Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Frigid Happy New Year

Welcome 2014, now just a couple of hours away here in the eastern time zone. Some snow tonight along an arctic boundary across southern Quebec has come to an end after about 2-3cm. Roads remain slick as the salt does not work very well when it is this cold. Now the mercury is dropping as arctic air surges into the region. I am showing a chilly -22C currently on L'Ile Perrot, it was 0C at this time last year, so it is a much colder new year for sure. The cold weather is here to stay for the first few days of 2014.

As my 9th year of blogging comes to an end, I want to thank everyone for reading. It has been a weather year with lots of dramatic and at times very sad weather events across North America and the World. There was plenty of historic floods, tornadoes a super typhoon but thankfully a quiet Atlantic hurricane season.

Just a few stats from my own little corner of the world, the warmest temperature here at my home was 33.7C (92.6F) on July 17. That same day we had a heat index of 42.2C (107F). The coldest reading was -27.7C (-18F) on January 23. What an incredible spread in temperatures, over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, you have to love Montreal weather. As I mentioned this was my 9th year blogging and 34th year keeping weather data. My blog has received 238,667 page views since I started in 2005. The top countries for visits to my blog by no surprise are Canada and the US. What is surprising are numbers 3 and 4, the Czech Republic and Russia, go figure!

Thanks again for reading. Have a very Happy New Year!

Cold start to 2014

A beautiful but dangerous sight this past weekend in northern Vermont as ice and snow cling to the trees from the December 22 ice storm. It took nearly a week to restore power to all customers. The state is asking for FEMA funds to help offset damage from the storm. (ValleyWX Photo)
Happy New Years Eve everyone! It is 2014 in some parts of the world with the new year underway in Australia and New Zealand and spreading west with each hour.

Here at home, it is a cold December 31 right across the country with temperatures at -36C in Winnipeg, -20C in Ottawa and -19C here on L'Ile Perrot. Advancing cloud cover from a clipper system actually helped keep our temperatures a little warmer overnight. It is all relative really because the windchill is still -26C in Montreal this morning. Look for those clouds to produce 2-5cm of very light snow today, the fluffy really dry kind. As the clipper system slides east tonight another shot of arctic cold air will move in with lows dropping to -26C by Thursday morning and no better than -23C on Thursday. Arctic high pressure will hold, deflecting a developing storm well south of our region, affecting mostly southern New England and New York.

The cold air will modify into this upcoming weekend with some snow possible Saturday and a mild high of -2C Sunday. By early next week a storm along with more frigid air may affect southern Quebec. There are hints it could be a big one, but the computer models  including the reliable European one are all over the place for the next week. We will just have to wait and see as the weekend draws closer.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Snowy Boxing Day in Montreal

Hydro crews work through the Christmas Day holiday trying to restore power to thousands across the GTA. This photo is from Brampton. (CBC)
A weak clipper system is moving across southern Quebec this afternoon with a burst of light, fluffy snow. The snow should taper off this evening with between 5-10cm expected across the region. Temperatures today are slowly warming after a cold Christmas Day that had high temperatures no better than -14C in Montreal. We should eventually warm up today to around -5C, currently -10C on L'Ile Perrot and -12C at the airport in Dorval at noon. A light northeast wind is keeping temperatures down in Montreal. High pressure will move in for Friday before another series of weak clipper systems bring some flurries over the weekend. It will be mild Saturday and Sunday with highs near 0C (32F). Early next week an arctic cold front will bring snow flurries with more frigid weather returning by New Years Eve, lows down into the minus 20's.

It has warmed to near the freezing point in southern Ontario, a welcome relief after the deep freeze on Christmas Day. So many people had to celebrate the holiday in the dark or at warming centers. Power is still being restored across Toronto to many homes after the ice storm last weekend. Over 30,000 customers remain in the dark in Ontario, along with another 13,000 in Quebec and close to 30,000 in New Brunswick. Hydro workers from Ottawa and Manitoba are helping in Toronto. New York, Vermont and Maine are also still reporting outages with crews coming in from other parts of the US to help. Crews are having a difficult time reaching some of the damage with the accumulation of ice and snow and the fact they are responding to smaller outages now, individual lines into neighborhoods or customers homes.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my family, friends and readers. Thank you to each and everyone of you for stopping by to chat about the weather or just pick up some info. I wish you peace and warmth today and everyday. Be safe and enjoy the holidays wherever you may be.

