Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Storm Update

Heavy Rain Warning : Montreal and southern Quebec, eastern Ontario. (50-100mm)
High Wind Warning: Regions bordering the St. Lawrence River south into the US. (50-90km/h).
Lake Effect Snow Watch: Western New York counties including Jefferson and Lewis.
Flood Watch: Adirondacks and portions of western and northern New York.

We have weather people. It looks like an interesting pattern shaping up across the region starting this evening. The rain is underway across Ontario and southern Quebec with between 50 and 100mm forecast. The culprit is a slow moving - moisture laden cold front to our west that is pushing strong southeast winds and plenty of Gulf of Mexico rain into our regions. The radar is showing waves of precipitation moving east - northeast across the region. Winds are forecast to increase as well especially along the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Wind warnings are in effect in southern Quebec as well as central New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont. Look for winds gusts to 90km/h by daybreak and into early Wednesday morning. As the day progresses on Wednesday, colder air will work in behind the cold front and change any leftover rain to snow with a few centimetres possible in many locations. The threat will develop once again for lake effect snow off Lakes Erie and Ontario and the NWS has posted watches in those lakefront counties including Jefferson and Lewis.

Into the weekend an omega block will be setting up to our east with high pressure preventing systems from advancing eastward. As a matter of fact some computer models are picking up low pressure southeast of Nova Scotia and retrograding it back towards eastern Quebec. The possibility exists for some measurable snow this weekend even away from the lakes. I will have more on that as the week progresses. In the meantime expect abundant rainfall tonight with rain changing to snow tomorrow night and then colder with flurries into the weekend.

Wet & Windy

The snow and wind has brought travel to a standstill across South Dakota.

A strong storm centered over the upper US plain states is moving north into Ontario today. An equally strong frontal system associated with the storm is separating very cold arctic air from warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air on the east side. The result has been copious amounts of moisture streaming northward along the front. This frontal boundary is forecast to continue to move very slowly eastward over the next 24 hours and be the focus for very heavy rain in our region. The rain will begin today over Ontario and spread slowly northeast across Quebec and New York. The rain will become very heavy at times overnight and into Wednesday with the potential for some flooding. Temperatures will be very mild ahead of the front, approaching 10C, but drop rapidly behind the front towards the freezing point overnight Wednesday. Any leftover rain at that time will switch over to snow.

At this time a heavy rain event is forecast with Heavy Rainfall Warnings in effect for all of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Flood Watches are posted for upstate and western New York. Between 40 and 80mm of rain is expected. In addition to the rain strong southwest winds are forecast to develop and gust up to 90km/h. Wind warnings and advisories will likely be needed later today.

This storm is producing all kinds of severe weather. On the western side of the system 20-30cm of snow is falling from the Rockies across the Dakotas and into Minnesota. Winds are creating near zero visibility with numerous travel delays. Across the deep south severe weather in the form of thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected from Louisiana into the middle Atlantic. Several tornadoes occurred overnight including a damaging storm in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

The balance of the week across the northeast and Quebec will be unsettled and chilly with flurries and clouds expected through the weekend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rainy week ahead

There is a little black ice around the city this morning as temperatures just touched the freezing point around sunrise. Temperatures will warm well above freezing today, close to 4C with sunshine.

After a brief taste of winter over thew weekend, it will be back to fall like weather to start December. Strong low pressure over Nebraska is forecast to move towards the western Great Lakes, and then east into central Quebec by Wednesday. A strong southerly flow of mild and moist air is forecast to develop ahead of the system and push temperatures well above normal in Ontario and Quebec. With this type of a track, rain is expected in Montreal with any snow confined to northern Quebec and the extreme northwest portion of Ontario. It looks like the rain will begin in eastern Ontario during the middle hours of the day on Tuesday and spread east into Quebec by evening. At this time no warnings are posted, but we could see over 50mm of rain. Winds will increase as well with this system. By later in the week colder air will be moving into the region with flurries forecast by Friday and into next weekend.

Congratulations to the Montreal Alouettes who beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-18 yesterday in the 98th Grey Cup played in Edmonton. It was the second cup in a row for the Als against Saskatchewan. I lived in southern Saskatchewan for three years, so I know how important that team is to the province. Sorry - but despite the three years there, my allegiance has to lie with my home team since birth. The weather for the game was cold but not the crazy arctic chill of last week. The temperature at game time was -4C and dropped to -10C by the end of the 4th quarter. Thankfully winds were light.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Snow Squalls cross region

IMG_4636 (768x1024)Sun and cloud are mixing with periodic snow squalls to make it an interesting weather morning here in Montreal. The temperature is hovering around the freezing point with frequent snow and gusty winds at times. Around 5cm has fallen at my place southwest of Montreal island. The watch was upgraded to a warning for the regions between Dorion and the Ontario border including both the 20/401/40 and 417. Travel is poor in squalls with low visibility in heavy bursts of snow.

The flurries and gusty winds will continue into the afternoon before tapering off. A cold front attached to strong low pressure in central Quebec is producing the rounds of snow this morning. Skies will clear out tonight and it will turn colder.

