Sunday, March 30, 2014

Warming trend starts Monday

Snow clearing crews across southern Quebec were kept busy again on Sunday moving aside 10-20cm of heavy wet snow. Lets hope this was the last time this season we will need the use of plows. (Valley Weather Photo)
The question posed to me on a daily basis now is when will we get spring, when will it get warmer? My answer has been soon, this week, but with a disclaimer. This winter has been long leaving behind plenty of ice on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and piles of snow all around the region. This will definitely slow the onset of warmer weather as the evaporating ice and snow will keep temperatures cooler and produce more cloud. We only managed 0C on Sunday in Montreal while places with sunshine like Toronto managed a warmer 6C, and Ottawa 3C.

A perfect example of our slow start to spring was the storm that swept across Quebec on Sunday. Montreal received between 10-15cm of wet snow in just a few hours. It was windy as well with gusts at Trudeau Airport close to 70km/h through the middle part of the day. Places just south of the US border reported rainfall. Just the extra degree or two in temperature difference in Montreal meant snow over rain. The good news is we have some milder weather on the way this week once we get rid of the gusty winds and light snow behind this latest storm. That should come to an end overnight with skies clearing out by the middle of Monday. Temperatures will respond most of this week under the warm April sun, reaching daytime highs of plus 6 to 8C (43 to 48F) in Montreal. Overnight lows will drop just below the freezing point between -2 and -4C (25 to 28F). The next chance for precipitation will come late Tuesday or Wednesday in the form of a few snowflakes or showers. More mixed precipitation is likely by next weekend.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Storm Update

Here is the latest information I have gathered on the snow forecast for tonight into Sunday. It appears the bulk of the moisture will remain across the border areas with New York and Vermont. This is typical with an east coast storm. Low pressure will move from the middle Atlantic towards Cape Cod and then into Atlantic Canada once again. Lots of rain and wet snow is forecast across New England and the Maritimes, so flooding may be an issue there. As far as Montreal and southern Quebec are concerned, snow will begin this evening and taper off on Sunday morning. Current indications are for 5-10cm of very wet snow from Montreal south to the border with 15-25cm in the Townships and Beauce. Current warnings include a winter storm warning for the Townships and a winter weather advisory for northern New York and Vermont. Temperatures will be mild today at 4C dropping to -2C tonight and back up to plus 1C on Sunday. Skies will clear by late in the day. Winds will be strong during the storm out of the northeast from 30-60km/h.

It appears temperatures will go above freezing for most of next week and perhaps beyond as April begins. Highs by the middle of the upcoming week will reach close to 10C. This may be the last appreciable snowfall for Montreal, only time will tell.

Friday, March 28, 2014

More snow possible into Sunday

This mornings snow sure put everyone in a bad mood in Montreal. I took more abuse today for being a weather nerd than I can remember since my high school days. Around 5cm of snow fell rapidly between 5 and 8am snarling morning traffic and adding to the frustrations of a long winter and late spring. The much advertised warm air was tempered by heavy rain most of the day with about 13mm here on L'Ile Perrot. That managed to keep temperatures in check with a high of only 3C which is still below normal. It is still raining tonight as a cold front moves across the St. Lawrence Valley. Temperatures will drop tonight to just below freezing as the front moves south of Montreal and into central New York state. We may see some brief sun on Saturday with a high of 4C. Clouds will increase late in the day with snow developing by evening.

The aforementioned front will stall across New York state and become the focus for moisture moving north from the Gulf of Mexico. This sets up a difficult forecast for the weekend. Previous thinking was the front would move far enough south to leave us under high pressure with sunshine and mild air for the weekend. It does not look like that now. The front will remain close enough to draw moisture into southern Quebec. To add to this complicated forecast will be a developing low pressure over North Carolina that will move along the east coast. Both these features will combine to produce a period of wet snow Saturday night into Sunday morning. The question is will it be cold enough for accumulating snow? If it is we may see 10-15cm of snow from Montreal into northern New York and the Townships by Sunday morning. Currently winter storm watches have been hoisted for the Townships and northern NY/Vermont.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

