Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

It is a warm 8C (46F) in Times Square for the arrival of 2012.

We are in the final hour of 2011 - the year of extreme weather. From the countless tornadoes that swept the US south, killing more than ever before, to hurricane Irene that swept across my Outer Banks and pounded New England and Vermont with the worst flooding on record, it was an expensive 2011. Here in Quebec we ended last year with freezing rain and we ended this year the same way. In between we had a the worst flooding in a generation in the Richelieu Valley followed by another very warm and humid summer, mild fall and a slow to start winter.

It has been another great year for me with a fantastic vacation on the Outer Banks in May that featured the best weather I have ever had there. We also added a little dog to our daily routine, Bella is part of our family. My daughter has been accepted with honors to University. Life is good. As always it is a pleasure to write and talk about the weather. I have been doing so since I could talk. I started writing and recording the weather in 1980 and blogging about it in 2005. I would like to thank all my family, friends and readers who frequent these pages daily, weekly or whenever you can, thank you. I hit 318 blog entries this year, we will shoot for 319  in 2012!

Be safe and have a very Happy New Year! See you all in 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Freezing Rain Warning

From Global TV Toronto, more accidents along the 401 tonight.

Environment Canada has posted a freezing rain warning for the Vaudreuil/Soulanges region of southern Quebec from just southwest of metro Montreal to the Ontario border. Precipitation is moving into the area at this hour with a mix of snow and freezing rain expected overnight. The system has already iced roads in Ontario with numerous accident reported. The OPP were even forced to close the 401 east of Oshawa. Low pressure will pass just south of Montreal Saturday with a light mixture of freezing rain and snow expected until about the noon hour. Temperatures have been very cold today but are now warming and should reach 0C by late Saturday. Travel with great care tonight as warnings are in effect for the entire Highway 401/20 corridor as well as south into northern New York and Vermont. Air travel is also being delayed or cancelled across southern Ontario due to the ice and fog.

More snow and ice

Freezing rain in Toronto this morning (

Sorry for the rant, but here it goes. I am not a big fan of winters like this one, as the constant fluctuations in temperature and precipitation type create terrible road conditions and more accidents. We witnessed that this past week when a few hours of above freezing weather cost us dearly as the rapidly falling temperatures froze road surfaces resulting in numerous accidents, some fatal across our entire region. It has been a deadly holiday period on Quebec roads with 11 deaths so far and indeed across many other parts of the country as well. In many cases the culprit has been the same type of weather. I would hope that if it is going to be winter than let it stay below freeing with snow. If it going to be spring than do so and warm above freezing and stay there. This constant roller coaster ride does nothing for anybody. Sadly it looks like this scenario will continue so it is up to us to adjust to it and begin driving much better than we are currently doing. Driving a car for most of us is the most dangerous thing we do everyday. Take a few steps on roads for the rest of the Holidays and into the New Year to protect yourself and other motorists as well. Slow down for one, especially adjusting your speed to the weather. Listen to the forecast, know when the weather is changing and be ready to change your driving habits. The obvious, winter tires and if you drink, do us all a favor and stay off the roads. The big factor is speed, slowing down lets you have more control over your car on ice and snow and allows the winter tires to do their job.

All that being said, we are in for another round of winter weather. It is another frigid morning in Montreal, dropping to -20C here on Ile Perrot overnight, we are now at -16C. A weak frontal boundary to our southwest has been the focus of light snow and freezing rain across Ontario overnight. Hundreds of accidents were reported in the Toronto region as a result. The snow is as far east as Cornwall and should arrive in the Montreal area by late morning. A couple of centimetres is possible into the evening before warmer air aloft allows the snow to mix with freezing drizzle. It could be a very icy night on the roads. Across northern New York and Vermont the threat for freezing rain has prompted a Winter Weather Advisory through noon Saturday. Freezing rain warnings may be required for a portion of our area later today.

The precipitation will taper off by Saturday afternoon with temperatures warming to above freezing. Sunday at this time looks mild with a shower or two and highs well above normal to start 2012 at plus 4C. Monday looks like a repeat of this past Wednesday with plummeting temperatures, gusty winds and snow as two arctic fronts cross the region. And the ride continues!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Arctic Chill

After yesterday's wind, snow and ice, temperatures are frigid this morning. I have -19C here on Ile Perrot with a windchill of -27C at 7am, Trudeau Airport is -18C with a windchill of -30C, Ottawa is -20C with a windchill of -29C. I walked the dog briefly (her request to end it early) and trust me it is cold out. Montreal ended up officially with about 5cm of snow at the airport and around 15mm of rain from the last storm. There were reports of as much as 10cm of snow off island and upwards of 25mm of rain. All in all it was a nasty little storm. Look for a windy and cold but sunny day today as high pressure crests over the region. Winds will remain gusty out of the northwest up to 50km/h, so windchill values will remain dangerously cold. A series of weak clipper type systems will affect southern Quebec and Ontario into New Years Day with periods of snow or light rain starting Friday and lasting into New Years Day. Amounts will be light but mixed precipitation will likely ice roads again. The biggest challenge once again will be determining the precipitation type as temperatures take the roller coaster ride back above freezing. It looks like more arctic air, possibly colder than this bunch will plunge back into the region to start the New Year by late Monday. Another period of snow and wind will accompany the cold.

Please drive safely and adjust your speed to mid-winter driving. There were numerous accidents in the region yesterday including another fatal one here in Montreal. It has been a deadly holiday season on Quebec roads. Wherever you are, slow down and allow your winter tires to do there job.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Arctic air rapidly moves in

Interstate 89 south of Burlington today. (Burlington Free Press)

What a difference a few hours can make in the weather department. When I posted to the blog this morning, it was plus 2C (36F) in Montreal. At 3pm the city is at -9C (16F) with windchill values of -20C. Strong winds and falling snow have reduced visibility on area highways below 1km at times slowing traffic, especially towards the Ontario border and along the 401. The deepening cold behind last nights rainstorm is producing areas of steady snow. The snow has created difficult travel and has even forced the closure of Interstate 89 at Exit 10 in Waterbury, Vermont. The National Weather Service has posted a winter weather advisory for Vermont and New York, as well as a windchill advisory. Conditions will only improve after midnight when winds and snow begin to diminish. Low temperatures will be between -15C and -20C tonight. Total snow accumulations in Quebec will be 5-10cm (2-4") with 5-15cm (2-6") in Vermont and New York.

Much colder today

There is no better example of a dramatic forecast miss than predicting heavy snow and ending up with rain. That was always a possibility with this storm as so much warm air at all levels was moving north with it. The dynamics were just not there for a snowstorm and the storm itself moved across New York state instead of Vermont bringing with it rain. We were counting on colder air arriving at the same time as the precipitation, it just did not happen. As a result it was mostly a rain event across Ontario and Quebec. I measured too much rain, close to 50mm but I believe this was melting snow as well at the onset tipping the scale.  The airport measured only 14.4mm which is more in line with what this system had to offer.

