Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Frigid Happy New Year

Welcome 2014, now just a couple of hours away here in the eastern time zone. Some snow tonight along an arctic boundary across southern Quebec has come to an end after about 2-3cm. Roads remain slick as the salt does not work very well when it is this cold. Now the mercury is dropping as arctic air surges into the region. I am showing a chilly -22C currently on L'Ile Perrot, it was 0C at this time last year, so it is a much colder new year for sure. The cold weather is here to stay for the first few days of 2014.

As my 9th year of blogging comes to an end, I want to thank everyone for reading. It has been a weather year with lots of dramatic and at times very sad weather events across North America and the World. There was plenty of historic floods, tornadoes a super typhoon but thankfully a quiet Atlantic hurricane season.

Just a few stats from my own little corner of the world, the warmest temperature here at my home was 33.7C (92.6F) on July 17. That same day we had a heat index of 42.2C (107F). The coldest reading was -27.7C (-18F) on January 23. What an incredible spread in temperatures, over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to love Montreal weather. As I mentioned this was my 9th year blogging and 34th year keeping weather data. My blog has received 238,667 page views since I started in 2005. The top countries for visits to my blog by no surprise are Canada and the US. What is surprising are numbers 3 and 4, the Czech Republic and Russia, go figure!

Thanks again for reading. Have a very Happy New Year!

Cold start to 2014

A beautiful but dangerous sight this past weekend in northern Vermont as ice and snow cling to the trees from the December 22 ice storm. It took nearly a week to restore power to all customers. The state is asking for FEMA funds to help offset damage from the storm. (ValleyWX Photo)
Happy New Years Eve everyone! It is 2014 in some parts of the world with the new year underway in Australia and New Zealand and spreading west with each hour.

Here at home, it is a cold December 31 right across the country with temperatures at -36C in Winnipeg, -20C in Ottawa and -19C here on L'Ile Perrot. Advancing cloud cover from a clipper system actually helped keep our temperatures a little warmer overnight. It is all relative really because the windchill is still -26C in Montreal this morning. Look for those clouds to produce 2-5cm of very light snow today, the fluffy really dry kind. As the clipper system slides east tonight another shot of arctic cold air will move in with lows dropping to -26C by Thursday morning and no better than -23C on Thursday. Arctic high pressure will hold, deflecting a developing storm well south of our region, affecting mostly southern New England and New York.

The cold air will modify into this upcoming weekend with some snow possible Saturday and a mild high of -2C Sunday. By early next week a storm along with more frigid air may affect southern Quebec. There are hints it could be a big one, but the computer models  including the reliable European one are all over the place for the next week. We will just have to wait and see as the weekend draws closer.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snowy Boxing Day in Montreal

Hydro crews work through the Christmas Day holiday trying to restore power to thousands across the GTA. This photo is from Brampton. (CBC)
A weak clipper system is moving across southern Quebec this afternoon with a burst of light, fluffy snow. The snow should taper off this evening with between 5-10cm expected across the region. Temperatures today are slowly warming after a cold Christmas Day that had high temperatures no better than -14C in Montreal. We should eventually warm up today to around -5C, currently -10C on L'Ile Perrot and -12C at the airport in Dorval at noon. A light northeast wind is keeping temperatures down in Montreal. High pressure will move in for Friday before another series of weak clipper systems bring some flurries over the weekend. It will be mild Saturday and Sunday with highs near 0C (32F). Early next week an arctic cold front will bring snow flurries with more frigid weather returning by New Years Eve, lows down into the minus 20's.

It has warmed to near the freezing point in southern Ontario, a welcome relief after the deep freeze on Christmas Day. So many people had to celebrate the holiday in the dark or at warming centers. Power is still being restored across Toronto to many homes after the ice storm last weekend. Over 30,000 customers remain in the dark in Ontario, along with another 13,000 in Quebec and close to 30,000 in New Brunswick. Hydro workers from Ottawa and Manitoba are helping in Toronto. New York, Vermont and Maine are also still reporting outages with crews coming in from other parts of the US to help. Crews are having a difficult time reaching some of the damage with the accumulation of ice and snow and the fact they are responding to smaller outages now, individual lines into neighborhoods or customers homes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my family, friends and readers. Thank you to each and everyone of you for stopping by to chat about the weather or just pick up some info. I wish you peace and warmth today and everyday. Be safe and enjoy the holidays wherever you may be.

It is a very chilly but sunny Christmas Day with a current temperature of -21C on L'Ile Perrot and -25C in Ottawa.

Monday, December 23, 2013

After the ice storm - calm weather for Christmas

This a stunning picture that captures the beauty and devastation of the ice storm in Ontario yesterday.
Posted by Simon O via Twitter.
One more day of unsettled weather from that nasty arctic boundary before we get a break for Christmas. Montreal was very lucky this weekend with nearly 60mm of precipitation falling in the city, but most of it in the solid form. It spared us the devastation that we are seeing in portions of southern Ontario by just a few kilometers. Thousands of trees are down, some on cars and houses along with power lines and poles. Power remains out to nearly 130,000 homes in Ontario this morning from Toronto to Cornwall. There are still thousands without power in southern Quebec, mainly south of Montreal along the US border. Six fatalities were attributed top the storm in Quebec. Montreal has received nearly 2 feet of snow since last Sunday with the first storm costing the city nearly 20 million to remove. Snow clearing operations for this second storm began this morning and will cost taxpayers another 20 million. While we were enduring all this, summer heat spread north along the US east coast with dozens of record highs including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington topping 70F and over 80F (27C )in Norfolk.
Fire & Ice as a hydro transformer explodes in southern Ontario during the ice storm. (The Weather Network)
The weather will finally clam down a little after a final surge of moisture this morning. Some light snow and freezing drizzle is possible today in Montreal and the Townships with temperatures staying where they have been all weekend, -7 or -8C. High pressure will nose into the region on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day with clear and cold weather. Temperatures will be near -12 Tuesday and -15C Wednesday before they moderate slightly on Boxing Day. Travel is much better today, but lots of ice remains so travel with tremendous caution and reduce your speed. There is lots of tree damage in places that received ice from Quebec across northern New York and Vermont and especially Ontario. Tree limbs will continue to fall long after the precipitation has ended. Watch where you stand and park.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Freezing drizzle in Montreal - Nearly 400,000 without power in Ontario & Quebec

Damage in Toronto today. (Photo gcapepic.twitter.com)
Delayed flights, poor road travel and thousands without power are the rule today across Ontario and Quebec as a fierce winter storm continues. Nearly 350,000 Ontario homes have no power this afternoon, 250,000 in the GTA alone. Over 40,000 homes are in the dark in Quebec, but only 1200 in Montreal city. Heavy freezing rain and strong winds have toppled thousands of trees onto power lines across southern Ontario and into NY and Vermont. An arctic boundary is separating winter from summer and funneling moisture northeast into the area while cold northeast winds blow down the St. Lawrence Valley and into Ontario, and New York. Nearly 30mm of freezing rain has fallen on Toronto making it the biggest ice storm since 1998.

