Friday, January 27, 2012

Freezing Rain Warning

Top: Plowing the ice and snow off St. Charles in Kirkland this morning. ValleyWX
Radar from 7am this morning, a familiar scene this winter in Montreal with widespread freezing rain.

9am: the warning has now expired for Montreal as it is above freezing at 1C.

It what has become a typical event in Montreal, the snow has changed to freezing rain this morning. Not one storm this winter has been an all snow event for southern Quebec. Each system has either started as snow or ended as snow, but has thrown everything at us in between including thunder. This morning is no exception as deepening low pressure moves along the international border just south of Montreal towards Maine by this evening. A wide swath of precipitation is affecting the city with about 2 to as much as 5cm of snow overnight. The snow has since changed to a steady freezing rain with the mercury edging up to the freezing point. The freezing rain should change to rain shortly south of the St. Lawrence River but stay as frozen precipitation until at least noon north and west of Montreal and especially in the Ottawa Valley. Freezing rain warnings are posted region wide, with as much as 10mm of ice expected. They have forced cancellation of all school buses across eastern Ontario, essentially giving students a snow day. (My daughter will be happy!)

As the system moves to our east strong west to southwest winds will develop and gust to 70km/h. The rain will taper off to a few flurries by late in the day. Temperatures will edge up to plus 3C today before falling back to 0C tonight. Late on Saturday a clipper type system will affect southern and eastern Ontario into southern Quebec with another shot of light snow and gusty winds by late in the day. Temperatures will remain above normal for the weekend.

If your travels today take you south or west expect a mix of rain and freezing rain with conditions gradually improving this afternoon. However north and east of Montreal it will be a nasty day with snow and freezing rain and very strong winds causing blowing snow. Travel is not advised towards Quebec City and points north and east. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for those regions with as much as 25cm forecast for Quebec City.

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