Monday, March 21, 2016

First week of spring more like winter in Montreal

The next storm system will move from Colorado into the Great Lakes by Thursday, with the potential for snow and freezing rain in Montreal and Ottawa.
As is often the case, the first week of spring will feature more winter weather then most of the season did. Spring arrived at 12:30AM early Sunday morning, but most of the weekend featured a cold north wind and high temperatures near the freezing point. The normal high in Montreal for March 21st should be 4C (39F). This morning, we start the day at a chilly -6C (21F), along with cloudy skies. The cloud deck is from a coastal storm located east of Cape Cod, that is expected to affect Atlantic Canada today. Precipitation this morning is largely confined to coastal areas of New England. Snow will spread into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick later today, with up to 20cm possible. Only a stray snowflake is possible in southern Quebec. The sun should return to Montreal this afternoon, with a high temperature near 3C (38F).

Spring Snow for Montreal
On Tuesday, weak low pressure will slide across the Great Lakes and along the US border. Clouds will increase early in the day, followed by light snow by evening in Montreal. A good 5cm of snow is forecast by Wednesday morning, from the Ottawa Valley into southern Quebec. Later in the day Wednesday, an arctic boundary will slip just south of Montreal, with cooler air surging into the St. Lawrence Valley. With temperatures below freezing into Thursday, another surge of moisture will arrive as low pressure develops over the US Midwest. This storm will provide Montreal, southern Quebec and parts of Ontario with a messy mix of rain, freezing rain and snow, as we head into Good Friday. At this time, the track of the storm remains uncertain. The exact path will determine what type and amount of precipitation we can expect in Montreal. Amounts may be significant, along with gusty winds. If you have travel plans late Wednesday through Friday in Ontario and Quebec, pay close attention to future forecasts. Temperatures for most of this week will remain below normal, with warmer weather expected by Easter Sunday.

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