Meanwhile in Montreal nearly 60cm (2 feet) of snow and ice has piled up since last Sunday forcing workers to come and clear out the fire hydrants on L'Ile Perrot.
In Quebec freezing rain is now falling in Montreal after nearly 20cm of snow and 15cm of sleet and ice pellets since Friday morning. Meanwhile New York City hit a record high of 71F today, the third warmest December day on record. Portions of the middle Atlantic region are near 80F, just an incredible storm. The system also produced tornadoes in the southeast and thunder and lightning across New York State this morning. A winter storm warning remains posted for southern Quebec until this evening with mainly light freezing rain expected into this evening with strong winds to 70km/h in Montreal.

Over 135,000 without power in Ontario - 16,000 in Quebec

From The Weather Network via Twitter, an eerie scene from Brampton, Ontario early this morning.
First a note on travel, all roads are icy and covered in sleet or snow. Travel is not advised and in many cases dangerous. Trees are falling along the 401 corridor and a state of emergency is in effect across Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence County in New York with only essential travel allowed, so rethink Plattsburgh if that was in your Sunday plans. Also if you have a flight out of Burlington, VT. the airport has been closed this morning, call ahead.

Ice and sleet continue to affect a wide portion of eastern Canada this morning with warnings posted from Atlantic Canada to southern Ontario. Montreal thankfully so far has made out well with about 20mm of mixed precipitation, mostly sleet which does not stick to power lines or trees. Roads are terrible but at least we have power. We are mixing with freezing rain this morning, and I have about 3.8mm of freezing rain through the gauge here on L'Ile Perrot. But the type of precipitation varies considerably based on where you are north to south in the area as well as elevation. This time the upper elevations are milder with rain while the valley's have the icy precipitation.

By far the hardest hit region overnight was Ontario from Kingston to Toronto and south into western New York. Heavy freezing rain with even thunder and lightning has brought down hundreds of trees onto power lines. Power is out to nearly 135,000 customers with another 16,000 out in Quebec, mostly along the US border. Temperatures remain cold in Montreal on strong northeast winds gusting to 70km/h. We will see more sleet and freezing rain mixed throughout the day but it will become light this afternoon. I will continue to monitor the storm and provide updates via twitter and the blog.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter storm update

A power crew from Rochester awaits the anticipated work in northern New York. Crews are preparing around the region as a major ice event has begun. (WPTZ 5)
Freezing rain mixed with sleet has been occurring all day in Montreal with the heaviest precipitation southwest of Quebec still in Ontario. The forecast remains on track with low pressure and a deep plume of tropical moisture riding northeast along a stalled arctic boundary. Winter storm, ice storm and freezing rain warnings remain posted for all regions from Toronto to Quebec City and east into Atlantic Canada. They also stretch across portions of the Midwest and southern plains northeast into extreme northern New York and Vermont. The hardest hit area for freezing rain with this storm, the worst since 1998, will be from Kingston to Watertown, New York northeast into Franklin County, New York including Massena and Cornwall.

A power line covered in heavy ice in Oklahoma today, the same storm that is heading this way.
Montreal will receive a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow which hopefully will cut down on the ice accretion on power lines and trees. We can expect 15-30cm of snow/sleet while the southern St. Lawrence Valley is looking for up to 40mm of freezing rain, just a devastating amount. Hydro One in Ontario is already reporting over 10,000 customers without power, mainly near Kingston and Gananoque. Expect that number to grow. I will continue to provide updates as often as I can so check back and watch the Twitter feed.

Major Winter Storm for Montreal & St. Lawrence Valley

Ice and snow slowed the morning commute to a crawl in Montreal on Friday. More of the same today and Sunday as the roads are in terrible shape. (ValleyWX)
A winter storm warning has been posted for metro Montreal and points north with a freezing rain warning for points south to the US border and along the entire St. Lawrence Valley as well as southern Ontario including Toronto. An Ice Storm Warning is now in effect for the valley locations of northern Vermont and New York including Plattsburgh. This morning freezing rain and sleet (ice pellets) are falling here on L'Ile Perrot with a cold temperature of -8C (18F) Meanwhile not too far south temperatures are surging to near 50F across the Green Mountains of southern Vermont.

Lots of moisture will be surging north into an arctic frontal boundary that lies across Ontario and into central New York and Vermont. South of this front it is spring like with rain. North of the front very much like the first day of winter with windy and cold conditions and lots of wintry precipitation. Yesterday Montreal received nearly 15cm (6") of snow with another 5cm (2") of sleet and snow overnight. That brings our totals for the last week to over 50cm (20 inches). We will add to that today with a very tricky and complicated forecast. I will try to briefly make some sense of it below.

The freezing rain and sleet falling this morning across Montreal will become light and scattered today as we await the next wave of moisture tonight. The moisture will ride north with very warm air overriding the cold air here on the valley floor. The result will be a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, heavy at times, from Montreal to Toronto and south. The heaviest freezing rain will fall along the 401 from Toronto to Kingston and then south along the US border. The NWS in Burlington is hinting that this may be the biggest ice storm since 1998. There may even be a rumble of thunder with the heaviest precipitation overnight. Precipitation will taper off slowly by Sunday afternoon. There is a real risk for power outages and travel problems late tonight. You should cancel any travel plans for Sunday and wait until Monday. Precipitation will be mostly in the form of snow north of Montreal and into Ottawa. As much as 20cm of snow may fall. Here in Montreal it will be windy as well gusting out of the cold northeast to 70km/h tonight and early Sunday.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Storm Watch for Montreal

Snow continues to fall along a very sharp arctic boundary this evening that is lying just south of Montreal. Warm air continues to ride up and over the front but unable to reach the surface here in the valley. Low pressure moving along the front will pass east of the city overnight with precipitation becoming rather light and scattered in nature. I have been trapped inside all day after spending another 90 minutes in traffic this morning so I am not certain how much snow has fallen. My best guess is at least 10cm. The temperature dropped from -1C at midnight to -9C by 7am this morning in Montreal creating very slick roads. Several accident were reported including one involving a snowplow that closed Highway 20 this morning during the commute. I was stuck in that for awhile.

Roads remain sloppy tonight and there is even some freezing rain being reported along the US border. We may have a break in the action early Saturday before a stronger surge of moisture rides along the front. Snow and blowing snow will begin in Montreal by late in the afternoon and accumulate 10-15cm before changing to sleet or freezing rain. A significant amount of ice is possible in many regions of the St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley's but exactly where is a little tricky at this time. There were tremendous differences in temperatures today over a small weather area from -7C here in Montreal to as warm as 5C in Albany NY. A winter storm watch has been posted for Montreal, and this could be upgraded to some sort of warning by tomorrow morning. I will post an update then.

Major freezing rain event for southern Quebec

This storm will not be as bad as 1998, but the same region from Ontario across southern Quebec to northern Maine will be the focus for lots of ice & snow this weekend, a very similar pattern to that of  98.
We have a very busy Friday morning in the weather department with a complicated forecast combined with one of the busiest shopping/travel periods of the year. A strong arctic boundary lays draped across the international border this morning with Montreal at -7C  (19F) while Burlington, Vermont is at 0C (32F). There in a nutshell is where the problem lies coming up with an accurate forecast. The first of three low pressure areas is moving along that boundary this morning with 5-10cm of snow likely for the St. Lawrence Valley. Freezing rain with this first storm is occurring in southern Ontario and along the US border where warnings are in place.

