Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Storm Update

5:30pm Update: Winter Storm Watches are in effect in Ontario from Windsor to Kingston with a Special Weather Statement for points north and east including Montreal and Ottawa. Snow will start on Tuesday and continue into Wednesday. At this time it looks like 10-20cm for the St. Lawrence Valley and 20-30cm for points south of the valley including Toronto. I expect warnings will be issued for the watch area on Tuesday and may be extended towards Cornwall and Montreal.
Meanwhile all watches have been upgraded to winter storm warnings for New York and Vermont. Storm totals of 8 to 20 inches of snow can be expected. Winds will be gusty in the St. Lawrence Valley from Montreal towards Kingston causing considerable blowing and drifting snow by Wednesday. Travel will be difficult on Wednesday in all regions, especially west along the Highway 20/401 corridor, south on Highway 15 as well as Interstates 81, 87, 89 and 91.

Previous Post...
Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Ontario from Kingston to Windsor including Toronto for heavy snow and blowing snow Tuesday into Wednesday. A special weather statement has been issued further north from east of Kingston to Ottawa and Cornwall and northeast to Montreal for snow and blowing snow on Wednesday. At this time look for 10-20cm in southwestern Quebec and eastern Ontario and 20-30cm in southern Ontario, northern New York and Vermont.

The next update will be by 6pm.

Winter Storm Update

Crews and contractors on L'Ile Perrot and around the region are busy moving and piling snow in parking lots making room for this weeks expected storm. While we have only had around 30cm of snow this month, (between 130-140cm for the season), most of the winter snow is still around because of the cold temperatures since early December. We have only had two days above 0C this month, January 1st and 2nd. (ValleyWX Pic)

It is a cold morning across portions of eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec. Montreal is - 21C with Ottawa -24C and Kemptville at -23C. High pressure will dominate today with light winds and sunny skies. Temperatures will be cold, no better than minus 15C. The weather will then become very interesting from Tuesday into Thursday. The much talked and written about Groundhog Day storm will begin to take shape. Low pressure is expected to develop over north Texas and move north towards the lower Great Lakes. It will then move northeast across southernNew England and off the coast by early Thursday. Light snow is expected to begin on Tuesday across many parts of the region slowly spreading east. This is the appetizer for the big snows on Wednesday. Snow will become very heavy during the day on Wednesday from southwest Ontario and western New York spreading north and east towards Vermont and extreme southern Quebec. I think the heaviest snow will remain south of Montreal - but just south. It will be a close call.

This morning, Winter Storm Watches have been hoisted from the Midwest into New England including the bordering counties of Upstate New York and Vermont. Early estimates are for 1 to 2 feet of wind blown snow for the region. Meanwhile on this side of the border 20-30cm (8-12 inches) in southern Ontario including Toronto is likely with lesser amounts as you go north and east. The forecast for Montreal has been flip flopping for the last 24 hours but I would say a good 15cm is possible with a gusty northeast wind producing blowing and drifting snow especially south of the city. The snow would likely end by late Wednesday. Any travel on Wednesday outside the metro region will be difficult and perhaps not advisable south of the city into the US and Townships. This is a developing situation and forecasts will change so check back often for updates. Expect a watch or warning for a portion of Ontario and Quebec later today or early Tuesday. Behind the storm it will be windy and chill on Thursday with clearing skies.

This storm will affect a wide area from Chicago to New York and into Atlantic Canada. Travel will be difficult in may areas. Northern Illinois and northwest Indian are under Blizzard Watches. Travel could be brought to a standstill at some of North America's busiest airports.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mid-Week Storm?

Will Montreal be on the bubble again this week? This is AccuWeather's take on the system.

The potential exists for a big Groundhog Day storm starting in Ontario and spreading into extreme southern Quebec. I have spent the morning looking at different forecast products and discussions trying to figure out why, at least at this time, Environment Canada is overlooking the possibility of a decent snowfall in Montreal on Wednesday. The official forecast is for partly cloudy skies and flurries. Most neighboring weather offices and weather sources are calling for a measurable snowstorm with strong winds followed by some of the coldest air of this winter on Thursday.

So lets take a quick look at it on the Sunday morning. Two pieces of energy one from the US southwest and a second one coming from the Prairies will converge near the southern Great Lakes by early this week. Low pressure is forecast to take shape and move across the southern tier of New York and into southern New England. This storm will have plenty of cold air to the north and a good supply of moisture and warm air to the south. The only question mark will be the storms exact path across New York. Obviously the further north the greater the impact it will have on Montreal and eastern Ontario. In any event look for a period of steady accumulating snow and blowing snow from late Tuesday into early Thursday region wide with poor travel conditions and the potential for numerous air and ground delays.

