Thursday, March 31, 2011

Storm Update

Strong low pressure near Cape Hatteras will lift northeast over the next 24 hours and pass very close to Cape Cod. Precipitation will spread inland across northern New England and into southern Quebec overnight tonight and into Friday. The track of the low is still a little uncertain, and this follows the trend all winter and now into spring. Here is what we do know this morning, it will be partly cloudy today and fairly mild with temperatures up to plus 5C before dropping down to 0C tonight and only plus 1 or 2C Friday. On Friday snow and rain will develop very early in the day moving from south to north. Warnings have been hoisted across New England for heavy wet snow on Friday. The snow will accumulate 10-20cm (4-8") in the valleys and 20-30cm (8-12") in the mountains. Snowfall will drop off rapidly as one heads northwest with 15cm forecast for Burlington, but only 2 or 3cm in the St. Lawrence Valley of New York. At this time it looks like Montreal will have a mix of rain and snow with perhaps a slushy few centimetres accumulating on grassy areas. The highest risk of accumulating snow will come Friday night for our area. The best chance for snow in Quebec will be across the eastern Townships and the Beauce where 15cm could fall Friday night. Keep this in mind if you are travelling south or east over the next 48 hours.

A sure sign of Spring despite the weather, opening day in Major League Baseball is today, finally. The Yankees kick off the 2011 season at home in the Bronx against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05pm. It will be breezy and chilly with perhaps a little rain. Meanwhile my Red Sox (see countdown clock at left) start their season tomorrow afternoon in Texas where the weather will be much better.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Snowstorm?

Well I think after the cold and windy weekend we all felt like we were turning the corner this week into Spring. The sunshine has been slowly warming the temperatures, and today looks to be the best yet with warm sunshine and the mercury pushing close to 8C if not warmer in some locations. That is the good news, the bad news is it now looks like we could see a storm on Friday (we can call it the April Fools Day storm). This is a wee bit of a surprise to me, last I looked the system in question was expected to move well off the Atlantic Coast and out to sea. It now appears that this will not be the case, so much so that a Winter Storm Watch has been posted for most of northern New England for late Thursday and Friday.

What does all this mean for Ontario and Quebec? Well I think the storm will be far enough southeast as to not affect most of Ontario except maybe from Cornwall to the Quebec border. Montreal and southern Quebec are a different story, and the potential does exist for a significant wet snow event, especially across the Eastern Townships. Low pressure centered over Tennessee is expected to strengthen and move towards Cape Hatteras then northeast to Cape Cod. A cold rain and wet snow will overspread the region late Thursday from south to north and continue Friday. A chilly northeast and then northwest wind will occur with the system. Snowfall totals are always difficult with Spring systems as they rely heavily on time of day and temperature profile, but it looks like a good 10-25cm for New England and perhaps the same for southern Quebec. The storm will also affect eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada into the weekend. Looking ahead to next week another system could threaten the area with rain and snow to start the week.

Look for an update later today after 6pm...SB

Monday, March 28, 2011

Below normal temperatures

Napierreville, Quebec south of Montreal on Saturday.

Strong low pressure over eastern Canada continues to pump a cold northwest flow of air across southern Quebec and Ontario. High pressure to our west is providing us with mostly sunny and dry weather. A weak trough of low pressure pin wheeling around the Atlantic storm brought some decent snow showers south of the city on Saturday along with blowing snow. I encountered them on Highway 15 near Napierreville (see above photo). They were persistent as far south as Champlain, NY. The same is occurring this morning with some flurries south of the city to the US border. The flurries will dissipate this morning. The big story this weekend and into the early portion of the week is the cold temperatures and strong winds. Winds have been gusty out of the northwest between 30-50km/h with the occasional gust even stronger. Combine the winds with temperatures from 4 to 6 degrees below normal, and it is cold for late March. We struggled to reach 0C all weekend and overnight lows were as cold as -10C in Montreal. With the strong winds late Saturday and early Sunday, wind chills were as cold as -18C. Temperatures will slowly warm this week to near normal and perhaps above by the weekend.

