Saturday, October 31, 2009

Windy & Spooky

A windy, very spooky and mild Halloween is in store across Ontario, Quebec and New England. Very strong low pressure is moving north across central Ontario and into Quebec. It will draw a potent cold front across the region today. Along the front heavy rain is falling, but the big story is the wind. Wind Advisories are in effect for the Richelieu Valley and south shore in Quebec as well as Prince Edward County in Ontario and northern New York and Vermont. South winds are gusting to 60km/h and will increase to gusts to 90km/h as the front approaches. It will be mild with temperatures in the upper teens (60' F). Once the front passes temperatures will drop down to more seasonable values with clearing skies and diminishing winds. The shower activity will become more spotty for the trick or treaters in Montreal and Kemptville tonight. Please drive safely.

Remember to put your clocks back one hour tonight to standard time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A windy Halloween

Snow fell in Denver this week. Are we next?

The strong winter storm that has been affecting the US Rockies and central plains is beginning to move northeast. The storm was responsible for nearly 40 inches of snow north and west of Denver with roads closed and power outages reported. The system is trailing a cold front that has produced severe weather in the Midwest and southern plains. That cold front will play a major role in our Halloween weather. As the storm moves across the Dakotas and into northwest Ontario, the cold front will approach the St. Lawrence Valley. Look for strong southwest winds ahead of the front to develop tonight and push the mercury up to the 19C mark in Montreal for Halloween. That is the good news. The bad news is it will be blustery with winds gusting from 50 to 70km/h and even approaching 90km/h in places. We may need advisories on this weather situation, but that will be determined at some point later today. It will not be a washout, but the front will generate a period of heavy showers late in the day Saturday. It will be cooler and dry on Sunday as high pressure follows and the temperature reaches 10C.

Next weeks weather looks interesting by the end of the week, and by that I mean snow is possible. I put my winter tires on the old Saturn this morning, and usually I am pretty good with these things. I would do the same soon as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

44,000 Hits

Wow, ValleyWeather surpassed 44,000 hits yesterday morning. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. Many of you have asked me weather questions, and friends and co-workers often ask me the weekend forecast and I thank you as well. I always have time to talk weather and have for the last 30 years, since September 1979 when I tracked my first hurricane - David - along the east coast of Florida and started recording daily weather.

My interest in weather actually started much earlier during the winter of 1971 when a fierce March snowstorm closed down Montreal for several days. It caught my young attention span and managed to keep me still for a day just watching the weather outside. Hurricane force winds and 45cm of snow in one day will do that. There have been so many memorable weather events in those 30 years. Some that stand out are the day the Decarie and most of Montreal flooded on July 14, 1987, and shortly after that the terrible Edmonton tornado on the 31st of July 1987. Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew and Katrina, just to name a few. Others are the 1998 Ice Storm, my first tornado in Saskatchewan in 1998, Tropical Storm Allison in June 1995 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Halloween Nor’Easter in 1991 (the Perfect Strom) and the March 1993 east coast super storm. That storm on March 13, 1993 (43cm) was the only day that I could not get the Montreal Gazette newspaper out to the paper carriers and stores in my entire career at the paper. There are so many more events, too many to mention them all.

Anyway it has been a very challenging year personally for me and I have not always updated ValleyWeather as often as I would have liked to. So for sticking with me I thank you again. I will be relocating in a few weeks and setting up my home weather station again, so I hope to have better and more local weather information and maybe even a web cam in the near future.

Be good and be safe…

**Today will be cloudy across the region and chilly with northeast winds in Montreal, and no better than 9C for a high temperature. Showers are possible especially south of the city towards the U.S. border. Skies will clear out for Thursday and it will be sunny and mild into Friday. It looks like Halloween will be wet, but there is still time for the forecast to change and a window of opportunity for tricks and treats to open up. Next week looks cooler, with a chance of some snow again by mid week.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunny Monday

Cross border shoppers were not the only Canadians taking a break on Sunday. These geese paused on their flight south along the Lake Champlain shoreline just off Route 9 in Plattsburg, NY.

It was a mixed weather weekend in our region with steady rain and windy conditions Saturday followed by cooler but dry weather Sunday. About 20mm of rain fell in Montreal Saturday with much less to the north and west, (6mm in Kemptville) and more south and east of the city. Portions of Vermont had nearly double that amount.

High pressure will remain in control today, with a sunny and cool day, close to 7C. A weak area of low pressure will move across the area tonight with just a couple of showers or flurries. A stronger system will impact the area on Wednesday with a greater threat of rain. The week will be mild, with no major cold outbreaks in sight. It is early in the forecast period, but it looks like Halloween could be on the wet side. The rain may taper in time for the trick or treaters. More on that later in the week.