It is a very chilly but sunny Christmas Day with a current temperature of -21C on L'Ile Perrot and -25C in Ottawa.

Monday, December 23, 2013

After the ice storm - calm weather for Christmas

This a stunning picture that captures the beauty and devastation of the ice storm in Ontario yesterday.
Posted by Simon O via Twitter.
One more day of unsettled weather from that nasty arctic boundary before we get a break for Christmas. Montreal was very lucky this weekend with nearly 60mm of precipitation falling in the city, but most of it in the solid form. It spared us the devastation that we are seeing in portions of southern Ontario by just a few kilometers. Thousands of trees are down, some on cars and houses along with power lines and poles. Power remains out to nearly 130,000 homes in Ontario this morning from Toronto to Cornwall. There are still thousands without power in southern Quebec, mainly south of Montreal along the US border. Six fatalities were attributed top the storm in Quebec. Montreal has received nearly 2 feet of snow since last Sunday with the first storm costing the city nearly 20 million to remove. Snow clearing operations for this second storm began this morning and will cost taxpayers another 20 million. While we were enduring all this, summer heat spread north along the US east coast with dozens of record highs including New York City, Philadelphia and Washington topping 70F and over 80F (27C )in Norfolk.
Fire & Ice as a hydro transformer explodes in southern Ontario during the ice storm. (The Weather Network)
The weather will finally clam down a little after a final surge of moisture this morning. Some light snow and freezing drizzle is possible today in Montreal and the Townships with temperatures staying where they have been all weekend, -7 or -8C. High pressure will nose into the region on Christmas Eve through Christmas Day with clear and cold weather. Temperatures will be near -12 Tuesday and -15C Wednesday before they moderate slightly on Boxing Day. Travel is much better today, but lots of ice remains so travel with tremendous caution and reduce your speed. There is lots of tree damage in places that received ice from Quebec across northern New York and Vermont and especially Ontario. Tree limbs will continue to fall long after the precipitation has ended. Watch where you stand and park.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Freezing drizzle in Montreal - Nearly 400,000 without power in Ontario & Quebec

Damage in Toronto today. (Photo gcapepic.twitter.com)
Delayed flights, poor road travel and thousands without power are the rule today across Ontario and Quebec as a fierce winter storm continues. Nearly 350,000 Ontario homes have no power this afternoon, 250,000 in the GTA alone. Over 40,000 homes are in the dark in Quebec, but only 1200 in Montreal city. Heavy freezing rain and strong winds have toppled thousands of trees onto power lines across southern Ontario and into NY and Vermont. An arctic boundary is separating winter from summer and funneling moisture northeast into the area while cold northeast winds blow down the St. Lawrence Valley and into Ontario, and New York. Nearly 30mm of freezing rain has fallen on Toronto making it the biggest ice storm since 1998.

Meanwhile in Montreal nearly 60cm (2 feet) of snow and ice has piled up since last Sunday forcing workers to come and clear out the fire hydrants on L'Ile Perrot.
In Quebec freezing rain is now falling in Montreal after nearly 20cm of snow and 15cm of sleet and ice pellets since Friday morning. Meanwhile New York City hit a record high of 71F today, the third warmest December day on record. Portions of the middle Atlantic region are near 80F, just an incredible storm. The system also produced tornadoes in the southeast and thunder and lightning across New York State this morning. A winter storm warning remains posted for southern Quebec until this evening with mainly light freezing rain expected into this evening with strong winds to 70km/h in Montreal.

Over 135,000 without power in Ontario - 16,000 in Quebec

From The Weather Network via Twitter, an eerie scene from Brampton, Ontario early this morning.
First a note on travel, all roads are icy and covered in sleet or snow. Travel is not advised and in many cases dangerous. Trees are falling along the 401 corridor and a state of emergency is in effect across Clinton, Franklin and St. Lawrence County in New York with only essential travel allowed, so rethink Plattsburgh if that was in your Sunday plans. Also if you have a flight out of Burlington, VT. the airport has been closed this morning, call ahead.

