. Be careful sledding or skiing.

Beyond Christmas Day, Boxing Day looks dry and chilly before another system is forecast to bring more mild air and rain by the weekend.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brief break in the action

The weather is sunny and windy and cold this morning with north winds gusting over 30km/h in most areas and -15C in Kemptville. They are approaching 50km/h in Ottawa with drifting snow and cold wind chills. Look for a dry day today albeit cold and windy. Tuesday should be very pleasant with temperatures moderating and abundant sunshine. It is the best travel day of the week.
Another low pressure area in the parade of storms will move down the St. Lawrence Valley on Christmas Eve. This storm will have milder air with it and the potential for a rain-snow mix in places does exist. It will be a close call with some of our reading area getting snow while others the mix. Look for about 10cm of snow in most regions before the mix arrives. Freezing rain is possible as well. Travel will become poor again as it has been since Thursday in many parts of the country.
From west to east the first day of winter yesterday was marked by heavy snow, blizzards and cold. Vancouver is buried under 25cm of snow as is most of New Brunswick. Only coastal areas of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia are snow free at this time. The rest of the country and well into the northern 1/3rd of the US will have a white Christmas.

Yesterday Kemptville had 15-20cm of snow. The photos are a small sample of what I took yesterday during the safe. An update on the rest of the weeks weather will be posted later today.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Storm Update

A dry slot has worked into the region after a general 15cm snowfall occurred in most regions of southern and eastern Ontario. This is temporary as a burst of steady snow remains to our southwest and will move into the area shortly. Winds will also increase from the north and northwest producing considerable blowing and drifting snow tonight. If you must travel do so carefully as roads are snow covered and slippery and visibility may be reduced.
Strong winds and snow...just another Sunday

NOON Update: Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect - Here are some pictures I took this morning. The snow continues to fall heavily in the Kemptville region. We have had close to 10cm this morning, winds are gusting out of the northeast with low visibility and nasty driving conditions. The snow will continue all afternoon with another 10cm expected. Winds will increase out of the northwest at 40-60km/h.


Snowy and windy folks, a great day to stay inside, or close to home. The snow started just seconds ago in Kemptville and it is quickly becoming heavy with gusty northeast winds and blowing snow. Warnings are in effect for all our travel regions from Toronto into eastern Quebec and south into the northern portions of New York and most of New England. The culprit is a double low pressure area one in the lower lakes and the second moving up the east coast. The two will deliver 15-25cm of snow today with close to 30cm in southern Quebec. Winds are already gusting to 50km/h in Montreal and a little lower in Ontario. As the cold front on the back edge of the Great Lakes storm moves into southern Ontario later this morning, winds will increase from the southwest along Lake Ontario and the Seaway and increase to between 50 and 70km/h causing very poor visibilities in blowing and drifting snow. They will remain lighter in the 416 corridor. It is very cold as well with wind chills in the -20's

Next update by noon with photos I hope!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Heavy snow on the way

Storm 2 in Kemptville last night. The wind was strong and blew around the 5-10cm of snow.

Low pressure developing over the southern US will rapidly strengthen as it heads for New Brunswick on Sunday. This storm will produce heavy snow in the St. Lawrence Valley and along the north shore of Lakes Ontario and Erie. The snow will begin Sunday by noon and continue into Monday morning. Winds will become a factor as well gusting over 50km/h all along the 401 from Windsor to the Quebec border, and eastward along highway 20 towards Quebec City. The snow will accumulate from 15-25cm in all areas with considerable blowing and drifting. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for all of southern and eastern Ontario, southern Quebec, Vermont and New York. Travel will be greatly impacted Sunday. If you can delay your plans avoid travel till at least Monday morning.

Another Winter Storm

Storm number three in the parade of winter storms is about to move into our regions. Yesterdays system was potent with between 10-30cm falling from Windsor to Ottawa. About 10cm fell in Kemptville, and it was blown around by strong winds. Last evening driving was very challenging across the entire area. Several highways including the 401 had to be closed because of major accidents. Conditions are better today, the wind has eased and the snow is over with the exception of a few flurries. Roads remain snow covered and slippery, caution is advised.