Now if this seems familiar it is because for the last three weeks it looked as if we were going to have a mid-week storm only to have the system pass to our south and east. The difference this time is this is not a coastal storm, but rather one originating in the Midwest. Only time will tell, stay tuned for updates. One thing is certain, Phil and Willy will not see their shadows, and likely scream to be put back into the warm shelter!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Weekend Update

Too much snow fell on this roof in Lynn, Mass. (Boston Globe photo)

A series of very weak low pressure areas will pass south of Montreal over the next 72 hours producing a little light snow across the area. I don't expect more than 2-5cm for the entire weekend. There will be some sunny breaks as well, and it will be seasonably cold with highs around -5C and lows around -11C. A shot of arctic air will arrive on Monday with very chilly temperatures below -15C into Tuesday before the next storm system takes shape over the Ohio Valley and heads for New England. As with the last 6 storms we may just be on the bubble for snow, we will have to wait and see.

That potent east coast storm that dumped 20 inches on New York City and eastern Long Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts Wednesday night, moved into the Maratimes yesterday. Hardest hit areas were interior western Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick including Moncton. Over 28cm fell in Moncton with 76km/h winds and near blizzard conditions. Road travel was terrible with many cars and trucks in the ditch and roads closed. Meanwhile Digby, Nova Scotia had 33cm and Grand Etang reported a peak wind gust of 154km/h. The storm is affecting Newfoundland this morning, St. John's is reporting winds at 55 gusting to 84km/h at this hour.

How much snow is too much snow? Well apparently 6 feet! After the latest storm that is how much is piled around people's driveways in southern New England. Unfortunately it is also on their roofs, and yesterday several collapsed including a parking garage in Lynn, Mass outside Boston. Firefighters were forced to rescue several people trapped inside. The photo above showing the aftermath of the collapse is from the Boston Globe. Check out for more dramatic photos.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another miss

Traffic comes to a halt along I-95 in Connecticut last night
from the heavy snow and strong winds.

Storm after storm continues to march up the east coast and pass south and east of Montreal. Last nights storm was no different affecting the New York to Boston corridor with 12 to 14 inches of snow in just a few hours accompanied by howling winds, thunder and lightning. The snow has virtually shut down the region this morning with train service and airports down and roads in poor shape. Flights have been cancelled in and out of Boston, La Guardia, JFK and Newark. Crews are out and about but that has helped little in the hardest hit areas, especially Long Island and southern Connecticut. Travel is banned in Connecticut until 10am this morning with parts of I-95 closed. The snow has tapered off and moved northeast into Atlantic Canada. Power outages are numerous as the heavy wet snow collapsed trees and utility poles. The snow has also caused some roofs in the region to cave in. New York City has had over 50 inches of snow this winter with the normal average being 22". This is the 6th storm this winter to affect the area from New Jersey to Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile Montreal continues to miss these storms. We have spent the month of January below freezing with little sunshine, but little snow as well. Only 24.2cm has fallen in the city this month, less than 10 inches. Just enough everyday to make it damp and slick on the roads. I wish I had shares in windshield washer fluid!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I was expecting partly cloudy skies with moderating temperatures today, but surprise it is snowing out across southern Quebec. A front is stalled along the US border separating the mild air and partly cloudy skies to the south and the much colder arctic air mass to the north. Portions of the St. Lawrence Valley remain chilly with Montreal at -11C, but south of the front, Burlington, Vermont is at -4C with fog and mist. The warm air overrunning the colder air at the surface here in the valley is producing widespread light snow. Radar is showing the snow stretching across eastern Ontario and into western Quebec and the Montreal area. The snow will continue most of the day with up to 5cm of fluffy accumulation expected. Winds are light out of the northeast keeping the air cold. It may warm to -8C or so today but not much better than that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A little warmer

Anybody have a scraper! A CBS News photo of a water main break in
New York City icing up an SUV.

(Photo/Steve Sandberg - CBS NYC)

The temperature this morning is about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday at this time. An Alberta clipper has produced some light snow overnight, just enough to cover roads and slow down the morning commute. I expect a fluffy 2 or 3cm by mid-day when it will taper off. The wind is a little brisk this morning out of the northeast between 10-20km/h. With a -18C reading at the airport this is producing wind chills in the -27C range. It is damp this morning as well, and in many ways, it felt colder than yesterday morning.

Skies will clear out this evening with the temperature continuing to moderate. Wednesday will be partly cloudy and warmer all the way up to -6 or so. Of note, Toronto this morning is all the way up to -3C, but that mild air will slip south of the lower lakes and remain away from eastern Ontario and southern Quebec.

The next weather system will be another big east coast storm expected to impact southern and eastern New England. At this time the snow associated with this low pressure area is expected to remain well south and east of Montreal. Look for a swath of heavy snow to develop from interior portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania across southern New England and into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Extreme Cold

Irony at its best as the signs tells motorists not to idle their engines. Sorry, but at -28C with late AMT trains once again, it becomes a life saving strategy to keep warm! (ValleyWX Pic at Woodland and Highway 20)

We have dropped to -28C here in Montreal this morning with light winds and clear skies. Not quite the record at this point but still the coldest morning in a couple of winters. Other observations include -33C at Kemptville (a new record smashing the old one of -27.3C set in 2004) and -30C in Ottawa. Across Quebec temperatures are as cold as -35C in St. Jovite, and it was -41C in Rouyn, but hey have warmed to -28C with light snow. Winds in many parts of Quebec are gusty with dangerous wind chills approaching -40C or colder.

