Monday, December 28, 2015

Winter storm warning for Montreal

Winter Storm Warning in effect for metro Montreal, southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Travel NOT recommended on Tuesday.

The first big winter storm of the season is poised to affect southern Ontario and Quebec starting later today. A potent storm system over the southern US will move towards the Great Lakes while a second storm forms along the east coast. Both systems will push an area of precipitation northward into the St. Lawrence Valley. We had a early taste of winters return on Sunday as snow and freezing rain created slick travel. Numerous cars slid off Highway 10 east of Montreal last evening. Around 5-10cm of snow and ice fell in Montreal Sunday.

Heavy snow and blizzard conditions forced closure of a wide swath of Interstate 40 in New Mexico on Sunday. The governor declared a state of emergency after heavy snow and strong winds left thousands stranded.
After the passage of the first system on Sunday, there is plenty of cold air in place this morning. Monday will be the coldest day of December in Montreal, with the temperature remaining below freezing for the first time this month. We can expect cold north winds and a high of only -7C (20F). Snow will begin overnight in Montreal and become heavy at times by Tuesday morning. The snow will mix with sleet and freezing rain along the US border by noon on Tuesday. Winds will increase from the northeast 30-50km/h in Montreal and Ottawa producing blowing snow. Accumulations will range from 15-20cm in Montreal, up to 35cm north of the city and around 15cm along the New York/Vermont border. Widespread warnings are now in effect across the entire region, unnecessary travel is not advised on Tuesday. The high on Tuesday in the snow will be -5C (23F) in Montreal. Conditions will improve by early Wednesday along with a milder high of 0C (32F) behind the storm.

This same system has been deadly over the last 48 hours. Over two dozen deaths have occurred from blizzards in New Mexico, tornadoes in Texas and severe flooding in parts of Arkansas and Missouri.

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