Ice and sleet continue to affect a wide portion of eastern Canada this morning with warnings posted from Atlantic Canada to southern Ontario. Montreal thankfully so far has made out well with about 20mm of mixed precipitation, mostly sleet which does not stick to power lines or trees. Roads are terrible but at least we have power. We are mixing with freezing rain this morning, and I have about 3.8mm of freezing rain through the gauge here on L'Ile Perrot. But the type of precipitation varies considerably based on where you are north to south in the area as well as elevation. This time the upper elevations are milder with rain while the valley's have the icy precipitation.

By far the hardest hit region overnight was Ontario from Kingston to Toronto and south into western New York. Heavy freezing rain with even thunder and lightning has brought down hundreds of trees onto power lines. Power is out to nearly 135,000 customers with another 16,000 out in Quebec, mostly along the US border. Temperatures remain cold in Montreal on strong northeast winds gusting to 70km/h. We will see more sleet and freezing rain mixed throughout the day but it will become light this afternoon. I will continue to monitor the storm and provide updates via twitter and the blog.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter storm update

A power crew from Rochester awaits the anticipated work in northern New York. Crews are preparing around the region as a major ice event has begun. (WPTZ 5)
Freezing rain mixed with sleet has been occurring all day in Montreal with the heaviest precipitation southwest of Quebec still in Ontario. The forecast remains on track with low pressure and a deep plume of tropical moisture riding northeast along a stalled arctic boundary. Winter storm, ice storm and freezing rain warnings remain posted for all regions from Toronto to Quebec City and east into Atlantic Canada. They also stretch across portions of the Midwest and southern plains northeast into extreme northern New York and Vermont. The hardest hit area for freezing rain with this storm, the worst since 1998, will be from Kingston to Watertown, New York northeast into Franklin County, New York including Massena and Cornwall.

A power line covered in heavy ice in Oklahoma today, the same storm that is heading this way.
Montreal will receive a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow which hopefully will cut down on the ice accretion on power lines and trees. We can expect 15-30cm of snow/sleet while the southern St. Lawrence Valley is looking for up to 40mm of freezing rain, just a devastating amount. Hydro One in Ontario is already reporting over 10,000 customers without power, mainly near Kingston and Gananoque. Expect that number to grow. I will continue to provide updates as often as I can so check back and watch the Twitter feed.

Major Winter Storm for Montreal & St. Lawrence Valley

Ice and snow slowed the morning commute to a crawl in Montreal on Friday. More of the same today and Sunday as the roads are in terrible shape. (ValleyWX)
A winter storm warning has been posted for metro Montreal and points north with a freezing rain warning for points south to the US border and along the entire St. Lawrence Valley as well as southern Ontario including Toronto. An Ice Storm Warning is now in effect for the valley locations of northern Vermont and New York including Plattsburgh. This morning freezing rain and sleet (ice pellets) are falling here on L'Ile Perrot with a cold temperature of -8C (18F) Meanwhile not too far south temperatures are surging to near 50F across the Green Mountains of southern Vermont.

Lots of moisture will be surging north into an arctic frontal boundary that lies across Ontario and into central New York and Vermont. South of this front it is spring like with rain. North of the front very much like the first day of winter with windy and cold conditions and lots of wintry precipitation. Yesterday Montreal received nearly 15cm (6") of snow with another 5cm (2") of sleet and snow overnight. That brings our totals for the last week to over 50cm (20 inches). We will add to that today with a very tricky and complicated forecast. I will try to briefly make some sense of it below.