The cold has put a demand on electricity with Hydro Quebec expecting record output this morning. The utility is asking consumers to conserve power and limit use of large energy sucking items such as washing machines and dishwashers at peak periods. The cold has also iced up bridges and lead to rash of stalled cars on area highways. Also a regular occurrence, late AMT trains in metro Montreal, not a surprise considering they are late on sunny summer days! But today that has meant commuters standing in the bitter cold for as long as 30 minutes waiting for late trains.

Temperatures will warm slightly tonight as cloud cover advances from an Alberta Clipper expected to pass over the area Tuesday. Look for light snow by daybreak with a few centimetres on Tuesday and warmer weather all the up to -13C. It will warm even more mid-week with the possibility of more snow by Thursday from a coastal system At this time is does not look like a storm for Montreal, but perhaps for Vermont and new England.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wind Chill Warning

Depending which side of the International border you live on you are under either a wind chill warning or advisory. It really means the same thing, it is bloody cold out there. Montreal is currently -19C or -2F at 3:30 pm. We are looking at overnight lows between -28C and -32C across southern Quebec and into eastern Ontario. With a light breeze forecast, wind chill temperatures will approach -40C. We will warm slightly to -20C on Monday under sunny skies. The last time Montreal was this cold was January 2009 when we dropped to -28.3C on the 16th. The record low for tonight for Montreal was -30.6C set in 1976, so we have a chance at that one. The threat for a storm later in the week has diminished at this time as high pressure may keep the storm off the coast. We are expecting a little light snow from a clipper system on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Very cold weekend

Skies cleared overnight and the temperatures fell across eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Montreal is one of the "warmer" areas at -17C, (2F) while off island it is as cold as -20C (-4F). It is also -20C in Kemptville and Ottawa. We may see the mercury inch up towards -16C or so today, before plummeting to -22 to -30C tonight. Winds will increase out of the north to 20km/h producing dangerous wind chills in all regions. Most of Quebec is under a windchill warning today with the exception of here in the south. It does not matter, it is cold outside everywhere so dress appropriately. The coldest air of this outbreak will be over the region Sunday night with low temperatures as cold as -25C in Montreal and -35C to even -40C (-31 to -40F) in the rural areas north of Montreal and across the Adirondacks of New York.

Looking ahead interest is beginning to increase in a potential snowstorm for eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec by Wednesday. Low pressure is forecast to develop near North Carolina and deepen rapidly while moving to near New York City. The storm will have plenty of cold air to the north and west of the center and lots of jet stream energy. This could be a big one for Montreal. I will update this frequently as the event draws closer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Arctic Chill

Storrow Drive in Boston this morning. Schools are closed and flights cancelled as the area deals with another 8 inches of snow.

The coldest air of winter 2010/2011 is on our doorstep this morning. Montreal is at -12C at the moment we may slowly rise to -10C but that will be the warmest until at least Tuesday. Light snow is falling in Montreal and across southern Quebec into New England in response to low pressure that moved south of the region and is now off the Delaware coast this morning. That storm will strengthen and lift north across the coastal waters and into Maratimes tonight and Saturday producing a big windy storm for that area. Up to 25cm is forecast with near blizzard conditions across the Gaspe. This morning snow is causing major travel delays and closing schools from Boston into Maine.

The departing storm will help to drive cold air south into Quebec along with arctic high pressure that is pressing east into western Quebec. It will drop to -18C tonight with wind chills around -29C. It will not warm up tomorrow and drop to -25C tomorrow and Sunday night. We will struggle to reach -18C Saturday through Monday. The good news is that it will be clear and dry throughout the period. The next threat for precipitation will not come until the middle of next week.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

CFCF turns 50 today

Don McGowan on the Pulse News weather set (remember the sliding maps).
Check out the Fahrenheit temperatures in the days before metric.

Light snow is falling in Montreal this morning from cold air settling south across the area. It will taper off by noon with some sunny breaks possible. Low pressure developing over the Midwest will push rapidly off the east coat overnight and develop into a big winter storm for Atlantic Canada and the Gaspe Coast. The storm will be well east of our region and produce only gusty north winds over the weekend. Light snow will develop tonight as it passes south of us and could produce a trace to 5cm locally. I am leaning towards the trace for Montreal with higher amounts as you head south. Arctic high pressure will then take over the weather for the weekend and into early next week with the coldest weather so far this winter. Overnight lows will fall by Saturday night to between -22C and -30C in southern Quebec and Eastern Ontario and we will struggle Saturday through Monday to reach -18C (0F) for daytime highs. Another chance for snow is possible by next Wednesday, but again the storm may be too far south or east to affect Montreal, Ottawa or Kemptville.

