Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada Wins GOLD

Canada 3 USA 2 (OT)
What can I say but thank you to our athletes. Syd the Kid scored in OT to capture the gold medal against the US at the Vancouver Olympics and increase our gold medal total to a record 14. The previous record was 13 gold set by Russia. Thank You! Merci!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

3.9 Quake in Montreal region

USGS Map of the tremor

Within the last hour, as I was sitting down watching the bronze medal hockey game, a low rumble resembling that of a jet engine roared through the house in a wave of energy. On a day that has seen several major earthquakes around the world, the Ottawa Valley into the metro Montreal region was rattled by a 3.9 magnitude quake at 22:52 eastern time. The quake was centered near Lachute, Quebec on the Ottawa River about 45km northwest of my location. Earthquake Canada said the quake was felt, but there are no immediate reports of any damage. Meanwhile in Chile the death toll is over 300 from the 8.8 quake this morning. Other quakes have occurred today in northern California, Oklahoma and Japan among others.

Chile Quake & Tsunami

It has been quite a month around the world from storms to quakes and floods. We have had a major earthquake overnight on the Chile coast. It has generated a tsunami that has prompted tsunami warnings for numerous Pacific islands including Hawaii. There is also a tsunami advisory for Vancouver Island. Residents in the warning areas are urged to get to higher ground. Those in the advisory region have been told to get away from area beaches. In Chile, major damage has been reported with casualties. Details are just coming in, but it appears at least 125 people have died, buildings and bridges have collapsed.

**More information on the Tsunami can be found HERE
and on the Quake HERE.

Friday, February 26, 2010

100km/h Winds

Damage in Montreal this morning (Pic J. Elman)

Heavy snow cut power across New England, including in New Hampshire shown above.
(The Baltimore Sun)

With thunderous noise, high winds moved into the St. Lawrence Valley after midnight last night. They gusted over 90km/h in Montreal and up to 100km/h in the Quebec City area. High Wind Warnings are flying up and down the St. Lawrence Valley from Brockville to east of Quebec City. The winds have brought down tree limbs and power lines, and as of 8am Hydro Quebec is reporting 106,000 homes without power in the province.

Strong low pressure will very slowly fill over southeastern New York today, but not before dominating the weather today and into the weekend. Heavy wet snow fell in a wide swath from New York City north and west into southern Quebec and Ontario. Numerous roads were closed with many accidents on both sides of the border. In the last 3 days Montreal has had close to 30cm of wet snow, including 8cm yesterday. The heavy wet snow made last evenings rush hour challenging in the city. It was driven around by the increasing northeast winds. Winds will very slowly drop below warning criteria this morning, but remain high well into the evening. Radar is dry at the moment except for a few flurries over the city. Look for snow to increase in coverage from the south again later this afternoon for Montreal with another 5cm expected along with blowing snow tonight. Temperatures in Montreal will peak at 2C this morning and then slowly drop to 0C for the next day or so. Travel with great care today especially west into Ontario and south into New York. This storm hammered the northeast and New England with heavy wet snow, flooding rains, hurricane force winds and huge waves along the coast.
Some Stats:
Highest Winds: Mt. Washington, NH 119mph, Salem, MA 77mph, Quebec City 60mph, Montreal 50mph.

Snow: Randolf, NH 24" (60cm), Montreal 12" (30cm)

Pressure: Martha's Vineyard, Mass near the center of the storm 975mb, by comparison Montreal also a very low 992mb.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

High winds expected

As our current storm begins to end across the region we are already looking at precipitation edging northward from storm number 2. Most of the day today will be relatively tranquil but snow and rain will begin again late this afternoon and continue overnight. I am expecting a slushy mix in Montreal with as much as 10cm west of the city towards Ontario.

Yesterday's system dumped about 20cm of wet snow on Montreal with over 30cm in Burlington, Vermont, and upwards of 50cm over the Townships. This next storm is off the coast of North Carolina this morning near Cape Hatteras. The system is expected to lift northward towards New York City by Friday morning while deepening dramatically. Central pressure is expected to lower to the 970mb range making it a top five winter storm. The heaviest of snow will fall from the Ontario border west while rain is expected in eastern New York and most of southern Quebec. The rain snow line will be very close to Montreal, so the forecast needs to be monitored.