Meanwhile in eastern Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland heavy snow is falling along with the strong winds and cold as winter hangs on. Warnings are in effect for the coastal Gaspe region for snow and blowing snow.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Update

Damaged school in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania

It is a chilly start to the morning in Montreal with -6C and a gusty northwest wind. Upper level low pressure remains nearly stationary in central Quebec with a few flurries spinning around it and occasionally into Montreal. Only a dusting may occur over the next 24 hours. It will remain chilly with below normal temperatures. Highs will be near 0C with lows around -7C across the area. A few more flurries may occur over the mountains southeast of Montreal and into northern New England. High pressure will slowly begin to move into the area for the weekend with clearing skies, but reaming cold for late March. We will see a slow warming trend into next week, with no major storms are on the horizon.

That windy snowstorm that hit southern Ontario, also had a warmer side to it as well. Severe thunderstorms spread across the Ohio Valley and into the Middle Atlantic on Wednesday. A rare March tornado ripped across Hempfield Township in western Pennsylvania with 111 to 135mph winds. The storm destroyed dozens of homes and businesses, but thankfully no injuries were reported.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A few flurries

Oshawa. ON
(CBC News)

A few flurries are spreading across southern Quebec this morning is response to an upper low over the central part of the province. The flurries will not amount to much with maybe a dusting to 2cm by Friday morning. It will be breezy and quite cold for late March with temperatures struggling to reach the 0C mark.

Meanwhile yesterdays southern Ontario snowstorm has moved off the middle Atlantic coast well south of Montreal as expected. The storm produced a narrow but significant band of snow across southwest Ontario and the GTA yesterday. The heavy snow caused travel delays, hundreds of accidents and school closures. The snow accumulated 11cm in Toronto but up to 26cm in Waterloo and between 15-20cm elsewhere from London to Hamilton. Across the Windsor and Sarnia region freezing rain was reported as well. The storm also affected western New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The storm also blasted the upper Midwest with 17.3 inches in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The balance of the weekend will be sunny and chilly. It will not warm up before the middle of next week. The good news at this time is that no major storms are on the horizon.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snowstorm stays south

A winter storm affecting the upper Midwest (photo on left) and Great Lakes today will remain south of our region. Forecasters expect the brunt of the snow to move across southwest Ontario and western New York and then into Pennsylvania and off the east coast. Portions of southwest Ontario west of Toronto towards Windsor are reporting steady snow and blowing snow today. Upwards of 5cm is expected in Toronto with 10-20cm towards London. Roads are snow covered and visibility is low in gusty winds.

Such is not the case here in Montreal and across eastern Ontario where high pressure will dominate and keep the storm well south of the area. Sunny skies and cool temperatures are forecast today and tomorrow with a few flurries possible late Thursday. It is cold this morning at -9C but will warm to near 0C today, well below normal. Skies will clear out for the weekend.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chilly week ahead

Skies are trying to clear out this morning after the 10cm or so of wet snow that fell across the area yesterday. Roads were a wee bit icy this morning but that will ease as temperatures warm to 3C today. Skies will be variable with the risk of a snow flurrie or two. The balance of the week should be fair with temperatures below normal. Chilly overnight lows will drop to -10C with daytime highs above freezing from 1 to 3C.

Strong low pressure will pass south of the prairies today across the northern plain states. Snow and blowing snow will produce dangerous travel across southern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Up to 20cm of snow is forecast along and south of the Trans Canada Highway. The snow will be blown around by 70km/h winds producing blizzard conditions. Warnings are in place and extend across the border into northern Montana and North Dakota. Travel in the area is not advised.