CFCF 12 turns 50 today
CFCF 12, our main local English language television station turns 50 years old today. For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis you will note I mention my dad often as being a big reason I love weather. It was not only his interest and encouragement, but also where we grew up, right along the St. Lawrence River in Verdun with a front seat to all the action.
Another big reason was Pulse News at 6pm on CFCF 12, now CTV News. I watched, without fail Don McGowan, every night for years on end. He was our local weathercaster with all the knowledge and insight in the world for a young viewer. In the days before the Internet and weatheradio, this was how we received weather information. Every night during the 6pm newscast I would eagerly tune in to see how much snow fell or how much was coming. I had the thrill of meeting him in November 1991 at the 405 Ogilvy Avenue studio, their home at that time. I had thoughts about TV at the time - I should have pursued radio, but ended up in the newspaper business. He gave me time from his busy schedule, and was approachable, friendly and professional. From what I hear from others, that is the crew at channel 12 in Montreal. He is a true gentleman and another reason why I love weather so much.
Happy Birthday CFCF 12!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another arctic blast on the way

Freezing rain, sleet and snow made travel slick yesterday from Washington DC through New Jersey and New York and into Ontario and Quebec. (Reuters)

As expected low pressure passing well south of Montreal pushed a little light snow into the southern suburbs overnight with 2-5cm from the South Shore to the US border. It was enough to push a transport off the road on Highway 20 south of the city closing that highway for several hours near Beloil. Montreal recorded only 3.2mm of snow, sleet and ice yesterday, but is was enough to make roads slick and travel slow.

This morning temperatures have cooled to -6C with light snow moving into the region again from the southwest as some energy crosses New York state. Look for a dusting to perhaps 2cm today. Arctic high pressure will then control our weather through the weekend with below normal temperatures. A blip on the radar will be a quick moving low pressure area on Friday that will pass from Ohio across New York and New England, with the potential to produce 5-10cm of snow from Ontario across Quebec with more off to the east. The really cold air will then pour into Quebec on strong north winds. Temperatures will drop into the -20's overnight and only rise into the minus teens during the day both Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wintry week ahead

2pm Update: At 2pm light freezing rain is falling over parts of southern Quebec. The temperature rose rapidly this morning from -10C at 10am to -3C by 11am. Freezing rain warnings are in effect for the St. Lawrence Valley in Ontario but none in Quebec at this point. Surface low pressure near Cape Hatteras will move rapidly northeast today along the coast and deepen. Snow is spreading north across Vermont and New York and will edge into southern Quebec tonight with 5cm possible. Roads are icy at this hour across the area.

The entire country is enduring a snowy cold winter. Below workers clear streets in Regina, Saskatchewan after yet another storm. Regina has broken the recor
d for the most snow to start the season with 120.5cm since October 1. The previous record was 113.4cm set in 1973-74. The most snow for the season was 194.8cm in 1955-56. (Regina Leader-Post)It was a bitter January day yesterday in Montreal and across eastern Canada. The temperature rose to -14C in Montreal but that was late last evening, the low was -24C. Light winds and sunshine made it feel a little better by late afternoon. Today we are nearly 10 degrees milder than yesterday at this time thanks to weakening low pressure to our southwest. This system will push a little light snow or freezing drizzle across the forecast area today. Little accumulation is forecast from that system. A second stronger storm is developing east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. This storm will move to lie near Cape Cod by tomorrow morning. Freezing rain and snow is affecting portions of the east coast of the US with warnings once again as far north as the Vermont/Quebec border. This storm will send a period of heavier snow across the area late this afternoon and tonight with perhaps 5cm south of Montreal and 10-20cm across Vermont.

Tomorrow another arctic cold front will cross the area with gusty winds and snow showers along with plunging temperatures in the afternoon. Highs will be reached early in the day at -4C and drop to -10C by days end. Thursday will be sunny, before another storm heads towards the region. Expect low pressure to deepen in the Ohio Valley Friday and move south of Montreal. Steady light to moderate snow will develop with perhaps more than 10cm for Montreal and Ottawa. That will be followed by another surge of arctic air into the weekend with windy and very cold weather in Quebec and Ontario. High temperature will remain below -10C with lows colder than -20C through the weekend.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby its cold out there!

It is the coldest morning of the year so far. Montreal is at -22C, Ottawa -25C, Kemptville -27C and Maniwaki -31C. It will "warm" to -15 to -18C across the area with brisk 15km/h winds and wind chills in the -20's. The sunshine is not helping to warm things at all! Look for sunny skies today before a warm up on Tuesday but with snow on the way. More on that later today. Keep warm!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

SNOW today

Light snow is rapidly spreading across eastern Ontario this morning and about to reach Montreal's western suburbs. Visibility is down to 1km in snow at Ottawa with steady snow falling the entire length of the 401 to Toronto. This is not a storm, but temperatures are quite cold outside and the snow will stay on roads and highways today. Travel will be slick and slow all day in all our regions. The system causing the snow is an Alberta clipper that only yesterday was over Saskatchewan and by late Sunday will be over Newfoundland. These storms are wrapped up in the jet stream and move very rapidly. They are usually moisture starved with little in the way of snowfall. This one is a little more potent drawing moisture from the Great Lakes, so look for a quick 5-10cm of snow by midnight tonight.