White hurricane moves away from Maritimes - warmer soon

NOAA image of the "white hurricane" pounding Atlantic Canada. Montreal remained on the far western edge of the cloud shield with gusty north winds yesterday.
It basically was a white hurricane that pounded Atlantic Canada on Wednesday. Reports of 25-50cm of snow being blown around by winds either side of 100km/h all day and at times as high as 170km/h. Grand Etang on Cape Breton Island had a wind gust to 171km/h (106 mph). This remarkable storm wound up like a spinning top quickly with a central pressure all the way down to 955mb. For a time it was the strongest storm anywhere on the planet. This morning the precipitation has moves into the coastal waters as well as Newfoundland, but winds remain gusty with several reports to 90 and 100km/h. The Trans Canada Highway between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia was closed for most of the last 24 hours but has since opened. Visibility was near zero for most of the period but has started to improve very slowly. Prince Edward Island remains closed with roads blocked by 53cm of snow. The Confederate Bridge is still shut down. Most Island roads are impassable and all flights have been cancelled. Schools and businesses are shut for a second day. Power outages are widespread across the region with utilities working in less than ideal conditions to restore electricity. Newfoundland Power has warned that is could take several days to bring all customers back onto the grid.

All travel including Halifax public transit ground to a halt in the afternoon in dangerous weather with zero visibility. (Radio Canada)
The silver lining from all this is that warmer air is on the horizon for most of eastern Canada. It will not be tropical but high temperatures will nudge above 0C on Friday and into the middle single digits to perhaps 10C (50F) over the weekend form Ontario east into storm weary Atlantic Canada. After the cold this morning, -14C currently, we will have a high of -2C. Montreal will have a period of rain and snow mixed beginning this afternoon and persisting into Friday with perhaps 2-5cm. The weekend at this time looks dry for southern Quebec and mild between 7 and 9C (45-50F). There is another much weaker coastal system expected to move northeast on Sunday that could bring more snow or rain to portions of eastern Quebec, at this time passing to far east to affect Montreal.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Deepening winter storm hitting Atlantic Canada

Sea Dog Pub on Nantucket this morning. It is being battered by hurricane force winds and heavy snow. This weather is moving into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. (Weather Nation Twitter Photo)
Montreal and most of Quebec remain on the periphery of a powerful ocean storm this morning. Montreal can expect a cold north wind up to 40km/h as well as some high cirrus clouds but nothing more. This classic Nor'Easter has undergone significant strengthening overnight bombing out, that is dropping 24mb of pressure in 24 hours. Actually it has deepened by 15mb in the last three hours alone. It is a classic storm, very strong for this time of year with winds approaching hurricane force along the coast of Massachusetts this morning.

Water vapor image of this classic ocean storm with a central pressure as low as 955mb forecast. (NOAA)
Most of the snow associated with this storm is occurring along the coast and offshore as far as New England is concerned. It is a different story in the Maritimes where blizzard warnings are up for all of Nova Scotia, PEI and portions of southern and eastern New Brunswick. The Gaspe region and Lower North Shore will have heavy snow and strong winds as well. Accumulations across Eastern Canada will range form 25-50cm (10-20 inches). Combined with the snow will be winds in the 100km/h range possibly as high as 150km/h over Cape Breton and then into coastal Newfoundland. Already this morning we are seeing wind reports up to 60-70 mph in coastal New England including Nantucket and Cape Cod. Needless to say travel disruptions, school closing and power outages are being reported across that region as well as into Atlantic Canada. Winds will increase dramatically in Nova Scotia over the next few hours.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Powerful Atlantic storm to develop today

AccuWeather map showing the forecast location of major storm over the Atlantic on Wednesday. Montreal will not be affected by the system but it will drive cold northerly winds down the St. Lawrence Valley through Thursday.
We are still on track to see much warmer air and spring weather arrive in Montreal by the weekend, but before then, there are a few hurdles in our way. The first being this stubborn cold air that has my thermometer showing -13C this morning, another cold morning in this endless streak. We will warm today to -1C, still well below normal, but pleasant in the sunshine.

