Friday, February 27, 2009

Flash Freeze Warning

Heavy rain and mild temperatures produced massive potholes in Montreal today.

Temperatures are free falling behind a cold front in southern Quebec at this hour. It was the same story in Kemptville this afternoon. In one hour the mercury fell from 7C (45F)to -1C (30F) between 3 and 4pm. In Montreal we were 6C last hour and now we are down to -4C with steady snow and gusty winds. Roads have iced up and visibility is below 1km in snow. The snow should end quickly and skies clear with lows close to -20C in Kempville and -13C in Montreal.

Today the region had very heavy rain most of the afternoon. I don't have a rain gauge at my new location as of yet but I have to think at least 20mm fell. We will have to wait and see what the official amount was at the airport for Montreal and MNR building in Kemptville. I will post that data tomorrow.

Flash Freeze

A strong cold front associated with low pressure over central Ontario is racing east this morning. heavy rain is falling along the front with 10-20mm expected in most regions of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. The front will be accompanied by very strong winds with gusts up to 70km/h possible. This mornig gusts are already over 50km/h in many places.

At 9am the front is crossing eastern Ontario southwest towards Sarnia. It is 8C in Windsor and only 0C in Sarnia. That gives you an indication of the rapid drop in temperature that occurs with the passage of the front. In eastern Ontario it is 7C in Kemptville and 10C in Cornwall. Montreal is currently at 5C. Look for temperatures to plummet to -5 to -10C by this evening with any rain changing over to light snow and ending rapidly. Any wet surfaces will freeze quickly, keep this in mind if you are travelling this afternoon in Ontario or tonight in Quebec.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Storm 1 West - Storm 2 East

Today was very mild across Ontario and Quebec with temperatures of 6C in Kemptville and 3C in Montreal. The warm air will continue to surge into our region ahead of a gathering storm, storm 1, over Kansas. This system will move west of our region towards Lake Huron with a wide swath of steady precipitation and wind. Heavy snow is expected over central Ontario and Quebec with 15-25cm forecast. Further south along the lower lakes and the St. Lawrence Valley expect 10-20mm of rain on Friday. The rain will be accompanied by very strong southwest winds along and ahead of an arctic front. Wind Advisories have been issued for upstate New York and Vermont as well as the St. Lawrence Valley. Expect winds to gust from 30-50km/h with isolated gusts over 70km/h. The winds should diminish in the afternoon as the temperature begins to drop. After a high close to 7C temperatures will plummet down to the minus teens by Saturday morning. Any leftover rain will change to flurries in Kemptville late in the day Friday and Montreal by evening.

Storm 2 that was being shown by some computer models to become a big weather maker for Montreal is now expected to take a path further east out in the Atlantic Ocean. It should completely miss Montreal but will affect the Maratimes on Sunday. Our weekend weather will be fair and chilly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More snow & rain - maybe a weekend storm

After a sunny day today and quite mild it looks like stormy weather is on the way. The first system is a warm front that is poised to bring Kemptville and Montreal milder air and a little light snow into early tomorrow morning. Just a centimetre or two is possible mixed with some light rain. The sun may even make an appearance in the afternoon with temperatures rising to 6C. That system will be followed by a stronger storm moving north from the Midwest US. This storm will pass to our west on Friday and produce about 10mm southern Mianeof rain with very mild temperatures.

Saturday will be a fair and chilly day before another storm, this one a powerful coastal system moves north along the Atlantic seaboard. This system will follow a path similar to last weeks storm, with the heaviest snow falling to the east and tapering off rapidly as you move west towards Kemptville. Speaking of last weekends storm it was quite a weather maker. Montreal was on the western edge of the coastal storm and we still managed 21cm of snow and several hours of visibility below 1 kilometre. The precipitation fell for over 36 hours with strong winds and low visibility making travel difficult. A major accident near St. Zotique on the 20 closed it for several hours Monday night. The storm was far worse towards the east with portions of Vermont receiving 60cm. In Maine, New Hampshire and New Brunswick over 65cm of heavy wet snow occurred. The fierce winds and heavy snow toppled trees and power lines in Maine with over 140,000 customers without power at the height of the storm (photo above). Crews from as far as Vermont have been called in to help restore power. As of today about 20,000 customers remain in the dark.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blowing Snow - Icy Roads

Above: Blowing snow near Highway 15 on the South Shore. Below: Clearing away the 15cm that fell in the last 24 hours.