Closer to home that system will affect southwest Ontario as far east as Belleville starting tonight and Wednesday with snow, freezing rain and rain. There may even be a thunderstorm or two sneaking into the Windsor & Detroit metro area. The storm is expected to remain well south of our regions.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Snow

The true irony of the first full day of spring is very often that is is not springlike at all. Today was no different with a good 5 to 10cm of wet snow across southern Quebec into New England and parts of extreme eastern Ontario. It came in two waves the first this morning and the second more heavier band in time for rush hour this evening. I posted a couple of pictures taken on the West island of Montreal around 6pm. A few flurries can be expected overnight and early Tuesday with temperatures remaining chilly around 0 to minus 2C tonight and up to 2 or 3C tomorrow.

Snow to start Spring

A potent low pressure area is moving into the Great Lakes this morning and will pass just south of Montreal today. Snow is overspreading the region from eastern Ontario this morning and will become quite steady over the daylight hours today. Accumulations of 10-15cm are forecast for all regions with perhaps 5-10cm for the Ottawa Valley and up to 20cm in the Townships. Heavy Snow Warnings are in effect for southern Quebec with Winter Weather Advisories for northern Vermont and New York. Winds will be gusty out of the east and southeast up to 50km/h. Visibilities will begin to lower later this morning on area highways as the snow becomes steady. The snow could mix with rain at times and will taper off this evening.

Temperatures will remain right where they are this morning around 0C or plus 1C. Tonight will be cloudy with lows around -2C. Skies should slowly clear on Monday with highs remaining below normal at 2C. The entire week will be chilly with another chance for snow on Wednesday night.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Flooding along Hilly Lane in North Grenville (Ottawa Citizen)

There is lots to talk about on this Sunday morning. Lets start with the easy stuff, the forecast for the Montreal St. Patrick's Day parade today. High pressure over the region will provide bright sunshine and warm temperatures with highs close to plus 5C. It is a chilly start to the morning with temperatures in and around southern Quebec, Ontario and northern New England in the -5 to -10C range. Next, the Vernal Equinox is today, in other words spring arrives. You made it through another winter, imagine that. I have not seen the grass in my front yard since late November. While it was not a severe winter, it was winter, long, chilly and with a decent amount of snow this season. And we may not be done, more on that in a second. The extended daylight is awesome, with over 12 hours In Montreal today.

We have some major spring flooding underway in several areas around the region. Lets start along the Rideau and Kemptville Creek. You can read the current bulletin on the RVCA website, however it is a little dated. Flooding is actually occurring in North Grenville along the Rideau River. Water has flooded some roads and homes closest to the river. Meanwhile in upstate New York along the Great Chazy River, ice jams and snow melt has lead to major flooding at Parry Mills and downstream at Champlain along the US/Canada border. Some businesses and homes have been flooded on Main Street in Champlain, along with water on Routes 11 and 9. More flooding is occurring in northern Franklin County, Vermont near Swanton and Highgate.

Finally I have save the best for last. Despite it being the first day of spring, we have a snowfall warning for Montreal and southern Quebec for Monday. Low pressure over the Great Lakes will push eastward with snow moving into Montreal on Monday. The entire region will have snow with 5-10cm in eastern Ontario and the Adirondacks and 10-15cm in Montreal and points north. The snow will be wet and heavy and could mix with rain near the US border. Winds will become strong as well with gusts over 50km/h. The snow should taper to flurries by late in the day. Temperatures will be at or just above freezing. You have to lobe March, it was close to 12C in Montreal on Friday, and now snow. More snow and chilly temperatures are expected this week as the seasons fight for position.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Life, work and computers have conspired against me blogging more this week then I would have liked to. Thankfully it has been a relatively quiet weather week. It is very mild this morning in Montreal, all the way up to 10C. I like to call it the hair dryer affect. With the warm southwest winds, the snow is literally evaporating this morning. The 10C is still shy of the record high of 14C set just last year. We have reached our maximum temperature for the day as cooler air will now filter into the region. Winds are strong this morning along and in advance of a cold front. Montreal has recorded gusts to 60km/h. The winds will be gusty all day, but the really strong gusts should end by noon. Temperatures will fall slowly all day down to -5C tonight. The weekend looks sunny and dry with highs of 0C on Saturday and plus 5C on Sunday for the annual Montreal St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quake rattles region