The second is an advancing trough of low pressure that will move into the region late today and on Wednesday with perhaps a little light snow. At the same time a very strong winter storm will take shape off the Carolina coast today and explode into a monster ocean storm. This system has the potential to be as strong as a category one hurricane with winds in excess of 110km/h, towering waves and surf as well as copious precipitation. The low is forecast to move from the middle Atlantic off the New England Coast and finally just east of Nova Scotia by late Wednesday. Blizzard warnings are in effect for portions of Atlantic Canada with very dangerous travel conditions expected there Wednesday. Snowfall is forecast in the 20-50cm range along with winds from 90 to as high as 150km/h in gusts. The system will remain far enough offshore to only affect coastal areas of New England and perhaps just clip the Gaspe region of Quebec. It will help push gusty northeast winds down the St. Lawrence Valley with clouds and flurries expected and cold air remaining in place through Wednesday with highs of only -4C in Montreal.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Warming trend finally in sight for Montreal

Saturdays snowfall was intense but thankfully short, dumping 10-15cm of snow here on L'Ile Perrot, across Montreal and into the Ottawa Valley. (Valley Weather Photo)
We have an active week of weather ahead for many portions of the country but it will end with a definite warming trend and feeling like spring. Montreal had a rather quick but heavy snowfall on Saturday with close to 15cm of wet snow falling in just a few hours over most of the region including Cornwall and the Ottawa Valley. The snow started around 8am and was over by 2pm in Montreal with sunshine talking over for late in the day. The snow created the usual problems on Quebec roads with two major accidents affecting Highway 20 near Quebec City. The system was followed by very cold air and gusty winds for Sunday and that cold will prevail until Tuesday. Temperatures will be well below normal with lows near -18C and highs no better than -5C.

By late Tuesday a very strong low pressure area will form near the Carolina coast and race northeast towards Atlantic Canada. This will be an intense ocean storm remaining offshore of New England with high winds near hurricane force, heavy surf and snow. It looks like all of the weather associated with this storm will stay away from southern Quebec with just a few flurries and a gusty north wind expected. This will not be the case in Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick where a full fledged spring blizzard is likely on Wednesday. What this storm will do for all of us is create a major pattern shift with the polar jet lifting back north of Montreal and allowing some much needed mild air into the region. Temperatures by next weekend will go well above freezing to plus 8C with rain likely. This trend will continue into the first week of April with lots of melting expected. Lets hope we have seen the last of winter 2013-2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Snowfall Warning

Snowfall warnings remain in effect along the St. Lawrence Valley from Montreal to Kingston today. Heavy snow with visibility down to under 1km is now falling in Cornwall and this will rapidly spread east into Montreal early this morning. Snow will be wet and heavy and taper off rapidly this afternoon. Look for a quick 10cm of snow for most places with as much as 15cm between Montreal and the US border. This will make road conditions very poor through the middle hours of the day with low visibility and icy roads. Temperatures will be near 0C (32F) today cooling off considerably tonight down to -12C. It will also turn windy tonight, out of the northwest at 30-50km/h with a few flurries.

On Sunday look for clearing skies, but temperatures will remain cold with daytime highs of -7C, well below the normal high of plus 5C. Most of the upcoming week looks quiet with lots of sunshine and a very slow warming trend that will see daytime highs finally go above freezing by late in the week.

There is one glitch in the forecast and that is on Wednesday. Computer models have a very large and intense coastal low forming over the open waters of the Atlantic and tracking into the Maritimes. It will bring a very strong storm to Atlantic Canada and possibly coastal New England but at this time looks to travel well south and east of southern Quebec. It will need to be monitored in case the track shifts to the west.

Friday, March 21, 2014

More snow for Montreal

4pm Update: Snowfall Warning for metro Montreal, southern Quebec and most of Eastern Ontario for up to 15cm of wet snow overnight and Saturday. Winter weather advisory for upstate New York and Vermont. (3-6")

It is a chilly, breezy morning here on L'Ile Perrot with a current temperature of -3C but a gusty northwest wind up to 50km/h making it feel colder. A little light snow fell overnight, enough to coat the ground. Yesterday was rather mild with a high of  4C, and after the 3cm of snow that fell in Montreal we had about 6mm of rain. Today should be cloudy for the most part with temperatures right around 0C for a high.

