Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Record highs, 18 feet of snow

Roads were decent at the time but that did not stop this truck from sliding off I-94 in Monticello, Minnesota and into a creek. (KARE)

There is weather going on across North America, even if ours continues to be rather quiet for January. Yesterday heavy rain and thunderstorms produced flash flooding and isolated tornadoes across southeast Texas and western Louisiana. The storms produced a record rainfall of between 4 and 5 inches across the Houston metro area. meanwhile on the backside of the storm in  Midland, Texas, 7 inches of snow fell bring their seasonal total to over 19 inches, which by the way is more than Buffalo, New York and Montreal.

More impressive snows have been falling across southern coastal Alaska including the small fishing village of Cordova, where 18 feet has fallen since Christmas Day (SEE Image below and click on map). A state of emergency is now in effect and the National Guard has been mobilized to help clear the roads and remove snow from the roofs of buildings. The weight of the snow has already collapsed some buildings. While all this was taking place the mercury continued its impressive show across western Canada. Nearly 30 record highs were set yesterday across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta including 7.8C at Edmonton International, 10.3C downtown Edmonton, 8.8C at Assiniboia, SK, the third record this month, and 13.2C at Maple Creek, SK. A cooling trend is on the way but still above normal.

In Montreal, a weak clipper system has given us some mixed rain and snow overnight and rather mild temperatures. I am showing 1C here on Ile Perrot at 7am and that will be our high today. Temperatures will slowly drop under clearing skies today with increasing northwest winds. It will be chilly tonight, especially in areas with snow cover with lows in the city down to -16C. Wednesday will be sunny with increasing clouds and northeast winds by late in the day. That will set the stage for a complex low pressure area with onc center over the Gulf Sates and the other approaching us from the Great Lakes. The two will send enough moisture into the St. Lawrence Valley to produce a period of steady snow on Thursday and Friday. The timing and quantity is still up in the air at this point, but it will be enough to shovel, and could exceed 10cm, which would make it the biggest snowfall this season. I will update the potential snow event late today.

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