A minor tremor measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale shook the Ottawa Valley this afternoon at around 1:37pm. The quake was centered about 6 km ESE of Hawkesbury on the Quebec/Ontario border (about 74km from Montreal). While the shaking was widely felt for about 10 seconds from Cornwall to the West Island of Montreal, no damage was reported. I was driving in Pointe Claire at the time and felt nothing, unlike the Val Des Bois quake that shook the region last June 23rd. Ironically I was in the car for that one as well as both happened during my lunch hour, that one at 1:41pm on a Wednesday as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Warm sunshine

Above: Heavy rain and rapidly melting snow have been producing major flooding in northern New Jersey. Water is slowly receding this week. Several counties have been declared disaster areas.

The warm March sun will push temperatures well above freezing today across New England, Ontario and southern Quebec with highs running in the plus 3 to 7C range. We are chilly this morning at -5C with a little black ice on the roads. Keep in mind lots of melting during the day leads to icy patches at night. Some drivers have forgotten this spring process and ended up on their roofs this morning here in Montreal.

The good news with this spell of mild weather is that a slow melt is underway. The snow pack was quite deep and a rapid melt was likely to produce flooding in Quebec and Ontario. The sunshine today will be replaced by increasing clouds overnight as low pressure in the Ohio Valley moves east. Look for a little light mixed precipitation early Wednesday morning before a change to showers in the afternoon. The balance of the week will be unsettled with some sunny breaks on Thursday before more rain arrives on Friday. Cooler weather is expected on the weekend, but at this time, no major storms are on the horizon. In Vermont and New York the flooding from melting snow and ice has slowed as well this week.

Temperatures all week will be above normal reaching as high as 10C (50F) by Thursday. Rain and snowfall are expected to be light at this time.

Japan disaster: The death toll continues to rise in the wake of the devastating Tsunami and Earthquake last Friday in northern Japan. Please remember to donate to the Red Cross if you can.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mild week

High pressure will finally but briefly provide some sunshine to Montreal and southern Quebec today. Temperatures will be near normal around 0C for a high with lows tonight about -7C. This week will feature unsettled weather but it will be mild. We should see two separate storm systems with a little bit of sunshine in between. Both systems will be rather weak but produce some light snow to start but quickly turning over to rain on Wednesday and Friday. Temperatures by Friday are forecast to soar into the low teens. Overnight lows will be below freezing tonight and near freezing on the other nights this week. Could spring be here?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring forward

I don't like this short weekend stuff, I think we should start a movement to move the clocks ahead at 4pm on Friday afternoons. Sorry folks for the lack of posts, it has been a busy and short weekend. We moved our clocks ahead last night and enjoyed an extra hour of daylight this evening. The Vernal Equinox, AKA Spring, arrives on March 20, but the spring weather has arrived. After the snow and nonsense of last week, we have been above freezing since Thursday. We will cool tonight to -6C but it should be dry. Monday will be partly cloudy with temperatures slightly above freezing at 2C. The week looks very mild with temperatures above freezing and any precipitation falling as rain.

Japan quake
I can't put into words the devastation in Japan following the 8.9 quake on Friday. As if the quake was not enough the ensuing Tsunami wiped out an area along the northeast coast of Japan and up to 6 miles inland. The images are just heartbreaking. The power and destructive force of water is unbelievable. The image above is from a community right along the coast near Sendai. I have put a link to the Canadian Red Cross in the upper right corner. If you can help, please do so.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Update

Lots of minor flooding late yesterday and overnight in Montreal.

