Sunday, March 12, 2017

Late winter storm to impact southern Quebec

A strengthening coastal storm will impact southern and eastern Quebec this week. (AccuWeather)
As is often the case, March can be a very difficult month to get through. Many large winter storms have impacted Montreal over the decades, and this March may be no different. We are coming off an extremely cold weekend, with high temperatures on Saturday of -15C, and Sunday -12C, over 15 degrees below normal. The weather will remain very cold to start this week, along with a potential major winter storm. The storm in question is forecast to develop rapidly off  the Carolina coast on Monday, and approach southern New England by Tuesday. The system will then lift northeast into Atlantic Canada. Montreal will remain on the northwest edge of this classic Nor'Easter, with snow developing midday Tuesday and persisting into Wednesday morning. Strong winds are expected as well, creating blowing and drifting snow.

What is not clear at this time, is how much snow will fall. As is often the case with coastal storms, a difference in the storm track of  less than 100km can mean 30cm of snow or just flurries here in Montreal. At this time, guidance suggests 10-15cm for Montreal, with less snow north of the city and over 30cm as you move south into the Townships, Vermont and New York. Travel will be impacted, not just here in Montreal, but also up and down the northeast US coast. A winter storm watch is in effect for Vermont and New York. Watches or warnings may be posted for portions of Quebec by Monday. Along the coast, blizzard conditions are forecast in New York City and Boston, along with very strong winds and potential coastal flooding.

This is a rapidly changing weather situation. I will post further updates on Monday.

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