From ICE to SNOW

Ile Perrot this morning. Our first snow of the season. ValleyWX Pic

A snow squall watch is in effect this morning for southern Quebec. Gusty southwest winds are bringing moisture from the Great Lakes into the St. Lawrence Valley. A quick inch of snow fell early this morning in Montreal and winds gusted to 52km/h at the airport with one squall. Low pressure over Central Quebec continues to spiral bands of precipitation across the region this morning. The winds will shift to the northwest later today and the snow should slip south of Montreal into New York. During the snow early this morning visibility dropped below 2km and the roads became snow covered quickly. The entire region can expect up to 5cm of snow today in these bands with low visibility and strong winds. Further west around the Great Lakes much heavier snow is being driven off the open waters. Lake effect snow warnings are posted with upwards of 30cm possible around Georgian Bay, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Over 25cm has already piled up in Beatrice Ontario just north of Bracebridge, with equal amounts south of Buffalo and Watertown, NY.

St-Anne radar is showing multiple squalls across eastern Ontario moving southeast towards Montreal at 7:30. Travel with care this morning.

Friday, November 26, 2010

School closings & accidents

We are still under a freezing rain warning at 9am. it is 0C in the city with steady freezing drizzle. Roads are very slowly improving but travel remains slow and dangerous in places especially off island. I took the photo above showing the salting and ice in the West Island of Montreal. Buses and public transit remains very slow and many are late for work. Most schools are closed.

I thought I had lots of stairs to salt. A worker salts the steps in Point Claire. All photos from ValleyWX.

ALL REGIONS: Freezing Rain Warning and Winter Weather Advisories

Freezing rain has been falling across the region since 4am this morning. Roads are slick and in many cases closed. The Montreal Transit Corporation has pulled most buses off the road and over 100 schools are now closed. The 640 north of Montreal is closed. There are literally hundreds of accidents, most minor. The 20 west of Montreal towards Ontario is blocked by an overturned truck and closed at Valleyfield. Laval has also taken there buses off the road. We remain below freezing at Montreal with -1C at the moment. Radar is showing another batch of precipitation moving in from the west. Winds will increase from the west and southwest at 40-70km/h. We should warm above freezing by mid morning.

School Buses are cancelled as well across most of Eastern Ontario, including Ottawa and the Valley as well as Cornwall, SD & G and Leeds and Grenville. The schools are open.

All I can tell you first hand is my street was salted in the last hour. I have not ventured out yet but will do so soon and update the blog when I get to work. The entire landscape is one shiny, icy layer.

Once the precipitation ends in the region skies will break and then we await the arrival of a potent arctic front that will usher in colder air with snow flurries and squalls later tonight and Saturday. The snow will be heavy in the lee of the Great Lakes with as much as 1 foot (30cm) in the most persistent bands. Here in Montreal and along the St. Lawrence Valley up to 5 cm may fall Saturday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Freezing Rain Warning

12pm Update: A Freezing Rain Warning has been issued for Metro Montreal and all of southern Quebec. A strong low pressure area is heading for the western portion of the province accompanied by snow and freezing rain. Precipitation will begin this evening in the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario and spread east. Up to 5mm of ice is expected. Roads will become very slippery overnight. Tomorrow a strong cold front will produce some snow, gusty winds and snow squalls in the region.

Freezing Rain Warning :
Eastern Ontario and Southern Quebec for tonight.

Winter Weather Advisory: New York, Vermont, New Hampshire for tonight.

Lake Effect Snow Warning: Lewis, Jefferson and Oswego Counties of central New York, beginning late Friday.

An intensifying low pressure area in northern Minnesota is forecast to move east and pass just north of Montreal on Friday. A warm front ahead of the system will be the focus for a prolonged period of freezing rain tonight into early Friday morning. As a result warnings have been issued for numerous regions surrounding Montreal, but for some odd reason not the city. (I imagine they will change that today just as they did on Monday morning). Conditions will deteriorate overnight with precipitation beginning after midnight and tapering off by noon Friday. Expect between 2 and 4mm of freezing rain along with a mix of ice pellets and some snow. Temperatures should warm above freezing later on Friday with any leftover precipitation changing to rain.

Behind the system gusty southwest and eventually northwest winds will develop between 40-70km/h on Friday. These winds will turn on the lake effect snow machine for the first time this season. Snow and blowing snow will move in bands off Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron into central Ontario and western New York. The poor weather will affect the 400 and 402 in southwest Ontario as well as Interstates 81 and 90 in New York. Up to 30cm or 1 foot can be expected in the most persistent bands in places such as Goderich, Buffalo and Watertown.

In Montreal we are off to a cold start this morning at -8C at the airport and -10C on Ile Perrot. Compare that to Alberta this morning where Calgary has warmed to -2C and Edmonton -4C. Look for fading sunshine today as the cloud from next storm slowly thickens throughout the day. it will be chilly at -2C.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Next storm on the horizon

A cold front has left the air this morning crisp and chilly in Montreal. Winds are gusting over 30km/h adding a nip to the air. Temperatures are around -1C and will not climb much more than that today. Tonight will be clear and with diminishing winds, we should see our coldest night of the season approaching -10C across the area. This pales in comparison to western Canada where Bow Island and Sundrie, Alberta were down to -38C yesterday morning. That was the air temperature and did not take into account any wind. Today more harsh weather is affecting the west with snow and blowing snow in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and more snow for Victoria and Vancouver. Meanwhile the cold persists in Alberta however a slight warming trend is in the forecast, but ever so slowly.