Temperatures will rise to or above freezing out of the valleys with colder air remaining trapped below 1000 feet and so Montreal will remain cold, around -5C most of the day. By Saturday the next low pressure area will approach from the southern US with a wide area of deep moisture. This system has the potential to produce a significant ice storm across far northern New York and Vermont and the St. Lawrence Valley including Montreal. There could be up to 15mm of freezing rain on Sunday, enough to bring down some trees and perhaps disrupt travel and power.

This is a very dangerous weather event affecting a large region of Ontario, Quebec and northern New England. I will issue another update later today. Currently warnings for freezing rain are in effect for the regions between Montreal and the US border for today. A winter storm watch is in effect for New York and Vermont for Saturday and I expect more watches or warnings will be issued later today for Montreal.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Messy weather next several days for Montreal - Ontario

The scenario for this upcoming weekend remains messy and uncertain with a mix of snow and freezing rain forecast right into late Sunday. We start this morning with an area of light snow over Montreal, look for 1-3cm before it tapers off shortly. It will be milder today around -1C for a high. More snow will move into the region tonight as a frontal boundary lines up across northern New York and Vermont. Warm air will override that front and produce precipitation. All weekend long that front will remain in place with a very sharp temperature gradient separating arctic air in southern Quebec and the St. Lawrence Valley from much milder air working into southern New York and New England. The temperature will remain below freezing in Montreal while it rises way above in southern Vermont. Several waves of low pressure will move along that front bringing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The result will be about 10-20cm of snow from late tonight into Saturday morning, that is round 1.

Round 2 arrives late Saturday night in the form of a stronger low pressure area and another surge of mild air aloft along that front. That will trap the cold air at the surface in Montreal, and we could be in for a prolonged period of freezing rain by Sunday. There will be lots of people moving around this weekend with shopping and travel plans. You need to know that this will be a difficult drive all weekend. Wait until Monday if you can or expect delays and difficulty. There will no doubt be some form of watch or warning issued over the next 12 to 24 hours. I will update the blog regarding this storm as often as I can. There is also the risk of power outages with the amount of freezing rain that could fall. If you need to prepare for that in advance, gas, food etc., then do so.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Arctic cold eases - new storm threat for Montreal

Cold and ice slowed the morning commute Tuesday as did the decision of some municipalities, including Kirkland, to do snow removal during the rush hour adding to the delays.
It is another cold morning in Montreal but so much warmer than the frigid lows of Tuesday morning. Temperatures were as cold as -31C in Cornwall yesterday with -26.3 here on L'Ile Perrot. That was the second coldest temperature I recorded here at my home in 2013 the previous being -27.7 on January 23. It was also colder than the record low for the date of -26.1C set back in 1942. The cold produced ice fog off the St Lawrence River that coated bridges and road surfaces in black ice leading to an adventure during the morning commute. I am grateful to be off work today after spending 5 hours in the car just trying to get to and from work over the last two days. Blame it on the weather and a host of other stupidity including in no particular order, snow removal during the rush hour, stupid drivers exceeding the speed of the weather and crashing tying up the rest of us, and no snow tires. Mine have been on since early November and so should yours. Yes I was a little frustrated.

In any event the cold has eased a little this morning as we sit at -14C on our way up to a tropical high of -8C. Some flurries are around this morning but no significant amount is expected. We can also look for a rather calm day Thursday with some flurries around and mild at -1C. This will be the calm before the storm as a couple of weather systems are expected to bring us messy weather in the busy travel/shopping period this weekend. Two low pressure areas will pass just south of Montreal with precipitation arriving Friday and lasting into Sunday. At first snow is forecast but warmer air will allow for a mix including freezing rain which we have not seen much of this winter. As a matter of fact concern is growing for a possible prolonged period of freezing rain. It is way to early to determine the exact track of a storm that has yet to develop as well as the type and quantity of precipitation. However we do know that it will be a messy weekend with perhaps dangerous travel weather.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

After the storm - frigid cold returns to Montreal

Snow was falling at a decent rate on L'Ile Perrot on Sunday morning. Nearly 32cm of snow fell at my house. (ValleyWX)
The snow has just about ended in Montreal after 30cm or 1 foot piled up in the city overnight and most of Sunday. Nearly 15cm fell in just a six hour period during the wee hours of Sunday morning. The snow was accompanied by strong winds that reduced visibility to under 1km across most of southern Quebec. Poor road conditions and drivers not adjusting their speed led to the closure of Highway 40 near Rivieres Des Prairies after 40 cars were involved in three separate accidents.

The snow will end this evening but a new problem will develop as the back edge of the system pulls through, strong winds. Winds in excess of 60km/h along with dropping temperatures to around -18C will produce dangerous windchill readings as well as blowing snow, especially off island. Travel with caution tomorrow and allow extra time for the commute as roads will be snow covered and narrow in the city due to snowbanks.The storm is now hitting Atlantic Canada with 30cm of snow and blizzard conditions across New Brunswick and PEI and into Newfoundland overnight.

Above and below show poor raod condtions in and around Montreal. (CBC News)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter storm update

WINTER STORM WARNING for all regions. Below is a radar shot of the storm advancing into Quebec, and stretching all the way south to Florida.
The big weather system that is spreading snow and strong winds from Ontario into Quebec and New England will arrive shortly in Montreal. It remains very cold and windy in the city at 6pm, -18C with a windchill of -30C. Winds are gusting to 31km/h at 6pm and will increase to 50km/h overnight with widespread blowing snow. The snow is into Ottawa now, starting off very light but should become heavy overnight. Low pressure over Ohio is transferring energy to a second storm near Delaware, which will deepen rapidly. That second storm will move to Cape Cod on Sunday and then into Nova Scotia. Heavy snow, dangerous windchill and blowing snow are forecast for Montreal with 20-30cm likely by Sunday evening. In Ontario today there have been reports of 15-20cm around the GTA. Travel is not advised along the 401/20/ or 417/40 corridor tonight and Sunday.

Winter Storm Warning for Montreal

Environment Canada has hoisted winter storm warnings for all of southern Quebec including metro Montreal. The warnings extend into eastern Ontario and across all of New England. Latest model guidance suggests a slightly more western track of the coastal system which will allow for heavy snow in Montreal. Snow will begin this evening after supper I believe and continue into Sunday afternoon. Total storm amount of 15-25cm are likely with even some 30cm plus amounts across the Townships. It will be windy and dangerously cold with this storm, almost blizzard conditions at times overnight in Montreal. Winds of 30-50km/h out of the northeast combined with temperatures in the minus teens will make it very cold along with low visibility in blowing and drifting snow. Travel at this time should be avoided late tonight and certainly the early portion of Sunday. Temperatures are frigid this morning at -22C, they will "warm" to -18C today and up to -11C Sunday. Behind the system on Monday it will be cold and breezy for the clean up.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snowy & cold weekend for Ontario & Quebec

