Friday, December 29, 2017

Arctic blast sweeps country

This is quite the cold snap in Montreal, challenging those of January 1957, Dec/Jan 1993-94 and Dec/Jan 1980-81. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Montreal, occurred on January 15, 1957, when the mercury bottomed out at -37.8C (-36F). This outbreak will not be as cold as those mentioned, but it will make up for that with its duration.

Crews continue to battle the bone-chilling cold, while cleaning up from the Christmas Day storm. (ValleyWX)
Frigid air continues to dominate the weather landscape across southern Canada, and into the northern two-thirds of the US. On Thursday, Montreal failed to crack the -20C mark after an icy overnight low of -27C (-17F), the coldest of 2017. At least the good news this morning, is the winds have eased, allowing for windchill values to fall to more manageable levels. At one point on Thursday morning, the windchill was -40C in Montreal. It was brutal outside. Along with the cold came the usual problems, frozen pipes, stalled cars and a slow transit system. Icy surfaces on bridges have caused a number of accidents since Boxing Day. With the cold came an increasing demand for battery boosts. On Wednesday alone, CAA-Quebec responded to nearly 8600 service calls. A fire in Verdun on Thursday was thought to have been started by someone using a blowtorch to thaw frozen pipes. No injuries were reported in the fire on Rusbrooke, but power was cut to 6000 Verdun residents. The six-unit building suffered severe damage, with the Red Cross providing temporary shelter for the occupants.
Someone thawing frozen pipes with a blowtorch may have started this 4-alarm fire in Verdun on Thursday. (CTV News)
The extreme cold warning remains in effect this morning, but temperatures will moderate slightly today, with some cloud cover and flurries forecast into Saturday. The high for Montreal today is expected to be -18C (0F), with an overnight low of -24C (-11F). On Saturday, expect a balmy high of -17C (2F). Any snowfall will result in a trace to 1cm or so through Saturday evening. On Sunday, a reinforcing shot of cold air will arrive on gusty northwest winds. Expect the temperature to remain below -20C (-4F) through New Years Eve and into Monday. Looking ahead, temperatures will warm slightly during the middle part of next week, but we may be looking at a significant snowfall on Thursday. The computer models are trying to nail down the track, stay tuned. Behind that system another surge of arctic air will arrive in Montreal to end the work week. January at this time is looking cold and snowy for the duration, sorry folks!

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