Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Storm hits region

NOAA satellite photo of impressive winter storm early this morning.

10am Update: Heavy snow continues to spread north into the St. Lawrence Valley. Cornwall has visibility less than 1km with gusts of wind over 50km/h and Plattsburgh, N.Y. has near zero visibility in heavy snow. Travel is not advised today. Montreal is currently -5C, northeast wind gusting to 41km/h and 0.8km visibility.

The snow started shortly after 7am this morning on the west end of Montreal Island and is spreading rapidly north and east. The heavy snow is just southwest of our region. Already visibility has gone from 24km to 2km at Trudeau Airport and dropping. Winds are in the 30km/h range and will continue to increase as the morning moves along. The center of the intense low pressure area is approaching Lake Michigan at this hour with a wide swath of heavy precipitation along the (warm front) eastern flank of the storm. The heavy snow will continue all day today across eastern Ontario and western Quebec with he heaviest amounts in the St. Lawrence Valley from Montreal northeast where 25-35cm may fall. Ottawa and eastern Ontario is forecasting 15cm with 10-15cm across New England as a mix of sleet or rain mat occur. It remains very chilly in Montreal at -6C. Winter Storm and Wind Warnings are in effect for the entire region. Precipitation will become more scattered this evening before another burst of heavy snow along a powerful arctic front tonight. This will be followed by strong west winds Thursday from 50-70km/h causing cold wind chills and considerable blowing and drifting snow.

**Visibility is now down to 1km in Montreal as of 8am with winds increasing. School bus service has been canceled across Eastern Ontario and several school boards south of Montreal have canceled classes. Call ahead to the airport as flights are beginning to be delayed as well, especially to Toronto and the Midwest US. Drive slowly today or cancel travel all together.

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