Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Storm splits region - record snowfall and record warmth

Longtime reader and fellow weather buff, Jane Kinnear, sent me this photo of her front yard just west of Kemptville, Ontario on Tuesday. They measured around 42cm of snow in just one day. This storm had a little of everything for the region, with wide ranging weather over a distance of less than 200km.
Low pressure that moved across northern New York and southern Quebec on Tuesday is located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this morning. The powerful system had a wide variety of precipitation associated with it, as well as strong winds. Montreal was the dividing line between a major snowstorm over eastern Ontario and record warmth in the Champlain and Richelieu Valleys. On the snowy side of the storm, Montreal received around 13cm of snow, snarling the morning commute, before the freezing rain mixed in. Once that occurred, between 15-25mm of freezing rain fell on the region from Montreal to Cornwall. Winds gusted to 70km/h last evening and isolated power outages were reported by Hydro Quebec, along with a few downed tree branches. In Ontario, heavy snow fell in a swath from Kingston to Ottawa, making travel dangerous and closing schools. Kemptville, Ontario measured 40 to 45cm of snow, while Ottawa Airport had their largest single day snowfall on record at 51cm (20.5").

On the warm side of the storm track, Burlington, Vermont started the day with snow and freezing rain, but a surge of warm air produced an afternoon record high temperature of 13C (55F). Granby in southern Quebec reached 12C (54F), while Montreal only managed 0C (32F). This morning, all regions are dealing with lots of icy spots as temperatures have fallen well below freezing. Light snow is possible later today with perhaps another 1-2cm across Ontario and southern Quebec. Colder weather returns tonight and Thursday, before above-normal temperatures and rain by Saturday.

The aftermath of 51cm of snow in Ottawa, several abandoned OC Transpo buses were scattered around town Wednesday morning. (TWN Twitter Photo)

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