We are waiting for the arrival of a potent arctic front this morning that will have temperatures plummeting all day on strong northwest winds (30-60km/h). This has already happened in Ottawa where it was -5C at 6am while we are sitting at 1C. Winds have started to increase here on Ile Perrot out of the west (20-30km/h) so expect the cold air shortly. Temperatures are currently as good as they will be today and will steadily drop to overnight lows of -17C with cold wind chills in the minus 20's. Needless to say all this water will freeze so watch out for icy roads and sidewalks. Some light snow will accompany the front, perhaps as much as 5cm locally. This will be enough with the winds and falling temperatures to make roads dangerous again today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Heavy Snow Warning

A slippery Christmas Eve and day on Ile Perrot. More snow coming tonight and Wednesday. Christmas Day was a mess on the roads, lets slow down with this storm. (ValleyWX Pic)

Environment Canada has posted a Heavy Snow Warning for Montreal and most of southern Quebec as well as extreme eastern Ontario including Brockville to the Quebec Border and the Ottawa region. Low pressure over Kentucky this morning will rapidly deepen as it moves to near Burlington, Vermont overnight and close to Quebec City on Wednesday. A sharp temperature difference will accompany this storm with mostly rain across New England and New York as well as southern Ontario. However from the St. Lawrence Valley north, heavy wet snow is expected along with strong northeast and then northwest winds. The wet snow could accumulate 15-20cm (6-8 inches) in a band running from just north of Ottawa across the Laurentians. Here in Montreal as well as Ottawa a general 10-15cm (4-6 inches) snowfall is forecast mixed at times with rain or freezing rain. Temperatures will be near freezing for the duration of the storm followed by a rapid drop in temperatures on Wednesday. An arctic front will sweep the area with dropping temperatures from 0C to -9C in a matter of hours Wednesday with any rain changing to all snow including in New York and Vermont. A rapid freeze up is expected Wednesday region wide including Toronto and areas south of Montreal that had received mostly rain. Roads will become very icy Wednesday with dropping temperatures and strong northwest winds up to 60km/h. Skies will clear Thursday before more snow Friday.

The bottom line is if you have to travel do it today.

Monday, December 26, 2011

First storm Tuesday?

Sanding the icy roads on Ile Perrot on Christmas Eve. (ValleyWX)

Time for Boxing Day shopping and the weather is perfect, a vast improvement in road conditions over yesterday. Low pressure skirted along the international border on Christmas Day giving a decent snowfall and white Christmas to the St. Lawrence Valley with cool temperatures. Montreal managed about 4 to 7cm of snow, perfect for a Christmas card, not so good on the roads. Numerous cars hit the ditch along the Trans Canada Highway (40/417) to Ottawa and also north into the Laurentians along Highway 15. The roads are in good shape today and should remain that way into Tuesday. Temperatures yesterday ranged from above freezing in the Richelieu and Champlain Valleys due to a south wind to a very cold -7C here on Ile Perrot with a cold and damp northeast wind.

That is the good news, now the bad, the weather will turn nasty again late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning when travel could become quite dangerous. Low pressure will develop in the southern US and move across southeast New York state and into New England. It has been a difficult track with plenty of warm air pushing north again, therefor computer forecast models have been flip flopping between snow and rain for the last several days. It appears mixed precipitation will spread across the region late on Tuesday and change to all snow overnight into Wednesday from northwest to southeast. At this time at least 5cm of snow is expected for Montreal and Ottawa along with some rain and freezing rain. The potential exists for more, and warnings may be needed for a portion of our forecast region. The big threat with this storm will be the rapid drop in temperatures on Tuesday night across southern Ontario and Quebec, along with a flash freeze. The rapidly dropping temperatures, gusty winds and precipitation will make for very icy roads for late Tuesday in Ontario and Wednesday morning in Quebec.

I will update the information on this potential storm later today via the blog and twitter. Happy Holidays, be safe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Weather

My colleague from my days back at the Kemptville Advance, friend and brilliant artist Vicki Fawcett, drew this for me back in 2007. I love using it each year. Check out her other art HERE.

Brrrr, really, who left the fridge door open last night? It goes to show you what a little snow cover and a northerly wind can do for the temperature. Montreal is currently recording the coldest morning of the season at -16C, my low temperature for the night. Ottawa is -17C, Sherbrooke -20C and Maniwaki -23C. The mercury has not budged this morning. It will be hard pressed to do so with that northerly wind and high pressure cresting over the area on this Christmas Eve. Look for partly cloudy skies and cold temperatures, perhaps reaching -11C, but that would be it if at all. Tonight will start off clear and cold, but weak low pressure will approach from the Great Lakes with increasing clouds and warming temperatures towards daybreak Christmas morning.

Sunday will feature cloudy skies with a little light snow from the afternoon into the evening. We could see 2 to 4cm of snow, but it would not surprise me if a little more fell. It will be just enough to make roads slippery but temperatures will warm to -3C. Boxing Day looks fair for shopping and turkey leftovers before a stronger storm takes aim at the region for Tuesday. That system has the potential to produce more mixed precipitation so stay tuned because it could impact travel.

Friday, December 23, 2011

White Christmas

Snow in Pointe Claire this morning. (ValleyWX)

With just a little over 36 hours to go until Christmas 2011, it has snowed in Montreal. While it was not really a surprise, perhaps the coverage and amount was. Low pressure is moving well south of Montreal off the Jersey coast this morning. Precipitation worked its way north into the St. Lawrence Valley late last evening in the form of light rain that changed to wet snow around midnight as the temperature dropped to 0C, where it is currently. Around 3cm, or just over one inch of snow has fallen at my home here on Ile Perrot with another 1 to 2cm likely before it tapers off by mid-morning. The snow will be followed by dropping temperatures, with the coldest night of the season expected tonight at -17C in Montreal, colder outside the city. The Christmas weekend looks wintry with very cold temperatures on Saturday (-10C) under fair skies and perhaps a quick shot of  snow late on Christmas Day with milder temperatures closer to -2C.

Lots of people are travelling today - expect snow covered or slushy roads in most of southern Quebec and extreme eastern Ontario with areas north and west towards the Ottawa Valley reporting the coldest temperatures. South of Montreal along the US border and into New England it was mostly a rain event, but some snow is mixing in at this time and icy patches are likely. Icy patches will develop everywhere today as temperatures drop throughout the day so adjust your speed and allow plenty of braking distance. All in all it is not bad travel weather, more of a nuisance snow - be courteous and arrive safely.

Have a Happy Holiday! 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Very icy morning

Ice coats my Christmas decorations and trees on Ile Perrot last evening.

Lots of freezing rain fell on Ile Perrot last evening. In less than 2 hours I measured 11.9mm of precipitation between 8 and 10pm. Thankfully the temperature rose just slightly above freezing overnight and we are sitting at 1C, I just walked my dog and some melting is occurring. The freezing rain caused numerous accidents across the island of Montreal yesterday with nearly 2 dozen reported and another 50 or so in Ottawa. Northeast of Montreal near Drummondville, a collision between a car and school bus resulted in two fatalities. We would have been better off with snow but unfortunately this type of winter often results in numerous freezing rain events. The low pressure responsible for this mess  moved from the Midwest across New York State just south of the city and is now well east of Montreal and heading into Atlantic Canada. A few flurries or snow showers will occur today with temperatures remaining steady near 1C.

It will be chilly overnight with a northeast wind, temperatures down to -7C and some snow developing. Low pressure will skirt the US Atlantic coast tonight an head into the Maratimes on Friday. Snow is expected to spread from south to north across the entire region and affect mainly from Montreal south and east. The heaviest amounts will be in southern Vermont where up to 15cm (6 inches) is possible. Amounts will taper off rapidly with just 1 or 2cm (less than 1inch) expected in Montreal. Skies will remain cloudy on Friday with flurries and chilly. The Christmas weekend at this time looks partly cloudy and chilly with perhaps a few flurries, but no major storms expected at this time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mixed precipitation continues

Radar showing freezing rain over southwest Quebec and eastern Ontario.

Steady freezing rain continues in Montreal at 8pm with temperatures at -1C here on Ile Perrot and at Trudeau Airport. The freezing rain or drizzle has been falling since around 1pm here in the city. Numerous accidents have been reported across the southern half of the province including a fatal collision northeast of Montreal near Trois Rivieres. Traffic moved slowly across the city for the evening commute. Road conditions are once again deteriorating as an area of heavier freezing rain mixed with rain edges into the southwest portion of Quebec from Ontario. Area temperatures remain below freezing with the exception of Cornwall where it is now 1C with rain.

