Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Windy & White

The massive winter storm that has produced heavy snow, rain, wind, thunderstorms and flooding is now over Lake Huron and will slide east across Ontario and Quebec. The storm is dragging a sharp cold front across the region tonight with winds shifting from northeast to southwest and eventually northwest on Thursday. They have been gusting in Ontario to 111km/h at Long Point, 91km/h at Windsor and 74km/h in Toronto. Those same winds will invade the southern portions of Quebec overnight and I expect gusts to 70km/h. The wind will cause considerable blowing and drifting snow. Nearly 22cm of snow has fallen in Montreal (I measured 30cm on my deck here in Ile Perrot) with another 5-10cm quite possible through Thursday morning. Travel will be difficult in rural areas Thursday due to blowing and drifting snow.

In western New York an intense lake effect snow event is about to take place. Strong southwest winds will blow at 30 to 50mph off both Lakes Erie and Ontario and dump 1-3 feet of snow around Buffalo and Watertown, New York. Travel into or through those regions including Interstate 90 and 81 is not advised until at least Saturday.

In addition to the heavy snow, a lake shore flood warning is in effect as Lake Erie is expected to surge over 9 feet high with crashing waves into the shoreline around Buffalo and Niagara.

The pressure in this storm was so low today it resembled that of a Category 2 hurricane. The pressure continues to fall in Montreal and is currently at 987mb. The lowest I saw today in observations on this side of the border was 977mb at Wiarton, Ontario.

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