We are expecting another shot of snow tonight and Saturday morning as low pressure moves from the Great Lakes across upstate New York. Snow should start in the pre-dawn hours in Montreal and continue through most of the morning. Amounts should range from 5-10cm in the city with perhaps as much as 15cm along the US border. Winds will be rather strong as well in the 20-40km/h range, so travel will be affected. No warnings are in place at this time but I will monitor the system today and post if any are issued. Environment Canada does have a special weather statement issued for the system. Colder air will move in behind the snow through next Wednesday with below normal lows in the minus teens and daytime highs around -4C.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring arrives least on the calendar

Spring arrives today at 12:57 PM as the sun crosses the equator and moves into the Northern Hemisphere. The days are getting longer and in time the sun and warmth will win out over the cold and snow. In time, but for now the forecast does not look anything like spring. Please don't shoot the messenger, like everyone, I am so tired of this winter! While not being the worst I have seen, it has been relentless.
A photo from the Vermont State Police taken on I-89 this morning of a not so spring like message.
On Tuesday, Toronto reached the dubious distinction, for them anyway, of having at least 1cm of snow on the ground for 100 consecutive days. So I thought I would take a look at Montreal, specifically Trudeau Airport where the official stats are kept. Our first snowfall was November 26th, since that day we have had 109 days of snow accumulation on the ground greater than 1cm. That includes 100 consecutive days as off today. We had 4 such days in November, 27 days in December, followed by all of January, February and so far March. So indeed it has been a long winter. The piles of dirty snow sit high on everyone's front lawns and in parking lots across the city melting a little each day. Add to that all the frigid cold, strong winds and freezing rain and it has been a challenging few months for sure.

That brings us to this morning. We had a few centimetres of slushy wet snow overnight in Montreal, that has since turned to light rain. We are sitting just above the freezing point at 2C. Snow is still falling up towards Quebec City and north of St. Jerome in the Laurentians. Low pressure will pass east of Montreal this morning with light rain and snow tapering off. Temperatures will make it to 4C (39F) before sliding back below freezing tonight. More light snow is expected this evening. A few hours of clearing may take place Friday before another clipper system brings more snow, perhaps as much as 5-10cm into Saturday. Temperatures will be mild or near normal into Saturday before more cold air arrives on Sunday with well below normal temperatures into next week, lows in the minus teens and highs around -4C. As I said, don't shoot the messenger!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winter hangs on in Quebec

The story remains the same across southern Quebec and a large part of eastern North America, cold. Despite the Vernal Equinox being less than 48 hours away, spring is nowhere to be found. It is cold again this morning with the low at -17C at my home, well below the normal low of -6C. Again we will slowly warm today and reach -4C by late this afternoon. Tonight will not be as cold as a southwest wind develops ahead of the next low pressure area from the central plains. This low will pass across the Great Lakes and into Ontario passing north of Montreal. Clouds will increase early Wednesday followed by milder air with a rain/snow mix expected across Ontario and Quebec from midday Wednesday into early Thursday morning. The Ottawa Valley could see 5-10cm of snow while I expect amounts will be less than 5cm for Montreal as we mix and change to rain later in the day. Temperatures will warm to above freezing at 2C (36F), but that is still below normal.

Looking ahead we have a chance for more snow on Saturday, perhaps as much as 10cm in Montreal followed by another surge of cold air from Sunday into next week. It is worth mentioning that the law for having snow tires installed on your vehicle came to an end March 15. That being said, I will not be taking mine of anytime soon and you probably should not either.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Frigid March morning

One of the perils of this winter across Eastern North America has been the tremendous build up of ice and snow that is loosening in the March sun. In the past week, several large chunks of ice have fallen from roofs and struck cars. Thankfully no one has been seriously hurt. The ice above fell from an apartment roof in Connecticut last week. (Photo NBC Connecticut)

We just missed the record low this morning in Montreal at the airport at least, dropping to -16C, the record was -20C set in 1950. It was cold everywhere with -20C on L'Ile Perrot, -26C in Lennoxville and Granby, -24C in St. Jerome and -22C in Cornwall.

This morning was also the coldest St. Patrick's Day morning in 129 years in Burlington, Vermont where it is currently -8F (-22C), the record was -6F (-21C) set in 1885. Look for a rapid increase in temperatures today under light winds and the warm March sun. High temperatures are forecast around -6C, a vast improvement over the -9C on Sunday with those biting northwest winds. The cold and wind failed to keep large crowds from enjoying the 191st Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Montreal. Temperatures were around -10C with a gusty wind that made it feel closer to -20C. But a least it was dry and sunny. The event has never failed to run, despite terrible weather some years with cold, wind snow and rain. That included the March 1993 parade that was held the morning after the super storm that dumped 45cm of snow on the city. Snowplows were part of the parade, but the event went on.