A very cold air mass is settling into southern Quebec this morning with temperatures at their warmest currently. It is -11C here in Montreal but will drop down to -16C by this afternoon and well below -20C across the entire region tonight. The cold is being driven by gusty northwest winds up to 50km/h at times. Dangerous windchill values can be expected right into Saturday. Along the leading edge of the arctic front, snow squalls have developed this morning in portions of Ontario, making for some nasty travel north of the GTA.
Graphic from the NWS in Burlington showing 20-25cm (8-10") storm totals along the US border region. Montreal can expect 10-15cm (4-6") at the very least.
Clear skies tonight will allow for the coldest night of this winter season with lows expected between -23C in Montreal to the low -30's north of the city. Skies should be clear with clouds on the increase Saturday with winds developing from the northeast by late in the day. The high on Saturday will struggle to make it to -15C. Those clouds will bring snow to Montreal by late Saturday as two low pressure areas move northeast. The first from Ohio will begin to weaken as a second stronger storm develops along the east coast. That second low will move from Delaware to near Cape Cod by Sunday morning and then into Atlantic Canada. Look for the snow to continue into Sunday with 10-15cm forecast for Montreal. Further north and west a little less with more into the Townships and Vermont. It will be windy on Sunday with lots of blowing snow, as the snow will be very light and fluffy in the cold air. A winter storm watch is now posted across Vermont and New York. I expect we may see some warnings as well for extreme southern Quebec as snow totals will approach 20cm along the US border. Travel will be impacted in all regions Sunday. The snow should taper by the afternoon Sunday.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Arctic chill - snowy weekend ahead

The current batch of arctic air is creating big lake effect snows south and east of the Great Lakes. Portions of Ontario and western New York have seen as much as 60cm of snow. The image above is from Wales, NY on Wednesday.
(The Buffalo News).
Forecast models are now backing off from a big storm this upcoming weekend across Ontario & Quebec. With arctic high pressure over the region, it appears the bulk of the moisture will remain state side. That being said it will remain frigid with some snow this weekend, perhaps as much as 10cm for Montreal by midday Sunday. Today will be sunny to start but bitterly cold with current temperatures of -20C in Montreal, but as cold as -28C in Ste Jovite and -22C in Sherbrooke. It will take all day for the sun to warm us up but we may make it to -12C or so. Another cold front will approach the region late tonight with more flurries and perhaps a snow squall. Most of the snow squall activity has remained closer to the Great Lakes and across eastern Ontario. Lows tonight will be near -18C rising only to -15C Friday.

The weekend will feature increasing clouds on Saturday and very cold with highs of -15C. Look for light snow to develop late Saturday night as low pressure approaches from the Ohio Valley and a second storm develops along the east coast. That second storm will become the dominating system providing a big snowstorm for Atlantic Canada, but sucking the moisture out of southern Quebec. At this time Montreal is looking at 5-10cm of snow perhaps 15cm near the US border. Winds will increase out of the northeast up to 60km/h Sunday in the St. Lawrence Valley creating blowing snow and dangerous wind chills.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Much colder weather ahead for Montreal

Snow slowed the morning commute to a crawl on Monday in Montreal. CTV News
More snow flurries and squalls can be expected across Ontario and Quebec as cold arctic air continues to deepen in the region. After 7-15cm of snow fell on metro Montreal Monday temperatures briefly nudged above the freezing mark late in the day. They are back below freezing this morning along with gusty winds in excess of 60km/h at times. Some of the frigid air that has gripped the northern plains and western Canada will slip into Montreal as the week move along. Highs by the weekend will struggle to make it to -10C. Most of the country now has snow cover with nearly 60 per cent of the US covered in snow as well. Another storm is moving across the middle Atlantic this morning with 3-6 inches forecast from Washington to New York. The storms have really slowed travel across the east and Midwest. Around the Great Lakes and even into the Ottawa Valley snow squalls are reducing visibility and dropping a quick coating of snow this morning.

Looking ahead the cold air will remain in place right through the middle of this month at the very least. Another surge of arctic air will arrive late Wednesday along a strong cold front. The front will produce widespread flurries and squalls with a very quick 2-4cm possible across the region. The snow will be accompanied by dropping temperatures and strong winds. Travel may become poor late in the day Wednesday, just in time for rush hour in Montreal. Temperatures are currently at -4C and will remain there today.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Brutal cold western Canada - snow for Montreal

Frigid conditions continue in western Canada this Sunday evening with current reading in the minus 20's across Saskatchewan. On Saturday morning the coldest spot in the country was Brooks, Alberta at -42.2C, Val Marie, Saskatchewan was not far behind at -42.1C. It has "warmed" today to -21C in Val Marie. Winds have abated today but were strong yesterday with windchill readings as low as -50C. Some of that brutally cold air will filter into eastern Canada and southern Quebec by late this week.

A weather system from the US will begin to influence our weather late tonight and into Monday morning. Light snow will develop around sunrise in Montreal and persist most of the morning hours. Accumulations will range from 5cm in the city to as much as 15cm across the Laurentians. The snow may be briefly heavy at times. While this is not a big storm, expect some travel issues given the timing of the onset of the snow during rush hour. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for a big chunk of Vermont and New York excluding the Champlain Valley as well as Snowfall Warnings for the Laurentians and Lanaudiere region north of Montreal. Temperatures are cold right now, -8C here on L'Ile Perrot, but will warm to above freezing by midday Monday. Some freezing rain or rain may mix in at times with the snow before it tapers off. The balance of the week at this time looks sunny and turning colder.

Fans shiver in the snow before the game in Philly on Sunday afternoon. (NFL.com)
This same storm today produced some heavy snow across the middle Atlantic US with as much as 5 inches of snow falling in Philadelphia during the football game today against the Detroit Lions. It made for a very interesting game to watch in the comfort of my home, not shivering in the 27F weather in the stands. Philly beat Detroit 34-20. The same weather has closed the Pennsylvania Turnpike after a fatal accident in which 50 cars were involved. Travel remains very poor across New Jersey and Pennsylvania tonight. A December 8 record 6 inches of snow fell in Wilmington, Delaware today.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Cold weekend - potential Monday snowstorm for Montreal

There is plenty of weather to talk about this morning. Montreal had a cold front go through overnight, just before it did, the temperature here on L'Ile Perrot surged to 10C (50F) near 9pm. After that it has fallen to where we sit this morning, a windy, chilly 2C. That will likely be our high for the day and moving forward I see no real mild air for the rest of this month. Speaking of cold, it is frigid across the prairies this morning with Regina sitting at -32C currently with an extreme windchill of -44C. Further south the cold air has met moisture and is producing an area of freezing rain, snow and sleet from north Texas into the Ohio Valley. The US weather map looks like a Christmas tree this morning, lit up with warnings stretching from the northeast into the deep south and most of the west. Those warnings continue on the Canadian side of the border for dangerous windchill's across the west.

Waves crash onshore from the North Sea into a German ferry terminal on Thursday. (Weather Underground) 
Across the pond in western Europe an intense ocean storm is approaching Germany and the Netherlands with hurricane force winds. Wind reports from North Sea oil platforms have indicated gusts in excess of 100mph with up to 60mph reported along the coast. For the first time since 2007 the elaborate series of flood gates have been closed to protect coastal Denmark.