The big weather news with this storm will be the wind. As the storm intensifies winds will come out of the northeast in Montreal and gust over 50km/h. They will increase to 80km/h in gusts tonight, and over 100km/h in the Quebec City region and along the spine of the Green Mountains in Vermont. The storm is expected to linger into this upcoming weekend with wind, flurries and showers. This is a fluid situation with this storm, so I will try to update the blog later today.

As far as warnings go, high wind warnings are in effect for Quebec City and the Beauce region with Winter Weather Advisories in effect for the St. Lawrence Valley of New York. High Wind Watches are also posted for Vermont. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for western and central New York and for the Niagara and Hamilton regions in Ontario.
Additional warnings may be posted later today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Storm Continues

Images of the storm on the West Island during the lunch hour today. ValleyWX Pictures

Radar at 2pm is showing light to moderate snow falling from northern New York across eastern Ontario and Southern Quebec. Snow amounts range from 15cm in the Montreal region to as much as 50cm across the region. Over 10,000 homes are without power in Vermont. The snow will taper off to flurries and showers later today. More snow and strong winds are forecast for Thursday as another storm lifts north into the region. Major highways in Montreal are slushy and wet but all other roads are snow packed and icy, travel is not advised into the Townships or along Interstate 87 and 89 today as heavy snow continues to fall. Vermont and New York are forecasting 1 to 2 feet of wet snow.

Warnings Issued

More heavy snow is forecast for the northeast into New England and southern Quebec. Above is a photo from the Salem County News in New Jersey.
They are expecting the third major storm this month.

11:30 am UPDATE: Warnings Extended into our region: Low pressure continues to move north into New England at 11:30am. Heavy snow is now falling in Montreal and warnings have been extended into the Ottawa Valley, Lachute and areas west and north of the city. Heavy Snow Warnings have also been posted for the 401 corridor from the Quebec Border to Prescott, Ontario and north to Highway 43. The snow will accumulate from 15-25cm today. Visibility is low and roads are snow packed and icy. The snow is very heavy and wet. More details later today.

As expected wet snow developed overnight across the region as low pressure moved into southern New England. The snow was the heaviest from Albany into the Catskills north into southern Vermont and the Green Mountains and into the eastern Townships. This morning travel is not recommended on Highway 10 east of Montreal towards Sherbrooke and south along Interstate 89. The snow has accumulated over 15cm with as much as 30cm reported. The heavy wet snow has brought down power lines, and dozens of schools are closed in Vermont and New York. There are reports of tractor trailers stuck on hills along the Eastern Townships Autoroute. Here in Montreal the snow has been much lighter, but roads are icy and snow packed and travel is slow. Around 5cm fell overnight with another 10cm or so expected today. The snow is very elevation dependent and very localized. Even on the Island of Montreal some places are reporting rain while not too far away it is snowing (L'Ile Perrot vs Dorval for example). Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for Vermont, northern New York, the Townships and Laurentians through tonight.

Our attention will then turn to the next storm developing across the southern plain states. This system will follow a similar path up into southern New England. Heavy snow will fall along and to the west of the storm track from New Jersey and Delaware north into New York and Vermont. Winds will be very strong with this next storm and warnings may be needed. We will clear this storm out of the way today and then deal with the next system. Expect more rain and snow with strong winds to move into Montreal and southern Quebec by late Thursday. Amounts will be difficult to forecast with plenty of warm air arriving with the storm.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winter Storm update

Wet snow slowed the morning commute this morning in Montreal.

5:30pm UPDATE: Winter Storm Warning has been posted by Environment Canada for the Laurentians for 15-25cm of snow. The snow will mix with rain in Montreal, but we may still see 10-15cm by the time it changes to showers late Wednesday. Travel will be quite changeable region wide with snow covered roads in places and low visibility in heavy wet snow.

Low pressure that moved to our south overnight dumped between 2 and 5cm of wet snow on the region. The snow has since tapered off but will begin again after midnight tonight. Low pressure is expected to deepen along the east coast of the US and move north towards Long Island tonight, and eventually into northern New England. A wide swath of moisture will fall along and to the west of the storm track. At present, Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for Vermont and New Hampshire westward into eastern New York, with Winter Weather Advisories for the St. Lawrence Valley of New York. No warnings have been issued yet for Quebec or Ontario. Snow is expected to accumulate 10 to 20cm across the Warning area with 5-15cm elsewhere including Montreal. The snow will mix with rain on Wednesday. I will update this storm again later today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Active Weather Week