This week will be a little milder, but still below normal for mid to late March. Sunshine today and Tuesday will be replaced by clouds with flurries or showers for Wednesday and Thursday. It will be chilly today, but warm to above freezing by Wednesday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Temperature roller coaster ride for Montreal

After the snow of Wednesday and Thursday we are waking to clear skies in Montreal, but it is cold with the current temperature and our morning low here on L'Ile Perrot at -19C. It is a touch milder at the airport at -17C. The final snow totals are in and they fell into the forecast amount of 15-25cm, the most here on L'Ile Perrot and points south to the US border, with lesser amounts on the island of Montreal north into Laval and the Laurentians. Officially the airport had 17cm, while I measured 20cm (8 inches). Sherbrooke in the Eastern Townships was in the 30-35cm range while Burlington, Vermont had a whopping 45cm (18 inches). It was the 4th biggest March storm on record and 12th overall for Burlington.

The weekend forecast for Montreal will feature a brief rise in temperatures before they crash again on Sunday. We will go from our cold morning lows of -19C today up to 0C by late in the day. Look for a bit of light snow late this afternoon, perhaps 1-3cm. Tonight will be cloudy with temperatures rising to 4C by Saturday morning. Expect a few showers overnight that will turn back to flurries by noon Saturday as the mercury falls again. Low by Sunday morning will be cold around -12C with highs for the parade Sunday no better than -7C. It will at least be sunny and dry on Sunday.

Today is the anniversary of the big super storm of March 13-14, 1993. Montreal had over 40cm of snow and fierce winds, enough to keep the Gazette delivery trucks in their driveways. (Mine was literally buried). The paper was cancelled that Sunday morning for the first and only time in my 15 year career at The Montreal Gazette. You can read more about that storm HERE.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

More snow Friday - when will this winter end?

Late Wednesday afternoon in Montreal.
 Our latest winter storm is now affecting Atlantic Canada after dumping close to 20cm on southern Quebec. More snow fell to the south with as much as 30cm along the US border, a little less in Montreal's northern suburbs. This morning we are left with light snow and blowing snow until about noon, with slowly clearing skies by late it the day. It is cold this morning, well below normal at -15C with a windchill of -25C. Roads are in terrible shape with hard packed snow in many areas and still reduced visibility on open highways off island. On Wednesday numerous accidents were reported including one the forced the closure of Highway 201 near Highway 20 in Coteau du Lac for several hours last night. This morning there are several closures east of Montreal around Quebec City as well as the lower St. Lawrence and Chaudière-Appalaches.

The weather will remain cold today with highs no better than -10C dropping to -18C tonight under clear skies with deep snow and diminishing winds. On Friday another weaker low pressure area will move across the Great Lakes and into southern Quebec with 2-4cm of snow. It will be much milder up to -1C. Saturday looks like the best day of the week with cloudy skies and a mild high of plus 3C. A strong cold front may produce some snow late Saturday. On Sunday the weather looks cloudy and colder at -7C for Montreal's St. Patrick's Day Parade.

I wish I could tell you that warmer weather was around the corner, but the balance of March looks colder than normal, which makes me think we have more snow in our future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Winter Storm Update

The center of this late season winter storm is moving from central Pennsylvania to New York City this evening with heavy snow to the north and mixed precipitation and thunderstorms to the south.
A strong winter storm is currently well underway across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Roads are snow covered as the heaviest snow begins to affect metro Montreal. In addition to the heavier snow, strong winds have developed, up to 60km/h at Trudeau Airport in the last hour. They will continue to gust to 70km/h until at least midnight. In terms of accumulations, Montreal has had between 3-5cm so far with 10-15cm across southern Ontario. Storm totals for Montreal will fall into the 15-25cm range once the snow tapers off Thursday morning. Temperatures have fallen dramatically all day from 0C at 5am to -9C currently with a windchill of -19C. Visibility is now under 1km in blowing snow.

The storm is affecting a large portion of the region from the Great Lakes into New England. The photo above from the Burlington Free Press was taken on Interstate 89 in northern Vermont this afternoon.

Powerful winter storm for southern Ontario & Quebec

The Weather Channel warnings map shows the extent of this upcoming winter storm. Weather warnings spread form the Midwest US into Atlantic Canada.
First of all this morning, always remember just how challenging a month March can be. It can feature summer like warmth but also has the distinction of producing some of the biggest snowstorms this city has recorded, 1971 and 1993 come to mind, just to name a few. This one may be another.