The next system has prompted Winter Storm Warnings for most regions from northern New York across northern Vermont and into southern Quebec including Montreal. That region is expecting between 15-25cm of snow with strong winds, beginning mid day Sunday and ending Monday morning. Our area is still under a Watch. I imagine that will upgraded at some time today once the snow totals can be nailed down a bit better. In any event Sunday will be snowy and windy with very poor travel.

Many airports in the east including Pearson are rushing to accommodate the back log of flights from yesterdays storm. Call ahead if you are flying out today. Drive safely. My next update will be before 6pm today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowy & Cold

UPDATE: Blowing Snow Warning has been issued for Kemptville, Ottawa and region. Snow and gusty northeast winds are reducing visibility on area highways, and will till later this evening when the snow tapers off.

At left - Kemptville at 2:30pm today...

The snow has started in Kemptville and with the gusty winds it is quite miserable out there. Look for steady snow well into the evening with between 5-10cm falling. It is very cold as well. The northeast winds have lowered temperatures to -18C in Montreal and -16C in Kemptville and Ottawa. Wind chills are close to -30C.

IMPORTANT Travel Weather

NOON UPDATE: The storm is well underway in southern Ontario with bursts of heavy snow along the 401 and very strong winds. Winds have gusted to 86km/h at Long Point on Lake Erie and 74km/h at Burlington. The snow is now as far east as Kingston and will begin this afternoon in Kemptville. Look for steady snow, gusty winds and biting cold this afternoon into this evening.

• From earlier today: Well it is getting very close to Christmas, and this is a big shopping and travel weekend. Lets get right into the weather. Strong low pressure over Illinois today will race to New York City and into the Atlantic. This storm will push a wide swath of snow and brisk winds into the region today. The worst travel will be from Kingston west to Windsor and south into New York State and New England. Warnings are in place for those areas with 15-25cm expected. Kemptville, Ottawa and Montreal will remain on the northern edge of the winter storm. The weather will be cold with gusty northeast winds and anywhere from 5-10cm of snow, the least north and more south.

Saturday will be an ideal travel day, sunny, cold and dry.

Sunday will be very poor again with another major storm producing heavy snow in all regions with strong winds. Look for 10-20cm for that storm.

Monday looks decent again before yet another storm takes shape for late Tuesday into Christmas Eve.

I will update the blog often this weekend, also the links on the left are current and provide lots of additional information.

Happy Holidays and be safe....

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Friday...storm Sunday

Ok so here it is, I just finished reading several different forecast products from a couple of weather offices on both sides of the border and I am going to try and sum up the next couple of days. First of all I will not use big, stupid words like some of the weather offices in, oh lets say Toronto did yesterday. Why scare the public for no reason. This is snow people, slow down and plan ahead, we will make it.

So the first system now looks like it will travel well south of us on Friday. After a partly sunny and chilly day today, clouds will increase Friday with snow developing from southwest to northeast by noon. Look for 5-15cm from Ottawa to the Seaway, with more closer to Lake Ontario. Winds will be gusty out of the northeast and it will be a raw and chilly day.

Saturday looks like the best day with sunshine, breezy and quite cold. The next storm will move from the Ohio Valley to southern Ontario Sunday and spread heavy snow with strong winds all along the 401 corridor towards Montreal. This storm has the potential to produce more than 20cm of snow. It is still early but the forecast models are pointing to that scenario.

That will be followed by decent days both Monday & Tuesday before another storm tales shape for Christmas Eve. Temperatures will remain cold throughout the period in Ontario, Quebec, New York and New England.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Major snowstorm coming

7-10cm fell in Kemptville overnight.

This mornings snow has passed well south and east of Kemptville this afternoon. About 10cm generally fell across the are with a little less in Ottawa and a little more along the Seaway. The snow was accompanied by some gusty winds with some drifting reported. Tomorrow will be a quiet day before the onslaught of storms begin, just prior to the busiest travel week of the year.

