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 (