Thursday, April 11, 2013

Major storm heads for Ontario & Quebec

A very unusual sight for April in Wisconsin as a major ice storm sweeps portions of the upper Midwest and Ontario.
SNOWFALL WARNING: Montreal & southern Quebec 15-25cm
WINTER STORM WARNING: Toronto, Ottawa & Eastern Ontario10cm & Freezing Rain

As I mentioned at the start of the week, this storm was going to be a big news maker  and it has been. From heavy snow to an very unusual April ice storm to severe weather and tornadoes this storm has it all. Record cold is on the north and west edge of the storm while record heat has surged north on the east side of the storm. In between, a mess.

At this time, all of southern and eastern Ontario are under winter storm warnings for a wide range of weather including snow and ice. What you need to know this morning is that low pressure over Illinois will move northeast to near Lake Erie by Friday morning. A large area of precipitation will begin moving into marginally cold air at the surface this morning producing a wide area of freezing rain from Toronto to the Ottawa. Northern areas closer to the Ottawa River will see more snow than rain. Precipitation will spread into the GTA this morning and the rest of the province by late tonight, reaching Montreal after midnight. In Quebec, warnings are confined to the Gatineau and regions well north of Montreal for the time being. Those areas will see about 20cm of wet snow. Montreal and most of southern Quebec will have a sleet and snow mix with temperatures at the freezing point. Look for up to 10cm in Montreal with more over any elevated terrain. Winds will be strong out of the northeast from 30-60km/h across the St. Lawrence Valley. It will be cold with highs near 0C. There will be enough snow and ice to disrupt travel from late today across the GTA through most of Friday into Ottawa and Montreal. Power outages are a real threat from central southern Ontario into the Ottawa Valley.

The same storm produced widespread severe weather including a tornado in the St Louis suburb of Hazlewood.
Last night this same storm produced more severe weather with several tornadoes in Arkansas and Missouri
 destroying numerous homes.

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