Low pressure over New Brunswick continues to push light snow over the Montreal and Quebec City region. 10-15cm of snow has occurred over the last 24 hours in our region with less in eastern Ontario. Skies have actually cleared across most of the Ottawa region south into the Seaway. Snow amounts were very impressive across New England and into New Brunswick where close to 50cm has been reported. Behind the departing low winds have begun to increase in Montreal with gusts over 50km/h. The wind combined with the new powder is producing areas of considerable blowing snow and reduced visibility especially across the south shore and west of the island towards the Ontario border. The snow will end later this afternoon but the winds will not abate till overnight. In addition temperatures have fallen to -9c, so it is quite chilly outside. Travel with care today as road conditions vary from wet to snow covered.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Storm Update

Quebec Provincial Police tend to one of several accidents today on snow covered highways in southern Quebec. This one was at Highway 15 and Rome Blvd.

Low pressure near New York City continues to deepen and move towards Maine. Radar shows light snow in Montreal and just flurries across eastern Ontario. The snow will end in Ontario but continue in Quebec well into Monday. Look for storm totals of 5-10cm in Ottawa, 10-15cm in Montreal, and over 20cm in Burlington and points eastward. The Eastern Townships and counties along the US border remain under Winter Storm Warnings. Heavy snow has now moved as far north as Burlington and will continue to spread north and west towards the Quebec border and Plattsburg NY. Roads are snow covered and visibility is poor.

Major storm tracks east

A big winter storm will keep Kemptville and Montreal just on its western flank. The system is currently part of two low pressure areas, a weakening one over the Great Lakes and a much stronger one developing near New York City. The NYC storm will become the major system and intensify rapidly as it move towards Maine and New Brunswick. Kemptville and Ottawa can expect 5-10cm of snow with 10-15cm in Montreal over the next 24 hours. South of our region in New York and New England, winter storm warnings have been hoisted. Snow will accumulate 10-20cm in western zones such as Plattsburg and Massena with 20-50cm in areas east of the Champlain Valley. Heavy snow is also forecast across southeastern Quebec in the Townships and into New Hampshire, Maine and New Brunswick. In addition to the heavy snow all regions will see increasing northwest winds late tonight and Monday causing considerable blowing and drifting snow with dropping temperatures. The next 24 hours will be challenging on eastern Ontario and Quebec roads for travel and nearly impossible on Vermont highways especially east of the Champlain Valley.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Another storm on the way

The calm before the storm: Lake Champlain looking west at the snowy Adirondack Mountains of NY earlier today. Photo SB

Low pressure moving south of the Great Lakes this evening will slide across New York state while a second area of low pressure begins to develop along the Atlantic Seaboard. The combination of the two systems will provide our regions with steady snow from tonight into Monday morning. At present most of eastern Ontario and the St. Lawrence Valley including Kemptville can expect 5-10cm of snow with gusty winds primarily from storm number 1. The snow is near Kingston as of 6:30pm.

The forecast for southern Quebec is a little more tricky as low number 2 becomes the dominant system. It will rapidly intensify as it moves northeast towards Maine. Heavy snow along the western edge of the system could reach Montreal and increase totals here to well over 10cm by Monday. Meanwhile Vermont and eastern New York are under Winter Storm Warnings and they are expecting totals well in excess of 25cm. Some areas of the eastern Green Mountains may see close to 40cm by the time the system moves east.

Warnings may be required for southern Quebec. I will post an update on this storm early Sunday morning. Any travel along the 416/401/20 or Interstates south into the US tomorrow should be reconsidered if possible.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Some snow - some sun

Crews work to clear away the 15cm of wet snow in Lasalle early yesterday morning.

The weekend forecast has a little something for everyone. It will be partly sunny on Saturday with a few flurries. A clipper system will race across the area late Saturday and Sunday with a potential 5-10cm of snow and gusty winds. Temperatures will be a little chilly around -5C, but decent for February.

Yesterdays storm behaved as expected. The wet snow accumulated around 10-15cm in most areas in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec with some rain mixing in as well. It was an overall yucky day, very cool and damp. Roads were snow covered and slippery in the morning, but rapidly improved with the mild air by midday. Behind the system winds have been gusty over 40km/h and some lake effect snow has been occurring south and east of Georgian Bay and on the US side of the border along Interstate 81 between Watertown and Syracuse. The squalls have been quite intense in places with heavy snow and low visibility.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SNOW update

A Snowfall Warning remains in effect for Montreal. Wet snow has just began to fall in the region and will rapidly thicken up and become heavy this evening. Radar shows the snow is variable in intensity from Toronto all the way east to Montreal. There are periods of heavy snow followed by none at all. Winds are gusting over 40km/h in Montreal causing some blowing snow as well. Look for 10-20cm across eastern Ontario and western Quebec tonight into Thursday. Temperatures will remain close to the freezing mark, and some rain may mix in with the snow especially on Thursday.