A slightly cooler but bright Monday morning across the region today as high pressure is in control. This will be short lived, as we are in for a very active weather week. Since my entry last week about so little snow, we have had close to 15cm of wet snow over several days. So much for the record books. We will add to that total this week with snow expected every night and a mix of rain and snow during the daylight hours. Temperatures will be mild, a couple of degrees either side of the freezing point region wide. Today low pressure over the Midwest has prompted heavy snow warnings for southwest Ontario and Winter Storm Warnings in Michigan and Indiana, where 10-20cm is forecast. This storm will slide east and become nearly stationary along the Eastern Seaboard. It will remain there the entire week perhaps even moving back west. This will result in moisture being fed west across New England and southern Quebec. Snow will begin Tuesday and mix with rain at times. We will have periods of snow right into Friday. Precipitation will range from steady at times to completely stopped at others. Amounts are difficult to estimate at this time, but anther 15cm is not out of the question. This weather will have to be monitored closely for the exact time frame when we are expecting the heavier snow. Right now it looks like Tuesday night into Wednesday morning and again late Thursday, advisories may be needed. Today will be the best travel day of the week.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Surprise Snowfall

After a long break, the plows were out across the Island and
here in Beaconsfield this morning. ValleyWX Pic

Who knew that all we had to do to get snow here in Montreal was talk about how little has fallen in February. As expected a frontal trough of low pressure pinwheeled its way from the northeast around strong low pressure in Atlantic Canada. What was not expected was the level of enhancement as the trough crossed our region. Steady snow began last night and has just started to taper off this morning. Officially at the airport close to 6cm has fallen or double our monthly snowfall to date. There was even more off island to the southwest where I estimated 7 or more centimetres when I left the house at 6:30 this morning. The wind and "fluff factor" added to the snow depth. I expect close to 10cm may be the final tally in many regions again especially off island to the south and west, along with blowing snow as winds increase out of the northwest from 30-50km/h. Travel is slow this morning with rush hour resembling that of the first snowfall of the season and not a February snow. The weekend will be cloudy and fairly mild with a good chance of flurries. Next week looks interesting with several storms possibly affecting the region with snow. I will post more on that later today. For the moment if you are travelling allow extra time as roads are snow covered and visibility is lowered.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Snow Drought

The sun rises this morning on low pressure spinning over Newfoundland.

This may be one of the dullest weather periods in my 25 plus years of tracking weather. Just how dull has it been? Day after day of partly cloudy skies with a flurrie or two and moderate temperatures has left us with just 2.8cm of snow for the month of February. Records will be broken if that value holds. It is neither cold nor warm, there has been day after day of stagnant air with very little "weather" to speak of. I hate that term, "no weather" I don't like it when it is used, but really February has been nearly void of active weather in Montreal. This morning low pressure is spinning over Newfoundland and sending a trough over the region. Winds will increase from the northwest and gust to 50km/h with a couple of centimetres of snow overnight tonight and into Friday morning. It will remain unsettled but mild with flurries through the weekend.

A quick comparison between Baltimore and Montreal for snowfall this season. (Baltimore is in brackets) For February: Montreal 2.8cm, Baltimore (125 cm), January: 44.8cm (6cm), December 56.4cm (58cm) and November 5.4cm (0cm). Despite the slow start for Baltimore they win hands down.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some snow

Sorry folks, every now and then work and life get in the way of weather, and I hate it when that happens. In this case it was work and perhaps a little thing called the Daytona 500 that lasted 7 hours this past Sunday. In any event the weather continues to be tranquil if not downright boring across our region. Low pressure is racing across the Ohio Valley and off the east coast today with up to 15cm of snow along its path. The bulk of the moisture will stay to our south. The storm will intensify off the east coast tonight and dump steady snow cross New England and into Atlantic Canada. Again most of the moisture will stay south and east of Montreal with just a centimetre or two expected. This may bring our monthly snowfall up to a whopping 4cm...unreal!