Freezing Rain Warning

As I expected Environment Canada has posted a freezing rain warning for a wide area of southern Quebec including metro Montreal, as well as eastern Ontario. Low pressure is forecast to move from Illinois to upstate New York today, passing just south of Montreal. This track places us just north of the warm front, and in a favorable position for an extended period of freezing rain. Radar this morning is showing light snow moving into the region from the southwest, that will be followed by the steadier precipitation by the middle part of the day. Expect 2 to 10 mm of frozen precipitation, more than enough to make travel dangerous. Mild air will work as far north as the US border, as a matter of fact Montreal is -5C currently while Burlington, Vermont is already at the freezing point. For that reason expect just regular rain from the border region south. If your travel plans take you anywhere but straight south today, expect delays and icy roads. The precipitation will end this evening as a period of flurries. Temperatures today will remain near 0C in Montreal and Ottawa. Looking ahead we may have a little light snow on Thursday and again Sunday, but no major snow is in the forecast at this time, but perhaps just enough to whiten the ground.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Freezing Rain

 Montreal? Not really, Santa Fe, New Mexico yesterday afternoon (AP photo)

ICE SAFETY: The ice in and around Montreal and southern Quebec is very unstable this year, please stay off it until further notice.  ICE SAFETY HERE

It is a very cold morning in Montreal after yesterday's warm high of 6C. Temperatures have been falling since late afternoon and are now at -8C with a gusty northwest wind and windchill values as cold as -15C. Today will be sunny across the area, but cold at -6C. Clear skies will give way to an increase in clouds overnight with a low of -11C. Then the nasty weather starts, I wish it was snow, but sadly as I said to start the week it looks like ice. Strong low pressure that has blasted the southern plains with a blizzard producing over 25cm of snow and foot high drifts in New Mexico and Kansas is poised to move close to Montreal late Wednesday. The warm from associated with that system will produce an area of freezing rain in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valley's on Wednesday before changing to rain as the roller coaster ride continues. Temperatures should rise above freezing by late in the day and remain that way Thursday. High pressure will then move in behind the storm with another dip in temperatures Friday and Saturday before some snow on Christmas Day. How much snow for the 25th? It is way too early to tell at this point, but stay tuned.

For traveling around the region today, all directions are clear, dry and cold. The only travel concerns would be northeast of Montreal where snow fell yesterday. Some roads towards Quebec City and points north may still be icy or snow covered. Blowing snow remains a problem along highways in the Saguenay and Lac St. Jean region. Otherwise travel to the northern US and Ontario is perfect today. As far as Wednesday goes we will likely see freezing rain warnings posted for a portion of our region.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cool down underway

A cold front has passed across the St. Lawrence Valley and is now south of Montreal. Most of the precipitation in the region is over after a couple of millimeters of rain and a trace of snow today. Winds have been gusty all day out of the southwest during most of the daylight hours and now the northwest gusting to 50km/h. The temperature started the day rather cold but rose dramatically at noon from -1C to 5C here in Montreal in a matter of minutes. My official high here on Ile Perrot was an unseasonably mild 6C at 1:47pm. It is slowly falling tonight with any wet surfaces expected to freeze up in the next few hours. We are currently 2C on Ile Perrot dropping to an overnight low of -11C.

Active weather week ahead

(Image from

After a bright but rather chilly weekend here in Montreal, we are heading into an active weather week. There are no majors storms on the map but lots of nuisance weather systems, the type you can expect with this kind of a fall and winter. With lots of milder air frequently surging into the southern Quebec and Ontario and cold air poised to settle south right behind it, frequent freeze and thaw cycles occur which makes driving actually more dangerous than if it was a normal winter. We will see that several times this week, as a matter fact we are already observing snow this morning. Deepening low pressure is moving across central Ontario into central Quebec this morning with some snow and rain.

A warm front is moving across the region as I write this entry with light snow in Montreal and a gusty southeast wind. Montreal is only expecting 2cm and perhaps a rain shower, but snowfall warnings are in place northeast of Montreal where 10-15cm could fall in Quebec City and points north. At -4C with a windchill of -9C it is a rather raw morning in Montreal. The front will lift north of the city this morning giving us a few hours of above normal temperatures. It is already 4C in Toronto and 0C in Ottawa, so the milder air is on the way. It will be short lived with a potent cold front passing over the area this evening with strong northwest winds up to 50km/h and showers changing to flurries with plummeting temperature to -12C by morning. Look for a rapid freeze up on area roads so watch your travel tonight. The same scenario I just described is likely to play out two or three times up to Christmas Day. In the end we will be left with more ice than snow I believe. Stay tuned on this busy travel week as I will update the blog at least twice a day. Be safe.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekend Update

We are running out of time in securing a white Christmas here in southern Quebec and Ontario. Yesterday was remarkably warm for December, or even November, with temperatures soaring to 11C in Montreal and we already have recorded a high of 10C today, it came during the overnight hours. The temperature has been dropping since, and now sits at 4C. They will bottom out at a cold -10C overnight tonight. Showers accompanied the cold front this morning and a secondary shot of cold air by the middle part of the day could produce flurries. Heavy rain occurred over Montreal yesterday with 42.5mm at the airport. I measured close to 30mm here on Ile Perrot, but I was having trouble with my computer so that measurement is not reliable. I have since fixed the problem and we are back on track.

High pressure will dominate the weather for the weekend with sunny skies, cool days around -5C and cold nights around -10C throughout the area. The next chance for precipitation will come from a frontal system on Monday that could give us some light snow or once again showers as temperature warm to above normal. We are still watching the weather map for a potential significant snowfall during the middle to late portion of next week, but it is way too soon to pinpoint that forecast.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rainy and windy

This will be a very brief post this morning. My computer decided to fail me and take my weather data with it, that is why you see -999C on my weather sticker. Rest assured hell has not frozen over. On the contrary it is a mild 5C with steady rain this morning as low pressure moves to our west. Before the technological collapse this morning I measured 14.1mm of rain to 7:21am. It will be a wet, dreary and breezy day today. I will update the forecast this evening after all my computer components are reconnected.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rain and maybe snow

It is mild once again this morning in Montreal with a 7am reading of 1C. We have had scattered snow showers and drizzle over the last 24 hours thanks to a weak cold front in the area. It has been generally dull and uninspiring for mid-December. Today we will see a brief break in the precipitation as weak high pressure noses into southern Quebec. We may see a break or two, but it will be mostly cloudy and damp with temperatures no better than 1 or 2C. Our next weather system is a low pressure near Colorado that will sweep across the Great Lakes and move west of Montreal placing us in the warm sector once again. As the warm front approaches the region overnight, some cold air at the surface will allow for mixed precipitation at the onset. Keep this in mind if your travels take you north of Montreal or east, as freezing rain warnings are in effect for those areas. Elsewhere a brief period of snow will change over to rain overnight and continue on Thursday with temperatures very warm, up to 9C (48F).

A cold front will cross the area late Thursday with any leftover precipitation tapering off to flurries by Friday morning as temperatures lower back to the freezing point. Our next chance for any appreciable snow will come Sunday and again by next Tuesday. Scenario one looks like only a centimetre or two for Sunday, but the second system early next week needs to be watched closely as it moves across the Ohio Valley and close to our region.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another mild week ahead

It felt just a little like winter over the weekend, at least on Saturday. Cooler temperatures and a spot of snow Friday night made for a wintry Saturday with snow on the ground, a chill in the air and snow showers scattered around southern Quebec. It was short lived as Sunday brought above normal temperatures again as our very mild late fall/early winter moves along. Don't look for any winter weather this week as the region will be dominated by a southwest flow. High pressure is in control to start the week with sunshine and warm temperatures up to 5C today in Montreal. That will be followed by a very weak and somewhat dry cold front on Tuesday with just a chance of a shower or snowflake. Wednesday will be fair before low pressure approaches the region and passe to our west leaving Montreal in warm air once again with rain on Thursday. There are signs that the coldest air of the season may arrive next weekend with a promise for snow to start Christmas week. Keep in mind however that many rimes this year that scenario has presented itself a week or 10 days out only to have the forecast modify and be much warmer with rain or a mix as the forecast evolves.