Our next storm arrive Monday.
It is looking more likely that a decent snow event will take place on Monday. I refrain from calling it a storm, but the arrival of snow at rush hour Monday in Montreal will have major implications regardless of the amount that falls. After a sunny, cold and dry weekend, high -4C, low pressure over the Mississippi Valley will move northeast towards southern Quebec with a second low developing off the Atlantic Coast. Both systems will surge moisture north into the cold air with snow likely after midnight Sunday night. Snow with a mix of freezing rain over the border regions will last well into Monday with early estimates from different sources looking at 8 to as much as 15cm of snow. It will be milder near 0C for the high temperature. After Monday more flurries Tuesday and colder once again. I will monitor this all weekend and provide updates.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Mild Thursday expected for Montreal

Temperatures have nudged above the freezing mark here on L'Ile Perrot so the threat of any freezing rain will be diminishing here in the St. Lawrence Valley. Only light rain showers are forecast today as a messy low pressure area moves from the Great Lakes north to near Hudson Bay. This is the same system that brought the blizzard to western Canada and the northern plains. Freezing rain warnings are in effect for the Ottawa Valley and points north of Montreal but so far any precipitation has been light. The warm front should clear Montreal this morning with temperatures surging to well above normal highs of 8C (48F). A trailing cold front will cross the region this evening with a round of showers gradually changing to light snow and ending overnight as temperatures drop rapidly to 1C and remain there on Friday. The weekend at this time looks much colder but dry with some much needed sunshine.

By Monday another developing storm over the Ohio Valley will begin to move towards southern Quebec. Snow or a wintry mix look likely for Monday with perhaps enough snow to shovel. We will have to monitor that storm as the event draws closer with the path and type of precipitation still uncertain.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Colder air arrives in Montreal by the weekend

Strong low pressure along with frigid air has swept across Alberta into Montana producing blizzard conditions. Some of that cold air will arrive in Montreal by the weekend. (Photo: Country 105 via Twitter)
It is another grey and damp morning across the St. Lawrence Valley, with very poor air quality. A weak area of high pressure is over southern Quebec with very little in the way of air movement. Some moisture last evening put down a quick 2-3cm of snow, enough to plow. This morning the temperature remains steady at -1C where it has been since 6pm last evening. Little movement of the air indicates an inversion at the surface here in Montreal, therefore a smog alert has been posted.

The forecast for today calls for more of the same with a high near 1C and perhaps a few flurries. There is also lots of freezing fog and mist around as well so roads can be slick in spots. Looking ahead low pressure that has brought blizzard conditions to Alberta during the last 24 hours, will move from the northern plains into the Great Lakes. A warm front will try to lift across the area late Wednesday, accompanied by spotty rain or freezing rain. Mild air will spill into the region on Thursday with highs possibly up to 8C (48F). It will be short lived with a piece of that arctic air over the Prairies moving into Montreal by the weekend. The cold air will be accompanied by some snow as well, perhaps a few centimetres. Temperatures will drop to daytime highs around -5C by Sunday.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Mild week ahead for Montreal

Very weak low pressure is crossing the St. Lawrence Valley this morning with just a few snow flurries. Some area may see a dusting to perhaps 2 or 3cm, not much more. Temperatures remain chilly this morning in Montreal at -4C but should warm to 0C. The week ahead looks rather mild and a touch unsettled with flurries possible each day and perhaps even a few showers in the mild air on Thursday. High temperatures will be near 0C until Thursday when they will rise above to 2 or 3C. Lows will be near normal between -2 and -4C. It will turn colder by next week as an Arctic air mass moves east from the Prairies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Arctic air settles into Montreal

Happy Thanksgiving to my family, friends & readers in the US.

Our first winter storm of the year is off into Atlantic Canada this morning after bringing a good 25mm of precipitation to Quebec and Ontario. That included around 13cm of snow for Montreal, with as much as 25cm in Ottawa and varying amounts in between. Winds howled in eastern portions of the province with gusts exceeding 90km/h. Lots of rain also fell with up to 90mm in the Gaspe.

This morning we are left with icy side streets and a cold northwest wind up to 50km/h in Montreal. The temperature here on L'Ile Perrot is -10C but the windchill is close to -18C. It was a brisk walk this morning with Bella, and I had to remind myself there is 4 more months of this to go. At least we are looking at a sunny day, but cold with temperatures no better than -7C. Clear and cold tonight with diminishing winds and lows down in the minus teens. Friday will be sunny and a touch milder, perhaps -5C The weekend it shaping up to be unsettled with a clipper system from western Canada bringing us some light snow late Saturday. It will be milder this weekend near the freezing point.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More snow - gusty winds & cold tonight

This spectacular shot was taken this morning by my friend and longtime reader Jane. This is the Kemptville Creek near Kemptville, Ontario. (Photo Jane Kinnear)
There has been a lull in the precipitation this afternoon with a steady temperature of around 1C in the metro region. About 13cm of snow fell at the airport in Dorval with upwards of 25cm across eastern Ontario. Warnings have been allowed to expire on the Canadian side of the border but remain posted for upstate New York. More snow will develop this evening on very cold northwest winds to 60km/h. The fresh snow along with dropping temperatures will create very dangerous road conditions into the evening and overnight hours across the entire region on both sides of the Ontario/Quebec and New York border. Look for between 2-8cm of additional snow with the lower amounts in Montreal. Temperatures will be the other story as they plummet from daytime highs of 1C down to between -7 and -10C by morning. Little rise is expected Thursday along with flurries but skies should clear.

Messy storm slams region

Just some of the 10cm of heavy wet snow that fell on L'Ile Perrot overnight.
About 10cm of very heavy wet snow has fallen overnight in and around Montreal with 19cm so far in Ottawa. All this has created problems this morning with icy roads north and west of the city and flooded roads in Montreal and south of the city. Temperatures are right at the freezing point so it remains a mixed bag depending where you are in metro Montreal. It is all snow in Ottawa. 

Schools are closed north of the city across the lower Laurentians. All school bus service has been cancelled in eastern Ontario. There are delays at the airport and some power outages are reported with the Hydro Quebec website indicating 11,000 in the dark. I was awakened this morning by the distinct flash and sound of a transformer shorting out to my north. Low pressure continues to deepen near New York City this morning and will move across eastern New England today. It is a mild 0C on L'Ile Perrot this morning but colder air will spill back into the area late this afternoon with any rain changing back to snow. Winds will also increase to 60km/h and temperatures will plummet to -7C tonight. All this water will freeze up, keep this in mind.

At around 8pm last evening a loud rumble along with a bright flash was observed from the West Island across Vaudreuil/Hudson and as far west as Ottawa and south into New York State. It rattled windows and startled thousands. After all the usual suspects were ruled out, including weather, earthquakes or explosion, it appears a meteorite may have entered the atmosphere, exploding high above the earth's surface.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winter Storm Warning for Montreal

Heavy snow is moving north across central New York State at 3:45pm. Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Montreal as we have seen a little nudge to the right of the expected track. This will keep more snow falling over Montreal with less rain mixing. Look for between 15-25cm of wet snow beginning after 7pm and lasting until late Wednesday. Winds will be strong as well, up to 60km/h. The heavy wet nature of the snow could create power outages and downed trees. Travel will be very poor by the Wednesday morning commute. Travel with great care.