Temperatures will continue to be very mild for February running close to the freezing point and no colder than -5C at night. The mild and dull trend will last well into this upcoming weekend. Our snow has dwindled down to a few inches scattered about, and most of it is icy and dirty. The snow is not very good for outdoor activities. We could use some new powder.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Update

We had a beautiful sunrise over the Island of Montreal today, however it is cold. Temperatures are around -13C with a stiff west northwest wind blowing and wind chill values below -22C. Winds will increase today and remain elevated over the weekend in the 20-40km/h range. This is a result of that stubborn storm that affected the US east coast this week. It is beginning to retrograde towards the west and is approaching the Newfoundland coast. It will continue west into Central Quebec over the weekend. The result will be a variable forecast with the chance of light snow intermittently over the weekend and gusty winds. There may be an enhancement in the snowfall late Sunday and Monday as yet another low pressure system approaches the middle Atlantic states. As I said it is a complicated scenario.

So today - partly cloudy and then the balance of the weekend cloudy with scattered snow showers. It will remain chilly. We may end up with several centimetres by the time the weekend is over. Newfoundland, and parts of Nova Scotia and PEI are receiving freezing rain from this system along with very strong winds. Along the Labrador coast, it is snow and blowing snow.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One for the record books

"It's hard to find anything in the

history books of these types of storms back to back."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another miss

The weather in Montreal, southern Quebec and into eastern Ontario continues to be very tranquil. Cloud cover from low pressure developing along the US east coast will continue to thicken over the region today along with an increase in northeast winds. Temperatures will be fairly mild at -4C. We are not expecting any precipitation from the second big east coast storm in less than a week. The northern extent of the snow will be from the southern Champlain Valley southward. Only a trace to 2 inches is expected through central Vermont with 2 to 4 inches in southern Vermont and close to Albany, NY. The heaviest snow with this system has fallen from lower Michigan and Southwest Ontario, where Windsor has picked up over 15cm, across Pennsylvania and into the middle Atlantic. Most schools are closed in New York City today and nearly 6000 flights have been canceled from Washington to Boston in anticipation of the snow. The storm is expected to deepen rapidly east of Delaware today and move along the coast towards Long Island. Snow is expected to become heavy in New York and Boston later today with up to a foot expected. Winds will increase from the north and gust to 50mph later today causing near blizzard conditions from Delaware north into New Jersey and metro New York. The storm will affect eastern Newfoundland on Thursday. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the Avalon.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The next big storm

Interstate 95 on Sunday

Windsor, Ontario this afternoon is down to 1km visibility in snow and blowing snow with 15-25cm expected. They will be the only region along with the immediate Lake Erie shoreline in Ontario and Quebec to be affected by the latest winter storm. This storm comes rapidly on the heels of this past weekends record breaking blizzard. Some streets have yet to be plowed across the middle Atlantic and airports were just getting back to normal. Power remains out in many locations as this next storm bears down on the region. Snow is expected from Virginia's eastern shore across the DC metro area and northward into New York and southern New England. With a track further north, New York City will be affected this time with up to 30cm expected. Travel once again in the busy northeast corridor will be severely impacted just as it was returning to normal. Coastal areas will have a mix of precipitation, but will, have to deal with high surf and strong winds. The storm is expected to move towards Atlantic Canada by Thursday. Winter Storm Watches at this point are in effect towards Boston.

We are not expecting any snow or weather from this system as the snow drought in Montreal continues. So far in February Montreal has recorded only 2cm of snow or less than 1 inch. On average we should have over 45cm for the month.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Middle: A large storm east of Newfoundland is spreading snow west into Atlantic Canada, New England and Quebec. Top and below: A few pictures from the middle Atlantic storm.

Lots to talk about quickly as I prepare to watch Superbowl 44, Go SAINTS! The weather in Miami, ideal for football, clear and 17C (63F).

The epic east coast snowstorm is over. The stats are stunning to say the least. Nearly 3 feet of snow in many locations with many more recording 24 to 28 inches including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Dover and Washington, some their largest or second largest storm ever. Many highways were closed as well as flights cancelled. Over 300,000 were left without power as the heavy wet snow brought down trees and lines across the Middle Atlantic. The storm is now well east of the area in the open Atlantic. Meanwhile another storm is taking shape across the southwest and will move across the US once again and south of our region.

Lost in all the US east coast news was a large ocean storm east of Newfoundland that pounded that province with heavy snow and fierce winds. The RCMP shut down many roads and advised against any travel. That storm is retrograding towards the coast tonight and has pushed snow down the St. Lawrence Valley and into Quebec City and the Townships. It will continue moving southwest and affect Montreal and northern Vermont. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the Champlain Valley of Vermont and the northern Green Mountains. Up to 15cm may fall in those regions, with just a dusting expected in Montreal. Warnings are also in effect for the Gaspe and Saguenay regions for up to 30cm of snow.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Massive southern storm

Heavy wind whipped wet snow along the Jersey Shore in Ocean City last night.

