Monday, January 11, 2016

Windstorm ushers in arctic air

Strong winds helped to topple the brick facade of two buildings in downtown Montreal late Sunday night. (CBC News)
  After a warm and wet weekend, Montreal awoke to a windy, much colder landscape this morning. A strong storm moved across the Great Lakes on Sunday pushing a cold front across the St. Lawrence Valley. Heavy rain over the weekend helped to melt some of the snow pack, with close to 20mm falling in Montreal. Powerful winds accompanied the front, gusting up to 100km/h in parts of eastern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The peak gust a Trudeau Airport in Montreal was 93km/h late last evening. The wind cut power to nearly 60,000 homes in Quebec and also toppled two brick walls in downtown Montreal. Power outages were also reported in Ontario and upstate New York.

It was not only metro Montreal, but a large portion of Quebec was affected by the strong winds. This tree was toppled in Arvida. (Radio Canada)
The cold front also brought a quick end to our warm weekend. The temperature fell from a near record plus 7C (45F) last evening to -7C (19F) in about 12 hours. A few flurries accompanied the colder air but luckily the wind dried most surfaces sparing us from a rapid freeze. It is winter weather for the foreseeable future with cold air and snow for the balance of the week. A clipper type low pressure area will sweep out of western Canada on Tuesday and cross the Great Lakes into the St. Lawrence Valley. After a cold overnight low of -14C (7F) in Montreal, snow will develop by noon and last into early Wednesday morning. At this time we are expecting 5-10cm locally in the region. Gusty winds will also accompany the snow, so expect some lower visibility starting tomorrow afternoon. Skies will clear out Thursday, but it will remain cold with a low of -18C (0F) and a high of -11C (12F).

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