Low pressure is expected to develop in the southern US plains and move northeast towards the Great Lakes. The perfect ingredients will be in place for a big winter storm, that is a solid pool of arctic air with very warm moist air streaming north from the US. The snow, combined with strong winds will develop late Thursday near Windsor and spread east Friday towards Montreal by late in the day. The potential exists for 15cm or more of snow. Once that system passes an even stronger storm is forecast to take a very similar path with at least 15cm more of snow and maybe even 30cm in places. It is early in the forecast so lets deal with Friday's storm first. Look for Winter Storm Watches to be hoisted within the next 15 to 18 hours for this region and all of southern Ontario. Prepare now for severe winter weather this weekend and plan your driving accordingly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Clipper on the way

I am watching two storm systems that promise to replace all the snow that melted away with yesterdays rain and plus 9C weather. A clipper system from the Midwest will give 5-10cm of snow across the region tonight and Wednesday. No warnings have been issued with this storm here in Ontario, but a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for upstate New York. Snow will overspread the area from west to east tonight and continue into the early afternoon Wednesday. Once this system passes we are watching another more potent storm for Friday. More on that later today. Drive safe....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thunderstorms in December

11am UPDATE: Don't be too surprised if you hear the rumble of thunder today. Some decent thunderstorms have developed along the arctic boundary that is slipping across Ontario and New York. Very strong winds are developing ahead of the front. To show you how dynamic this front is, parts of Oklahoma yesterday went from 27C down to 0C (80 to 32F) in just a few hours. Today it is plus 11C in Toronto at 11am and -20C in Thunder Bay. Windsor is already down to 2C with 60km/h winds. Be prepared for damaging winds today and dropping temperatures in Ontario and Quebec.

Icy Roads

Freezing rain on Riverside in Ottawa at 3:30pm Sunday. Photo SB

I am rarely caught by surprise when it comes to weather, but I was last night. I was driving back from Ottawa when the snow turned to freezing rain. The freezing rain was steady and heavy in places and iced up the roads quickly. Despite it being above freezing when I left Kemptville, the Ottawa region was still well below freezing with a light northeast wind. It has since warmed up to well above freezing but not before a dozen accidents including a fatal collision at Albion and Rideau in rural south end Ottawa occurred late Sunday afternoon.

Please slow down, it is going to be a very unsettled week with mild air being replaced by cold air again and plenty of opportunities for roads to ice up. There will also be several rounds of snow this week, and it will be very cold next week up to Christmas.

• In other weather news, roads are still closed across the Dakotas, Montana and some in Saskatchewan after a fierce blizzard over the weekend created zero visibility and high drifts. It is frigid as well with wind chills below -40C, and as cold as -60 in places.

• Hydro Quebec has sent down 25 teams of linemen to New Hampshire to help restore power after last weeks ice storm. Nearly 1 million people were left without power after nearly an inch of freezing rain fell. 9 counties in Massachusetts have been declared federal disaster areas as well as several in southern New Hampshire. Power is expected to be restored by weeks end but workers are being hampered by thousands of downed trees.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Active Week Ahead

After a cold Saturday, temperatures have moderated significantly over the past 24 hours. Kemptville was -25C yesterday morning and -1C currently. The temperature rose throughout the night in response to deep low pressure over Wisconsin and a warm front across the Great Lakes. The warm air will be in our region for about 36 hours with temperatures rising to nearly 8C in our area. It will be short lived as much colder air moves in on Tuesday. The balance of the week will be unsettled with snow expected on Wednesday and again Friday. It is too early to say how much will fall in Ontario and Quebec, but it could be more than 5cm. The temperatures will be fairly seasonable all week with the really cold arctic air remaining to our west. Looking briefly into Christmas week it looks cold and snowy, so I am going to go out on a limb and predict a white Christmas for Kemptville, Ottawa and Montreal. Maybe even Toronto may get in on the act, but that would only be very close to Christmas Day. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Hampshire/Mass Ice Storm

Here are a few Boston Globe pictures of the mess in southern interior New England. Ten of thousands are without power and damage is widespread from freezing rain.