Friday, October 23, 2009

50/50 Weekend

A skiff of snow lines the edges of the elevated expressways this morning in Montreal and I noticed most cars coming from the Townships had quite a bit of snow on them. It was the result of the leftover precipitation behind last nights cold front ending as a little wet snow. Time now for the snow tires before the next round.

Today will start sunny, but clouds are on the increase as strong low pressure over Illinois move northeast towards eastern Ontario. Strong winds and heavy rain will overspread the region today from Ontario towards the Ottawa Valley this evening. The rain, heavy at times and winds of up to 60km/h will move into Montreal overnight. About 20-30mm is expected by the time the precipitation tapers off on Saturday night. it will be much milder with the system with temperatures rising overnight to a Saturday daytime high of 16C.

High pressure will clear skies out on Sunday and it will be slightly cooler at 11C.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday update...

The first snowflakes of the season fell in Montreal this afternoon. Accumulations were light as witnessed on my Saturn above.

5PM: Radar is showing the back edge of the cold front moving south through the Montreal area. Wet snow is falling on the West Island (2C) and north of the city. Travel with extreme caution tonight as temperatures are expected to drop below freezing before the precipitation ends before midnight. Roads will be slick.

1PM: Latest update on the area weather. It is very chilly in Montreal at only 2C. The rain is ever so close to being wet snow, and you don't have to go far to the northeast to find snow. Snow is falling east of Quebec City and areas to the north. Travel is difficult along highway 20 east of Quebec City. Environment Canada has posted a snowfall warning for Montmagny - L'Islet and the Laurentian Wildlife reserve for 10-15cm of wet snow this afternoon. Highway 20 runs through that region for anyone heading to Atlantic Canada today. The cold front is now on radar approaching Ottawa and it will move into Montreal this afternoon. A period of heavy rain and even some thunder along with gusty winds is possible along the front.

Just a quick update on the current weather in the region. Low pressure over eastern Ontario has a warm front to our south and a cold front to our northwest. The showers have ended for the time being in Montreal, but will reform along the cold front this afternoon. It will remain cool in the St. Lawrence Valley with northeast winds and a temperature of only 4C in Montreal but Kemptville may make it into the warm sector for a brief period. Toronto is currently 13C south of the front. Northeast of Montreal in a swath from the Quebec/Ontario border across to east of Quebec City and into northern New Brunswick, snow is falling. Amounts may be as much as 10-15cm locally. Keep this in mind if you are traveling to Quebec City today, where it is currently 0C and snowing. The warm air will remain to our south with this system. Friday will be sunny and cool behind this storm. The weekend looks rainy but mild Saturday with clearing skies Sunday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rainy weather ahead

After yesterday’s brief mild weather, it was close to 15C in many regions, today is a little cooler, but dry. The weather is about to become unsettled over the next several days. A combination of low pressure and associated fronts will move across the region beginning tonight, followed by a more intense storm on Saturday. The first system will bring a cold rain to the St. Lawrence Valley tonight and part of Thursday before late clearing. A warm front will lie just south of the region with temperatures in the 14 to 17C range expected south of the front, but under 5C north of the front in Montreal with a cold northeast wind. There may even be a period of wet snow northeast of Quebec City and in northern New Brunswick tonight. Keep this in mind if traveling east on Autoroute 20 or 40.

Saturday’s system will be stronger with more rain and strong winds. It will however be a little milder in Montreal with the second storm. There is still some uncertainty in the track of the weekend storm. I will update this later today. The potential exists for over 25mm of rain in many regions with this system. The only snow expected with this storm will be over northwest Quebec and northeast Ontario.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Frosty morning

In addition to the snow and rain, parts of coastal New England were battered by several days of high surf and strong winds. Plum Island, Massachusetts, one of my favorite vacation spots is shown above is this photo taken yesterday. The coastal flooding caused beach erosion, flooding and damaged some homes.

There was a hard freeze in all areas last night with temperatures as cold as -3C in Montreal and -5 to -7C in outlying regions of rural Quebec and Ontario (-6C in Kemptville). There was even an icy layer of fog south of Montreal creating very slippery conditions on some roads, with you guessed it, cars in the ditch. Today will be sunny with warming temperatures to 10C. The storms of the weekend remained well east of our area with only a few stray clouds moving in Saturday. The New England storm is now moving towards Newfoundland with snow and rain forecast. Parts of central and western Newfoundland could see over 10cm of wet snow. The snow has ended in New England with several inches on the ground. It was one of the earliest tastes of winter on record for the region.

