Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Record breaking snowstorm slams Montreal

Motorists spent the night on Highway 13 south in Lachine. (CJAD)

42cm of snow and counting on L'Ile Perrot (ValleyWeather)

Powerful winds and heavy snow have placed this storm among the greatest hits of Montreal, March 4, 1971 and March 13, 1993.

What a storm! Heavy snow combined with very strong winds swept across southern Quebec on Tuesday afternoon. The snow resulted in an evening commute, that is some cases continued into the overnight. Visibility was less than 400 metres for over 5 hours, this classifies this storm as an official blizzard. The snow fell in Montreal at a rate of 3-5cm an hour between 5 and 8pm. A peak wind gust of 106km/h was recorded around 6pm.

This morning, we are left with over 40cm on the ground in Montreal, 60-75cm from south shore St. Hubert into the Townships. Numerous highways remain closed this morning, including Highway 13 south near Highway 20. This was the scene of a truck accident last evening that resulted in motorists spending the night in their cars. Officially, Montreal Trudeau Airport measured 32cm for the day, surpassing the previous record of 24.9cm set in 1961. Most of the snow fell in the 2pm to midnight time frame on Tuesday. Major multi-vehicle accidents occurred along Highway 20 near St. Zotique, Highway 10 near Granby and Highway 401 near Mallorytown, Ontario. All three accidents have closed those roads. In the Mallortytown accident, one fatality was reported, along with a dozen injuries.

Schools and Universities are closed today in Montreal, Laval, Vaudreuil and across the Townships. Additional snowfall of 5-10cm is likely today across southern Quebec, along with blowing and drifting snow. Winds are forecast in the 30 to 50km/h range. Avoid travel if possible.

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