Our next weather will come from an approaching warm front and low pressure area that is affecting the western Great Lakes and northern plains today. Snow is causing Thanksgiving travel delays from Kansas northeast towards Michigan. This system will move north and east and push the warm front towards the St. Lawrence Valley late Thursday. Clouds will increase with precipitation beginning overnight into Friday. With cold air at the surface, expect another round of freezing rain before it switches to rain on Friday behind the warm front.

The current pattern is is something we did not see much of during the past two winters when we did not have many days of freezing rain. Until the systems begin to take a more southern route we will continue to see storms evolve in this manner. The same situation is expected again by next Tuesday, but lets deal with tomorrow's storm first. I expect icy roads overnight Thursday and into early Friday across the area from Burlington and Plattsburgh to Montreal and Cornwall as well as Ottawa. Further north and east snow is likely towards Quebec City and points north.

On Friday conditions should improve from Montreal south and west.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Anatomy of a warm front

The low clouds, drizzle and fog finally lifted this afternoon, pushed off to the southeast by an advancing cold front. The temperature was held down on the island of Montreal until late in the day today when it shot up to 13C. It only lasted a an hour or two until the cold air behind the front began to settle into the valley. We are heading below freezing tonight with a chance of flurries and quite breezy. I am posting the observations from Environment Canada's Montreal office below. You can see the bizarre temperature swings. Pay close attention to the wind direction. Note as well that while we were struggling to reach our high temperature today, just along the south shore they were 10C as early as 9am this morning. This is typical in Montreal in these situations where the cold dense air does not move off the valley floor. Freezing rain often last hours longer here than regions just to our north and south. We may see the same scenario play out Friday.

Early morning thunder

Frigid cold and snow in Winnipeg, Manitoba this past weekend.

That pesky warm front is still in the same position it was yesterday morning at this time, straddling the St. Lawrence Valley in southern Quebec. As a result northeast winds, and fog have kept temperatures chilly in Montreal as compared to other parts of the region. Temperatures are 10C on the south shore at St. Hubert while they are a chilly 3C in the west end of the island. This morning a cold front lies to our west and steady rain has developed again with even a rumble of thunder or two. The rain should taper and winds will increase from the southwest at 40-60km/h. It will become sharply colder tonight with lows down to -3C tonight and some flurries possible. Wednesday will be sunny and cold before another storm approaches the region for late Thursday with the likelihood of more freezing rain. Anyone traveling towards Quebec City today will continue to encounter icy roads as temperatures have remained below freezing there. Freezing rain has been falling most of yesterday and overnight.

Out west the early onslaught of winter weather continues with numbing cold in Alberta and Saskatchewan and snow in BC right down to the coastal areas. Edmonton is -27C this morning and it has been no warmer than -20C in the last 24 hours. It even snowed in Seattle yesterday bringing that region to a standstill and plunging many homes into the dark from the heavy wet snow. Today heavy snow, strong winds and dangerous cold are spreading from Colorado across the plains and towards the Midwest. A major storm will get wound up today and push towards the Great Lakes. Snow and blizzard conditions will spread across the Rockies towards the Canadian border and east into the Dakotas making the Thanksgiving travel period very slow and dangerous. Exactly how the western storm will impact us here in the east is yet to be determined. We will have to see how the track plays out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Icy start

Icy roads are affecting regions from Minnesota across the Great Lakes
and Ontario and into Quebec. (CNN.com)

It is a very dark and icy start to the work week on this Monday morning. A warm front has lifted north of Montreal and extreme southwest Quebec and the freezing rain has changed to rain in the city. However the bulk of the rest of the region remains at or below freezing with warnings still in effect and very dangerous travel conditions. Already this morning one fatal accident was reported on Highway 10 along the South Shore of Montreal. Travel is slow especially north of Montreal where freezing rain continues. Many schools across the Laurentians and North Shore are closed today because it is just too icy for the buses. Temperatures will slowly warm above freezing with rain continuing into the afternoon. It will be mild today with temperatures reaching 7C and remaining there overnight. A cold front will produce more rain on Tuesday before a major drop in temperatures and some snow by Friday.

Several storms will move along an arctic boundary across the Midwest US this week. West of the front it is late December cold with temperatures in the minus teens and snowing. Snow was even reported in Vancouver and Victoria, unusual at anytime of year, but especially in November. Along the frontal boundary freezing rain is falling in Minnesota with over 400 accidents state wide and two fatalities. The poor travel weather will be reinforced by cold air and another major storm sweeping the middle portion of the continent by Thanksgiving.

The progression of the Arctic chill this week. AccuWeather.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Freezing Rain Warning

After a sunny but cold day, a warm front is slowly approaching southern Quebec. A narrow band of precipitation will accompany the front. Temperatures across all of southern Quebec are below freezing so expect a brief period of snow and freezing rain across Montreal before it changes over to rain. Elsewhere across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario, freezing rain warnings are in effect with 2-4mm of ice expected.