Environment Canada has posted the likelihood of a white Christmas for many major centers across Canada. You can check it out HERE. I remember as a child growing up in Montreal during the snowy 70's, that we were guaranteed a very white Christmas, always sledding and skating outdoors. It was a wonderful way to spend the two week break every year. To be honest I miss that weather. You can see on the Environment Canada link that Montreal's average snow cover today on Christmas Day is down an incredible 50% from the years when I was growing up. Argue global warming all you want, something is happening to our weather!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Weekend Update

Winds gusting as high as that of a category 2 hurricane caused widespread damage and power outages across Atlantic Canada yesterday.
This truck did not fare too well near Sydney, Nova Scotia. Image from CBC News

We are sitting at the freezing point again in Montreal this morning as our "ho hum" weather continues. It is now December 9 and all we have is a trace of snowfall to show for the month and 9cm for the season. Most days have been within a degree or two of 0C for highs and lows, and we have had lots of cloud cover. Temperatures will continue to be above normal this weekend as that cold air mass from out west has moderated as it crossed the Great Lakes. We are looking at a cloudy day with periods of flurries or showers. The weekend looks mild and partly cloudy with high temperatures of 1 or 2C and lows between -6C and -2C.

The precipitation today is being generated by a cold front moving across the Great Lakes. That front will produce gusty southwest winds off of the lakes that may produce a period of steady lake effect snow along Highway 401 from Kingston to Brockville and extending north into Leeds and Grenville County and perhaps even Kemptville. A couple of quick centimetres is possible with low visibility in any of the squalls. Last night a feeder band of lake snow stretched all the way from Georgian Bay to Ottawa. If they hold together today we may see a few heavier flurries in southern Quebec, but the likelihood is low.

That Atlantic Nor'Easter that raced up the east coast yesterday produced heavy rain and snow across the Maratimes. The storm also brought with it fierce winds that gusted as high as 159km/h at Englee, Newfoundland. There were numerous reports of damage and power outages with many communities reporting gusts in excess of 100km/h. The same was true across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick where strong winds cut power to thousands and made travel dangerous. The Confederation Bridge to PEI was closed after winds exceeded 100km/h and gusted as high as 136km/h. It has since reopened.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Few snowflakes for Montreal

Heavy snow falling in Monticello, Maine near the New Brunswick border this morning.

I am afraid the weather headlines are not very exciting lately in Montreal. We had just a few snowshoes last evening as a rapidly developing area of low pressure skirted the American east coast moving northeast. That storm pounded southern New England with 1-3 inches of rain and winds gusting to 60mph late yesterday and overnight. The storm is in the Gulf of Maine this morning spreading heavy rain across Atlantic Canada with heavy wet snow in a narrow band from northern New Hampshire along the US/Canadian border and into northern New Brunswick and the Gaspe. Overnight snowfall ranged from a dusting here in Montreal up to as much as 15cm (6 inches) along the Townships/New England Border and as much as 25cm (10 inches) in the upper elevations of southern Vermont.

High pressure will try to clear us out this morning, but I am noticing on radar some more snow flurries working there way towards Montreal from the Ottawa Valley. Those will be brief and then is should be a sunny but breezy day with winds up to 40km/h. Temperatures are chilly this morning, but still well above normal for December at -3C. Look for highs around 2C today. Another weak cold front will approach southern Quebec on Friday with a few more flurries.

If your travels take you anywhere near the snow belts of western New York or Ontario today, there will be lake effect snow developing in those regions affecting I-81 from Watertown south to north of Syracuse as well ads the area around Buffalo. The lake snow may shift north on Friday and affect the Thousand Islands region of Ontario/NY, Highway 401, eastern Ontario and the western Adirondacks.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Snow for Townships/Vermont

A quick moving low pressure system developing this morning along that slow moving cold front that cleared Montreal yesterday, is forecast to move into the Gulf of Maine by Thursday morning. An area of enhanced precipitation with this storm will affect southern New England today and spread into Vermont and southeast Quebec near the US border tonight. A Winter Weather Advisory is now posted for most of eastern and southern Vermont as well as New Hampshire for snow tonight and early Thursday, accumulating up to 10cm with 15cm locally. In Quebec the precipitation will remain well south and east of Montreal affecting Sherbrooke and the Townships with 5-10cm of snow overnight. Keep this in mind if your travels take you down Highway 10 or Interstates 89, 91 or 93 tonight and early tomorrow.

Montreal will remain on the northwest edge of the system with a chance for a few flurries and temperatures right around 0C. As a matter of fact it has been 0C at my home since about 10pm last night with the weather centre showing the high and low as 0C so far. Further south across the middle Atlantic a steady cold rain is expected with perhaps a brief period of wet snow later tonight. That quick moving Nor'Easter will continue to strengthen and provide a big snowstorm for New Brunswick across western Nova Scotia and the Gaspe. Over 20cm is forecast with winds gusting to 90km/h on Thursday.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Still waiting for snow

That was one slow moving cold front that passed across Montreal and southern Quebec overnight and this morning with the promise of snow. Around 28mm of rain fell at my home on L'Ile Perrot, but no snow. Temperatures were just too mild for the snow we had expected to fall behind the front, at least here in Montreal. Up to 5cm of wet snow covered the ground across the Ottawa Valley and portions of southwest Ontario. Snow also fell yesterday as far south as New Mexico. So it continues to be a very mild fall in Montreal as we await true winter and snow. In November, Montreal had 8.2cm of snow, the normal is 21.9cm. So far in December the city recorded a trace, today, the normal is 48.3cm. Radar is showing flurries tonight north of the city, and we have finally reached the freezing point here in Montreal, a full 24 hours later than I expected it would. We can expect some flurries tonight but at this time, no major storms are on the horizon. The air will chill over the next few days and into the weekend, but it will not be as cold as originally expected earlier in the week, and still above normal for December. Temperatures will dip to -10C on by Sunday morning, but warm once again to above freezing by Monday.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Colder weather on the way

Snow in Omaha, Nebraska over the weekend. (

Our very mild fall continued across southern Quebec over the weekend with mostly dry weather and temperatures running 10 degrees above normal. At 7am this morning Montreal was 8C down from yesterday's warm 10C, (the record was 15C set in 1982) the normal high/low for this time of the year is -1 and -8C. We have light rain falling in Montreal as a cold front slowly moves from our northwest towards the St. Lawrence Valley. Impulses of moisture are sliding along that front from the southern US with heavier precipitation. Rain will increase in coverage and intensity today as the front moves into the St. Lawrence Valley. As colder air begins to filter into the region, temperatures will drop from where they sit currently and approach the freezing point by midnight. Look for rain to change to wet snow before ending by mid morning Tuesday. Up to 5cm of wet snow is possible in some locations especially north and west of Montreal towards Ottawa. Temperatures are at the high for today right now and will drop to -1C by Tuesday morning. They should stay there on Tuesday with clouds thinning by afternoon. Much colder air will then move into Quebec and eastern Ontario to end the week with temperatures dropping into the minus teens for lows, the coldest air of the season by Saturday. It will be short lived with more mild air expected next week. But for the short term expect a return to more wintry weather with the likelihood of more snow later this week.

Over the weekend low pressure lifted from Texas to northwest Ontario with a swath of heavy snow falling west of the track. Places like the Texas Panhandle and Nebraska had their first snowstorm of the season with as much as 15cm (6 inches). Behind the front arctic air plunged south. It was very cold once again across Manitoba and Saskatchewan on Sunday with snow and blowing snow. Temperatures this morning are a chilly -19C in Regina and -24C in Winnipeg.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Light Snow

The wild temperature swings across the country this fall are showing no signs of changing any time soon. We are mild for the time being this morning - around the freezing point in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Radar is showing an area of light snow and rain along a cold front moving southeast towards the St. Lawrence Valley this morning with snow falling in Ottawa. I expect some snow to spread into Montreal today with 1-3cm possible, less in the city centre where it may mix with light rain. Temperatures will warm briefly above freezing to 1 or 2C before falling back behind the cold front by late afternoon. Skies should clear out tonight with a cold evening on tap for the region with lows on either side of -10C. It will be a mild weekend with partly cloudy skies on Saturday and increasing chances of precipitation on Sunday. Temperatures will be 2C on Saturday, warming to 6C on Sunday so no snow only rain. The next chance for snow or rain will come late Monday.