The freezing rain and sleet falling this morning across Montreal will become light and scattered today as we await the next wave of moisture tonight. The moisture will ride north with very warm air overriding the cold air here on the valley floor. The result will be a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, heavy at times, from Montreal to Toronto and south. The heaviest freezing rain will fall along the 401 from Toronto to Kingston and then south along the US border. The NWS in Burlington is hinting that this may be the biggest ice storm since 1998. There may even be a rumble of thunder with the heaviest precipitation overnight. Precipitation will taper off slowly by Sunday afternoon. There is a real risk for power outages and travel problems late tonight. You should cancel any travel plans for Sunday and wait until Monday. Precipitation will be mostly in the form of snow north of Montreal and into Ottawa. As much as 20cm of snow may fall. Here in Montreal it will be windy as well gusting out of the cold northeast to 70km/h tonight and early Sunday.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Storm Watch for Montreal

Snow continues to fall along a very sharp arctic boundary this evening that is lying just south of Montreal. Warm air continues to ride up and over the front but unable to reach the surface here in the valley. Low pressure moving along the front will pass east of the city overnight with precipitation becoming rather light and scattered in nature. I have been trapped inside all day after spending another 90 minutes in traffic this morning so I am not certain how much snow has fallen. My best guess is at least 10cm. The temperature dropped from -1C at midnight to -9C by 7am this morning in Montreal creating very slick roads. Several accident were reported including one involving a snowplow that closed Highway 20 this morning during the commute. I was stuck in that for awhile.

Roads remain sloppy tonight and there is even some freezing rain being reported along the US border. We may have a break in the action early Saturday before a stronger surge of moisture rides along the front. Snow and blowing snow will begin in Montreal by late in the afternoon and accumulate 10-15cm before changing to sleet or freezing rain. A significant amount of ice is possible in many regions of the St. Lawrence and Champlain Valley's but exactly where is a little tricky at this time. There were tremendous differences in temperatures today over a small weather area from -7C here in Montreal to as warm as 5C in Albany NY. A winter storm watch has been posted for Montreal, and this could be upgraded to some sort of warning by tomorrow morning. I will post an update then.

Major freezing rain event for southern Quebec

This storm will not be as bad as 1998, but the same region from Ontario across southern Quebec to northern Maine will be the focus for lots of ice & snow this weekend, a very similar pattern to that of  98.
We have a very busy Friday morning in the weather department with a complicated forecast combined with one of the busiest shopping/travel periods of the year. A strong arctic boundary lays draped across the international border this morning with Montreal at -7C  (19F) while Burlington, Vermont is at 0C (32F). There in a nutshell is where the problem lies coming up with an accurate forecast. The first of three low pressure areas is moving along that boundary this morning with 5-10cm of snow likely for the St. Lawrence Valley. Freezing rain with this first storm is occurring in southern Ontario and along the US border where warnings are in place.

Temperatures will rise to or above freezing out of the valleys with colder air remaining trapped below 1000 feet and so Montreal will remain cold, around -5C most of the day. By Saturday the next low pressure area will approach from the southern US with a wide area of deep moisture. This system has the potential to produce a significant ice storm across far northern New York and Vermont and the St. Lawrence Valley including Montreal. There could be up to 15mm of freezing rain on Sunday, enough to bring down some trees and perhaps disrupt travel and power.

This is a very dangerous weather event affecting a large region of Ontario, Quebec and northern New England. I will issue another update later today. Currently warnings for freezing rain are in effect for the regions between Montreal and the US border for today. A winter storm watch is in effect for New York and Vermont for Saturday and I expect more watches or warnings will be issued later today for Montreal.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Messy weather next several days for Montreal - Ontario

The scenario for this upcoming weekend remains messy and uncertain with a mix of snow and freezing rain forecast right into late Sunday. We start this morning with an area of light snow over Montreal, look for 1-3cm before it tapers off shortly. It will be milder today around -1C for a high. More snow will move into the region tonight as a frontal boundary lines up across northern New York and Vermont. Warm air will override that front and produce precipitation. All weekend long that front will remain in place with a very sharp temperature gradient separating arctic air in southern Quebec and the St. Lawrence Valley from much milder air working into southern New York and New England. The temperature will remain below freezing in Montreal while it rises way above in southern Vermont. Several waves of low pressure will move along that front bringing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The result will be about 10-20cm of snow from late tonight into Saturday morning, that is round 1.