This weeks weather will feature unsettled conditions with some showers most of the week after our sunny Monday, but milder. Next weekend may be interesting with a large fall storm developing over the Great Lakes Thursday and controlling our weather well into the weekend.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New England Snow

The Pats embarrass the Titans 59-0 in a snowstorm today in Foxborough, Mass.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots knew just what weary Red Sox fans needed to perk them up, a record victory in an early season snowstorm. I could not believe the weather (or the score) that was occurring in Foxborough, Massachusetts today. Despite the heavy wet snow, strong winds and cold, the Patriots destroyed the Titans 59-0. The weather was as big a story as the game itself. Low pressure passing over the Atlantic coast well east of Cape Cod produced heavy precipitation along the entire coastline. Just enough cold air mixed into the storm to produce wet snow across the interior regions of central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Along the coast heavy rain and very strong winds, over 40mph, are producing some coastal flooding. Advisories are in effect tonight. The storm will continue to move northeast towards Atlantic Canada, with 30mm of rain and 40-60km/h winds forecast for Halifax.

The weather in southern New England was in stark contrast to the beautiful fall weekend southern Quebec and Ontario had. Sunny both days, with just a few cloudy periods, and seasonable highs in the 8 to 10C range, with cool overnight lows below freezing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snow to our south

Heavy wet snow brought down trees in Sate College, PA. Photo from AccuWeather

It has been quite the stormy week to our south and east as two storms have moved up the east coast of the US and Canada. A third one is currently developing along the Carolina coast while storm 2 moves towards Newfoundland, so lets begin there. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for interior sections of the province for 15-20cm of heavy wet snow before it ends Saturday. Winds will be very strong over the entire province, gusting to 120km/h along the coast and 80km/h inland. This will be the second major storm this week to affect the province with a third poised to arrive late Sunday.

Along the eastern seaboard of the US coastal flooding has been reported from North Carolina to New Hampshire. High surf has been driven by gale force winds and is piling water up along the coastlines. This will continue at least through Sunday. There is the potential for some major flooding. Inland heavy record October snow has been falling across the mountains of Pennsylvania and southern New York with rain mixed with snow in the valleys. The highest mountain tops have recorded over 10 inches of wet snow while the lower elevations have as much as 4 inches. Tree damage is widespread. More snow is expected this weekend from the third storm.

In Montreal we remain on the extreme northwest edge of the cloud shield. It has been cold enough for snow and a chilly northeast wind is blowing reminding us of the storm to our southeast. Montreal this morning was at -2C while Kemptville was -4C. Some surrounding areas were as cold as -6C. I have been reading a few forecast discussions, and there is still some uncertainty as to the impact on our region of the third storm Saturday. It appears it too will move far to the east and produce only some flurries in Vermont and northern New York with scattered clouds in Montreal. That may change but so far the weekend forecast looks fair but chilly for Quebec and Ontario.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Storms stay to the east

The fist few snowflakes of the season were in the air in Montreal yesterday afternoon. Montreal managed a chilly 4C for a high temperature with a low of 0C at 6am this morning. Cloud cover and breezy northeast winds meant little to no frost in Montreal. Portions of eastern Ontario, including Kemptville had a hard freeze last night, -4C with general frost, and an end to the growing season.

Two strong east coast storms are in the weather news this morning. Nor’easter 1 moved from coastal North Carolina towards Newfoundland and intensified rapidly. The storm dumped 67mm of rain on Bonavista and 47mm of rain including 5.2cm of wet snow on St. John’s. Winds were fierce with a peak gust at 157km/h on the Sea Rose Oil Platform, 133km/h at Bonavista and 98km/h at Twillingate. Trees and power lines were toppled in the region.

A second storm is currently developing along the Carolina coast and has pushed precipitation as far north as New York and Pennsylvania this morning. Heavy rain and interior mountain wet snow is expected along the track and to the west of the storm as it moves towards Atlantic Canada by Saturday. So far Winter Storm Watches and Warnings are in effect from interior Pennsylvania across the southern tier of New York State. Up to a foot of wet snow is expected at the highest elevations. This early wet snow is capable of damaging trees that still contain most of their leaves. Coastal flood watches and gale warnings are in effect along the east coast from the Outer Banks northward to Maine. There are still some uncertainties in the track of the system, but showers and flurries are now forecast for the St. Lawrence Valley on Saturday. Stay tuned for more info on the new storm later today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Frosty Morning

Area temperatures dipped below freezing this morning with widespread frost everywhere, with the exception of the immediate shorelines of the St. Lawrence River and downtown Montreal where a light breeze prevented dew and thus frost.