The Santa Ana winds in southern California and the US southwest kicked up again yesterday with record ferocity blowing across the desert and into the canyons and passes of the Golden State. Wind gusts were reported as high as 167 mph (over cat 5 hurricane) with widespread damage to homes and trees reported, and hundreds of thousands without power. Here are some rather notable wind gusts from the current event, which forecasters say was the strongest in a decade.

-- Henninger Flats, Calif. (2,800 ft., near Pasadena): 167 mph* -- Mammoth Mountain, Calif. (11,000 ft.): 150 mph* -- Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, Colo.: 123 mph -- Kane Springs, Nevada: 98 mph -- Neihart, MT: 77 mph -- Meeteetse, Wyom.: 75 mph -- Sandia Park, New Mexico: 72 mph (

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From KATV, snow falling across Arkansas on Tuesday.

A big swirl of low pressure continues to spin its way northeast across Ontario this morning. On the front side of it in the mild air, Montreal sits at 9C with showers, meanwhile Toronto is down to 2C. We had quite an intense period of rain early this morning here on Ile Perrot, and that pushed my 24 hours rain total to 29.7mm. It has been very wet across Ontario and in some cases white. Yesterday 81.2mm of rain fell in Windsor, with 42mm across the GTA and 21.2mm in Ottawa. The rain has since changed to wet snow across portions of Ontario and southwest into Michigan and Indiana where as much as 25cm (10 inches) fell late yesterday and overnight. The snow has left many without power. It has been a bizarre fall with so may regions receiving wet snowstorms just days after having well above normal temperatures. Snow fell as far south as Arkansas and Mississippi yesterday. Many regions of the deep south were colder than Montreal on Tuesday. The cold is air slowly pouring into eastern Ontario and Quebec this morning on gusty west winds. Look for high temperatures to be reached early in the day in the St. Lawrence Valley followed by a slow fall to overnight lows below freezing to -4C. The showers should taper off to a few flurries by late today. A coupe of centimetres of wet snow may accumulate across the Ottawa Valley.

We will have a brief break on Thursday before another area of low pressure brings a chance for rain and wet snow on Friday. The weekend at this time looks cloudy and cool with flurries.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Freezing rain north - cold rain south

Low pressure over Kentucky is forecast to move northeast across southern Ontario by late today and eventually east of Quebec by tomorrow. This morning light rain is falling in Montreal with chilly temperatures of 3C. It should warm to 6C today and increase further overnight tonight in the rain and mild southwest winds to about 12C. Rain will increase in intensity and coverage tonight as the main area of low pressure and associated cold front crosses the area. The slow moving storm is producing well above normal temperatures south and east of the center, however on the north and west side it is a different story. Cold air at the surface is allowing for freezing rain in a wide swath from central Ontario across the upper Ottawa Valley and north of Montreal from Pontiac to Quebec City. Warnings are in place for as much as 10-20mm of ice. This will cause serious road conditions and power outages. Keep this in mind if your travels take you north of Montreal or north and west of Ottawa today and tonight.

Further south snow is falling across northern Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Snow will also fall on the backside of the system from Indiana and Illinois into Michigan and parts of Ontario. Up to 15cm (6 inches) of snow may follow the rain. Here in southern Quebec it will be mainly a rain event with up to 25mm (1 inch) possible tonight and Wednesday followed by perhaps a few snowflakes late in the day Wednesday as the temperatures tumbles to the freezing point. The balance of the week looks seasonable but unsettled with a few showers or flurries into the weekend. No big cold or snowstorms are in our future for Montreal at this time.

*** I have posted screen shot of my new weather system ValleyWX above. I installed it in the backyard last night and hopefully will make it available online shortly. I am just checking the equipment for reliability and accuracy at this time. In any event it will help me provide a more localized forecast for the southwestern suburbs of Montreal south to the US border and west to the Ontario border.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fierce winds in Alberta

Wind damage in downtown Calgary on Sunday (Calgary Herald)

Strong winds swept across southern Alberta and Saskatchewan yesterday bringing record high temperatures to the region but also causing considerable damage. Winds gusted as high as 144km/h at Claresholm, Alberta and 91km/h in Calgary. The winds toppled trees and power lines and tore roofing off structures in downtown Calgary. The wind punched out several windows on high rise buildings spraying glass over the downtown core and forcing firefighters to close most of the central part of Calgary for a time on Sunday. Just two weeks after the record arctic chill, temperatures soared into the teens in parts of Albert and Saskatchewan with nearly a dozen new record highs.

Meanwhile here in the east we had a rather dull, but very mild weekend. This morning Montreal is at 12C with a gusty southwest wind. That temperature is well above the normal high of 3 or 4C for late November. Some wintry weather is on the menu for overnight tonight. First today we are dealing with a cold front this morning that should clear the valley by noon with any rain tapering off. Temperatures will fall today to around 4C this afternoon and down to 0C overnight. Overnight another stronger area of low pressure will lift out of the Gulf states and into southern Ontario. It will also bring another surge of warm air which will override the cold air at the surface and produce a period of freezing rain, especially northwest of the Ottawa Valley in Ontario and across the area well north of Montreal. Spotty freezing rain may occur in Montreal but it will be short lived. This next storm will be around through mid week with quite a bit of precipitation. So far this morning the only warnings in place for this next storm, is a Winter Storm Watch for northeast Ontario (Parry Sound, Algonquin, Haliburton). More warnings for rain and freezing rain may be needed later today or on Tuesday. Temperatures will remain above normal for this time of year with no arctic air in sight. Keep in mind any freezing rain that falls can ice roads very quickly, so if your travel takes you north or northwest of Montreal tonight or Tuesday, plan accordingly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend Update

What a difference 48 hours can make in the weather department. It is breezy and mild this morning at 6C in Montreal, the warmest reading of the week and we are on the way to 10C. Needless to say plenty of snow melting has taken place in the last 12 hours or so and most of our 12cm is gone. The partial sunshine and warm southwest winds up to 50km/h today will take care of the rest and we should be snow free once again by this evening. High pressure will provide the region with a breezy, warm and dry period into Saturday before a cold front approaches southern Quebec late overnight into Sunday. Showers will develop on Sunday with periods of steadier rain likely. Temperatures will start the period well above normal, but drop to more seasonable levels into next week with a chance for showers or flurries almost everyday as we move into an unsettled period.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Much milder

Well after yesterday's morning rush hour adventure, caused mainly by those people who think late November is too early for snow tires, today was a breeze. The snow has compacted quite a bit and even started to melt in places. Roads were bare and wet with just some icy spots in the suburbs. Say goodbye to our first taste of winter as winds will shift to the southwest today and draw in much warmer air. Temperatures under cloudy skies will reach 6C today and even warmer Friday at 9C. Montreal is already warmer than at any time yesterday at 1C. It will be a mild weekend but rain is forecast to spread into the region Saturday night, and Sunday at this time looks windy, wet and warm for late November.