Round 2 arrives late Saturday night in the form of a stronger low pressure area and another surge of mild air aloft along that front. That will trap the cold air at the surface in Montreal, and we could be in for a prolonged period of freezing rain by Sunday. There will be lots of people moving around this weekend with shopping and travel plans. You need to know that this will be a difficult drive all weekend. Wait until Monday if you can or expect delays and difficulty. There will no doubt be some form of watch or warning issued over the next 12 to 24 hours. I will update the blog regarding this storm as often as I can. There is also the risk of power outages with the amount of freezing rain that could fall. If you need to prepare for that in advance, gas, food etc., then do so.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Arctic cold eases - new storm threat for Montreal

Cold and ice slowed the morning commute Tuesday as did the decision of some municipalities, including Kirkland, to do snow removal during the rush hour adding to the delays.
It is another cold morning in Montreal but so much warmer than the frigid lows of Tuesday morning. Temperatures were as cold as -31C in Cornwall yesterday with -26.3 here on L'Ile Perrot. That was the second coldest temperature I recorded here at my home in 2013 the previous being -27.7 on January 23. It was also colder than the record low for the date of -26.1C set back in 1942. The cold produced ice fog off the St Lawrence River that coated bridges and road surfaces in black ice leading to an adventure during the morning commute. I am grateful to be off work today after spending 5 hours in the car just trying to get to and from work over the last two days. Blame it on the weather and a host of other stupidity including in no particular order, snow removal during the rush hour, stupid drivers exceeding the speed of the weather and crashing tying up the rest of us, and no snow tires. Mine have been on since early November and so should yours. Yes I was a little frustrated.

In any event the cold has eased a little this morning as we sit at -14C on our way up to a tropical high of -8C. Some flurries are around this morning but no significant amount is expected. We can also look for a rather calm day Thursday with some flurries around and mild at -1C. This will be the calm before the storm as a couple of weather systems are expected to bring us messy weather in the busy travel/shopping period this weekend. Two low pressure areas will pass just south of Montreal with precipitation arriving Friday and lasting into Sunday. At first snow is forecast but warmer air will allow for a mix including freezing rain which we have not seen much of this winter. As a matter of fact concern is growing for a possible prolonged period of freezing rain. It is way to early to determine the exact track of a storm that has yet to develop as well as the type and quantity of precipitation. However we do know that it will be a messy weekend with perhaps dangerous travel weather.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

After the storm - frigid cold returns to Montreal

Snow was falling at a decent rate on L'Ile Perrot on Sunday morning. Nearly 32cm of snow fell at my house. (ValleyWX)
The snow has just about ended in Montreal after 30cm or 1 foot piled up in the city overnight and most of Sunday. Nearly 15cm fell in just a six hour period during the wee hours of Sunday morning. The snow was accompanied by strong winds that reduced visibility to under 1km across most of southern Quebec. Poor road conditions and drivers not adjusting their speed led to the closure of Highway 40 near Rivieres Des Prairies after 40 cars were involved in three separate accidents.

The snow will end this evening but a new problem will develop as the back edge of the system pulls through, strong winds. Winds in excess of 60km/h along with dropping temperatures to around -18C will produce dangerous windchill readings as well as blowing snow, especially off island. Travel with caution tomorrow and allow extra time for the commute as roads will be snow covered and narrow in the city due to snowbanks.The storm is now hitting Atlantic Canada with 30cm of snow and blizzard conditions across New Brunswick and PEI and into Newfoundland overnight.

Above and below show poor raod condtions in and around Montreal. (CBC News)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter storm update

WINTER STORM WARNING for all regions. Below is a radar shot of the storm advancing into Quebec, and stretching all the way south to Florida.
The big weather system that is spreading snow and strong winds from Ontario into Quebec and New England will arrive shortly in Montreal. It remains very cold and windy in the city at 6pm, -18C with a windchill of -30C. Winds are gusting to 31km/h at 6pm and will increase to 50km/h overnight with widespread blowing snow. The snow is into Ottawa now, starting off very light but should become heavy overnight. Low pressure over Ohio is transferring energy to a second storm near Delaware, which will deepen rapidly. That second storm will move to Cape Cod on Sunday and then into Nova Scotia. Heavy snow, dangerous windchill and blowing snow are forecast for Montreal with 20-30cm likely by Sunday evening. In Ontario today there have been reports of 15-20cm around the GTA. Travel is not advised along the 401/20/ or 417/40 corridor tonight and Sunday.

