Monday, December 14, 2009


At one point yesterday, Edmonton International, south of the city centre, was the coldest major city on the planet. The airport hit -46.1C at 5am yesterday morning, and warmed to a sultry -33C for a daytime high. The cold arctic air has the west in its grip with some relief in sight by the end of this week. In the meantime windchill warnings are in effect for all three Prairie provinces. It does not take much of a breeze to produce dangerous wind chills when the temperature is below -30C let alone -40C. The cold has established dozens of records in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The cold air has spread west over the Rockies and along the Pacific Coast. Couple that with moisture moving inland and you get heavy snow, lots of it in Vancouver and Victoria and inland. Some areas will have 20cm along the coast and up to 50cm inland by late Tuesday.

Montreal can expect an arctic front to cross the region Tuesday with a few centimeters of fresh snow and much colder air from Wednesday on. We can expect up to 5cm of snow with the front, along with gusty winds and the risk of some freezing drizzle. Temperatures will drop into the minus teens for the balance of the week.

Yesterday's little episode of snow dumped 7cm in Montreal and 10cm along the 401 at Cornwall. It was far more than the 2-4cm forecast, and it fell in under three hours. Numerous cars hit the ditch as roads became snow packed and visibility dropped to well under 1km. (See below).

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