Temperatures are -1C in Montreal and -2C at Kemptville and Ottawa. Yesterday snow fell in many areas across the region including the Townships and into northern New England. Mount Washington, New Hampshire, known for having some of the most wicked weather on the planet, had nearly 7.5" (18cm) of snow along with temperatures of 12.5F (-14C) and winds over 50mph. Blowing snow and cold wind chills are producing mid-winter conditions on the summit this morning, with visibility at 50 feet! I put an awesome link to their website on the left hand side of my blog. Check it out, it is worth the visit.

The weekend weather looks interesting in New England and eastern Quebec into the Maritimes as the first nor'easter of the season may whip up and move across the region. There are some indications of snow, rain and strong winds. The models are all over the place as far as Montreal is concerned, but eastern parts of Maine, the Gaspe and into Atlantic Canada will definitely see heavy precipitation and winds in excess of 90km/h. I will post more on that later today. Remember that frost warnings remain in effect again tonight for the entire region. I imagine that most people have ended the flower and gardening season by now, but if not take the necessary precautions to protect your plants from the sub-zero readings. It will be colder tonight, well below zero in all areas including metro Montreal (-3C).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cold weather this week

The ground is white in the Eastern Townships of southern Quebec this morning.

Depending on where you are in the metro region this morning you are either experiencing a cold rain or wet snow. The ground is white across the Laurentians and in the Eastern Townships. It is snowing steadily in Sherbrooke at 0C with light snow being reported in St. Agathe with a temperature at zero. The snow is staying on the ground across the highest elevations but melting elsewhere. There are slick spots if you are travelling across the region including Quebec Highway's 15 and 10 and the Interstates across Vermont and especially northern New Hampshire where a Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for 5-10cm of snow above 1000 feet. This would include any travel on Interstate 91.

In Ontario the wet weather may have been a factor in a major accident involving a semi on Highway 401 at the Lancaster exit in the eastbound lanes. The OPP are reporting that the truck, carrying a load of paper rolls, is on its side and an extensive clean up is underway. Traffic is being detoured onto the northbound service road (SD&G County Road 2) till further notice.

The rain in will continue most of the morning in Montreal and Eastern Ontario and it will be very cool only reaching about 5C. Frost Warnings are in effect for tonight in as it cools well below freezing in all regions. Temperatures will fall from -1C to as cold as -6C overnight. Wednesday and the balance of the work week will be sunny but chilly.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Record cold, snow & frost - October?

Despite the chilly and windy weather, the colours look awesome and the sunshine inviting in Montreal today.

Cold arctic air continues to pour into western Canada and across the border into the Rockies and northern plain states. Numerous record low temperatures fell yesterday across the prairies and temperatures are not expected to get above freezing today. It is currently -5C in Calgary, and they will drop to -14C Monday morning. Banff was -19C this morning. All time record lows for October are tumbling across the west. Snow has been falling along the Trans Canada Highway from Calgary east towards northwest Ontario. Portions of the highway were closed in Manitoba as gusty winds and heavy snow made travel impossible, Stretches of the highway remain icy today. Over 15cm of snow fell in southern Manitoba with as much as 25cm locally. The same cold air mass and storm system produced heavy snow across the Rockies in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Portions of Interstate 70 were closed and the MLB Playoff Game between the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies was cancelled last night., They will try Agni tonight when it should be a much milder 9C as opposed to -2C and snow last night.

In eastern Ontario and southern Quebec it is windy and chilly today, but skies have cleared and will remain that way into Monday before the plains storm moves east. Frost Warnings have been issued for all of southern Quebec and I expect a general frost tonight with temperatures lowering to 0C in the city. A cold soaking rain is expected Tuesday before windy and cold conditions to end the week with some flurries. Meanwhile the west will warm up with temperatures returning to above normal by the end of the week.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Weekend Weather

Happy Thanksgiving

Low pressure and its associated fronts will produce a grey and wet Friday across all of our area today. Rainfall will be light but steady this morning before a midday break and then more rain along the cold front this evening. Saturday will be showery with afternoon clearing and temperatures around 10C. Sunday looks windy and cold with temperatures remaining in the single digits. Thanksgiving Monday at this time looks like the best of the three days with some sunshine and slightly milder temperatures.

