Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Difficult stormy forecast

Interstate 29 in Kansas City on Monday as heavy wet snow and strong winds disrupted travel. (AP Photo)
One thing is certain about the upcoming storm, there will be one. The question will be, who gets rain and who gets snow? Today, the calm before the storm, we have ice fog this morning with visibility down to 0.4km at Trudeau. That should lift shortly with a mild, partly sunny day and high temperatures near 2C. It will be mild tonight with lows down to -3C. Mild again on Wednesday as the storm starts with highs near 1C.

As far as the storm goes, a betting man would say snow north of Montreal, mix in the city and rain south and east of the metro region. It looks like Ottawa will have all snow with over 15cm possible, same goes for the Laurentians. Burlington, Vermont west towards Cornwall and points south, mostly rain with perhaps a few inches of slushy snow. The big question mark will be here in Montreal and in general the St. Lawrence Valley. Northeast winds can often keep temperatures just cold enough at the surface for snow or freezing rain, especially in this type of a scenario. The wind will be out of the east at 40-60km/h. The official word from Environment Canada is 5cm of snow mixed with rain on Wednesday, with wet snow Thursday as cooler air is drawn back into the system. My thoughts are that it will be mostly a snow event with over 15cm likely. As I always say, time will tell.

This storm originates from Texas and is bringing north a tremendous amount of moisture. Yesterday blizzard conditions were reported from north Texas into the central Plains and Midwest. Some areas had over 40cm of snow, and hurricane force winds were reported in Amarillo, Texas with the snow. Meanwhile strong thunderstorms produced hail and damaging winds along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. This storm has the potential to disrupt travel on Wednesday and Thursday on the busy Montreal to Windsor corridor.

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