The early round up for yesterday's snowstorm was about 10cm (4 inches) for Montreal (a little more at my home in Ile Perrot with about 12cm) with as much as 20cm in Plattsburgh, New York, 10-15cm for Burlington, Vermont and Sherbrooke and only a couple of centimetres in Ottawa. Windsor, Ontario had close to 60mm of rain and Halifax recorded a whopping 34cm of snow with portions of Nova Scotia having as much as 40cm along with 80km/h winds. The storm is now affecting Newfoundland.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Despite me telling Bella the snow was coming as early as Sunday, my two year old Terrier was as surprised as everyone else when she stepped outside this morning. (ValleyWX pic)

One word this morning, snow! Despite the warnings, lots are being caught off guard today with no winter tires, snow brushes and such. The first snow seems to come as a surprise to all and this morning is no different. Roads off island are in very poor shape, snow covered and slippery with reduced visibility. Highway 15 south is closed near St. Jerome because of a major accident. From the south shore, bridges are slow and commuters are experiencing up to an hour delay. Warnings remain posted across southern Quebec and northern New England and will remain so until about mid-day when the snow will taper off. About 5cm (2 inches) has fallen in Montreal with close to 10cm in northern Vermont and along the US border. Radar shows several more hours of snow before it ends with a storm total of 10cm forecast. Temperatures will be close to the freezing point all day. Winds are gusty this morning out of the northeast up to 40km/h reducing visibilities especially south of the city. In the last hour Montreal Trudeau Airport is reporting snow with northeast winds gusting to 33km/h and a windchill of -9C.

Once this early taste of winter passes today we can expect clearing skies and mild weather into the weekend, so most of the snow will melt. The storm responsible for the snow in Quebec and freezing rain last night in Ontario is now over southern New York state and moving east into the Atlantic. It will deepen rapidly and pound Atlantic Canada with up to 30cm of snow and strong winds later today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Storm Update

As of 9:30pm the leading edge of the precipitation is approaching the Brockville/Thousand Islands region of Ontario. Snow should move into southern Quebec and Metro Montreal by 3am with the heaviest snow falling, sadly, close to the morning commute. A good 5cm is expected with as much as 10cm south of the city. Along the 401 in Ontario from Toronto northeast towards Brockville, freezing rain is expected. Toronto is currently reporting freezing rain, so roads are slick in the region. Expect winds to increase as well with gusts out of the northeast to 50km/h. This evening winds were gusting over 60km/h in southern Ontario. Low pressure will move from Illinois to New York State by tomorrow. Snow will spread across northern New England and Quebec and into Atlantic Canada on Wednesday.

Weather Warning for Montreal

On the coldest morning of the season to date (-8C here in Montreal), Environment Canada has issued a Weather Warning for southern Quebec from the Ontario border south and east to the Townships. Low pressure is lifting north from Texas into the Ohio Valley today and will pass just south of Quebec across New York State on Wednesday. Clouds will thicken up later today and the precipitation associated with this storm will spread across eastern Ontario after midnight and into Montreal during the overnight period tonight. Snow mixed with freezing rain will be the type expected here in the city with 5-10cm forecast. That amount falls well under the heavy snow warning criteria, but due to the fact it is the first snow of the season and the onset occurring during the morning commute, the warning was posted to alert the public. Up to 15cm (6 inches) may fall in the Eastern Townships and the Green Mountains.

The National Weather Service has Winter Weather Advisories posted for northern New York and Vermont. Tomorrow is a big travel day across North America, and you can expect delays in the east. Those not being affected by snow and freezing rain can expect gusty winds and heavy rain from Boston to New York. Today will be calm region wide with sunny skies and cold temperatures around 0C in Montreal. Temperatures will drop to -2C in the snow overnight and remain near 0C on Wednesday. Winds are also expected to be a factor in southern Quebec and the St. Lawrence Valley, gusting between 30 and 50km/h out of the northeast on Wednesday. Skies should clear Thursday and it will turn very mild once again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Snow Update

It appears our first snow of the season is on the way for metro Montreal and points south and east of the city into the Townships. I hesitate to call this a storm, however it will be a potent low pressure area with decent lift as it moves from the Ohio Valley across New England on Wednesday. Moisture will be limited in Montreal due to the speed of the system and temperatures will be flirting with the freezing point through the event so some of the snow may melt. Snow should overspread the area from west to east after midnight on Tuesday into Wednesday and mix with freezing rain and rain by Wednesday morning. At this time it looks like the heaviest snow will be across the higher elevation of the Eastern Townships and New England with 10-15cm possible. In the valley's including Montreal I think 3 to 5cm is a good bet. While it is not lots of snow, it is the first taste of winter for Montreal and that will likely cause some traffic problems on Wednesday morning.

At this time a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for northern New York and Vermont with just a special weather statement highlighting the first snow of the season for Ottawa, Cornwall and Montreal. It is Thanksgiving Week south of the border, so lots of people are travelling. At this time it looks like portions of Interstate 87, 89 and 91 will be affected by snow and ice, as well as Highways 10, 15 and 20 in Quebec and the 401 in Eastern Ontario.

First snow?

It was -36.1C in Edmonton on Sunday morning. The city is in the grips of an early cold snap after a 15cm snowstorm on Thursday. (

What a bizarre fall this has been. I would not have bet that New York City and Vancouver would have measurable snow before Montreal, but both cities have. Vancouver recorded up to 5cm over the weekend. Many portions of Canada are already recording mid-winter weather including Edmonton where a new record low was established over the weekend at an incredible -36.1C. That is cold anytime of the year folks, but in November, really? The good news for the west is that a moderation in temperatures will begin today and highs will likely nudge above the freezing point by Tuesday for a day or two before more cold air arrives by the end of the week.

SNOW for MONTREAL: For us here in Montreal we had a rather balmy, docile weekend. Temperatures remained well above normal with highs of 10C on Saturday and 13C yesterday, both well above normal, today, not so warm. A cold front swept the area on Sunday with gusty winds, brief showers and dropping temperatures. We are sitting at the coldest morning so far this fall with -5C in Montreal but as cold as -10C just north of the city and -7C in Ottawa. We will not make it above freezing today. This will set the stage for perhaps and interesting 24 hours of weather beginning late Tuesday. Low pressure organizing over the southern plains is forecast to pass just south of Montreal over New England by Wednesday morning. Initial model runs had the storm too far south to affect us, but now it looks like the track will send a swath of precipitation over the St. Lawrence Valley. It will likely be cold enough at first for snow and freezing rain for Ottawa and Montreal late Tuesday and into Wednesday morning before a transition to rain from the city south. We are not looking at big amounts of precipitation, perhaps 5-10cm. However with it being the first taste of snow for the city, we all know what that means. I will update this later today, so check back. So far only a special weather statement has been issued for eastern Ontario for places like Cornwall and Ottawa for the wintry mix with perhaps up to 10cm of snow. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend Update

The mid-day sun hangs low on the horizon near frigid Fairbanks, Alaska yesterday. Temperatures were as cold as -49F in Alaska as record setting cold dominates the state and south into the Yukon and western Canada.

It is a chilly morning in Montreal, one of the coldest of the season at -3C, but nothing compared to western Canada. The rain of yesterday has left some frozen puddles around, but otherwise it is a bright morning. Any leftover snow flurries are over the Townships and into northeast Vermont. There is also lake effect snow falling east of Lake Ontario and Erie with a good 20cm (8 inches) in spots around the Tug Hill of western New York. Our weekend forecast looks ok for late November with a partly sunny, dry day expected Saturday with a gusty southwest wind and warming temperatures to 10C. Low pressure and a cold front will approach southern Quebec on Sunday with widespread showers and windy conditions. Temperatures will drop quickly late Sunday so we could see a brief period of flurries once again before precipitation ends overnight Sunday. The start of next week looks dry and seasonably cool at this time.

ARCTIC CHILL: If you want the really cold air look out west across the Prairies, Rockies and into Alaska. The cold is setting all kinds of records for so early in the season. It is -16C this morning in Edmonton, and that is the best they will do. As the cold air deepens, temperatures will continue to drop today to overnight lows of -24C. Meanwhile Alaska is downright frigid. Yesterday Fort Yukon dropped to -46F, while Fairbanks set a new record cold "high" of -30F, that is 39 degrees colder than the normal high. It smashed the previous record of -19F set in 1904. The overnight low there was also a new record, -41F, the old one being -39F established in 1969. Temperatures will moderate slightly over the next few days.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SNOW and colder

Ok now that I have your attention, it will only be some scattered snow flurries for Montreal. A cold front moved through the city last night with very little notice, just a wind shift from the southwest to northwest. This has brought in noticeably cooler air this morning and the city is at 1C. It will not warm much today as clouds begin to increase once again with a few showers likely by afternoon. Winds will become gusty and temperatures will do no better than 5C before lowering below freezing to -2C tonight. Any showers will change over to flurries after sunset and end after midnight. Roads, especially elevated structures may be a little slippery in places overnight.