Accident closes 401 at Summerstown

From AM 1220... Crash Expected To Close Eastbound 401 Near Summerstown Most Of Today

February 18, 2009 — The eastbound lanes of Highway 401 near Summerstown are expected to be closed most of today. Fire fighters are battling a blaze after two transport trucks collided just after 6am this morning. Police say both drivers suffered minor injuries. The O.P.P. say a transport carrying furniture and store products caught fire after colliding with another big rig. Traffic detours are in place as that section of the highway is expected to be closed for a better part of the day.

In addition snow is beginning to fall from Cornwall to Kingston. Road conditions are very changeable. The snow is moving east and should start in Montreal early this afternoon.

Snowfall Warning

Once again this morning we are faced with a similar forecast for both Ontario and Quebec, however, because Environment Canada seems a little confused with the criteria for weather warnings, Montreal is under a Snowfall Warning and Ottawa/Kemptville is not. Let me explain; 15cm in 12 hours or less is the criteria for a heavy snowfall warning. Montreal is expecting 15cm by daybreak Thursday, while Ottawa and Kemptville may not reach 15cm till a few minutes later. You get the idea, it is splitting hairs. The weather will create poor travel so the public should be advised. Environment Canada needs to do like the National Weather Service in the US and standardize the warning system clear across the country. I feel the current use of weather warnings really can confuse the average person. This is especially true when several different weather warnings are issued for the same event. OK enough with the rant...

Now the details: Low pressure in Illinois will move towards Toronto tonight while a second system takes shape in Tennessee. The two will provide mild air and precipitation to the region. Close to the Great Lakes most of that precipitation will fall as rain. Further north in the Ottawa Valley and Montreal it will be wet snow. The snow will start this afternoon, with the heaviest snow falling this evening before tapering off to showers and flurries by Thursday morning. Winds will be gusty up to 50km/h especially in the St. Lawrence Valley. Travel may be difficult this afternoon and overnight in eastern Ontario and Southwestern Quebec with low visibility and snow covered roads. The same is true across upstate New York and northern Vermont where Winter Weather Advisories are posted. Winter Weather Advisories are issued for 8-15cm of snow or ice for the event.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The calm before the storm

The Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall on a beautiful day. Below: Last nights sunset was fiery in Montreal.

What a splendid day it was across eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec today. The mercury nudged just over the 0C mark and the sun was warm. It almost felt like spring. I had to head down the 401 to Cornwall today and the drive was perfect. It will not be perfect for the balance of the week. Consider today the calm before our next storm.

Low pressure organizing in the Midwest will move towards Toronto on Wednesday and deepen. The system will spread precipitation across Ontario and Quebec beginning mid-day tomorrow and continuing into Thursday. We can expect mostly rain south of a line from Kingston to Peterborough and south towards Windsor. North of that line in places like Ottawa, Kemptville, Montreal and Cornwall look for 5-10cm of wet snow before it mixes with rain on Thursday. The entire mess will change back to light snow and taper off by Friday. Winds will be very gusty from 30-50km/h out of the northeast and then southeast with the strongest winds in the St. Lawrence Valley. The track of the storm is still a little uncertain. If it moves further south across New York we may see more snow. Stay tuned I will post an update early tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some snow on the way

Today turned out mostly cloudy in Montreal as a stubborn northeast flow maintained low clouds and flurries around the region. Eastern Ontario for the most was sunny, and I can now see the clouds beginning to erode to my west so I imagine the clearing is moving east.

This week we will see a return to a more stormy pattern. It has been almost snowless this month after so much of the white stuff in January. Montreal has had only 1.6cm of snow while Ottawa has recorded 1.4cm. This is well below the normal up to February 16th of 43cm and 46cm respectively.