Japan quake information below and at CNN.COM
Low pressure this morning continues to lift north across Lake Ontario. Widespread rain is falling north and east of the low, with some wet snow (10cm) or so working its way into extreme southwest Ontario from London to Windsor. The rain has been heavy in Montreal with upwards of 25mm in the city in the last 24 hours on top of the 15-20cm of snow that fell yesterday as well. Lots of melting overnight as the temperature remained above freezing at about 3C. We may reach 5C today in the city and across the region with showers expected most of the day. The heavier rain will be confined to the Ottawa Valley today. Tonight some showers or flurries will develop as a cold front slowly advance east. The showers and flurries will last well into Sunday before skies begin to slowly clear out and temperatures chill for Monday. We will finally dry out Monday with sunny skies and cool temperatures.

Japan Quake

Breaking News TSUNAMI WATCH FOR British Columbia
A major earthquake registering 8.9 on the Richter scale has hit the northern portion of Japan. Major widespread damage and injuries are reported at this hour. Along with the quake a 4 to 7 metre high Tsunami has spread across the region with major damage in Japan, and is now moving across the Pacific basin. Tsunami watches and warnings are in place for the Pacific Rim including British Columbia. You can find more information on the Tsunami threat to Canada HERE. Evacuations are occurring in low lying areas and in the last hour the watch was upgraded to a warning for a portion of the BC coastline. Hawaii has also ordered evacuations and a warning is in place there. More details as the day goes on.

The weekend weather update will follow shortly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Heavy Rain Warnings

Radar continues to show an expanding area of heavy rain moving from south to north into the St. Lawrence Valley at 9pm. Montreal has had steady rain most of the day after the 15cm of snow that fell overnight. The combination of melting snow and falling rain has created lots of flooding on area roads. Transport Quebec had to close sections of highway and off ramps in the city to remove accumulated water this afternoon. Flooding will continue to be a problem into the overnight as the rain continues. The entire region of southern Quebec and eastern Ontario is under heavy rainfall warnings, with 25-50mm (1-2 inches) of rain forecast. Strong low pressure over the mid Atlantic region will lift north into New York on Friday drawing mild moist air northward. Temperatures will warm to plus 4 to 6C range along with strengthening southeast winds, especially across Vermont and New York and southeast of Montreal. Heavy rain in Vermont and New York has prompted flood watches in those areas with ice jam flooding a strong possibility.

Snow to rain

We are a cranky city with another difficult morning commute underway.

8:30 AM Update: Snow mixed with freezing rain continues to move from west to east across the city this morning. The temperature is at 0C.

I have not ventured outside yet but it looks very wintry this morning on Ile Perrot. Steady wet snow has been falling all night with visibility as low as 2km at times. Radar is showing more snow to our west working its way across the metro region through at least the morning commute. Afterwards the precipitation becomes more spotty through the midday before another surge of moisture later today moves in from the south. Montreal had close to 10cm overnight with another 5cm over the next few hours before it changes over to drizzle. Ottawa has gone over to freezing drizzle while Toronto is 4C with rain. Winds are out of the southeast at 30-50km/h and will continue that way throughout the day.

Temperatures will rise through the day to 4C with snow changing to rain. The system is a very slow moving front with moisture streaming north from the southern US. With the abundant moisture available nearly 40mm of rain could fall across southern Quebec and New England in the next 24 hours once it changes from snow. This has prompted Rainfall Warnings for Montreal. Concern is on the rise for flooding across the region. At the very least there will be lots of water accumulation around. Flooding is already occurring in spots across New York and Vermont and south into New Jersey as well as Ohio.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Snowfall Warning

Winter Storm Warnings have been extended into southern Quebec including metro Montreal for 15-25cm of wet snow overnight and into the middle part of Thursday. The snow has already started in Montreal with a coating to 1cm down in the last hour. Radar is showing bands of precipitation moving into the region from Ontario. Strong low pressure over the Ohio Valley with a warm front extending to the northeast will move towards Montreal. Heavy snow tonight will mix with and change to rain on Thursday, with a risk of freezing rain as well. Winds are gusting between 20-40km/h and will increase overnight. Travel will be difficult throughout the night into the morning commute.