Prairie Blizzard - East Coast Storm

Low pressure near New York City this morning continues to generate snow just south of Kemptville along the St. Lawrence Valley. 10-15cm is expected from Cornwall to Montreal with only 2-4cm here in Kemptville. The storm will race off to the Maritimes today with freezing rain and snow for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Significant snow and ice has occurred in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire overnight. Radar at 7am is showing light snow just south of Kemptville along the 416. All precip will be over by noon.

Meanwhile all the conditions are coming together for a fierce, life threatening blizzard in southern Saskatchewan and northern Montana tonight and Saturday. This is a direct quote from the National Weather service office in Glasgow, Montana;


Low pressure will move across Montana and generate 10-20cm of snow across that area and southern Sask. Meanwhile temperatures will plummet into thew -20's with winds increasing to over 70km/h. Dangerous wind chills and near zero visibility is expected Saturday. All travel should be avoided south of the Trans Canada Highway in southern Saskatchewan tonight and Saturday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect with a Blizzard Watch.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Winter Storm

AP Photo of snow in New Orleans this morning.

The strong storm system that brought snow to the deep south last night has moved to Mississippi this afternoon. North of the storm a wide swath of snow and rain has moved as far as New York and Vermont. The storm is forecast to move through New England into Friday. Forecasters have now extended the warnings for heavy snow north and west towards the St. Lawrence River. Look for a period of steady snow even in Kemptville overnight. I feel just a few centimetres will fall here but as much as 10-15cm could fall from Cornwall to Montreal with 15-25cm along the south shore of Montreal towards Burlington, Vermont and Plattsburgh, NY. Travel will be very poor into Quebec and south into the US overnight and into Friday morning. Gusty northeast winds will produce blowing snow all along the 401 and Quebec highway 20 east into Montreal.

The Maritimes will also be hit with this storm with a prolonged period of freezing rain in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Roads remain poor

An icy sunset yesterday afternoon in Kemptville. Photo SB

The combination of ice build up from the snow and freezing rain yesterday and the extreme cold this morning has resulted in icy and snow packed roads across may areas in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Temperatures were as cold as -20 in Kemptville this morning. Nearly 20cm of snow fell in Kemptville with close to 30cm in both Montreal and Ottawa. The snow was mixed with sleet and a prolonged period of freezing rain, especially in the St. Lawrence Valley. The ice resulted in nearly 60,000 Hydro customers loosing power in Quebec.

Our attention now turns to another major storm that is moving up the eastern seaboard from the Gulf States. Snow has been reported as far south as Houston and New Orleans. The system will move up the east coast and send heavy snow and ice inland over New England and into southern and eastern Quebec. 15-25cm of snow is forecast for Vermont with amounts trailing off quickly north and west. As the storm moves south and east of Ontario tonight we may see a little light snow along the Seaway, possibly a few centimetres in eastern Ontario and as much as 10cm in southern Quebec. Winds will increase out of the northeast and it will be raw and cold tonight and Friday.

The ice brought down trees and power lines in Montreal. Gazette Photo

The weekend will be milder by Sunday with showers possibly on Monday. If you are travelling south this weekend be prepared for a major ice and snow storm along the east coast of the US.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poor Travel

Mercier Bridge Traffic Cam in Montreal this morning tells the whole story...

Kemptville Mall in the ice and steady snow at 6:45am this morning.