The storm this week will take shape in the Mississippi Valley and move northeast towards Lake Ontario. Plenty of warm air will accompany the system so it will not be an entire snow event. Snow will spread across Ontario and Quebec on Wednesday with about 10-15cm falling from Kemptville and Ottawa east towards Montreal. The snow will then mix with freezing rain and possibly rain by Thursday morning before changing back to snow and ending late Thursday. This system is quite complex so the forecast is subject to change. It will be messy for driving from mid week through Friday so keep this in mind.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

52nd Daytona 500

I like weather, but I love racing. After what has seemed like and eternity of an off season, racing returns today at the Daytona International Speedway with the 52nd running of NASCAR's Daytona 500. I have not missed a 500 since 1979, including being down there in Florida for the 1991 race. The weather will be partly cloudy with showers, humid and a high of 20C.

Our weather is great today, sunny and pleasant with temperatures around minus 4C. The next threat for stormy weather will come with a system moving from the Rockies across the Midwest and into New England by late Wednesday. It could be a significant system for Montreal and Kermptville but it is too soon to tell. For now it will remain dry and pleasant till at least early Wednesday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Calm for a few days

Paul Swinwood took this photo for me yesterday of the rushing Kemptville Creek. Cooler weather should allow for the water flow to slow.

I started this post over 36 hours ago but the power went out here in Brossard as a result of moisture on the transformers and then I was at work so it never was finished. We are looking at a calm period weather wise as high pressure moves over the region and dominates well into next week. Temperatures will be near normal with abundant sunshine.

Yesterdays storm produced some impressive rainfall totals across Ontario and Quebec. Montreal had 29mm, Kemptville 22mm, Ottawa 27mm and Brockville 24mm. This combined with the rapid melting of snow has caused area rivers and streams to begin to rise. Flooding has even been reported south of us in New York state where a number of flood watches and warnings are in effect. The cooler weather and sunshine should allow for the rivers to slowly recede.

Last nights weather may have been responsible for a deadly plane crash in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center, NY (15km from Buffalo/Niagra Airport). The Canadian built aircraft on route from Newark with 49 on board plunged into a home shortly after 10:20pm last night. All on board and one person on the ground were killed. It was snowing at the time with fog and icing conditions present. The investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rain & Thunderstorms

I want to thank everyone who has allowed me to surpass 20,000 hits on this blog. I love to talk about the weather and I am so grateful that
you like to read about it. Thank you again, Merci mille fois!

Above: The full snow moon sets over Montreal. The best I could do yesterday was this salt truck waiting for the freezing rain to start. Below: AP Photo of Tornado damage in Oklahoma.

There is plenty to talk about this morning, lets start with yesterdays non event, or was it. Very little freezing rain occurred anywhere really. There was just a few drops of it north of Montreal and none in Kemptville, however it was enough to cancel all the school buses and cause several major multi vehicle accidents on the Laurentian autoroute north of Montreal. SLOW DOWN!

Secondly very mild air is now streaming northward behind the warm front. It is already 6C in Kemptville and 8C in Toronto - a record high. Montreal however is very slow to warm and we are at -3C. All areas should see highs between plus 7 and 10C today with plenty of snow melting. Adding to the melt will be heavy rain. Heavy Rain Warnings have been hoisted by Environment Canada for all of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley. Expect 15-25mm or one inch of rain from this evening through mid-day Thursday. The rain may be enhanced by isolated thunderstorms. This system, which developed in north Texas, produced the first wave of severe weather last night. Several major tornadoes swept across Oklahoma knocking power out to over 30,000 people just two weeks after their ice storm. Nine deaths have been attributed to the severe weather with the hardest hit community being Lone Grove, Oklahoma. Today things should quiet down as far as severe weather goes but the flood threat will remain in many areas, and winds will increase in all areas.

As the system moves east of us on Thursday look for much colder air, flurries and winds over 60km/h. Wind warnings may be needed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Freezing Rain Update

At left: Interstate 94 in North Dakota during freezing rain and fog there yesterday. The same system will affect us today.

The freezing rain is spreading across eastern Ontario this morning and moving into the Ottawa Valley and the St. Lawrence Valley. Look for the rain to overspread the Montreal region by noon. It may be fairly steady for a few hours, with 2-4 mm of ice accumulation expected. All school buses across the eastern Ontario region from Brockville to Ottawa and east to the Quebec border have been cancelled today as a result of the freezing rain. Freezing rain warnings are in effect for all our regions from Kingston and Smiths Falls east towards Montreal and the Laurentians.