Winter storm to impact Ontario & Quebec

This is the current snowfall forecast map from Accu Weather for the entire region. Montreal will be right on the dividing line between rain and snow with the metro region cut in half. Northwest of the city 25cm, southeast of the city less than 10cm.
The much anticipated first winter storm of the season is upon here in Montreal this morning. Winter storm warnings have been posted across a wide area from eastern Ontario, Kingston to Ottawa and east into metro Montreal and towards Quebec City. Low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico will race northeast towards New Jersey on Wednesday, and then across New Hampshire into Thursday morning. This places the St. Lawrence Valley in the sweet spot for snow with freezing rain and rain mixed in from Montreal eastward. Accumulations will be very dependent on the temperature in your backyard, but best estimated are for 10-20cm in Montreal with 20-30cm from Lachute across the Ottawa Valley, Kemptville and into Brockville. This is a good size storm at any time of the year, but especially for the first one, so the Wednesday commute should be interesting in Montreal.

Snow will start late this evening and mix with rain tomorrow morning in Montreal. It then goes back to a steady snow late Wednesday with strong winds developing and dropping temperatures. Thursday looks windy with some blowing snow and colder. Temperatures will be either side of 0C for the next 24 hours in Montreal before dropping off late Wednesday to overnight lows of -6C. There will be lots of ice around and roads will be snow covered so plan your travel accordingly.

The same forecast holds true for New York and Vermont with the rain/snow line setting up across the Champlain Valley. Warnings are in place for those regions as well with the busy Thanksgiving travel period starting tomorrow.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Winter Storm Update

This past weekend over 50cm of snow piled up in the lee of the Great Lakes near London, Ontario. (TWC)
We continue to monitor a nasty weather system that has brought heavy rain and snow to portions of the southern Plains over this past weekend. The storm is expected to merge with a weaker clipper system off the east coast and form quite a strong low pressure area near the Outer Banks. This storm will then lift north into New England.

What this means for Montreal is a good chance of steady precipitation from late Tuesday into late Wednesday night. We could be looking at in excess of 25mm (1 inch) of precipitation in various forms of frozen and liquid. The freezing line will be right through metro Montreal making for a very tricky forecast. The best guess at this time is about 15cm of wet snow split between the start and end of precipitation with about 10mm of rain or freezing rain in between. It will all be blown around by strong winds
of 50km/h in the St. Lawrence Valley.

So far the only mention on this side of the border is a Special Weather Statement by Environment Canada. South of the border in New York and Vermont, winter storm watches have been hoisted. A watch means that there is still considerable uncertainty in the forecast, but prepare and wait until a warning is posted for a more specific geographical region along with amounts and type of precip.

Temperatures are frigid this morning around -13C here in Montreal with wind chill reading to -20C. They will warm to near 0C today along with some light snow from the clipper by tonight. Tuesday will be cloudy as we wait for snow to develop by late in the day. Temperatures will warm to 2 or 3C Wednesday before plummeting again by Thursday.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow or rain? Storm this week for Montreal

Models agree on a storm but not on the precipitation type. A snow to rain event in Montreal is likely.
It is looking more and more likely that a major east coast storm will affect Montreal and eastern Ontario this week. Computer models are depicting a strong low pressure area developing off the North Carolina coast and moving northeast towards New York City. After that the storm either moves inland or just off the coast. Either way a large amount of precipitation, up to 25mm, and very strong winds are likely for Montreal and southern Quebec as well as eastern Ontario.

The problem currently lies in where the snow/rain line will fall. The GFS model has rain on the South Shore of Montreal with snow across the Ottawa River and points north like Laval and Hudson. One thing is certain we will have quite a bit of precipitation and wind starting late Tuesday and into Wednesday night. Travel for a large portion of our area will become difficult Wednesday morning. This includes of course New York and Vermont where Thanksgiving travel will be underway. Already this week snow squalls produced major accidents in Vermont with a fatality and multiple injures. Plan ahead for winter driving.

I will post another update early Monday morning and also on my Twitter feed.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Coldest air of season moves into Montreal tonight

A strong arctic front over Ontario this morning will arrive in the St. Lawrence Valley by late this afternoon accompanied by a quick burst of snow and strong winds. Some localities may receive as much as 5cm of snow from Ottawa to Montreal as the front moves through. Roads may be icy and visibility lowered during the frontal passage. Temperatures are cold this morning around -3C, we may gain a degree or two but not much more. Tonight the mercury will drop to -7C with strong west winds over 50km/h and cold windchill readings. On Sunday it will be windy and cold with some of the coldest November air in the last 20 years in place. It will stay around -7C and drop to -14C overnight into Monday. That is a full 10 degrees Celsius below normal. Snow squalls are likely around the Great Lakes from Ontario into New York. Warnings are in place.

Wednesday Snowstorm?
Our concerns then will turn towards a US system that is expected to move across the Gulf Coast states and US Southeast before moving into the Atlantic Ocean near Virginia Beach. Both the European and Global models both pick up this feature but do very different things with it. One scenario has it hugging the coast northward into New England as a very strong coastal storm. This would of course mean a storm with lots of precipitation and wind for Montreal. The other has a track further out into the Atlantic with no precipitation for Montreal. I am watching this closely this weekend and will provide further updates.

Friday, November 22, 2013

What role did the weather play in the Kennedy assassination?

The front page of  The Montreal Gazette from Saturday, November 23, 1963.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 22, 1963. There was a chance that the horrific events of  that day might not have happened at all had the weather forecast been right. The day was grey and gloomy as the President arrived at the Airport in Dallas earlier that morning. Weather records indicate that 0.06" of rain had fallen with more forecast for the day. This would likely mean a plexiglass bubble would have been used on the Presidents 1961 midnight blue Lincoln Convertible to keep him and the First Lady dry. Unfortunately as the motorcade was set to leave for the cross town journey at 11:50am the weather turned bright and sunny and even warm for late November. The mercury at Love Field in Dallas would reach 70F (21C) after a cool overnight low of 55F (13C). Other sources I checked had the overnight lows as cool as the 40's. But the warm Texas sun and southerly winds between 15-30mph would push temperatures up and with the unexpected sunshine, the President decided not to go with the plexiglas covering. Shots would ring out at Dealey Plaza at 12:30pm killing the 35th President of the United States and seriously injuring Texas Governor John Connally.

By all accounts the 60's were a turbulent decade that seemed to start that fateful day back in 1963. The death of  JFK greatly shocked and saddened Americans and Canadians alike including my mother, who was 33 at the time and decided to keep scrapbooks of every news clipping surrounding the assassination and aftermath. The books she kept were a wealth of information when I decided to take a peek through them somewhere around my 10th birthday. I actually read each and every article, sparking my interest in newspapers. It is hard to believe 50 years has passed and yet the pain and loss continue for many, as well as the questions and theories as to how it all played out. One thing was certain, the world lost a courageous leader that day, far too early.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Welcome to winter - snow by Sunday in Montreal

Well it really feels like mid-winter this morning in Montreal and clear across the country. Temperatures this morning are in the -7C to -10C range across the metro region. Thankfully the wind has finally dropped off after two days of gusts over 50km/h. It will be sunny today but chilly with highs only around 0C for Montreal. A frontal system will approach the region Friday with a warm front crossing southern Quebec. The front will produce some showers and slightly milder highs of 4C. By the weekend a strong arctic cold front will cross Ontario and Quebec with the coldest air of the season arriving by Sunday. The cold air will be accompanied by snow squalls and wind with driving conditions likely being very winter like by Sunday from the Great Lakes into Montreal. High temperatures by Sunday will be no better than -3. More details will follow on that scenario as the event draws closer, but prepare for winter driving now.