Warnings are in effect for southern Quebec from Montreal north into the Laurentians as well as the Ottawa Valley and eastern Ontario. Winter Weather Advisories are posted for upstate New York and northern Vermont for mixed precipitation. Once the wet snow changes to rain, expect over 15mm of rain with flooding possible.

The next storm

The clean up continues before the next storm. (CBC News)

Well our one day break was very nice as the March sun pushed the mercury from our low of -19C to a high of -3C in Montreal on Tuesday. Some of the 25cm that fell on the city actually started to melt. Our attention now turns to the next big storm that has developed over Texas and is now moving into the Ohio Valley and southern Great Lakes. This storm will pass very close to Montreal on Thursday and sweep off to the northeast. A large area of precipitation has developed north of the storm track and will overspread Ontario today and move into Quebec tonight. A large swath of moderate wet snow will fall from Peterborough east into the Ottawa Valley, Kemptville, Cornwall and eastern Ontario. Heavy Snowfall Warnings have been posted in these regions with 15-20cm forecast. The snow will begin this afternoon and continue overnight.

In southern Quebec the snow will arrive late this evening and accumulate 10-15cm in metro Montreal with 15-25cm north and west of the city. Heavy Snow Warnings are in effect for the Laurentians, St. Jerome and Lachute. Temperatures today and tonight will be near -2C. On Thursday warmer air will stream into the St. Lawrence Valley with snow changing to rain by noon. There is the potential for quite an appreciable amount of rainfall into Friday morning especially south of the city. All area rivers and lakes will have to be monitored for sharp rises and the potential for flooding especially in the Townships, northern New York and Vermont.

Winds with this storm will become quite strong out of the northeast and then southeast from 30-50km/h. There could be some blowing snow issues, especially along the 401 and 20 as well as the 10/15 south of Montreal overnight. The system will clear the region by late Friday. I will update this storm again later today and post any additional warnings that may be issued.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Impressive storm

Where is Spring?
It has been that kind of a winter in Montreal amd most of Quebec.

That was a storm for the record books in many parts of Quebec, New York and Vermont. What a snowstorm, coming on the heels of what was a very springlike weekend. The snow spread into the Montreal region in the pre-dawn hours and by the time it ended shortly after the lunch hour, about 25cm was on the ground in and around the city. Some sections of the region north of Montreal had a little less in the 15cm range, while the Townships and regions close to the US border had incredible amounts of snow. Sherbrooke reported 70cm with snow falling at the rate of 10cm an hour this morning, Burlington, Vermont had nearly 60cm. Between 20 and 30 inches of snow fell in Vermont and northeast New York. The snow is over now and the big clean up begins. Tuesday will be sunny and chilly with daytime highs around -4C. Look for more snow and rain by Thursday. There are some real concerns at this time with our current snow pack. In the near term roofs need to be cleared as well as vents in and out of homes and businesses. In the longer term the potential for some serious flooding exists across our regions. We will have to watch this very carefully, especially as we warm up again later this week.
Above Right: Pointe Claire this afternoon

Major storm continues

Above & Below: Heavy snow on Montreal's
West Island this morning. (ValleyWX Pics)

8:00am UPDATE: (original post below) Strong low pressure near Boston continues to send heavy snow northwest across New England and into southern Quebec. Montreal is getting pounded by heavy snow at this hour (forget the observer at Dorval calling it light snow, it is always light at the airport) visibility is down to 0.6 km with gusty winds causing near white out conditions in and around the city. Travel is not advised south and east of Montreal. Storm totals will reach 15-20cm in Montreal and get deeper as you head southeast. Look for 50cm in the Townships and Vermont with 40cm in New York and 10cm in the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario. Nothing is expected in Ottawa.