Winter Storm Warning for Montreal

Environment Canada has hoisted winter storm warnings for all of southern Quebec including metro Montreal. The warnings extend into eastern Ontario and across all of New England. Latest model guidance suggests a slightly more western track of the coastal system which will allow for heavy snow in Montreal. Snow will begin this evening after supper I believe and continue into Sunday afternoon. Total storm amount of 15-25cm are likely with even some 30cm plus amounts across the Townships. It will be windy and dangerously cold with this storm, almost blizzard conditions at times overnight in Montreal. Winds of 30-50km/h out of the northeast combined with temperatures in the minus teens will make it very cold along with low visibility in blowing and drifting snow. Travel at this time should be avoided late tonight and certainly the early portion of Sunday. Temperatures are frigid this morning at -22C, they will "warm" to -18C today and up to -11C Sunday. Behind the system on Monday it will be cold and breezy for the clean up.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snowy & cold weekend for Ontario & Quebec

A very cold air mass is settling into southern Quebec this morning with temperatures at their warmest currently. It is -11C here in Montreal but will drop down to -16C by this afternoon and well below -20C across the entire region tonight. The cold is being driven by gusty northwest winds up to 50km/h at times. Dangerous windchill values can be expected right into Saturday. Along the leading edge of the arctic front, snow squalls have developed this morning in portions of Ontario, making for some nasty travel north of the GTA.
Graphic from the NWS in Burlington showing 20-25cm (8-10") storm totals along the US border region. Montreal can expect 10-15cm (4-6") at the very least.
Clear skies tonight will allow for the coldest night of this winter season with lows expected between -23C in Montreal to the low -30's north of the city. Skies should be clear with clouds on the increase Saturday with winds developing from the northeast by late in the day. The high on Saturday will struggle to make it to -15C. Those clouds will bring snow to Montreal by late Saturday as two low pressure areas move northeast. The first from Ohio will begin to weaken as a second stronger storm develops along the east coast. That second low will move from Delaware to near Cape Cod by Sunday morning and then into Atlantic Canada. Look for the snow to continue into Sunday with 10-15cm forecast for Montreal. Further north and west a little less with more into the Townships and Vermont. It will be windy on Sunday with lots of blowing snow, as the snow will be very light and fluffy in the cold air. A winter storm watch is now posted across Vermont and New York. I expect we may see some warnings as well for extreme southern Quebec as snow totals will approach 20cm along the US border. Travel will be impacted in all regions Sunday. The snow should taper by the afternoon Sunday.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Arctic chill - snowy weekend ahead

The current batch of arctic air is creating big lake effect snows south and east of the Great Lakes. Portions of Ontario and western New York have seen as much as 60cm of snow. The image above is from Wales, NY on Wednesday.
(The Buffalo News).
Forecast models are now backing off from a big storm this upcoming weekend across Ontario & Quebec. With arctic high pressure over the region, it appears the bulk of the moisture will remain state side. That being said it will remain frigid with some snow this weekend, perhaps as much as 10cm for Montreal by midday Sunday. Today will be sunny to start but bitterly cold with current temperatures of -20C in Montreal, but as cold as -28C in Ste Jovite and -22C in Sherbrooke. It will take all day for the sun to warm us up but we may make it to -12C or so. Another cold front will approach the region late tonight with more flurries and perhaps a snow squall. Most of the snow squall activity has remained closer to the Great Lakes and across eastern Ontario. Lows tonight will be near -18C rising only to -15C Friday.