Maggie the dog survived 30 hours buried in the rubble after the Washington, Illinois tornado on Sunday. (TWC Photo)
By now most of my regular readers of this blog know how much I love dogs. I often feature or speak of my little 22 pound Terrier rescue Bella, who actually saved me. She is a gem who would give her life to save mine, that I have no doubt. Over the weekend a series of just devastating tornadoes swept across the upper Midwest US from Illinois to Kentucky. Some of the most destructive damage was done in Washington, Illinois. One of the victims, John Byler Dann, survived the fierce EF-4 storm with his four young children in a safe room in their 5 year old home in Washington. The house was all but destroyed but the family survived, all but their 11 year old family dog Maggie, or so they thought. Nearly 30 hours later, in the rubble that was once their home, they found Maggie, wrapped in a carpet with a displaced hip, but otherwise alive. It is just a tremendous story of  the will to survive along with just how much joy a dog brings to our lives. You can read the entire story with photos here at The Weather Channel.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Massive late season tornadoes hit Midwest

A house blocks a road in Kokomo, Indiana after a tornado on Sunday. AP Photo.
A strong storm system moved into northeast Ontario overnight trailing a potent cold front that has caused widespread damage. The front generated some rare November severe weather on Sunday, with 81 tornadoes reported in six US states. Included in those storms was a likely EF-4 tornado capable of winds approaching 200 mph. That storm leveled the town of Washington, Illinois, and with other storms, claimed six lives and injured hundreds more. It was the first EF-4 tornado ever recorded in Illinois in November. The late season thunderstorms also produced major damage from Ontario and Michigan into Indiana and Kentucky. This morning the thunderstorms have weakened but the wind continues. Strong gusts along and behind the cold front could reach 80km/h in metro Montreal. The wind has knocked out power to nearly 20,000 Quebec homes.
The damage is unimaginable and complete in Washington, Illinois after a likley EF-4 tornado on Sunday afternoon. AP Photo.
The cold front is ushering in much cooler air with temperatures in Montreal falling from 15C at 4am this morning down to 6C by this afternoon. The wind will ease gradually overnight tonight as the storm pulls into central Quebec. About 15mm of rain has fallen since late Sunday here on L'Ile Perrot.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

High Winds expected for St. Lawrence Valley

Strong low pressure will move from the Great Lakes today into southern Quebec overnight. An area of very strong winds will develop by midnight tonight and last a good 12 hours for Montreal. Winds of 30-50km/h will develop today ahead of a cold front associated with the storm. Those winds will increase to 50-90km/h tonight and into Monday morning with some gusts to 100km/h possible along the north shore of Lake Ontario. High Wind Warnings are in place from the southwest St. Lawrence Valley towards southwest Ontario as well as the Richelieu Valley of southern Quebec. They may be extended later today into metro Montreal. Heavy rain will also develop with the frontal passage with 15-25mm possible along with a rubble of thunder. Highs today will be warm around 13C (55F) and remain steady overnight before falling on Monday to around 5C (41F) by late in the day. It will be windy and cold Monday night with lows below freeing and a few flurries in Montreal. The cooler air is here for some time with snow even possible by next Saturday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Warm & windy weekend for Montreal

Enjoy this final shot of warm air for the year as the forecast looks cold beyond next Tuesday right to the end of 2013. We have another surge of warm air from the south today with highs up to 10C (50F) in Montreal. Winds will be lighter than they have been this week, so it will be quite pleasant outdoors. The weekend looks great with mild air well established pushing temperatures unto the low teens Saturday and Sunday. It should remain dry for most of the weekend. The leading edge of cloud cover from a strengthening Great Lakes storm will not arrive until late Sunday.

That storm will move into Quebec on Monday with a very windy and rainy day in the south and turning colder with snow in the central regions. Rainfall may be in excess of 25mm here in Montreal along with winds easily over 50km/h. That will be followed by and Arctic front introducing the coldest air thus far this season. Highs for the balance of next week will remain below freezing with some flurries. Low temperatures will drop to as cold as -10C in southern Quebec. My suggestion is that you wrap up outdoor preparations for winter this weekend, get those snow tires on and put the patio furniture away. This may well be the last real nice warm weekend for some time.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Desperate for help in the Phillipines

While aid continues to pour into the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, the situation on the ground remains desperate. Bodies and debris are hindering efforts to distribute the relief and many have gone days without food and water. The US already has troops on the ground and Canada has deployed our DART team which specializes in helping after major disasters. The last time the team was deployed was to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. A Canadian Forces C-17 left Trenton early this week with about 50 of the 200 member team. The rest are following with more supplies and equipment. The DART team has four specific areas of specialty, basic medical care, water purification, infrastructure repair and communications. The death toll currently stands at 2200 but as many as 10,000 are feared dead, trapped in the rubble. Please help if you can, relief agencies in Canada say they need financial help the most so they can allocate the funds quickly. The Federal Government will match donations made in Canada until December 8. You can click on the Red Cross logo above right to donate quickly and safely.

Numerous injuries occurred yesterday in snow squalls near Barrie, Ontario. CTV News.
We have been sent into mid-winter conditions this morning with lows at -8C and windchills down to -13C currently on L'Ile Perrot. It will be cold today with highs only near -1C, but dry with some sunshine. Flurries are possible as well especially away from the city. Yesterday was an icy commute for many in Ontario and Quebec, the first of the year with light snow and icy patches leading to accidents. Please slow down as winter driving is here and get those tires on. Snow, as much as 10cm, also fell around the Great Lakes with Highway 400 north of Toronto towards Barrie closed for a time yesterday after several multiple vehicle crashes. It will warm up to end the week with temperatures into the low teens on the weekend before another arctic surge next week. Rain is likely this weekend from both a warm front and the trailing cold front by Monday night.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Take time to Remember

My father told me from a very young age just how important it was to wear a Poppy and observe a moment of silence on November 11 to pay respect to those who fought and continue to protect our rights and freedoms. It is not taken lightly in my home as I am fully aware of how great Canada is and how much freedom we enjoy as a result of the many who died in the terrible wars of our past. It seems so easy to do, simply wear a poppy and say thank you. As per usual it will be a chilly and blustery day in Ottawa and Montreal for the ceremonies which start at 10:30 am at various locations including Parliament Hill and here in Montreal on the McGill Campus. Skies will be mostly cloudy with temperatures around 3C and a biting west wind.

That wind and cloud cover will be a hint of a strong cold front in the Great Lakes this morning that will enter the St. Lawrence Valley early this afternoon. Showers and strong winds will transition into some snow flurries after dark this evening. Wide areas of southwest Ontario and portions of Quebec, north of Montreal have snow squall watches in effect. Up to 10cm of snow is possible in the most persistent squalls, especially south and east of Lake Huron. In Montreal light rain will mix with snow before ending by midnight. It will turn windy and cold tonight with lows of -5C. Keep this in mind if driving this evening, there will likely be icy spots around. The balance of the week will be fair and dry with moderating temperatures. Highs will not making it above 0C on Tuesday, but should warm to 6 or 7C by Friday.