Heavy snow

Heavy snow across the southern suburbs of Montreal is now approaching the metro region at 5am.

The radar says it all this morning, heavy snow is approaching Montreal from the south, just in time for the morning commute. The pressure continues to fall rapidly and winds have increased to near 50km/h in Montreal. Blowing snow and icy roads are making for dangerous travel off island to the south and east of the city with travel not recommended into Vermont. Visibilities in the region are under 1km.

The storm causing the snow is located near Bridgeport, Connecticut this morning and will move northeast into the Maratimes. The system is part of a very strong front that moved through Montreal this weekend with over 50mm of precipitation in the form of rain on Saturday and then wet snow. The snow moved back into Montreal overnight from the south and will continue through midday. Look for at least 10cm in the city and over 30cm south and east of Montreal. Temperatures that were near plus 6C early Sunday morning have been falling since and are now at -8C with wind chills near -17C in Montreal. The snow does not go very far northwest with some light to moderate snow along the 401 to Cornwall, but nothing in Ottawa.

Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect from south of metro Montreal into the Townships and New England. Dozens of schools are closed along the border communities and into the Townships as well as in Vermont and New York.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

More snow tonight

Icy roads greeted travellers today as the overnight rain changed to
snow in southern Quebec. (ValleyWX Pic)

There is lots of weather going on across New York, New England and Quebec tonight. That arctic front that brought about 10cm of wet snow today has settled south of the region this evening. Low pressure has developed near Virginia Beach and is moving north towards New York City. Abundant moisture is starting to lift back north once again and has reached the south shore of Montreal. Snow will develop again tonight and accumulate 10cm in the city and 10-30cm south and east of Montreal. Winds will increase as well out of the north and northeast and gust to 60km/h across the southern portion of Quebec including the St. Lawrence Valley. South of us rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain is creating poor travel along I-87, I-81 and I-89 with numerous schools closed already for Monday. Some power outages are reported as well.

Another big problem is flooding. Northern New York and Vermont have seen lots of rain and melting snow in the last few days. Many rivers including the Ausable River in Clinton and Essex Counties are on the rise. Flooding has been reported with evacuations underway in Jay and Ausable Forks, NY. Roads are closed as ice jams push waterways above flood stage.

Winter Storm Warning

As I expected the Winter Storm Warnings have been extended northwest to now include Montreal and our South Shore to the US border. After a soaking rain yesterday with 25mm in Montreal and 30mm in Ottawa the precipitation has changed to snow. It is snowing in Montreal at this hour but has ended in Ottawa. The temperature in Montreal has dropped from plus 6C (43F) late last evening to -1C (30F) as off 8am. Winds are now out of the north gusting to 40km/h. The snow will continue today, mostly light but will increase in intensity again this evening as low pressure develops near New York City and moves northeast. The snow will taper off by morning with a storm total of 15-20cm from Montreal south into New York and Vermont. Much less is forecast in eastern Ontario with less than 5cm in Ottawa and perhaps 5-10cm over Cornwall. Roads are very poor this morning, snow covered and with lots of ice around. Water accumulation remains a problem after yesterday's heavy rain and melting snow.

More updates on this storm will be posted during the day.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Snowstorm on Sunday

Tornado damage in Rayne, Louisiana today.

The National Weather Service in Burlington has posted a winter storm warning for upstate New York and northern Vermont from Sunday into Monday. Winter Storm Warnings are also in effect in the Beauce and Eastern Townships of southern Quebec and may be extended further north and west towards Montreal on Sunday. Heavy rain warnings remain in effect at this hour across eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. A very slow moping frontal system with low pressure near Toronto continues to spread heavy rain across the area. The rain has resulted in lots of flooding and ponding of water on area roads around metro Montreal. The rain will gradually change to snow on Sunday. A second area of low pressure will approach the region along the front from the US and pass across eastern New England. That second storm on Sunday will pull down cold air from the north along with increasing winds. Rain will change to snow and accumulate 10-30cm across the region, increasing from west to east. Roads will become slippery and visibility greatly reduced in heavy wet snow on Sunday.

