Tuesday, March 05, 2013

When will winter end?

A fierce blizzard closed highways in and around Regina and other parts of the Prairies on Sunday and Monday. (National Post)
Another March morning, another cold and windy one with more snow. The winter of 2012-2013 does not seem to want to end, and the mounds of snow, including the 2 or 3cm that fell overnight here on L'Ile Perrot, are a testament to that. The temperature currently is -5C but with windchill values below -10C. We are expecting low pressure in the north Atlantic to finally release its grip on the region today and allow for milder temperatures and perhaps a few breaks.

This clearing will be short lived as another massive storm system begins to move into the middle Atlantic from the Midwest. This storm will give Montreal gusty northeast winds and perhaps clouds but no precipitation on Wednesday. The snow and rain with this storm will slide south of the region. This system was responsible for a big blizzard across portions of all three Prairie provinces from Sunday into late Monday  Many roads were closed and travelers stranded for hours. Between 25 and 40cm of snow was blown around by fierce 100km/h winds. The storm is moving into the upper Midwest today and is expected to move to the middle Atlantic by Thursday. It will then redevelop off the east coast and become a big weather story for the Atlantic coast with pounding surf for days.

The North Atlantic remains blocked which basically is not allowing weather systems to easily move east. This will keep temperatures in southern Quebec and eastern Canada below normal into the middle portion of March with perhaps more snow than normal. One good thing about a cooler March is that this will hopefully allow for a slow snow melt. Last March we had several record highs as the mercury soared to near 25C (77F).

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