One of the strongest storms ever to hit land on earth is weakening over Vietnam this morning after nearly leveling portions of the Philippines on Friday. Haiyan produced winds over 200mph with a storm surge over 20 feet high across the southern island nation. Tsunami like waves destroyed entire villages and most of Tacloban City. Relief efforts our underway but the scope of the disaster and the loss of infrastructure is making it very difficult. The death toll is at 1200 but estimates are that it could reach over 10,000. The Canadian Government is already committed $5 million in relief aid and is matching donations made to relief agencies. Please help if you can at redcross.ca

Friday, November 08, 2013

Cold weekend with some snow for Quebec

Chibougamau: Snow fell in portions of central Quebec on Thursday with more expected this weekend.
Winter is on our doorstep this morning as snow is falling in portions of Quebec and Ontario as well as western Canada. Cold air is pretty well established across the country with the exception of both coasts. Montreal is currently 1C (33F) and that will likely be the high today perhaps a degree warmer. Clouds will dominate along with a stray snowflake or two. Heavier bursts of snow have fallen across central Quebec with Chibougamau reporting several centimetres along with cold temperatures. That portion of Quebec along with the regions just north of Montreal including Tremblant will see more snow this weekend as a clipper system moves from the Prairies across Ontario. Another 5cm of snow is expected this weekend from late Saturday into Sunday. After a dry day today Montreal can expect clouds to increase Saturday morning followed by rain and snow showers. It will be cold Saturday but warm slightly Sunday. An arctic front will cross the region late Monday with a burst of heavier precipitation that could be in the form of snow. The balance of next week looks dry and cold at this time.

A spectacular image of  the well defined eye of  Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) making landfall south of Manilla in the Philippines late yesterday.
Quite possibly the strongest storm ever on this planet is racing across the Philippines this morning. Haiyan or Yolanda as it is called locally, is one of the strongest storms ever observed at landfall on the planet. This morning the storms well defined center core is reporting 195 mph winds with gusts to 235mph (Category 5). A tremendous storm surge has flooded coastal regions with widespread destruction reported. Nearly 1 million were evacuated from the storms path. So far 4 deaths have been reported but it is very early in the aftermath with Haiyan still affecting portions of the country and communications down.

Swift moving Typhoon Haiyan has produced a major storm surge such as this one in the Albay region. (CTV NEWS)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Cold weather returns to Montreal - snow next week?

The back edge of a cold front is nearly through Montreal this morning with winds increasing out of the southwest and light rain falling. About 5mm of rain fell since late Wednesday with just a few more sprinkles expected. Skies will slowly clear out today with gusty winds up to 60km/h. The high was reached in the wee hours this morning at nearly 15C (59F), we currently sit at 11C and will drop to 4C by late this afternoon. Look for lows around -1C tonight with perhaps a stray snowflake. The weekend at this time from Friday to Sunday looks quite variable with colder temperatures and the chance of some rain or snow showers late Saturday. There may be more snow by next Tuesday as colder air filters into the east with temperatures running well below normal. Any precipitation at this time would be light, but it could be snow. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Calm and cold Monday

Hydro crews remove a tree from a crushed car in Montreal on Saturday. (CTV)
It is the coldest morning of the season so far in Montreal with -6C at the Airport and -5C here on L'Ile Perrot. I twill be a calm, dry day after the major windstorm on Friday. Look for sunshine through Wednesday along with a gradual warming trend. Highs today will be only around 2 or 3C (35-40F) with lows back well below freezing tonight. It will warm to 8C (48F) on Tuesday.

It took the better part of the weekend along with utility crews from Vermont and New Brunswick for all the power to be restored after that wild wind on Friday put over half a million Ontario and Quebec homes in the dark. Gusts out of the southwest ahead of a cold front reached 100-110km/h (60-65 mph) from Lake Ontario towards northern Maine. Hundreds of thousands of Quebec homes and businesses were plunged into the dark after trees fell on power lines and even some power poles came down. Damage was widespread with many trees falling on homes and cars, damage to roofs and other infrastructure being reported. Sadly one tree crushed a woman in her car in Port Colborne, Ontario.

Meanwhile winter is well established across western Canada with portions of Alberta and Saskatchewan reporting 10-30cm of snow on the ground. This morning temperatures are very cold with blowing snow reported in both Regina and Saskatoon. Edmonton is -9C after 10cm of snow and Calagry is -6C. Over 30cm fell in Red Deer with travel very poor over the weekend. It will remain cold this week.
Numerous accidents were reported along Highway 2 in Alberta after heavy snow and strong winds this past weekend.  Get ready now folks across the rest of Canada and slow down to avoid this. We all have the power.(Alberta RCMP)

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fierce winds pound province

Strong winds generated by a powerful storm produced lots of damage in southern Quebec today. The low with a central pressure of 962mb, equivalent to a category two hurricane, moved from the Great Lakes towards Ottawa. Winds have gusted between 90-100km/h in Montreal since the noon hour. Widespread damage has been reported with numerous trees down some on cars and power out to over 300,000 homes according to Hydro Quebec. Thousands more are without power in Ontario and New York. One fatality was reported near Port Colborne after a tree fell on a motorist. Warnings remain in effect with winds expected to drop after midnight. The images below are of a tree down on a car in NDG as well as waves being whipped up on the St. Lawrence River in Lachine.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 31, 2013

High Wind Warnings

High wind warnings have been posted for the entire region including metro Montreal, the St. Lawrence Valley, Eastern Ontario and northern New England & NY. Winds ahead of a strong cold front and strengthening fall storm will increase out of the southwest to 100km/h (60 mph) in gusts on Friday. Winds of this strength could cause damage as well as power outages. Rain continues this Halloween night with 14mm so far today on L'Ile Perrot. More showers tonight and Friday with warm air pouring into the region. Highs could reach 16C Friday. Colder air will rapidly move in behind the storm over the weekend with flurries possible.

Scarey Halloween forecast

The 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox celebrate last night along with all of us across Red Sox Nation.
First of all this morning, thank you, thank you, thank you to the Boston Red Sox. What a run from last to first. After not having won a World Series title since 1918, they have now won three since 2004. I am glad they took this time to shake off the curse. What a thrilling team to watch this year, the cardiac kids, never say die, from last in 2012 to champs in 2013.

It is not shaping up to be a great forecast for Montreal and most of us here in the east for Halloween tonight. Strong low pressure has moved from the central plains towards the Great Lakes while intensifying. This storm will lift a warm front across Montreal and southern Quebec tonight with lots of showers and rain likely. It won`t be a washout but it will be wet most of the time. The rain should get going by noon today. The only good news is that is will be much milder, close to 12C today and strengthening southwest winds. It will remain mild tonight and downright warm on Friday, as the warm front clears the region. Temperatures will rise to nearly 16C (61F) on Friday. As this storm strengthens to a 972mb low, it will move across the Ottawa Valley, with a strong cold front trailing behind. Winds on Friday will increase to strong across the St. Lawrence Valley with gusts likely to 100km/h. Wind Warnings have been issued along the US side of the Valley, and I expect they will be moved north and east into Montreal and our southwest regions. After a mild and windy Friday the weekend looks much cooler with showers and perhaps a few flurries by late Saturday behind the storm.

Remember to put your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night.
Happy Halloween...be safe.

Boston Strong!