Yesterday we had a strong cold front cross the region in the early morning hours. A few squalls developed along the front with some snow and hail observed. Winds gusted to 65km/h with the frontal passage in Montreal, and there was even the rumble of thunder. Temperatures during the frontal passage dropped from plus 7C to 3C. It was cold overnight with low temperatures down to -6C in Montreal and colder across the suburbs. it will warm to 9C on Monday behind the front. If travelling tonight be aware that it only takes a little freezing rain to make roads treacherous. This will be the case especially north and south of metro Montreal and into the Ottawa Valley. It will take a few hours for the temperature to climb above freezing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter on our doorstep


We can only hold it off for so long, winter that is, and big changes are on the horizon. Cold air has enveloped most of western Canada and it slowly moving east. This morning it is -23C in Calgary, and -20C in both Edmonton and Regina. The cold will continue into next week across the west while slowly beginning to invade the east. A small clipper system will skirt along the US border tonight with scattered flurries and eventually showers in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Clipper systems are fairly weak with moisture limited to the immediate track, but a centimetre or two is quite possible in some locations, especially north of the city. Winds can be gusty with these low pressure areas and they will be tonight and Saturday. The light snow tonight will mix with rain by daybreak and eventually end Saturday morning. Temperatures will be chilly today but rise above freezing overnight. Winds will out of the southwest from 40-70km/h by Saturday morning, and slowly diminish by late in the day tomorrow.

Sunday another weak low will bring a similar weather day with flurries and showers mixed. The really cold air is expected to move into our region by late next week with the potential for a major storm to move from the deep south towards the Great lakes with snow and rain by Thursday in Ontario and Quebec. The first outbreak of lake effect snow is also quite possible by next Friday. This scenario has all the ingredients to become a reality, it will all depend on timing. I would keep this in mind and finish preparing your car and home for winter this weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prairie snow & cold

It has been a challenging forecast week as it can be at this time of the year. It remains quite warm over the southern US while mid-winter arctic cold is surging south into the prairies and northern plains states. Anytime that happens the weather becomes interesting and challenging. The difference of a few hundred miles in the trajectory of a storm system can be the difference between the warm side or cold side of the storm.

So lets wrap up this last storm that moved across our region and is now in Atlantic Canada. it dropped about 30mm of rain in Montreal with the lowest pressure recorded of 991mb, so a decent storm but not the worst by any measure. The winds became quite strong on the backside of the system late last night with gusts over 60km/h around the city. Today we are expecting a few sunny breaks and steady, cool temperatures around 4C. It will remain breezy from the west at 30-50km/h. Tonight clear skies and cold with overnight lows around -3C. Friday will start off sunny but then an Alberta Clipper will bring a little wet snow or showers, with some gusty winds by evening. After a fair but chilly day Saturday, the same will happen again Sunday before a warmer southern system brings showers and mild temperatures to start next week. There remains the possibility of colder weather and significant snow by weeks end next week but that is far away at this time.

Shifting to the west, another blast of cold air is producing widespread snow this morning from Calgary to Winnipeg. A narrow band of 10-15cm is likely along the Trans Canada corridor with gusty winds and poor visibility. The cold air will deepen tonight with temperatures dropping to -20C and wind chills as cold as -25C in Calgary and Edmonton. That cold will spread as far east as northwest Ontario, but that is it for the time being.

It took many residents of Calgary hours to get to and from work yesterday as winter takes hold of the southern Rockies and Prairies. CTV.ca

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Colder weather on the way

1109 AM EST WED NOV 17 2010
(this will impact the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario and extreme southwest Quebec as well.)
* WINDS...WEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH. (50-90km/h)

Steady rain continues to fall in Montreal this morning and across eastern Ontario as strong low pressure lifts north across Lake Ontario and down the St. Lawrence Valley. Over 25mm of rain has been reported from the metro region north and west with heavier amounts locally including 53mm at Kingston, ON, since late yesterday. The rain will continue all day today with steady, mild temperatures around 12C. Winds are beginning to pick up on the back side of this storm across southern Ontario and these will spread east today. Southwest winds will gust between 30-60km/h with some gusts along area shorelines near 80km/h. A quick scan of the obs for Ontario shows gusts to 72km/h at Goderich, 71km/h at Long Point, 59km/h at Hamilton and 41km/h in Ottawa. Conditions will not improve until later tonight and overnight. It will turn much colder tomorrow with highs only reaching 5C. After a break in the weather Thursday and Friday, a couple of clipper systems will begin to affect the region. These storms will bring the threat of rain and snow showers to Montreal but most importantly will usher in much colder air. There is the potential for measurable snow next week here in the east that could disrupt US Thanksgiving travel, so stay tuned for more on that.

The first arctic cold outbreak of the season has spread south across Alberta and Saskatchewan over the last 24 hours. Low pressure moved across the southwest corner of Saskatchewan and into Montana with steady snow and blowing snow. A general 10-15cm was reported with low visibilities and icy roads causing numerous accidents in Calgary and points east. The cold has really established itself this morning with temperatures in the minus teens. It will warm very little today as another clipper brings 5-10cm of snow and a reinforcing shot of cold air. Temperatures will drop into the -20's in Alberta tonight. The snow and cold will spread east along the Trans Canada towards Manitoba. Travel will be poor in blowing snow across southern Saskatchewan on Thursday.

