Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Day storm?

Downtown NYC in the snow Saturday.

It was a blizzard for the record books across the middle Atlantic states and up into the extreme coastal areas of the northeast yesterday and today. Heavy snow whipped by 60mph winds fell in a narrow swath from western North Carolina and Virginia through DC and up into New York City, Long Island and Cape Cod. One to two feet of snow fell setting records. Nearly 2 feet fell in Philadelphia beating a record that dated back to 1932. The snow snarled traffic and closed airports in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Over 3000 accidents were reported in Virginia alone, with 3 fatalities. Washington recorded 18 to 22 inches of snow while parts of New York and eastern Massachusetts had 12 to 15 inches. In Suffolk County on the eastern end of Long Island, East Patchogue reported 27.5 inches of snow with 50 mph winds. The storm is now affecting eastern Nova Scotia with heavy snow.

Winter arrives tomorrow at 12:47 EST here in Montreal. It is just a formality as the cold and snow have been with us since the start of the month. This weekend was chilly but sunny across the region with just a few high clouds from the east coast storm. An Alberta clipper may give us a few flurries late Monday and into Tuesday. The real story will be a Texas low pressure area that is forecast to develop and move north towards the Great Lakes by Christmas Eve. This storm is expected to spread snow, freezing rain and rain across the Midwest and into Ontario and Quebec by Christmas Day. If you are travelling this week, please keep this in mind. The best chance of frozen precipitation will be Christmas Day in Ontario and Christmas night and Boxing Day in Quebec. Please check back often as the forecast is still 5 days out and lots can change.

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