Very poor travel conditions prevail across eastern Ontario and western Quebec at this hour. The cold air just never moved out yesterday and the precipitation remained frozen. The very dense arctic air remained in place and the best we could do in Kemptville was -4C at midnight. It has since dropped to -7C. In the snow department, a good 20cm has accumulated across the region. In Kemptville we also had several hours of freezing rain that deposited about 5mm of ice on top of the snow. It has since changed back to steady snow. The storm has forced cancellation of all school buses in Eastern Ontario including Ottawa. Add to that the OC Transpo strike - nice timing guys - and we are experiencing a very difficult travel morning. All highways are snow covered and very icy. The back edge of precipitation is about two hours away so expect the snow to taper off shortly. Winds are gusty and temperatures are dropping again. As a matter of fact the warm air made it as close as the US/Canada border but no further. In the last hour Highgate, Vermont, on the border has dropped over 8 degrees back well below freezing. Winter Storm Warnings remain posted for all regions with Winter Weather Advisories south of the border in St. Lawrence County.

In Montreal traffic is terrible. The Victoria Bridge to the south shore is closed this morning due to ice build up adding to the woes. My gal left work last night at 5:45pm from downtown, and a 20 minute trip took almost three hours. Today numerous schools are closed, and there are reports of sporadic power outages due to the ice and snow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Winter Storm continues

Low pressure nearing Lake Ontario will continue to slide over our region tonight. Heavy snow has accumulated from 10-20cm over most parts of the 416 corridor north into Ottawa and east into Montreal. The cold air remained well entrenched in the valley allowing for more snow and less liquid precipitation than first expected. Radar at 6:30 is still showing steady precip for the next several hours in our area. Look for snow and freezing rain to continue until well after midnight. The temperatures are critical at this hour 0C in Brockville, -5C in Kemptville and -9C in Ottawa. Drive with great care or wait till tomorrow to travel.

Winter Storm Warning

1:30pm Update: The Winter Storm Warnings have been extended to the Kemptville, Leeds and Grenville Region. All of Eastern Ontario is now under a warning.

Steady snow continues to fall at 1:30pm with about 5-7cm on the ground. Most regions can expect another 10-20cm of snow, mixed with freezing rain. The precipitation will be heavy at times and continue well into the overnight period. The warm air will be very close to Kemptville. It is currently plus 4C in Kingston but -8C in Kemptville. Winds are causing blowing snow along the 416 as well.

Winter Storm Warnings have been posted from the ski country north of Toronto near Georgian Bay eastward through the National Capital District and the Ottawa Valley and across the regions north of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. Low pressure over Missouri will rapidly move down the St. Lawrence River with heavy snow falling to the north of the storm track, and a mix of precipitation along the track. Milder air and some rain will occur south of the low along the St. Lawrence River and 401 corridor. Where the precipitation remains as snow close to 20cm is expected. Look for around 15cm in Ottawa and 5-10cm in Kemptville before it mixes with sleet and freezing rain. Travel will be difficult in the region and east into Quebec for the next 24-36 hours. Cold air remains in place in Kemptville this morning with snow falling and -12C. It will warm close to the freezing mark here by days end.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Brrrrrrr its Frigid

What a freezing cold morning it was across Ontario and Quebec. Temperatures were running over 15 degrees below normal bottoming out at -21C in Kemptville. We actually had a windchill of -29C at midnight. Winds have since eased and the temperature has "warmed" to -15C with a windchill of -19C.

A very difficult forecast lies ahead of us. Low pressure developing over the plains will move towards the Great Lakes and become a potent storm. It will move down the St. Lawrence Valley on Wednesday. Ahead of the system warm air will surge into the region from the south and override the cold air at the surface. Snow and freezing rain is expected to develop on Tuesday and switch to rain late in the day and then back over to snow late Wednesday. It could become very mild south and east of the storm while areas west of the track will remain cold with heavy snow. There is still lots of uncertainty with this system and I will provide an update on the forecast later today. Anybody traveling in Ontario or Quebec the next couple of days should pay attention to the forecast and prepare for changeable winter weather.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Arctic air pours in

Eastern Ontario this afternoon... Blowing Snow near Manotick and a twisted Kemptville road sign knocked over by the cold winds along the 416.

