Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freezing Rain Warning

A slippery and slow commute home last night on Highway 20 through L'Ile Perrot and Dorion. (ValleyWX)
The snow has tapered off this morning in Montreal after around 5cm at the airport and closer to 10cm here on L'Ile Perrot and locations off island to the south and west. Ottawa recorded 13.4cm of snow. That will be it for snowfall for a couple of days as we await the next storm system currently moving into the central plains. Low pressure is forecast to cross the central Great Lakes and move in Quebec on Wednesday. A surge of very mild and moist air ahead of the system will set the stage for a prolonged period of freezing rain in Ontario and Quebec. Portions of eastern Ontario, the Ottawa Valley and southern and central Quebec are under freezing rain warnings with precipitation expected to arrive from west to east this afternoon. School bus service across a wide swath of eastern Ontario has already been cancelled in anticipation of the freezing rain.

The timing of the freezing rain for Montreal looks like very close to 6pm with it eventually changing to rain after midnight. We are looking at 5-8mm of frozen precipitation with a total of up to 25mm (1 inch) of rain over the next 36 hours. Needless to say roads will be icy and dangerous. Temperatures at -9C this morning in Montreal will rise slowly to plus 5C (41F) by daybreak Wednesday. Look for mild highs of nearly 10C (50F) tomorrow. We may even have a rumble of thunder with the rain on Wednesday.

A strong cold front will bring back reality on Thursday as temperatures fall back below freezing on strong northwest winds. Rain will change to flurries and temperatures will drop to -6C by late in the day.

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