Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A cold week ahead for Montreal

Portions of the New York State Thruway southwest of Buffalo were closed last night due to lake effect snow. Travel in Western New York, especially on I-81 today, remains very dangerous.
WINDCHILL WARNING: Metro Montreal tonight & Wednesday.
There is no doubt it is January. A very cold arctic air mass is well established this morning over eastern Ontario and Southern Quebec  Temperatures are around -20C this morning in Montreal with increasing northwest winds in response to low pressure moving off the Atlantic Coast into Nova Scotia. The precipitation from that storm remained well south and east of Montreal with just a few clouds and flurries here in the city. As the winds increase today from the northwest even colder air will filter across the region and into New England. The next 72 hours will be the coldest this winter and likely the coldest in many years.

For that reason most of the area on both sides of the border are under windchill warnings. With lows tonight in the -25 to -30C range and winds of 20km/h, wind chill readings will approach -40C in some locations. In any event it will be uncomfortable outside whether we meet the warning threshold or not. Highs today will be around -15C with lows, as mentioned down to -25C in Montreal. The high on Wednesday will struggle to reach -20C.

It should remain fairly dry with just the odd snowflake or two. The exception to that will be the traditional snowbelts around the Great Lakes including western New York and portions of southern Ontario around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay where blizzard conditions prevail in some locations. It will warm slightly by Friday with increasing chances for some snow across Quebec and Ontario.

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