Friday, January 18, 2013

Arctic chill & a few clippers

It is cold this morning! Both Bella and I agreed that at -23C, one block was enough for us, me with my frozen face and her frozen paws. Ottawa is at -24C, Sherbrooke and Quebec City -26C and Kemptville -20C. It will slowly warm today under sunny skies but with an increasing southwest wind up to 40km/h. That wind will bring in warmer air over the next 24 hours, but today will make it feel very cold through the midday. Clouds will thicken tonight with light snow spreading across eastern Ontario and into Quebec in response to a weak clipper moving in. The snow will accumulate a general 5-10cm across the entire region. On Saturday temperatures will warm up to the freezing point and in some cases south of the St. Lawrence River even above.

Coldest air of the winter
The mild air will last into Sunday when another clipper with a strong arctic cold front will cross the region. Look for a few showers changing to flurries Sunday with increasing winds plummeting temperatures, much the same as Thursday. Early highs will be around plus 1C but drop rapidly to overnight lows of -20C by Monday morning in Montreal. The mercury will struggle all next week to make it to -15C with overnight lows of -25C as the coldest air mass of this winter comes into southern Quebec and Ontario. No moderation in temperatures is likely before Friday. At this time no major storms are expected next week, just clear skies and cold.
While Alberta Clippers are fairly weak, they can still ice up roads as they did in southern Saskatchewan on Wednesday leading to multiple accidents on the Trans-Canada. (CTV News Sask)
**Weather 101
An Alberta Clipper is the name given to weak low pressure areas that start in Alberta and move rapidly across the Great Lakes and down the St. Lawrence Valley. While they are weak, they can give a few centimetres of snow and usually allow for rapid, wild temperatures swings. They can also turn on the Lake Effect snow machine as cold northwest winds sweep in behind them and across the Great Lakes.

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