The gusty northwest winds are setting up snow squalls in the usual trouble spots southeast of Lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario. Warnings are out for the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario as well as around Sault Ste Marie for up to 25cm of snow. Warnings are also in effect for Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego Counties in New York for 6 to 9 inches of snow. The snow will intensify this afternoon and taper by Friday morning. As with all lake snow events expect the heaviest snow in very narrow bands with amounts ranging from nothing to up to 5cm an hour just a few miles away.

In western Canada the cold air continues to pour into Alberta and Saskatchewan. A pesky low pressure area will spread from northern Alberta into the southern Prairies today with accumulating snow and strong winds. A winter storm warning is in effect for Edmonton and parts of central Alberta for 10-15cm of snow. This morning Edmonton is -10C with a northeast wind at 30km/h and a windchill of -19C. Temperatures will not warm today but drop in the heavy snow with poor travel and low visibility. It was as cold as -40C in the Yukon yesterday morning, The cold has set new records across Alaska as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lake effect snow machine

Lake effect snow will make travel difficult in parts of western New York and central Ontario late tonight and Thursday. This photo was taken along Interstate 81 during a 2008 lake snow event south of Watertown.

The lake effect snow machine will likely get cranked up for the first time this season late tonight and especially Thursday afternoon into Friday morning. Low pressure and a cold front will cross the area today setting up a westerly fetch off the central Great Lakes. The most likely area for accumulating snow will be the higher elevations east of Lake Ontario and Erie across western New York. There is a watch in effect for Osewgo, Jefferson and Lewis Counties of New York. This includes Interstate 81 between Watertown and Syracuse, so if you have travels that way keep this in mind. There is also a snow squall watch out for Sault Ste Marie in Ontario for up to 25cm of wind driven lake effect snow, getting cranked up later today.

Outside of that, including here in Montreal, the weather picture looks tranquil for mid-November. One low pressure area over Mississippi will produce rain and some severe weather in the southern US and towards the middle Atlantic, but that will remain well south of our regions. That same cold front starting the lake snows will produce some isolated showers tonight into Thursday before cooler temperatures allow for some flurries to mix in. Ahead of the front it will be very mild today, well above normal at 14C. Temperatures will be quite a bit cooler tomorrow and Friday remaining near 5C and quite windy out of the west up to 50km/h. Arctic air moving into the Rockies and Prairies will retreat back north again, so I expect very little of it to reach us here in the east. It appears next week will be mild again with no big storms on the horizon and temperatures back to above normal values.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Record Highs

It was unseasonably warm across southern Quebec and Ontario on Monday with numerous record highs broken. They included 18.6C at Trudeau Airport in Montreal, and 18.2 at St. Hubert. St Anicet near the Ontario border was 19C but this fell just short of the record 19.8C set in 1994. It is cooler today with a high of 12C forecast, but that is still well above the normal high of 5C for November 15. Meanwhile severe weather spread from Arkansas to western New York yesterday in the warm air with reports of hail, high winds and even tornadoes. Damage was observed in may locations across Ohio and Indiana.

Out west arctic cold is plunging into Alberta and Saskatchewan and even west along the BC coast. Snow and windy conditions are accompanying the cold. It is -9C is Edmonton this morning with a fresh coating of snow on the ground, and it will be as cold as -20C by Friday morning. As the cold air moves east, it will moderate somewhat, but still be cold enough to produce lake effect snow over the Great Lakes by late Wednesday and Thursday. More on that tonight. The cold air will eventually be into Montral by the end of the weekend with lows below freezing and highs just above at plus 1 or 2C.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Near record highs today

Warm air continues to invade the St. Lawrence Valley this morning on strong southwest winds. Along the leading edge of the warmer air, shower activity is occurring, that should taper off shortly. Winds will further increase to between 40 and 70km/h for most of the day. The record high for Montreal today is 17.2 set in 1959. If we see a few breaks of sunshine that record may fall with highs forecast close to 16C, again well above normal for mid-November. No snow is in sight at this time through mid-week with just a chance of some flurries by weeks end. It will remain mild through late Wednesday before a strong cold front drops temperatures closer to the normal high of 5C for Montreal. Looking ahead into next week that arctic outbreak I talked about building over Alaska and the arctic region will start to move south into the Rockies and Prairies. Snow and biting cold is expected as far south and east as the northern US and western Great Lakes. It is too soon to tell exactly how far south and east the cold air will move.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend Update

Take time to remember today with 2 minutes of silence at 11am.

I remember as a child my dad telling me from a very young age how important this day was. We lived such a wonderful life in a big warm and safe home. He made sure I knew why we lived in such a free and safe country. It was the men and women and their families who fought for our freedom or suffered while their loved ones fought, and paid such a high price for our way of life. I never forget that to this day. Remembrance Day and wearing a poppy have always been the very least I can do, we can do to pay tribute to the ultimate sacrifice that many of our fellow Canadians and Americans have paid and continue to pay to ensure our freedom. Please take time to remember today and pay respect to them.

There is lots of weather to talk about today, and I am not sure where to start. I guess our own forecast is a good a place as any. It is noticeably cooler this morning with temperatures close to the freezing point. We will warm just a little to about 5C with mostly cloudy skies and an increasing northwest wind up to 50km/h. Most of the weekend looks cloudy, with temperatures near normal and perhaps a shower or two. It will be milder to start next week, but remain cloudy. That wind is in response to low pressure in Atlantic Canada. That cold front that moved through Montreal yesterday is now in the Maratimes with moisture streaming northward along it from Tropical Storm Sean. That will ensure a very wet and windy day across our east coast with over 50mm of rain forecast. Meanwhile in Ontario, cold northwest winds are producing the first lake effect snow of the season south of Lake Huron. Snow will accumulate 5-10cm today in places like Barrie. Temperatures are mild enough that most of it may melt on the roads, but a slushy coating is possible and visibilities will be low.

Looking ahead some of the coldest air of the season is pooling over the arctic and Alaska. Temperatures are forecast to plunge well below freezing with snow next week across the west. That cold air is expected to work its way into eastern Canada by next weekend. While it is too early for specifics, we could see our first wintry precipitation in Montreal by next weekend. You are forewarned as promised.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too,
T'was the witch of November come stealin'.

Today is the 36th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald with the loss of all 29 on board just off Whitefish Point, Michigan on Lake Superior. The ship was sunk by a serious of misfortunes exasperated by a November Witch. These are strong Great Lakes gales that form over Colorado and bomb out (strengthen rapidly) over the central Great Lakes. They can produce heavy precipitation and hurricane force winds. They whip the lakes into a frenzy with 20 foot seas or higher. In the case of the November 10th, 1975 Witch, it was estimated wave heights were as much as 25 feet. The ship sank quickly and catastrophically, virtually disappearing off radar screens in a matter of seconds.

We have a similar but much weaker storm over the Great Lakes today with heavy snow across Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan overnight. Some locations have recorded a foot of heavy wet snow. The snow has spread into central northern Ontario where up to 20cm fell overnight in Wawa and points north. Gale warnings are posted for much of the western Great Lakes with winds up to 100km/h (60mph) possible. The first lake effect snow of the season is also occurring over western upper Michigan today.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sat image of a powerful fall storm bearing down on the west coast of Alaska this morning. (Russia on the left, Alaska on the right).

