Thursday, December 21, 2017

Winter Solstice arrives with cold, snow and ice in the forecast for Montreal

Traffic in Montreal has been brutal this week, with long commute times, numerous accidents and several road closures. More snowy weather is expected on Friday, with and increasing threat for freezing rain Saturday. (ValleyWX)
Winter officially arrived at 11:28AM Thursday morning in Montreal. Today we are being treated to the least amount of daylight all year long, with only 8 hours and 42 minutes. The good news is that we will enjoy bright sunshine all day. Additionally the amount of daylight will slowly increase as we move forward towards spring and summer. The bad news is, temperatures are cold, and we have lots of winter weather ahead of us over the next few months, starting with the near-term forecast.

Difficult travel conditions expected
Thursday will be sunny and cold, with temperatures hovering around -10C (14F). Overnight, clouds will thicken up in response to a very slow moving warm front and developing low pressure system moving east form the Great Lakes. The temperature will slowly warm up as well into Friday adding to what may be a difficult forecast. On Friday snow will develop by mid-morning in southern Quebec and continue into the evening hours. At this time, Montreal can expect 5 to 10cm through midnight, with more expected south of the city. As the low pressure moves down the St. Lawrence Valley on Saturday, more precipitation will develop. The temperature will warm Saturday and will be critical in determining the type of precipitation we receive. The precipitation will re-develop on Saturday, as snow mixed with freezing rain. Amounts may be significant and warnings will likely be needed for a portion of the region. Travel will be impacted across Ontario and Quebec as well as New England and the Northeast US. This is a very busy travel period, so listen carefully to future forecasts and updated warnings. Sunday is expected to be the best travel day, with clearing skies and cold temperatures.

On Christmas Day, yet another low pressure area is expected to move along the east coast. Depending which forecast model you prefer, we are either in for a snowstorm or just a few flurries. One thing is certain, the weather will turn frigid next week through the final weekend of 2017.

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