Low pressure continues to deepen east of the Outer Banks this morning. Strong winds and heavy wet snow have been falling in a narrow band from northern North Carolina across Virginia and Maryland through DC and into Delaware and southern New Jersey. As of this morning over a foot had fallen in many locations with upwards of 2 feet forecast. Winds have been gusting over 40mph across the region as well making it nearly impossible to travel. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The wet snow has brought down trees and power lines as well, with thousands in the dark with no heat. The snow will extend no further north than New York City. The main area of low pressure will move well south of Long Island today. Last night blizzard warnings were in effect along the Delmarva while just to the south on the Outer Banks a tornado watch was in effect. This shows the tremendous dynamics involved with this storm and just how powerful it is.

Our weather in comparison, is well, boring and has been really all winter. Today sunny and chilly with a high around -9C. A few more clouds and maybe a flurrie possible in Montreal tomorrow. There are some indications that the next storm, currently over California may take a path further north and affect New England by late Wednesday. Little or no mention of this in the Canadian forecast. We will have to look at later computer model runs to nail down the exact track and strength.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Middle Atlantic storm

Surface high pressure will dominate the weather across Ontario and Quebec throughout the weekend with sunshine and seasonable temperatures. There is just a slight risk of some clouds and flurries from a strengthening east coast storm late Sunday across Quebec.

Meanwhile that storm will become a powerhouse with heavy snow and blizzard conditions from New Jersey across Delaware and into Maryland and northern Virginia. This area has had more snow than Montreal, and will add another 18-24 inches with strong winds. Coastal flooding will compound the snow along the Jersey and Delaware coasts. If I had the time I know where I would be this weekend!

The storm is forecast to dump heavy rain south of that line into the Carolinas and Georgia. Further south in Superbowl and NASCAR land the weather looks ideal in Miami and Daytona, sunny and mild.

Travel will become impossible in many places including Jersey City, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore beginning today. Many flights have been cancelled already. The snow will spread north into New York City Saturday but remain well south of our region and northern New England as the storm slides out to sea well south of Long Island.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Storm track to our south

Our weather continues to be very docile for mid-winter. A weak frontal boundary will pass through the region today with light flurries accumulating 1 or 2 cm at best. This will be followed by strong high pressure that will keep any threatening storms well to our south. The sunny and cold weather will continue right through the weekend.

Meanwhile low pressure developing over the Gulf of Mexico will move along the Texas coast and into the Southeast. This storm will produce heavy rain(2-5 inches) in the Gulf States with another snowstorm developing north of the system in Virginia, Tennessee and the middle Atlantic states by Friday. This storm has the potential to hinder travel across the southern and eastern part of the US into the weekend.

No major weather is expected in the near future for Montreal or Ontario.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Six more weeks of winter

Update: From Wiarton Willie,

There is the sunrise, send the news to the printer, So I see my shadow, Six more weeks of Winter!

On this Groundhog Day and despite the presence of cloud cover, Phil in western Pennsylvania has seen his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. We are still waiting for Wiarton Willie on the Bruce Peninsula to make his Canadian prediction which usually is available after 8am.

Here is the official word from Punxsutawney Phil
(at right from
The Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Punxsutawney Phil proclaimed, "If you want to know next, you must read my text. As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me.
So six more weeks of winter it will be."

Monday, February 01, 2010

Groundhog Day

I somehow have made it through another January, I must say it is my least favorite month of the year. Once February arrives the days are noticeably longer and the temperature begins to oh so very slowly warm. I did however find this mornings damp -14C colder than any day last week including the -22C mornings. A few flurries fell overnight and more are expected this afternoon as a weak disturbance slides east of the region. Winds will become gusty again and it will dip to -18C tonight. Another bright and sunny day for Tuesday before more light snow on Wednesday. All in all not too bad a weather week with chilly temperatures, but no major storms expected.

**Tomorrow is Groundhog Day. All eyes will be on Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and Willie on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario for their predictions. Very simple, see the shadow, 6 more weeks of winter, no shadow early spring. As I always say, either way would be a bonus for us here in Montreal and eastern Ontario. If winter ended in six weeks that would be about 4 weeks ahead of normal!

Click WILLIE or PHIL to follow along.