It is cold this morning in southern Quebec. The airport in Montreal dipped to -14C while it was around -16C here at my home on Ile Perrot and as cold as -20C in Huntington near the New York border. Look for a slow warm up today to -8C before it cools off for Sunday with a sunny, breezy high of -10C. Some of the coldest air of the season will invade Ontario and Quebec next week. Before that we are looking at a storm on Tuesday with snow, sleet and maybe even rain in some locations. This difficult forecast will play itself out as the weekend moves along. One thing is certain travel will be affected, there will be snow and ice, and it will turn bitterly cold behind the storm. Consider yourself warned! Be safe.

***By the way speaking of cold, today is the anniversary of the coldest temperature ever recorded in Montreal, -37.8C (-36F) on January 15, 1957.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend Update

This has been a crazy winter to date with so much serious weather in so many corners of the planet. Major flooding continues across parts of Brazil and Columbia along with the record breaking flooding in Australia. Big snowstorms and ice have been affecting the southern US up the coast towards the northeast and New England. In the last week some portions of interior New England have had 3 feet of snow. Yesterday snow fell across southern BC and over 35cm fell on southeast Newfoundland.

This morning an Alberta clipper is racing across the southern Prairies with snow and blowing snow. About 10cm is falling along the storm track with the coldest air of the season expected to filter into Ontario and Quebec by the end of the weekend. That clipper will pass near Ottawa and across southern Quebec late Saturday. Along and north of the track about 5cm of snow can be expected. Sunday will be sunny but much colder and windy with high temperatures only near -10C

Looking ahead briefly to next week, there are indications that a big snowstorm could affect southern Ontario and Quebec. Low pressure will develop in the western US and move towards New England. It is expected to pass just south of our area, this places Montreal in a zone of possible heavy snow. I will have more on that as the weekend prevails. One thing is certain, expect mid-winter conditions to continue well through the end of this month with no warm air to speak of.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So close and yet...

I just love this photo. It is taken yesterday on Ocean Blvd in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, a place I have been to so often as have many from Montreal. I have never seen it like this. The photo is from the Accu-Weather Facebook Fan Page. The beach by the way is on the left!

Well just about 3 flakes fell on Montreal yesterday, officially a trace at the airport with perhaps a little more south of the city. Lots of moisture on radar but it just was not making it down to the surface as the dynamics were just not present here. It was a different story to our south where New England had 1 to 3 feet of snow including 36 inches at Wilmington, Vermont (90cm). Compare that to our monthly snowfall so far of 7.4cm in Montreal. As long as the storm track remains where it is, Montreal will remain just on the edge of these east coast systems. In Ontario as the first storm was passing south of the lakes, about 24cm fell in St Catherines, with 11cm in Toronto and 6cm in Brockville. Today the coastal storm is affecting the eastern Gaspe with an onshore flow and about 20cm of snow and Newfoundland's Avalon where 25cm is forecast.

A few flurries are kicking around the city and region this morning with mostly cloudy skies. it will remain partly cloudy today and Friday with highs around -6C and lows around -10C. A little light snow is forecast on Saturday from weak low pressure passing across our area. The next storm threat for the region will be next Wednesday with another strong coastal low possible. There are some indications this one may be a little closer to Montreal - time will tell.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow moves further inland

Traffic crawls along I-89 near Burlington this evening

Strong low pressure continues to produce very heavy snow across northern Vermont and just inching into eastern New York and southern Quebec. Burlington, Vermont has had 1/4 mile visibility in heavy snow for the last 4 hours. The storm responsible for the snow is located off the Maine coast and pulling northeast towards Nova Scotia. Winds remain gusty with lots of blowing and drifting snow on area highways south and east of metro Montreal into the US..

In Montréal the snow has been on our doorstep all day. There is even some light snow breaking out in the last hour or so on the island of Montreal and points north of the city. I would not rule out a quick centimetre or 2 by midnight but at this time not more than that. It remains cold with a gusty north winds and wind chills in the minus teens. It will slowly clear on Thursday with just an isolated flurrie possible.

East Coast Storm

Heavy snow continues across southern New England
this morning including Boston (above).

2pm UPDATE: Low pressure in eastern Massachusetts continues to send snow back west across Vermont and eastern New York and up to the US/Quebec border. Early this afternoon Burlington was put under the Winter Storm Warning with 15-25cm forecast. Winds are gusting to 50km/h producing extensive blowing and drifting snow. At 2pm heavy snow is falling in Burlington with visibilities down to a 1/4 mile and 3 inches in the last 2 hours. Winter weather advisories were extended to the Canadian border. With the exception of a few flurries in Montreal, the snow has stopped at the far.