After several centimetres of snow overnight a strong arctic front raced through the region this morning. Behind the front winds are gusting over 50km/h across the region and the temperature is plummeting. At 10am this morning Kemptville was -2C we are now -10C with a northwest wind of 50km/h and a windchill of -20C. It will dip down to -20C tonight. Roads are slippery and visibility is reduced in blowing snow in many areas.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Snowy weekend

It amazes me some times just how influential the Great Lakes can be to our weather here in North Grenville. The picture above was taken around 8:20 this morning and shows a steady plume of snow in our area caused my a streamer off Lake Ontario. Theses bands of snow are occurring ahead of the main area of precipitation associated with an Alberta Clipper racing east. The bulk of the snow, 5-10cm, will fall tonight and Sunday. Roads will be snow covered and slippery this morning and again late tonight and Sunday. Plan your travels accordingly. The snow will affect mainly eastern Ontario this morning but the clipper system will provide the 5-10cm area wide including Montreal. In addition to the snow, strong gusty winds from the southwest and then northwest will lower visibilities on Sunday. Temperatures will plummet Sunday night to near -18C as the coldest air this season moves in.

Friday, December 05, 2008

SNOW below normal temperatures

It will be a wintry weekend in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. A cold front has ushered in some mid-January temperatures. We are currently -9C in Kemptville, and I don't expect it will get much warmer than -4C today with a chilly breeze at times. Closer to the Great Lakes some snow will occur with up to 10cm forecast for parts of western New York and midwest Ontario.

A clipper system will move into the region on Saturday with light snow beginning late in the day and moving east overnight and into Sunday. Most regions will see from 5-10cm of snow. That will be followed by another shot of cold air for Monday and yest another system with snow for Tuesday. The balance of next week looks unsettled as well. The one thing that is certain is it will be chilly, so most of the precipitation will be snow. Winter is here so make sure your car is ready and slow down.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Colder weather

Much colder weather is on our doorstep this morning. It is well above freezing in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Valley's this morning with temperatures around 4C. A strong cold front is just to our west and will move through the region by noon. Any leftover precipitation will switch to flurries and arctic air will surge in. Look for the temperature to fall below freezing this afternoon and drop to -14C tonight. This cold air will remain well into next week with frequent periods of light snow over the weekend. Only major accumulations are expected around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay and east of Lake Ontario in upstate NY. Our region can expect 3-5cm of snow, in total, for the entire weekend. Drive safe today as the commute home may be icy in places.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Colder Air on the Way

A brief warm up is expected tomorrow before the coldest air of the season surges into eastern Ontario and western Quebec on Thursday. I expect some light rain and snow showers with the passage of the front late tomorrow and Thursday morning before changing to all snow and tapering off. Thursday will be windy and colder with numerous snow squalls in Ontario and dropping temperatures to well below -10C at night. We can expect another round of heavy lake effect snow in the traditional snow belts of southern Ontario and northern and western New York. Well over a foot of snow may fall in those regions beginning Thursday and Friday. More on that tomorrow. For the short term just a few scattered flurries tonight with temperatures around -3C.

This morning a surprise shot of snow developed along the 417 corridor west of Ottawa and moved through the city and then eastward while dissipating. A few quick centimetres lead to numerous accidents in the region including 16 in Ottawa alone. No snow fell here in Kemptvile as the burst of activity remained well north of the region. The snow was caused by a trough of low pressure moving rapidly east. The balance of today was fair but chilly with a gusty northwest wind.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Precipitation tapers off

It appears the bulk of the precipitation has moved northeast of the area this morning and most locations in the Seaway including Montreal and Kemptville are above freezing. While spotty freezing rain may still occur in pockets, I imagine that most of the warnings and advisories will be lowered shortly. The balance of the day will be mild with scattered showers or flurries. It will be windy as well. The next chance for any icing up of the roads will not occur until late the evening as the temperature approaches 0C again.

Tomorrow and Wednesday will be quiet before another storm system from western Canada brings a threat for snow by Thursday. It will also turn much colder into the weekend.

**Current radar is showing one more line of steady precipitation moving towards the 416 corridor at 7am this should pass through within the next hour or so.