The weekend will feature increasing clouds on Saturday and very cold with highs of -15C. Look for light snow to develop late Saturday night as low pressure approaches from the Ohio Valley and a second storm develops along the east coast. That second storm will become the dominating system providing a big snowstorm for Atlantic Canada, but sucking the moisture out of southern Quebec. At this time Montreal is looking at 5-10cm of snow perhaps 15cm near the US border. Winds will increase out of the northeast up to 60km/h Sunday in the St. Lawrence Valley creating blowing snow and dangerous wind chills.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Much colder weather ahead for Montreal

Snow slowed the morning commute to a crawl on Monday in Montreal. CTV News
More snow flurries and squalls can be expected across Ontario and Quebec as cold arctic air continues to deepen in the region. After 7-15cm of snow fell on metro Montreal Monday temperatures briefly nudged above the freezing mark late in the day. They are back below freezing this morning along with gusty winds in excess of 60km/h at times. Some of the frigid air that has gripped the northern plains and western Canada will slip into Montreal as the week move along. Highs by the weekend will struggle to make it to -10C. Most of the country now has snow cover with nearly 60 per cent of the US covered in snow as well. Another storm is moving across the middle Atlantic this morning with 3-6 inches forecast from Washington to New York. The storms have really slowed travel across the east and Midwest. Around the Great Lakes and even into the Ottawa Valley snow squalls are reducing visibility and dropping a quick coating of snow this morning.

Looking ahead the cold air will remain in place right through the middle of this month at the very least. Another surge of arctic air will arrive late Wednesday along a strong cold front. The front will produce widespread flurries and squalls with a very quick 2-4cm possible across the region. The snow will be accompanied by dropping temperatures and strong winds. Travel may become poor late in the day Wednesday, just in time for rush hour in Montreal. Temperatures are currently at -4C and will remain there today.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Brutal cold western Canada - snow for Montreal

Frigid conditions continue in western Canada this Sunday evening with current reading in the minus 20's across Saskatchewan. On Saturday morning the coldest spot in the country was Brooks, Alberta at -42.2C, Val Marie, Saskatchewan was not far behind at -42.1C. It has "warmed" today to -21C in Val Marie. Winds have abated today but were strong yesterday with windchill readings as low as -50C. Some of that brutally cold air will filter into eastern Canada and southern Quebec by late this week.

A weather system from the US will begin to influence our weather late tonight and into Monday morning. Light snow will develop around sunrise in Montreal and persist most of the morning hours. Accumulations will range from 5cm in the city to as much as 15cm across the Laurentians. The snow may be briefly heavy at times. While this is not a big storm, expect some travel issues given the timing of the onset of the snow during rush hour. Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for a big chunk of Vermont and New York excluding the Champlain Valley as well as Snowfall Warnings for the Laurentians and Lanaudiere region north of Montreal. Temperatures are cold right now, -8C here on L'Ile Perrot, but will warm to above freezing by midday Monday. Some freezing rain or rain may mix in at times with the snow before it tapers off. The balance of the week at this time looks sunny and turning colder.

Fans shiver in the snow before the game in Philly on Sunday afternoon. (NFL.com)
This same storm today produced some heavy snow across the middle Atlantic US with as much as 5 inches of snow falling in Philadelphia during the football game today against the Detroit Lions. It made for a very interesting game to watch in the comfort of my home, not shivering in the 27F weather in the stands. Philly beat Detroit 34-20. The same weather has closed the Pennsylvania Turnpike after a fatal accident in which 50 cars were involved. Travel remains very poor across New Jersey and Pennsylvania tonight. A December 8 record 6 inches of snow fell in Wilmington, Delaware today.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Cold weekend - potential Monday snowstorm for Montreal

There is plenty of weather to talk about this morning. Montreal had a cold front go through overnight, just before it did, the temperature here on L'Ile Perrot surged to 10C (50F) near 9pm. After that it has fallen to where we sit this morning, a windy, chilly 2C. That will likely be our high for the day and moving forward I see no real mild air for the rest of this month. Speaking of cold, it is frigid across the prairies this morning with Regina sitting at -32C currently with an extreme windchill of -44C. Further south the cold air has met moisture and is producing an area of freezing rain, snow and sleet from north Texas into the Ohio Valley. The US weather map looks like a Christmas tree this morning, lit up with warnings stretching from the northeast into the deep south and most of the west. Those warnings continue on the Canadian side of the border for dangerous windchill's across the west.