8:30am Update:
The snow is just south of the border with a slight change to the forecast at this point. Look for light snow south of the St. Lawrence River with about 2cm up to 5cm at the US border.

A major winter storm continues to deepen this morning just east of Long Island, New York. Overnight steady snow fell along the coast and west across New York State and into Eastern and southern Ontario. Nearly 9 inches fell on NYC, but the precipitation has ended there. The heaviest snow at his hour is failing from central Connecticut northeast into Boston and up the coast into Maine. The western extent of the snow is now into northern New York and just touching the 401 between Kingston and Brockville. The snow will continue today before tapering off tonight as the storm moves into the Maratimes. Warnings are also posted for Nova Scotia and extreme southern new Brunswick for 15-25cm of snow (6-10 inches)

A biting northeast wind is blowing in Montreal with overcast skies and flurries. The temperature is a cold -7C with wind chills in the minus teens. I will watch the radar this morning to see just how far north the heavier snow moves but at this point it is expected to stay south of the city.

Such is not the case in southern New England and Long Island. The heavy snow is falling at the rate of 5-10cm and hour (2-4 inches) with winds gusting over 30mph and thunder and lightning reported. Winter storm warnings are up for the entire region with blizzard warnings along the coast including Boston and Cape Cod where 10-20 inches of snow is forecast. Needless to say air travel has been brought to a halt in those cities. If you are traveling anywhere south of Montreal or into Ontario by ground, be prepared for snow covered roads and blowing snow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Storms everywhere but Montreal

Treating roads the hard way in the southern US yesterday (USA Today)

Two major low pressure areas will affect New England and southern Ontario over the next 24 hours. Both will pass just south and east of Montreal. Storm one over the Midwest US will pass across Pennsylvania and towards New York City. This system will bring steady snow to the Golden Horseshoe and southern parts of Ontario before sliding south of the city overnight and Wednesday.

Storm 2 is the big system that has paralyzed portions of the southern US with ice and snow. This storm will lift northeast along the coast and pass east of Cape Cod. Blizzard conditions will develop in NYC and Boston overnight with heavy snow and strong winds. Forecasters are expecting 12-20 inches of snow across the metro regions of the eastern seaboard. The northern extent of the snow will reach the Quebec/Vermont border with about 2-7cm in those locations. In Montreal on Wednesday, strong winds and cloud cover with chilly temperatures and isolated flurries will be the only effects from this storm unless the path changes. However if you are traveling south and east into New England and New York, expect delays on the roads and in the air.

This morning some isolated flurries are occurring across portions of the island of Montreal, but these should end shortly with partly sunny skies and highs around -5C today.

Western Canada is in the arctic freeze again, including southern coastal BC. Low pressure moving inland over Washington state will produce snow in Victoria and Vancouver today with heavy snowfall warnings posted and 10-20cm expected.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter settles in

A major storm affecting the south will then move north towards NYC.

January can be a rather long month in the weather department. It is turning out to be a cold and snowy one for large portions of North America. We awoke this morning to a fresh 5cm of snow, more towards the southwest part of the city with some locations looking like 10cm. Winds were gusty last night and travel was difficult between 6pm and midnight with one fatal accident involving a snow plow and SUV reported on Highway 138 near Ormstown in southern Quebec. This morning it is cold and windy with some blowing snow. While I observed clearing skies to the northwest at 8am, radar is showing another band of light snow to our northeast between Montreal and Quebec City, so we may see a little more snow this morning.

Calgary continues to dig out from a major storm this weekend that closed most roads around the city stranding drivers. The heavy snow was driven by strong winds up to 90km/h.
Toronto had its biggest snowfall in two years with a quick 17cm off Lake Ontario on Saturday.

Across the south this morning another big storm is bringing air and road travel to a halt across Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Snow, sleet and freezing rain is coating everything. Numerous flights have been cancelled, and at least 3000 homes have no power in Georgia. The storm is expected to lift northeast affecting New York City and eastern New England by Wednesday, and then Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Blustery night

Keeping County Road 5 clear of drifting snow near
Winchester Springs, Ontario. Valley WX Pic

Maratime moisture has finally found Montreal this evening. It has been a weekend of expected snow with very little falling in Montreal. The bulk of the light snow has been south and west of the city. This evening maratime moisture is wrapping around a departing upper low and producing snow in Montreal. Visibility is down to 2km in steady light snow at this hour with a north wind of 25km/h gusting to 50km/h and temperatures at -6C with wind chills in the minus teens. It is by no means a storm, but it is nasty out there. Radar is showing an expanding area of snow moving from north to south across the city. Look for a quick couple of centimetres to cover roads in the next few hours accompanied by blowing snow and colder temperatures.

I drove down the 401 towards Morrisburg, Ontario today with local blowing snow being the only issue. The gusty northwest winds along the St. Lawrence Valley were producing some drifting snow across the highways. Meanwhile across New England winter weather advisories remain in effect for the Green Mountains and Adirondacks. Snow is expected to accumulate between 5-15cm especially across the upper elevations and the eastern shore of the Champlain Valley. All areas should clear out Monday with breezy conditions, and remaining chilly. There is a chance of more light snow by late Tuesday.