It is another fair and mild morning in Montreal today, and we are certainly on borrowed time this late in the season. The normal high for today is 7C, we are currently 8C and are expecting highs once again close to 16C. Skies will be sunny with a warm southwest wind developing by afternoon. The record high for today is 19C set in 1945. We may have enough warm air and sunshine to challenge this, but I think the record highs will remain across Vermont and New York where they may see a 20C high or two. The nice weather will come to an end Thursday as low pressure and an associated cold front lift from Michigan into Ontario. Rain will develop on Thursday with increasing winds and lowering temperatures. There is even a shot at some flurries by Friday, especially north of Montreal and across the Townships. The cold will be short lived as milder weather is expected by the end of the weekend and into next week.

That same storm that will bring us rain, produced some wet snow overnight in Kansas City and across Iowa. The snow will spread into western Michigan today and northern Ontario where up to 15cm of wet snow is possible. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for the Wawa, Kapuskasing and Hearst areas today. Strong winds over 50km/h will make it feel much colder than the 0C highs expected.

Epic Alaskan storm: The National Weather Service is forecasting a record storm for the coast of Alaska today. The low pressure area over the Bearing Sea is as powerful as a hurricane with widespread 80mph winds expected, heavy snow and rain and high pounding surf and surge for the west coast of Alaska. I checked this morning and Nome was 27F with heavy snow and 40mph winds. Needless to say widespread storm warnings are in effect and travel is not advised. The weather service calls the storm dangerous and life threatening.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A late season tornado near Tipton, Oklahoma on Monday.

A very mild air mass remains over southern Quebec this morning with Montreal already above our normal daytime high for November 8. We are currently 7C after a high of 15C on Monday. Expect more of the same today after some fog and mist burns off this morning, temperatures will soar under bright sunshine to 16C. The same holds true for Wednesday, before a frontal system and associated low pressure area cross Quebec on Thursday and Friday with windy, wet weather and dropping temperatures.

We have an active weather pattern across the central portion of the continent with low pressure lifting north from Texas into the Great Lakes today. East of the center in the warm air thunderstorms produced tornadoes yesterday in Oklahoma with a farm destroyed near Tipton. The same storm system will produce more sever weather today across the lower Ohio and Tennessee Valley's, and is prompting a Winter Storm Watch across the upper peninsula of Michigan and eastern Wisconsin for Wednesday. A general 15cm of wet snow is possible in these regions extending north into northwest Ontario north of Lake Superior on Wednesday.

SEAN - Meanwhile the tropical Atlantic is showing some signs of life as sub-tropical storm Sean formed overnight. The storm is located about 720km southwest of Bermuda and is nearly stationary this morning with 45mph winds. The system is expected to remain weak and eventually merge with a frontal boundary over the open waters of the Atlantic. Sean is however enough of a threat for the Bermuda Government to issue a tropical storm watch for the island nation effective at 7am local time today.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Warm week ahead in Quebec

Temperatures are rapidly on the rise this morning after we flirted with the freezing point overnight. A general frost has covered everything outside but that should melt away quickly as temperatures soar to well above normal highs of 15C in Montreal today. The record high today is 20C set in 1975. We won't come near that but temperatures will be more than double the normal of 6C. Montreal and the entire region can expect sunshine today and again on Tuesday. The next chance of rain won't come until Thursday. As we look ahead to next weekend, sharply colder air and flurries are likely by Sunday. Oh by the way we had 8.4cm of snow in Montreal on this day in 1981, so November goes either way. Enjoy the sunshine today.

Meanwhile the cold and snow are out west across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. (Global image above of Saskatoon on Sunday). Temperatures are a cold -10C in Regina and Calgary this morning and a fresh 10-15cm of snow is on the ground in southern Saskatchewan and Western Manitoba. The rain has even changed to snow in Winnipeg this morning at -1C. The RCMP were advising drivers to stay of the Trans Canada Highway in Saskatchewan Sunday afternoon after dozens of accidents occurred. Roads were icy, snow packed and visibilities were low in blowing snow. The storm causing the wintry precipitation is moving northeast towards Hudson Bay. Another area of low pressure organizing in Texas will begin to lift north towards Lake Superior on Tuesday. This storm will be responsible for severe weather in Texas and Oklahoma, and another snowstorm for the northern plains and northwest Ontario. The snow in Ontario, north of Lake Superior, will likely amount to more than 15cm, with strong winds as well, so warnings are likely to be issued later today or Tuesday.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Weekend Update

Calgary Herald photo of a city bus stranded on an icy street on Friday.

It is a very chilly start to the day across the region with temperatures in the -2 to -6C. A hard frost has virtually killed off anything still growing as winter begins to slowly establish itself across Canada. Yesterday sunshine prevailed in Montreal while south and east of the city in the Townships and south into Vermont scattered snow flurries were observed. The weekend looks excellent for any outdoor adventures whether it be hiking to see the remaining colors of the season, winterizing your home or dare I say putting up the Christmas lights. Today will be sunny and plus 7C in Montreal and southern Quebec, back down to -1C tonight and up to an above normal high of plus 10C with sunshine on Sunday. The tranquil weather will prevail to start the week before low pressure ushers in rain and eventually colder air by late next week.

That cold air this morning is across the west as an arctic front presses south into Montana. The front dropped temperatures into the minus teens in Calgary with that cities first dose of snow yesterday. Nearly 350 accidents were reported snarling traffic across the city. Today low pressure will move across extreme eastern Montana and into Manitoba. Snow will fall from eastern Montana into North Dakota, Manitoba and southeast Saskatchewan with 5 to 15cm likely. The snow will be driven by 70km/h winds by late tonight making travel across the southern prairies rather dangerous with low visibility and icy roads. Conditions should improve by Sunday afternoon but it will remain blustery and cold.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Fair weather in the east

A portion of I-70 in Colorado remains closed today due to heavy snow and strong winds.

The question on everyone's lips lately is when are we going to see our first snow in Montreal, southern Quebec and eastern Ontario? Not anytime soon is my short, less complicated answer. Don't worry I will let you know well in advance. It looks like high pressure will give us a decent stretch of fair weather with normal temperatures right into this upcoming weekend. The only threat for clouds and showers will come late Thursday as a weak cold front crosses the region. This will be an ideal weekend to get outdoors and get your place ready for winter. Temperatures will be between 12 and 15C today, lowering to 9C or so into the weekend. Lows will be near the freezing point.

The main storm energy remains to our south across the US. This time Colorado and Wyoming are being affected by a blizzard this morning. An arctic front is pouring cold air across Alberta and BC and into the Rockies while moisture is moving in from the southwest. The combination of fresh snow, 5-10 inches worth, and 40mph north winds is producing very dangerous travel weather in Colorado and western Nebraska. A portion of I-70 has been closed as are numerous schools. Conditions will only improve on Thursday. Much colder air is also poised to spread across the Rockies and into the southern Prairies by the weekend. Snow and cold weather is forecast in Saskatchewan and eventually Manitoba by Saturday.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A November break

One last image of the big snows this weekend, this one from West Milford, New Jersey from Fox News. Over 19 inches of snow nearly 50cm fell there. I travel into that area every May, and it is just slightly elevated thus a degree or two colder than metro NYC.

I can`t believe Halloween is over and November is here. It still amazes me summer is over. I have been in total denial, even after I was shelling out hundreds for new winter tires this past weekend and watching the record snow pile up across the interior of the Northeast US. That storm by the way broke all kinds of records up and down the coast and into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Power remains out to nearly 2 million this morning as the clean up continues. Milder weather is on tap for much of the region as high pressure dominates the middle part of the week. It will be seasonable with cold overnight lows near freezing and daytime highs near 10C. A cold front late Thursday will give us some sprinkles or showers in Ontario and Quebec and then we can expect sunshine and cooler weather for the weekend.

Out west the first really cold arctic air mass of the season is getting ready to spread from the Yukon into northern BC with snow and below freezing temperatures. The arctic front will settle across BC and Alberta by the weekend.

Lots of pictures and video of the snow HERE.