Monday, February 20, 2017

The big melt is on across southern Quebec

Soaring temperatures caused a rapid snow melt this past weekend. The image above shows tons of snow being removed from the side of the Centre Multisport in Vaudreuil. Residents were also chopping ice, freeing rain gutters and clearing driveways after 50cm of snow fell last week.
After nearly 50cm of snow in less than a week, southern Quebec was treated to an early taste of spring. Over the weekend, temperatures soared  above freezing into the upper single digits and teens. On Saturday, Windsor, Ontario established a new record-high temperature, reaching 19C (66F). On Sunday, another record was set at 17.9C (65F). In eastern Ontario, Cornwall recorded a high of 11C (52F) on Saturday, while Montreal reached 7.6C (47F) on Saturday and 8C (48F) on Sunday. The Sunday high was just shy of the record established during the very warm month of February 1981. Abundant sunshine accompanied the warmth, melting away almost half of the snow that fell last week. More melting can be expected this week, as mild temperatures are forecast to prevail.

High pressure will give Montreal a chilly night Monday, before warm southwest winds develop on Tuesday. A weak warm front will produce a few showers on Tuesday evening. Wednesday will be very mild again, with temperatures approaching 10C (50F) across the region. The warmth will remain into Thursday. The normal high in Montreal for late February should be -3C (27F), with overnight lows of -12C (10F).

Too early to celebrate spring
Despite the early taste of spring,  much colder air is forecast to move into Montreal by next weekend, with rain changing to snow on Saturday. The precipitation will be generated by a rather vigorous low-pressure area moving across the central Great Lakes. Rain will develop early Saturday and change to wet snow before ending Sunday. A strong cold front will produce a rapid drop in temperature Saturday night. This system will need to be monitored closely. The potential exists for a flash freeze and significant snowfall for some regions of southern Quebec late Saturday.

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