Image from CTV.ca

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rain and thunder

From the Weather Network, snow in Calgary this morning.

Radar is showing steady rain moving into the St. Lawrence Valley at 10pm. The rain will continue overnight with even a rumble or two of thunder. Low pressure will lift into the Ohio Valley and then across Eastern Ontario tonight and Wednesday. Heavy rain is expected along the path of the system in Ontario and Quebec with 30-50mm forecast. As the storm strengthens winds will increase out of the southwest and gradually back to the northwest from 40-60km/h with some gusts to 80km/h forecast on Wednesday. Wind advisories are in effect for portions of New York and Vermont.

Meanwhile snow and blowing snow from the first prairie storm are now winding down as low pressure races into Montana. Between 10-15cm of snow fell in Calgary and eastward towards Maple Creek and south into the Cypress Hills today. Gusty winds and rapidly dropping temperatures made for icy roads and mid-winter conditions. Another storm is expected to drop into Alberta from BC tomorrow and produce 5-10cm of snow in the same regions with gusty winds and more frigid cold.

Western snow - Eastern rain

By the way, it is now officially the Holiday Season. The Tim Hortons Christmas cups are out! I received my first this morning.

The tranquil weather of the last few days is about to come to an end here in the east. Low pressure over the lower Mississippi Valley will lift northeast towards the St. Lawrence Valley. It will bring with it a swath of steady rain that is increasing in coverage and intensity this morning. Environment Canada has posted heavy rainfall warnings for the regions just north of Montreal and the Ottawa Valley. Rain will begin this evening and become heavy overnight. Rainfall accumulations of 30-50mm are expected in the warning area with 25-35mm elsewhere including Montreal. The system is strengthening and so are the winds associated with it. Look for winds to increase from the south and southeast between 30-60km/h with stronger gusts over the higher elevations. Winds will back around to the northwest Wednesday but remain strong. Temperatures will be mild at first but begin to lower on Wednesday. There is even the risk of an isolated thunderstorm across the area tonight.

Meanwhile the opposite is occurring in the west with winter storm warnings in effect for southwest Saskatchewan and southern Alberta. This morning snow is falling in Calgary with north winds gusting to 54km/h and a temperature of -7C. Winds are howling in southern Alberta over 70km/h with low visibility in blowing snow. The snow and strong winds will move into Saskatchewan early this morning with 15cm or more of snow expected in the Cypress Hill and from Swift Current west to the Alberta border. In addition to the snow, bitter cold is descending south and east behind the storm. Look for the coldest air of the season to spread across the west and eventually into Ontario. Low temperatures will be in the minus teens for the rest of the week with daytime highs no better than -5C. The air will modify slightly before reaching Quebec but it will still be cold enough for some snow by Sunday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arctic blast

It was a spectacular weekend across Ontario and Quebec. Montreal was sunny and mild with perfect weather for any outdoor activity, be it work or play. I spent the weekend getting the house ready for snow and cold and firing up the snow blower to make sure all is well. It was timely because major changes are on the way from the west coast and eventually to the east.

Starting today, a weak frontal boundary has produced some showers in Montreal, with very mild temperatures. We will slowly clear out this afternoon and remain that way into Tuesday. Meanwhile a clipper system backed by a potent arctic air mass is developing in the west and expected to track across BC and into Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. This storm will produce an area of steady snow late Tuesday into Wednesday from Calgary to Swift Current and points south. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted in both provinces. Even outside the warning area snow and blowing snow will make travel difficult. High winds and dropping temperatures will develop as well with near blizzard conditions forecast for the Trans Canada Highway. From 15-25cm of snow is forecast with temperatures plunging to colder than -10C behind the storm in places like Edmonton and Calgary. The low pressure will eventually spread across to the east with colder air moving onto Quebec and Ontario by Friday.

In the meantime our weather will be coming from low pressure developing along the US Gulf Coast. Rain late Tuesday and Wednesday will bring between 15-25mm to the city. That will be followed by breezy conditions and dropping temperatures by Friday. By next weekend high temperatures will likely stray below freezing in Montreal with the chance of snow showers.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Outer Banks flooding

As many of you already know I vacation on Hatteras Island each spring. The narrow strip of islands known as the Outer Banks of the Carolina coast is very vulnerable to storms and flooding. This afternoon stubborn low pressure way off the east coast is sending long northeast swells towards the coastline with major ocean overwash being reported along Hatteras Island. Coastal flooding has forced closure of Highway 12 south of Oregon Inlet with the highway underwater at the S Curves in the Village of Rodanthe. I have posted an image from the web cam in Rodanthe that shows NC 12 under water as the Atlantic Ocean surges past dunes and homes. Seas will continue to build this afternoon, with flooding expected at high tide all weekend long. Winds will gust to 30 mph and seas will build to 15 to 17 feet. A Coastal Flood Warning and Surf Advisory are in effect for the Outer Banks and other portions of the North Carolina coast.