The freezing rain will taper from west to east by midnight tonight. Travel will be impacted today but will improve for Wednesday as temperatures warm above freezing. Wednesday and Thursday morning will be mild and foggy with rain before a cold front sweeps the area on Thursday with some snow and slightly cooler temperatures.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Freezing rain on the way

Freezing Rain Warnings have been posted for southwestern Quebec including Montreal and they likely will be issued for the eastern Ontario region including Ottawa later tonight. A warm front extending from low pressure in South Dakota will move across the area on Tuesday. Along and ahead of the front a band of freezing rain will develop early in the morning and persist till late in the day with 2-4mm of ice expected. The freezing rain will gradually end as the temperature slowly rises above the 0C mark by late Tuesday or early Wednesday. Travel will be icy for most of Tuesday and caution is advised.

Winter Storm Watch

Environment Canada has posted a Winter Storm Watch for most of eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley for Tuesday. Low pressure over the Midwest will lift a warm front across Ontario and southwest Quebec during the day Tuesday. Precipitation in the form of light snow will begin in the morning, but rapidly change to freezing rain. The freezing rain could last up to six hours in Ottawa and Montreal. Cold air is dense and very stubborn to move out of the valley locations. Often in these scenarios quite a bit of ice accretion can form. It does not take a lot of ice to create treacherous driving. At present we are looking at 3-5mm of freezing rain before the change to rain as temperatures warm above freezing for Wednesday. If you have to travel on Tuesday make sure to check for the latest forecast. I will post an update on this weather event around 5pm today.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Mild Weekend

The sun sets in spectacular fashion today behind the Mercier Bridge in Lasalle. SB Photo

A warm front will lift north of the St. Lawrence Valley on Saturday bringing along with it some of the mildest air so far in 2009. Along the front both Montreal and Kemptville as well as the rest of the region can expect a little light freezing drizzle or drizzle until noon before temperatures warm to 5C. Sunday a cold front will cross the region dropping temperatures back below freezing with a burst of steady snow along the frontal passage. Winds will become quite strong as well on Sunday. No big storms are expected for the near term.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Warmer weather ahead

Clearing streets in Lasalle yesterday. It was a deadly day in the city with three deaths caused by dump trucks.

Montreal just finished a month where the mercury only rose above zero once (1.5C) and over 71cm of snow fell. Kemptville was no better with one dayover 0C as well (0.7) and over 45cm of snow. Montreal currently has more than 33cm of snow on the ground at Dorval with much more in the surrounding suburbs. It has been a cold, damp and raw winter so far, no better than last year. We are in for a little bit of a break this week across Ontario and Quebec. The big storm that threatened us Tuesday passed well to our east hitting Nova Scotia yesterday. We can expect a cold day today and Thursday before an appreciable warming trend into the weekend. It should rise above freezing to 5C on Saturday and Sunday before we cool off next week. With the exception of a little freezing rain or showers Saturday we look storm free for the moment.

Montreal has over 4100km of roads and 6500km of sidewalks to clear after each snowstorm. it is a monumental task involving hundreds of employees and pieces of equipment. They often work very long hours. In the past two days snow clearing crews have been involved in three major accidents resulting in three pedestrians being killed and 1 motorist injured. Just a reminder, give these crews the space they need, they are often under pressure to get the job done.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Groundhog Day

Six More Weeks of Winter
At 7:28am this morning in Punxsutawney, PA for the 123rd year Phil came out and made his prediction. Sadly for those of us who are fed up with winter, the news was not good. Stock up on washer fluid and patience as it looks like another 6 weeks of winter and not an early spring, he saw his shadow.

Meanwhile Sam in Nova Scotia and Wiarton Willie in Ontario are still preparing their predictions. More to follow. The real forecast today is for very mild conditions with highs close to 0C in Kemptville and Montreal.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ok not such a perfect weekend

Above: Lots of blowing snow yesterday along Highway 15 and the south shore.
Below: The big cleanup continues on the West Island from Wednesday's 25cm.

The cold air has refused to budge here in the St. Lawrence Valley. On this Super Sunday we are still at -15C in Montreal with gusty northeast winds (it is 14C in Tampa with a high of 21C for the Super Bowl). Yesterday was sunny but windy and cold with lots of blowing snow around. The temperature fell most of the day and bottomed out close to -20C. We have also had a couple of centimetres of snow for good measure. It should warm up slightly this week and the threat for that big snowstorm on Tuesday has passed well east of us. It should remain dry in Montreal and Kemptville.

Tomorrow is Groundhog Day, yes we made it through another January. I will wrap of the month tomorrow, I am still digesting the stats for the month, but suffice to say it was cold and snowy. You can use the link at the upper left to watch Phil's predictions.