The same storm system is producing heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes across the Gulf States. Nearly a dozen tornadoes occurred in Louisiana today including one near the Lake Charles community of Rayne. The storm injured 50 and claimed one life.

Heavy rain...then snow

We have a very active and complex weather weekend underway. It will start with heavy rain and mild temperatures and end with heavy wet snow and strong winds along with dropping temperatures. For today a Heavy Rain Warning is posted for all of southern Quebec and Ontario. Between 30-50mm of rain will fall along the 401 corridor and into southern Quebec in the next 12-18 hours. On Sunday the rain will change to snow from west to east starting in eastern Ontario early in the morning and spreading south and east. Temperatures today will reach a very mild plus 7C and remain there overnight before rapidly dropping on Sunday to -4C by late in the day. The rain will change to wet snow with 10-15cm easily accumulating in southern Quebec with lesser amounts in Ontario. The culprit is a very slow moving frontal boundary across the Great Lakes along with developing low pressure along the eastern seaboard. Roads will become very slippery on Sunday along with increasing north winds and blowing snow. The snow will only end on Monday. Already Winter Storm Watches are posted in New York and Vermont for this event. We may see additional warnings for Montreal and Quebec once the rainfall warning expires later tonight. I would avoid any travelling on Sunday if possible, especially outside the city.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Remembering 1971...40 years later

March 4, 1971 in Montreal (Radio Canada)

It is so hard for me to believe that it has been 40 years since Montreal was blasted by its biggest storm on record. The storm struck on March 3-5, 1971 with great ferocity in the region. It virtually shut down the valley from Cornwall to the mouth of the St. Lawrence with tropical storm force winds, hurricane like low barometric pressure and over 50 cm of snow. The drifts were over 6 feet high and shut down most major highways across the area stranding thousands. The now famous Blizzard of 71 lives in infamy with other great Montreal weather moments such as the Decarie flood of 1987 and the big one, the 1998 Ice Storm. I have blogged before about the 71 storm and its impact on me at the young age of 4. We had a tremendous spot on the St. Lawrence River to watch the weather events of the day unfold. It also provides me with a strong connection to my late father. He was one of the few who defied the odds and made it to work and back home that day. I sat waiting for him until 7pm that evening on the windowsill of our Lasalle Boulevard home in Verdun. It is the stuff of legends in our family, and many feel the start of my lifelong passion with the weather. You can read more about 1971 at this link Blizzard of 1971.

To this day any entry I do on 1971 brings lots of comments and oh so many page views. There seems to be plenty of interest still in the events of 40 years ago today.
I will update the weekend weather forecast later this morning.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

In like a lamb..sort of

The old saying if March comes in like a lamb it will leave like a lion is sort of true this year. Monday was a wee bit stormy with the 10cm of wet snow and freezing rain, but Tuesday turned out quite pleasant to start the month with lots of bright March sunshine. The sort of is for this Wednesday morning. A weak clipper system produced some very strong winds overnight in Montreal, rattling the house at around 4am with gusts over 65km/h. Some snow shower activity accompanied the front, and it is very mild at 1C here in Montreal. But it will not last, a strong arctic front is just to our northwest this morning. Along it heavy bursts of snow showers and squalls are likely with a quick 3-5cm of snow possible along with very strong winds and near zero visibility. The threat for squalls should last until the noon hour across most regions. The other factor will be rapidly dropping temperatures. We have likely reached out high for the day and the temperature will continue dropping to around -10C by late today. The temperature will plummet to -19C tonight with even colder readings across eastern Ontario and the Laurentians.