Weekend Update

Another brilliant day is expected in Ontario and Quebec today with bright sunshine and mild temperatures. After a very chilly start this morning we should warm to between 10 and 13C across the region. It will be cold again tonight well below freezing between between -3 and -5C. Saturday will be sunny and mild once again with highs close to 10C. Take advantage of this weekend to get your home and car ready for winter because it is coming. Signs are pointing to a much different end to the month then the start has been. Much of October and November have been well above normal across the country. That is changing as we see arctic air moving southward into the prairies. Regina is only -12C this morning with snow on the ground, but the coldest air is still to the north.

An Alberta clipper next week will move from west to east across the country with showers on the east side of the system and snow and much colder temperatures behind it. I expect a very different forecast by next weekend then the one we are seeing here in Montreal today. It is still too early to tell how far south or how cold the air will be but I expect it will be cold enough for snow. We may see low pressure develop as well along the east coast drawing in more cold air, but again we will have to wait a few more days for that to evolve in the forecast models.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Take time to Remember

It is November 11, Remembrance Day 2010. It was always a very important day in my family. My late father taught us to respect the sacrifices that had been made by so many young men and women so that we could enjoy the freedom and life we do today in this great country of ours. We always wore a poppy and attended a service every year. They often had the service in downtown Montreal on the Sunday before the 11th and dad would take me each year.

SUNSHINE: The weather will be sunny today across the entire region with mild temperatures pushing 10C. The sunshine will continue into the weekend with above normal temperatures. Yesterday record highs were scattered across northern and central Ontario on the eastern flank of a prairie snowstorm. That storm produced cold and 10-20cm of snow in Regina and points south and east closing several highways and canceling flights at Regina airport. Gusty winds made travel difficult with many cars and trucks in the ditch. RCMP were not recommending travel along the Trans Canada. The snow and freezing rain has shifted into northern Manitoba today.

"The Captain wired in he had water coming in And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight, Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Gordon Lightfoot
© 1976 Moose Music, Inc.
Image from (www.3dfitz.com)

It was 35 years ago yesterday, November 10, 1975, that the iron ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald went down in a fierce storm on Lake Superior. While weather played a definite role, the exact details of the sinking of the ship remains a mystery today, it went down quickly and with very little warning, taking 29 lives with her. The sinking was caused in part by a strong November Gale or "November Witch". We experienced an early season example of this last month when that big record breaking storm swept across the Great Lakes. The 1975 storm was intense with 20 foot waves on Lake Superior and winds gusting over 50 knots. The severe weather was confined to area along the immediate trajectory of the storm and especially rough in the waters of eastern Lake Superior exactly where the Edmund Fitzgerald was. It was a case of the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. The storm was known as a weather bomb with dropping pressure from 1000mb over Kansas to 978mb over James Bay within 24 hours. The rapid intensification caught the ship and its crew almost without warning. A memorial service was held yesterday at Whitefish Point, Michigan, not far from the final resting place of the majestic ship and her crew of 29 brave men. The ship is in 162 metres of water just inside the Canadian boundary.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunshine returns

Low pressure over the western Atlantic will loosen its grip on the region today as high pressure builds in from the Great Lakes. Sunshine and gradually warmer temperatures will prevail right into this upcoming weekend. Temperatures will warm from 7C today to 12 or 13C by the weekend. Some fog may develop in the evening with the rapidly cooling temperatures with frost expected each morning. We has some very dense fog in places after sunset last night including Ile perrot, but it dissipated once the air stabilized later in the evening.

That storm is question has dropped so much rain on Atlantic Canada in the last week. Major flooding continues, especially in and around Yarmouth with rivers on the rise, homes flooded and numerous roads and bridges washed out. Over 215mm has fallen in Yarmouth since Thursday with a remarkable 339mm in Mechanic Settlement, New Brunswick.

Across the west snow has made a return into portions of Saskatchewan. Low pressure over North Dakota is producing record warmth on the east side of the storm with snow and blowing snow on the backside. Regina southeast into Weyburn and Estevan is expecting 5-10cm of snow with some freezing drizzle. Estevan was 19C just 48 hours ago and is now at -1C with freezing drizzle. Roads are snow covered and slippery with poor visibility across the southeast portion of the province and south int North Dakota and Montana. Meanwhile record highs will occur in Minnesota east to Illinois today with highs near 70F.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sunshine returns

Icy roads slowed traffic in Vermont yesterday. (WPTZ image)

We are in for a beautiful stretch of fall weather this week after the clouds and drizzle clear out today. Low pressure is pulling away from the New England coast this morning after drenching the area with 10-20mm of rain, snow and ice. Numerous accidents were reported yesterday along the Vermont/Quebec border and points south according to police after 2-5mm of ice was deposited on area roads. Atlantic Canada and Maine were hit even harder with strong winds, high surf and torrential rains, in some cases almost 300mm.