Waves crash onshore from the North Sea into a German ferry terminal on Thursday. (Weather Underground) 
Across the pond in western Europe an intense ocean storm is approaching Germany and the Netherlands with hurricane force winds. Wind reports from North Sea oil platforms have indicated gusts in excess of 100mph with up to 60mph reported along the coast. For the first time since 2007 the elaborate series of flood gates have been closed to protect coastal Denmark.

Our next storm arrive Monday.
It is looking more likely that a decent snow event will take place on Monday. I refrain from calling it a storm, but the arrival of snow at rush hour Monday in Montreal will have major implications regardless of the amount that falls. After a sunny, cold and dry weekend, high -4C, low pressure over the Mississippi Valley will move northeast towards southern Quebec with a second low developing off the Atlantic Coast. Both systems will surge moisture north into the cold air with snow likely after midnight Sunday night. Snow with a mix of freezing rain over the border regions will last well into Monday with early estimates from different sources looking at 8 to as much as 15cm of snow. It will be milder near 0C for the high temperature. After Monday more flurries Tuesday and colder once again. I will monitor this all weekend and provide updates.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Mild Thursday expected for Montreal

Temperatures have nudged above the freezing mark here on L'Ile Perrot so the threat of any freezing rain will be diminishing here in the St. Lawrence Valley. Only light rain showers are forecast today as a messy low pressure area moves from the Great Lakes north to near Hudson Bay. This is the same system that brought the blizzard to western Canada and the northern plains. Freezing rain warnings are in effect for the Ottawa Valley and points north of Montreal but so far any precipitation has been light. The warm front should clear Montreal this morning with temperatures surging to well above normal highs of 8C (48F). A trailing cold front will cross the region this evening with a round of showers gradually changing to light snow and ending overnight as temperatures drop rapidly to 1C and remain there on Friday. The weekend at this time looks much colder but dry with some much needed sunshine.

By Monday another developing storm over the Ohio Valley will begin to move towards southern Quebec. Snow or a wintry mix look likely for Monday with perhaps enough snow to shovel. We will have to monitor that storm as the event draws closer with the path and type of precipitation still uncertain.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Colder air arrives in Montreal by the weekend

Strong low pressure along with frigid air has swept across Alberta into Montana producing blizzard conditions. Some of that cold air will arrive in Montreal by the weekend. (Photo: Country 105 via Twitter)
It is another grey and damp morning across the St. Lawrence Valley, with very poor air quality. A weak area of high pressure is over southern Quebec with very little in the way of air movement. Some moisture last evening put down a quick 2-3cm of snow, enough to plow. This morning the temperature remains steady at -1C where it has been since 6pm last evening. Little movement of the air indicates an inversion at the surface here in Montreal, therefore a smog alert has been posted.

The forecast for today calls for more of the same with a high near 1C and perhaps a few flurries. There is also lots of freezing fog and mist around as well so roads can be slick in spots. Looking ahead low pressure that has brought blizzard conditions to Alberta during the last 24 hours, will move from the northern plains into the Great Lakes. A warm front will try to lift across the area late Wednesday, accompanied by spotty rain or freezing rain. Mild air will spill into the region on Thursday with highs possibly up to 8C (48F). It will be short lived with a piece of that arctic air over the Prairies moving into Montreal by the weekend. The cold air will be accompanied by some snow as well, perhaps a few centimetres. Temperatures will drop to daytime highs around -5C by Sunday.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Mild week ahead for Montreal

Very weak low pressure is crossing the St. Lawrence Valley this morning with just a few snow flurries. Some area may see a dusting to perhaps 2 or 3cm, not much more. Temperatures remain chilly this morning in Montreal at -4C but should warm to 0C. The week ahead looks rather mild and a touch unsettled with flurries possible each day and perhaps even a few showers in the mild air on Thursday. High temperatures will be near 0C until Thursday when they will rise above to 2 or 3C. Lows will be near normal between -2 and -4C. It will turn colder by next week as an Arctic air mass moves east from the Prairies.