The deep south is expecting a winter storm tonight as low pressure moves along the Gulf and towards Cape Hatteras. Freezing rain is expected across Georgia and the Carolina's with warnings posted.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

More snow

Heavy lake effect snow in Toronto this morning. (MTO Webcam)

Upper level low pressure is slowly spinning its way across eastern Ontario and upstate New York this morning. The result is light snow in the area moving from south to north across the valley. The heaviest snow this morning is across Eastern Ontario and in the Toronto area. The GTA snow is being generated by a narrow plume of lake effect snow bowing north off Lake Ontario and affecting the 401 corridor from the downtown west towards Oakville and tapering off after that. Local amounts may exceed 15cm in the heaviest bands.

In Montreal about 2 or 3cm fell overnight but it has since ended. Radar is showing more light snow south of the city towards Burlington and Plattsburgh so I expect more snow after lunch. The only warnings in affect today are in New York State where winter weather advisories are posted. Storm totals in that area will be 8-15cm, with 15cm in the western GTA possible and between 5-10cm total for Montreal, that would include what has fallen so far which is about 3cm. Temperatures will be relatively mild for January at about -5C today and Sunday with overnight lows near -9C. More snow is forecast Sunday before a little clearing begins on Monday. Roads may be snow covered with variable conditions across the region. Winds are gusty as well in the valley and could produce some blowing snow.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Northeast Snow

Heavy snow this morning greeting travelers and commuters in Philadelphia.

11am UPDATE: Snow has started in Montreal, and radar is showing decent returns southwest of the city along the 20 and 401 towards Cornwall. A special weather statement is in effect for gusty winds and bursts of heavy snow across Eastern Ontario into the afternoon. The snow will also continue well into the late afternoon in Montreal. Look for a good 5cm of snow by the evening rush hour.

A persistent snow event will be getting underway shortly in Montreal as it has across much of eastern Ontario and the northeast US this morning. Radar is showing the snow just west of the Ontario/Quebec border at 8am. A very slow moving upper low along with an elongated trough of low pressure extending across New York State will be the focus for steady light snow well into Saturday as it moves east towards the coast. This morning the steady snow is falling across Ontario from the GTA towards Ottawa and especially along the 401 from Brockville to Kingston. In this region near zero visibility has been observed in bursts of heavier snow along with gusty winds. Along the St. Lawrence Valley on the US side and south across the Adirondacks towards the middle Atlantic, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect. Look for 10-20cm of snow in the advisory area with 5-10cm outside of the warning area including metro Montreal. Winds will be gusty out of the northeast with blowing snow and making the -4C feel quite a bit colder. The light snow will taper to flurries by Sunday.

If you think light snow does not cause problems, last night accidents on Highway 15 north of Montreal produced 2 hour traffic jams to reach the north shore and parts of . This morning the snow has already forced ground stops at Newark and in Philadelphia with 60 minute delays at Detroit, Washington, JFK and La Guardia.

By the end of the weekend cold arctic air will begin to mix with Gulf moisture, increasing the threat for and ice storm across the deep south. I will post more on that scenario as the weekend moves along.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

January blues

Canada's warm North: Hudson Bay with no ice cover over the northern & eastern portion, very rare for January.

I always find the weeks after the Christmas break so slow and dare I say boring. It is dark and cold and our next holiday is not until Easter. I survive by planning my next vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The weather has settled down completely in Montreal and as long as the Greenland block continues, our winter weather will remain uneventful. Another Alberta clipper will slide south of the lower lakes on Friday and emerge into the Atlantic by early Saturday. It will develop into a pretty potent storm, however most of the energy and precipitation will remain to our east. We can expect light snow or flurries from late tonight right into Saturday. Expect a good 5-10cm in most areas by late Saturday with the potential for 15cm or more in a narrow band from central Ontario across western New York state towards New York City. Keep this in mind if you are traveling the 401 or south on I-87 this weekend. Gusty winds may produce a little blowing snow as well.

Speaking of the Greenland block, it has been responsible for pushing the arctic air well south into the central and southern US. Cold air next week will do the same, plunging well south of Quebec and Ontario into the middle Atlantic. A snowstorm is possible along the eastern seaboard next week. Meanwhile just how warm is it across northern Quebec and the NWT? This morning Montreal is at -11C while Iqualit in the Arctic is at 1C with freezing drizzle. It should be -30C at this time of year. The normal high is only -22C. This month the high temperature in Iqualit has been above freezing on 5 of the 6 days. For the temperature to be at plus 1C (33F) at 8am on January 6 is unheard of.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Storm threat diminishes

SUNY Oswego meteorology students and forecasters use this large Doppler on wheels to track lake effect snow yesterday off Lake Ontario. The truck is normally used to track tornadoes, but forecasters are trying to understand the dynamics that produce lake snows in this region. Over 13" (32cm) fell ion Oswego yesterday. (WSYR 9 Syracuse)

Light snow overnight has left from 2-5cm across the region, the first snow of 2011 for Montreal. There were some bursts of heavier snow along the 401 corridor from Brockville to Trenton yesterday as well as south of the lakes along Interstate 81, including south of Watertown and west towards Oswego where 13 inches fell yesterday. More lake effect snow can be expected today in those areas as well as off Lake Huron in central and southern Ontario.