The system will pull away from the region today with slow clearing from the west and warmer temperatures. High pressure will dominate with sunshine and warm temperatures for the balance of the work week. Look for daytime highs close to 10C and overnight lows near 0C for the week in Montreal as well as eastern Ontario and northern New England. The next threat for rain will not be until next weekend.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Icy roads in Vermont

Low pressure near Cape Cod continues to push moisture west into New England and southern Quebec. A cold rain has developed in Montreal this afternoon, but we managed to avoid the ice. In the Townships and Vermont numerous reports of sleet and freezing rain were observed today including in Burlington. Roads were icy and travel difficult along I-89 through the Champlain Valley and points south and east. Frozen precipitation is even falling across New York along I-87 south towards Albany. Temperatures will very slowly warm above freezing tonight with showers and drizzle tapering off by morning. Winds will be gusty at times from the north 20-40km/h.

Jesse Ferrell on his AccuWeather blog posted an awesome graphic today of just how the moisture from the remains of hurricane Tomas is feeding into this system producing all the flooding rain across Atlantic Canada and today's snow and ice in New England and Quebec. The image is on the right, and you can clearly see the plume of moisture moving north into Canada and the US.

Surprise Nor'easter

A stubborn area of low pressure has been meandering around Atlantic Canada since Thursday. It had pulled far enough east to allow for sunshine yesterday, but is slowly retrograding southwest this morning. We were expecting sunshine today, but cloud cover has already moved into Montreal and precipitation is into Quebec City and the Townships. The storm is centered over the Gulf of Maine and will slide southwest towards Cape Cod. Precipitation in the form of freezing rain and some snow will fall across the Townships south into the Green Mountains. Winter Weather Advisories and Freezing Rain Warnings are in effect for those areas. If you must travel there, allow extra time or hold off until after the lunch hour. I expect that the precipitation will reach Montreal by noon and it should be in the form of rain. Winds will be increasing as well out of the north and northeast to 50km/h and as high as 70km/h in Quebec City.

This same storm has produced major flooding in Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick. Copious amounts of rain have fallen since Thursday with 291.8 mm at Mechanic Settlement, NB, and 202 mm at Yarmouth. A state of emergency has been declared in many areas with roads washed out and homes flooded. The plume of moisture has been driven north along a frontal boundary from the tropics, and the remains of hurricane Tomas. Another 20-40mm may fall today.

As much as 15-25mm of rain may fall in the Townships with 10-15mm in Montreal. I expect the frozen precipitation will accumulate about 2-5mm of ice in the Townships and possibly 2-5cm of snow in Quebec City.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Freezing Rain - Townships and Green Mountains

NWS image of low pressure sending moisture westward towards Vermont, NY, and Quebec. Tomas is in the lower right side of the image.

Freezing Rain Warning (Sherbrooke, Eastern Townships & travel along Highway 10)

Winter Weather Advisory (Adirondacks/Green Mountains & travel along I-89, I-91, I-87)

I knew it would be a challenging forecast this weekend and it has lived up to expectations. Low pressure moved well east of the region Friday and skies began to clear out sooner than expected. The result was a beautiful November day across the region Sunday with sunny skies and chilly temperatures. It will not last. It appeared high pressure over the Great Lakes would nudge into the region and clear us out for the entire upcoming week. It will do that eventually, but first developing low pressure near Cape Cod is expected to retrograde back towards the coast and do a loop over southern New England. The system is tapping into deep tropical moisture including that from what is left of hurricane Tomas over the open waters of the Atlantic. That moisture will be pushed westward over the Green Mountains and into southern Quebec. Cloud cover will be on the increase from the east with precipitation developing by morning over Vermont and just edging into southern Quebec and extreme eastern New York. As the precipitation begins temperatures will still be at or below freezing Monday morning. Mixed precipitation including freezing rain is expected and a Freezing Rain Warning is in effect for the eastern Townships along the Vermont and New Hampshire border. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the Green Mountains and Adirondacks. All precipitation should change to rain by noon and taper off late in the day. The balance of the week will be fair with slowly warming temperatures. At this time it looks like just a scattered shower or two for Montreal but that may change if the system is drawn further west.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Weekend Update

Clouds, drizzle and fog broke for a minute or two in Williston, Vermont to allow for a spectacular sunset Friday evening. ValleyWX

Skies have rapidly cleared out this morning behind that coastal storm and temperatures have responded by dropping below freezing in Montreal at minus 2C. Across Vermont and the Townships, clouds remain in place and temperatures are slightly warmer. You have to go much further east to encounter any precipitation. The low pressure in question is over Atlantic Canada with any heavy rain confined to that region. Meanwhile in the broader circulation of this system, some wet snow is falling in the snow belts of the Great Lakes and as far south as the North Carolina mountains. Some regions in the most persistent snow across central Ontario, Michigan and northern Indiana had as much as 3 inches of wet snow.

