Sunday, February 14, 2016

Extreme cold today with a winter storm by Tuesday

The potential winter storm on Tuesday could produce 15-25cm of snow in Montreal.
Extreme Cold Warning posted through tonight for southern Quebec.

Saturday was one of the coldest days in southern Quebec in over a decade. While the official high temperature at Trudeau Airport was -11C (12F), this was reached just after midnight. The temperature continued to fall and settled in around -25C (-13F) by 8am Saturday, where it remained for most of the day. Combined with winds in excess of 50km/h and lots of blowing snow, this made for a dangerously cold day with wind chills in the minus 40s.

This morning, Montreal is one of the "milder" locations at -28C (-18F). St Anicet near Lancaster, Ontario is -30C (-22F), a new record low for the date. Both Ottawa and Toronto both broke record lows this weekend. Toronto was -26C (-15F) Saturday, breaking the previous record of -23.2C from 1979. Ottawa dropped to -30C Sunday morning, the previous record low was -28C in 1979. In Quebec, St Jovite, north of Montreal, was the coldest location in the province at -36.1C (-33F). Meanwhile, Algonquin Park in Ontario was the coldest in the country at -42.1C (-44F). This means the far north and Arctic were actually warmer than southern Canada. Temperatures will only warm to -20C (-4F) in Montreal today, so the extreme cold warning remains in effect. Winds will increase by mid-day to over 50km/h, making wind chill readings dangerous, close to -40C.

Major Winter Storm
By Monday, temperatures will moderate to a relatively warm -8C (18F) with little to no wind. Late in the day, clouds will increase from the south as a winter storm begins to take shape in the southern Appalachians. This system still has not chosen a path to follow, so the forecast remains up in the air. It will be moisture laden, so lots of precipitation is on the way. The question is, will it be snow, ice, or rain for the region? It looks like a mix right now with the potential for 15-25cm of snow for Montreal on Tuesday. Freezing rain may also be a major problem in other portions of southern Quebec, including the Townships. This storm will likely have major impacts on travel across eastern Ontario, Quebec and New York/New England so stay tuned.

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