A large late season winter storm is expected to move from Kentucky towards New York City today while strengthening. The system has already spread a swath of heavy snow from Chicago to Detroit/Windsor this morning and it is creeping towards the Lake Erie shoreline in Ontario. The storm has even produced thunder and lightning with the heavy snow across Indiana. Snow is forecast to arrive around noon in Montreal becoming heavy this afternoon for the commute and lasting overnight. Widespread blowing snow will also occur as winds increase out of the northeast to 70km/h by late in the day, backing to the north after midnight and gradually decreasing. Storm totals forecast are from 15-25cm (6-10 inches) for the Montreal to Kingston corridor with less to the north of the St. Lawrence River. Meanwhile between 30-60cm (1-2 feet) is forecast across the Eastern Townships and into Vermont and New York. Travel off island to the south may become very difficult this afternoon. In western New York winds expected close to 100km/h have prompted rare blizzard warnings.

Temperatures are rather mild this morning at -2C but are expected to drop as the snow starts, down to -4C by late in the day and to -15C by Thursday morning. Blowing snow is expected to reduce visibility to near zero at times late today and tonight. Skies will slowly clear out Thursday afternoon as the storm moves into Atlantic Canada. It will remain cold on Thursday with gusty winds.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Winter Storm Warning

This graphic is from the NWS in Burlington, Vermont, and gives you an idea of the extent of the heavy snow up to the US border. The amounts listed are in inches. Between 15-20cm (6-8 inches) of snow should fall in metro-Montreal with warnings now in effect for Wednesday.
An appetizer of wet snow fell late last evening and into the wee hours this Tuesday morning with around 3-5cm of new snow. It is a very mild morning here on L'Ile Perrot at plus 1C (33F). Enjoy it folks as we have a major winter snowstorm bearing down on the region Wednesday. Low pressure will come together across the Midwest today and move across the Ohio Valley and towards New York City. All the ingredients are coming together for a big storm to develop. Warm air will be in place initially but arctic air will pour in behind the system.

Snow is expected to begin Wednesday morning and become heavy in the afternoon in southern Quebec and Eastern Ontario. We may have rates of several centimetres per hour at the height of the storm. The St. Lawrence Valley can expect 15-20cm of snow with amounts of up to 30-40cm across the Eastern Townships, Beauce and Gaspe and into upstate New York and Vermont. Winter Storm Warnings are now in effect for metro Montreal and well as the entire length of the St. Lawrence Valley. Warnings extend into Ontario as well as Atlantic Canada and New England. Winds will increase in the afternoon, gusting up to 70km/h and with temperatures forecast to plummet to -10C by late in the day, blowing snow will become a problem. Travel will be very poor in all regions of extreme southern Quebec with low visibility and snow covered roads. If you plan to travel Wednesday, you may want to make alternate plans. The snow will only taper off early Thursday. Temperatures will be mild today around plus 3C. The low tonight will be -3C and with the onset of snow Wednesday, the temperature will drop to -10C by late in the day.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More snow for Montreal

The light snow that fell in the pre-dawn hours Saturday sent this truck into the ditch closing the 401 near 4th Line Road at the Quebec/Ontario border. The 54 year old Quebec driver was taken to Cornwall Hospital with serious injuries. Travel will become slippery again tonight and especially Wednesday in the entire region as winter continues. (ValleyWX Photos)
More snow fell overnight in Montreal with around 3cm observed over most parts of southern Quebec. It is currently a chilly -6C on L'Ile Perrot with also around 3 or 4cm of new snow. We will have a break today with partly sunny skies and mild temperatures near the freezing point. This comes after a decent weekend with a little snow and freezing drizzle early Saturday followed by sunshine and mild temperatures for the balance of the weekend. Last nights system is to our southeast this morning and will be followed by another weak clipper system with more snow tonight. It looks similar to last night with 1-3cm likely. Tuesday will be mild with high temperatures up to plus 3C.

Beyond that the forecast becomes interesting a little tricky for southern Quebec and extreme eastern Ontario. Low pressure is forecast to develop over the southern plains and move towards the middle Atlantic and eventually up the eastern Seaboard towards Cape Cod. This system will spread a wide swath of precipitation in the form of rain and wet snow across New England. The northern edge of the storm is forecast to affect the Townships and Gaspe as well as most of Atlantic Canada. The outer portions of the storm may catch Montreal and the border regions of New York and Vermont on Wednesday. At this time the best guest is for some snow on Wednesday in Montreal, quite windy with blowing snow, especially south of the city. 