The rainfall was steady but light in our area yesterday with around 15mm in Montreal. The rain was much heavier across Nova Scotia where upwards of 100mm has fallen with more expected. A plume of moisture is running from the tropics straight into Nova Scotia. Another 50 to 80mm are possible with warnings in place. Pounding surf is also affecting coastal regions. The moisture is part of Tropical Storm Tomas that has been dropping copious amounts of rain on Haiti and the Turks and Cacaos. Flooding is occurring in earthquake devastated Port au Prince.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A cold rain

It looks like the snow threat has diminished for the region. It will be close, very close, but not this time, look for a cold rain and gusty northeast winds. A deep low pressure trough is sliding east across the Great Lakes today and will meet with low pressure moving north along the US coast. The system should be near New York City tonight and deepen rapidly as it slowly moves into New England. Heavy rain will develop across New York and Vermont today and spread north towards the Quebec border. Montreal should have showers today and a steady rain tonight into Friday. By Friday much colder air will begin to wrap into the western side of the system with rain changing to a period of wet snow before ending late Friday. The best chance for accumulating snow will be across Eastern Ontario and upstate New York, but even there it does not look like much. Saturday will be raw and chilly with scattered flurries. Temperatures will be fairly mild today at around 6C but much cooler Friday dropping into the 2 or 3C range and remaining there for Saturday. Skies should slowly begin to clear on Sunday and the start of next week looks awesome with milder temperatures and sunshine Monday through at least Wednesday.

Radar this morning is showing the steady rain into the southern tier of New York state and southern New England. There are also showers moving across Ontario, and they should arrive her by noon. Winds will be increasing as well across the St. Lawrence Valley.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

East Coast Storm?

At left: The expected path of Tomas across Haiti by late Friday.

Could we have an east coast storm that will produce the first snowstorm of the season over Quebec?

It is the coldest morning of the season thus far across eastern Ontario and southern Quebec this morning. Ile Perrot was at -4C, while the airport was -2C. Further southwest St Anicet was -5C and Kemptville was -5C as well. In New York temperatures were even colder with -6C at Plattsburgh. Skies were clear and will remain so all day today with milder temperatures, near 8C and light winds. This will be the best weather day until Sunday.

Computer models have been all over the place with our weekend forecast from the start of the week. A complicated series of low pressure areas at the surface and aloft will begin to take shape along the east coast of the US. They will lift north into New England by early Friday. This will set the stage for an appreciable amount of precipitation over out area along with cool temperatures. The precipitation will start as rain on Thursday but will likely become a mix of rain and snow into Friday. It is too soon to predict amounts, but it looks like enough snow to measure, especially north of Montreal and Quebec City.

TOMAS: We have a little good news to report as far as Tomas goes. The once hurricane has been downgraded at this time to a tropical depression. The system is meandering south of Haiti and Jamaica with minimal winds according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters still expect the storm to regain strength as early as this evening and move from southwest to northeast across Haiti by weeks end. Regardless of the wind, this storm will bring a tremendous amount of rain to Haiti with the potential for flooding and mudslides. We need to watch this very closely.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

AM flurries PM sunshine

It is a typical November morning in the St. Lawrence Valley and across New York and Ontario. I had frost on Ile Perrot at -1C but it was above freezing downtown. For those of us who cleared out early this morning, we had frost and temperatures just below freezing. Locations the held onto the cloud cover from Montreal east and south are just above freezing with no frost but there are some flurries in the Townships and northern Vermont. Clearing will take place today from west to east as high pressure moves into the region. It will be clear and cold tonight dropping below freezing to -2C or so. Wednesday will be the best day of the week with abundant sunshine and warmer temperatures in the 8C range.

The balance of the week looks unsettled with a rather difficult weather forecast setting up into the weekend. Low pressure is expected to develop along the southeast US coast and move towards New England on Thursday. Another area of low pressure is expected to follow the first one across New England as well by the weekend. The only sure thing at this point is there will be clouds and precipitation from Thursday into the weekend. The type and amount are up in the air and dependent on the track of the low pressure areas. I believe rain will dominate on Thursday with a showery Friday. It looks like snow may be in the picture for Saturday. More on that as the weekend draws closer.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Chilly start to November

A spectacular western sky at sunset tonight in Pointe Claire, Quebec. ValleyWX Photo

Sorry folks, it was not the best of Mondays, and I was unable to update the blog this morning.

It feels like we have turned the corner in the weather department with the end of October and Christmas just 7 weeks away. I put the winter tires on this past weekend just in time for the few centimetres of snow that fell on Saturday night. Halloween was chilly and windy, but we still had over 150 kids visit our home. Montreal reached 7C today under mostly cloudy skies. We had a few sunny breaks towards sunset but also a shower or two in the region. Both combined for a spectacular sky at sunset (see above). Our week will become rather unsettled as low pressure is expected to produce rain and snow by Thursday. Until then high pressure will control our weather with sunny skies and cool weather.

Tropical storm Tomas has weakened tonight but is expected to regain hurricane strength later this week as it moves across the Caribbean Sea. The storm is moving westward with 45mph winds, 105km northeast of Aruba. The storm is forecast to make a sharp turn and move across Haiti from southwest to northeast. Only one other storm has moved across the country in a similar path and that was Hazel in 1954. It is a troublesome forecast at this point for the island nation that is still trying to recover from the devastating January earthquake. We will have to watch the storm carefully but all indications are that the storm will strengthen and make that turn withing the next few days and approach Haiti and the Dominican Republic by weeks end as at least a category 1 storm or perhaps stronger.

**I had a question about where to find daily highs and lows. You can visit the Environment Canada website HERE or Climate Quebec HERE