The flurries will taper off in Montreal with seasonable temperatures expected today (-4C). Another clipper system will approach the area late Thursday into Friday with more light snow. We are only expecting a dusting to 5cm again with locally higher amounts near the lakes. That storm will redevelop off the east coast of the US. At this time it appears to be too far east to affect southern Quebec or Ontario, but we need another 24 hours or so to nail down that forecast. In any event light snow will continue most of the weekend with perhaps a few more centimetres expected. it will remain seasonable in the temperature department.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

A little light snow

Above: Southern California in the snow.

A rather weak Alberta Clipper will pass south of the Great Lakes and across upstate New York today with limited moisture. Radar is already showing light snow across eastern Ontario which will spread into southern Quebec by the noon hour. The snow will be light with accumulations of up to 5cm likely by tomorrow morning. While it is light, it will be chilly and it has been several days since our last snow so expect roads to be slippery and snow covered at times. We will have a break on Wednesday before the next system moves into the area late Thursday into Saturday. There remains plenty of uncertainty with the forecast track and main moisture area but I expect snow from Thursday evening into Saturday morning. At this point it will be at least 5cm with the potential for much more. The weather will remain unsettled into Sunday with snow showers. Temperatures all this week will be near normal with highs around -5C and cold overnight lows around -11C.

Speaking of snow, a strong storm over the southwest US produced heavy snow in southern California and Nevada, including the desserts around Las Vegas. Vegas set a record yesterday with a trace of snow on the strip and as much as 3 inches in the western suburbs. The snow snarled traffic on California highways including Interstate 5. That storm will push towards Texas today with rain to the south and more snow to the north.

Solar Eclipse : This image is of the rare solar eclipse that occurred early today across portions of Europe including northern France and England, where this photo was taken.
(AFP Getty Images)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Winter returns

Tornadoes caused death and destruction in the US to end 2010

Lots to talk about on the first Monday in 2011, so lets start back on New Years Eve. Forecasters have confirmed at least 9 tornadoes across Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas in a terrible severe weather outbreak to end 2010. The storms did catastrophic damage destroying homes and claiming at least 7 lives, 4 in Missouri and 3 in Arkansas. There were numerous other reports of severe weather across the lower Mississippi Valley and southeast. The same weather system pushed the mercury well above normal in southern Quebec and New England with a temperature of 8C in Montreal yesterday. The warmer air has rapidly melted snow cover across northern Vermont and State Police had to close a section of Route 78 in Highgate last night because of flooding along the Missiqoui River. I was in Plattsburgh NY yesterday and amazed to see there is no snow cover left at all. Despite the warm weather in Montreal, we still have quite a bit of snow remaining.
We will add to our snow cover this week with two opportunities for the white stuff. Temperatures have cooled considerably behind a cold front the swept the region early Sunday. The temperature is down to -5C here on Ile Perrot this morning with colder reports around the region. Today will be partly sunny with just a few stray flurries around. Weak low pressure will pass near Montreal Tuesday with about 2-4cm of snow forecast. That will be followed by decent weather into late Thursday before another much stronger storm threatens the east. The next system will be rather complex moving from south of the Great Lakes towards the coast and strengthening before backing into New England. As with all weather this winter, the computer models are having a terrible time picking a forecast. The best guess at this time is for snow to begin late Thursday and last into early Saturday. There will be enough snow to cover the roads. That is the best we can do this far out but stay tuned!

**Your feedback on the changes I made to the blog would be appreciated. The previous format had been around for over 3 years, and I thought is was time for a change. Let me know what you think. Thank You.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Welcome to 2011

Windmill Point (Pointe du Moulin) on Ile Perrot in the fog this New Years morning. ValleyWX Pic

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. Welcome to Valley Weather and my 32nd consecutive year of keeping weather records and year number 7 of this blog. I have tried to freshen the look a little. Please, feel free to drop me some comments about how easy or hard it is to find the various links and read the content. Any input good or otherwise is always appreciated.

We have a foggy and very warm start to 2011. It is very mild in Montreal today, 6C here on Ile Perrot, and the warm air is covering the entire region. Temperatures are running as much as 15 degrees above normal. The mild air has melted lots of the snow cover, so with the abundance of low level moisture, we have had dense fog most of the overnight period that is just slowly starting to burn off. Visibility was a low as 0.2km at the airport around 8am and has slowly improved to 5km as of noon.

Radar is showing a cold front advancing across Ontario at this hour with steady rain occurring along it. That front will move into Quebec this evening and temperature should begin to drop to more seasonable values on Sunday. No major storms are on the horizon at this time.