A winter storm watch is now in effect for all of Vermont and New York including the St. Lawrence Valley of New York. They may be extended north into extreme southern Quebec later today. Accumulations at this time will range from 15-20cm over Vermont and New York as well as the Townships with perhaps 5-10cm for Montreal. Those amounts will be fine tuned up or down as the track and intensity become more clear. In any event, expect snow Wednesday across a wide area of eastern North America with slow travel by air and ground into Thursday morning.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Warmer weather forecast - but with some precipitation

The first signs of Spring are in the air as we move the clocks ahead tonight and the angle of the sun slowly increases. However we still have towering piles of snow around the city like this one in St. Laurent. It seems like it will take until July for them to melt away. (ValleyWX Photo)
After the stupid cold of this past week, it was great to reach the freezing point on Friday in Montreal. The overnight low at my home on L'Ile Perrot Friday morning was -21C but we manged to just nudge above 0C by late in the day. This was quite a big, but not uncommon temperature swing under the warm March sun. We had a little light snow overnight along a weak cold front, but that is coming to an end and we can expect sunshine the rest of the day and most of Sunday. Temperatures will remain around 0C today, dropping off to -14C tonight. By late in the day and overnight into Monday another weak clipper system from Alberta will bring 1-3cm of snow with continued milder weather. It will be near freezing during the day and about -10C at night. A couple of other small western systems will bring light rain or snow showers through Tuesday. By Wednesday, depending on which computer model you prefer, we may have sunshine or snow. A coastal system is expected to move up the eastern seaboard and could affect southern Quebec. It is too soon and with forecaster confidence rather low at this time, we will hold off on that threat and wait until we get through the weekend.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Short term warming trend ahead for Quebec

A NASA image of the frozen Great Lakes taken on February 26. As you can see only portions of Lake Ontario and the middle of Lake Michigan are ice free. It is estimated that almost 90% of the lake surfaces are frozen over, the most since February 1979. Also Niagara Falls has slowed to a trickle due to ice build up.
It was another cold morning in Montreal with temperatures down to -17C (2F) on L'Ile Perrot. We had 1-2cm of very light snow late yesterday, ending around midnight. The light snow and cold temperatures were just enough to produce some icy travel, especially south of the city this morning. There was a rash of accidents along Highway 30, but the warm March sun has taken care of that this afternoon. Temperatures today will be around -10C (14F) for a high. Tonight will be frigid with near record lows of -21C (-6F) in the city but much colder away from urban areas. The weather looks fairly quiet into the weekend with temperatures moderating to above freezing by Friday with a high of plus 1 or 2C (33-35F). Looking ahead no major storms are on the horizon at this time. The warm up this weekend will not last long with another shot of chilly air and below normal temperatures expected next week. The extended forecast for the balance of March and into early April looks to be colder than normal for southern Quebec. It is not surprising with so much snow and ice around that Spring will be delayed.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Frigid weather continues from coast to coast

A late season cold outbreak is making our weather feel more like January then March. It is another cold morning on L'Ile Perrot currently at -20C. Factor in the wind and it feels like the mid to low -20's. The weather is the same clear across the country with snow in B.C. and extreme cold across the Prairies. Edmonton dropped to -35.1 Sunday morning breaking a record of -34.4 that had stood since the icy cold winter of 1971. It was -39.8 in Coronation on Sunday establishing a new record as well. Other record lows were widespread across the west and windchill readings plunged to the ridiculous -50's.

Montreal received between 2-8cm of snow late Saturday from an arctic front. At my home on L'Ile Perrot and southwest to Cornwall, Ontario, a heavier band of snow dropped about 7cm while only 2cm fell at Trudeau Airport. It will be a cold and breezy day in Montreal today with a high temperature near -11C, the normal high is 0C. Cold and clear overnight with a low near -20C. Temperatures will slowly warm this week with no big storms on the horizon for the city.

Montreal Blizzard of 1971
Today marks the start 43 years ago of the Blizzard of 1971. It would drop 47cm of snow on Montreal in 36 hours with hurricane force winds in the St. Lawrence Valley. The storm would shut down the region. My post on The Suburban Weather Blog has all the details along with photos. Check it out HERE.

The big dig out, March 5, 1971. (Radio Canada Photo)