It is frigid across Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta this morning. I was checking the radar and snow is falling across eastern Saskatchewan into the Parklands of Manitoba. it is windy with blowing snow at several locations. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for west central Manitoba for 20-30cm of snow. Behind the low pressure, temperatures have plummeted to record lows for October. It is -9C in Assiniboia, SK and -13C in Cypress Hills, SK to name a few. It is no warmer in Alberta with Calgary at -10C and Edmonton at -7C. A very chilly weekend is forecast with a few all time October record lows falling tonight in Saskatchewan and Montana.

Have a safe holiday weekend and be thankful for all you have.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Much colder

Today will be sunny and mild for early October, the most pleasant day of the week. Low pressure over the mid Mississippi valley will push northeast and pass south of the region on Friday. More rain is expected with breezy conditions. Yesterday nearly 22mm of rain fell on Montreal, most of it in the afternoon as thunderstorms developed along a sharp cold front. Winds gusted up to 50km/h in Quebec and over 100km/h in Ontario.

Another storm system will pass through the region on Saturday night, and usher in the coldest air of the season thus far. Temperatures will struggle to make it to 8C next week with overnight lows below freezing. Frost and even some flurries are possible. Today, that same system is producing snow and windy conditions in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Some parts of Saskatchewan will see 5-10cm of wet snow with 50-70km/h winds possible. Driving may become tricky in the eastern part of the province tonight especially south of the Trans Canada Highway.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Strong Winds

A real cute picture from taken by KD in Potsdam, NY this past weekend.

A gusty low pressure area over Quebec this morning will rapidly move east dragging a cold front across the area by noon. The front has already produced thunderstorms and strong winds in New York and Ontario. Radar this morning is showing strong thunderstorms over upstate New York and more storms moving off Lakes Erie and Ontario. Winds are gusting over 90km/h including 98km/h at Port Colborne in the last hour. Winds will gust to 50km/h in Montreal with the risk of steady showers and some storms this morning, before a partial clearing later today. The temperatures will be in the 12 to 15C range.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Rain & Wind

The storm that arrives tomorrow dumped heavy snow across the Rockies this week in both the US and Canada

Big changes are in the air as we head into Thanksgiving weekend. A potent low pressure area is organizing over the plains states and is expected to move northeast towards Michigan and east into Quebec while deepening. Rain will overspread the region tonight and continue into Wednesday. Close to 25mm of rain is possible in many areas, with embedded thunderstorms. Winds will become a factor as well on Wednesday and may reach advisory level in Ontario and western New York, with gusts over 80 km/h. It will be windy in southern Quebec as well, exceeding 60km/h in Montreal. We will get a break on Thursday with partly sunny skies and mild temperatures before another storm moves in for Friday. Behind that storm much colder air will pour into the region and some snow is possible off the Great Lakes into Sunday. I will post more on that later in the week. Next week will be sharply colder and we will likely have a general frost ending what is left of the growing season.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Grey Monday

A trough of low pressure is expected to sweep across the area today with showers and thunderstorms. Sunday turned out to be a delightful day in the St. Lawrence Valley after Saturday's rain. Most areas had several ours of sunshine with light south winds and warm temperatures for October. It was an ideal day for viewing the fall foliage which is starting to reach peak in the mountains and approaching 35-40% in the valleys. Last night the seasons waged a little battle with a spectacular Harvest Moon rising over the city followed by some thunder and lightning later on in the evening. Today we can expect cloudy skies with showers and thunderstorms developing by noon. More showers Tuesday as well, before rain on Wednesday. The next sunshine will not arrive until Thursday.

The first snow of the year blanketed parts of Alberta on the weekend. 10-15cm of snow fell along the spine of the Rockies in western Alberta with lesser amounts in the foothills, and only a couple of centimeters on grass and cars in Calgary. This morning the temperature is 1C and snowing in Calgary and -1C in Edmonton, but clear.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Traffic slows for water accumulation on Highway 15 south during heavy showers Tuesday afternoon.

There is plenty to talk about on this first day of October. As the months change there is a real feeling that the seasons have changed as well. Yesterday, as I expected, the temperature struggled to reach 10C. We won’t get there today as more clouds and drizzle remain from that stubborn low pressure area north of Montreal, and hold out temperature to around 9C. It is between 3 and 5C this morning in the region with even a flurry in the air in places. Some snow fell yesterday at Stowe and Jay Peak, Vermont and across the highest elevations of the Adirondacks. Snow also fell across the west in Colorado and Utah as another area of low pressure moves across the central US. Heavy rain and thunderstorms are occurring east of the low and snow and cold west of it. This is a sure sign of a fall weather pattern as the low pressure areas become more intense. That system will move towards the east coast over the weekend with rain in Montreal Saturday and showers Sunday.