Thursday, December 31, 2009
I may try to squeeze one more post in later on this evening before the bell tolls midnight. Thank you all again for reading. I have had over 37,000 hits this year. It means so much to me to share my passion for weather with all of you.
Be good, be safe... Stephen B.
Environment Canada has put out its annual list of the top 10 weather events for the past year. You can read them HERE.
That storm system moving from the deep south towards Nova Scotia is becoming a real pain. Computer models have been all over the place with the forecast for this upcoming weekend. It will snow everywhere from the Ontario/Quebec border south and east. There is the potential for lots of snow in many areas, but where? Well that keeps changing with every model run. My best guess here, reading the area forecast discussions, is that we will have one of those long drawn out snow events lasting from New Years Day well into early next week. Montreal will remain on the western edge of a deepening storm that will move from Nova Scotia back inland across Maine and finally back out to sea. To complicate the forecast even more some models are predicting a warm front to usher in mild maritime air changing some of the precipitation to rain. As a matter of fact the high temperature forecast for Montreal by Environment Canada for Sunday is plus 5C, while the National Weather Service is forecasting highs below freezing for the same area. Whew! Ok so light snow all weekend. Roads will be slippery and snow covered and winds will be increasing from the north during the period. There is the chance for more than 10cm of snow and blowing snow by the end of the weekend. The storm will be far more intense from Quebec City eastward towards the Gaspe if your travels take you there. The forecast is very fluid so check back here often and prepare for winter weather if travelling.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Lots to talk about this morning in the weather department. First of all it is cold this morning, minus 18C here on Ile Perrot and -20C in the Ottawa area. Yesterday we had a blustery day with lots of blowing snow and biting wind chills around the mid minus twenties.
We can expect a sunny and chilly day today but the wind will ease. Tonight a clipper system approaching from the west will moderate out temperatures and produce a little light snow into New Years Eve. That will be followed by a impressive winter storm taking shape along the east coast of the US. Models have been all over the place with this storm. It is expected to rapidly strengthen east of Cape Cod before retrograding back towards the coast and into northern New England. Many questions are still up in the air regarding precipitation strength and location and wind. The potential does exist for a very heavy snowfall and wind event in the St. Lawrence Valley. The steady snow will begin New Years Day and continue well into the weekend. It is way to soon to pinpoint who will get what, but travel will be greatly impacted. More information will be posted later today on this storm which could be a big one for Montreal and southern Quebec.
• We have a second full moon this month tomorrow night to greet the New Year. The "Full Long Nights Moon" is classified as a "blue moon" because it is the second full moon this month.
• The NHL Winter Classic will be played outside at my favorite ballpark, Fenway Park home of the Red Sox. The game between the Flyers and the Bruins starts at 1pm New Years Day. The weather looks troublesome at this point from the same coastal storm we are concerned about.
Monday, December 28, 2009
A special weather statement is available HERE. Skies should clear early Tuesday but it will remain windy and bitterly cold. The cold air will remain with us for the balance of the week with a good chance of snow on New Years Day and Saturday.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
An active weather pattern is upon us with a major storm lifting north across the central US plains and into the Great Lakes. West of this system arctic air and strong north winds are producing a Christmas blizzard across the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and north into northwest Ontario. Travel is nearly impossible with 30cm of snow and 80 to 100km/h winds. We will remain on the warmer side of the storm with freezing rain and rain. The precipitation has already started in southwest Ontario and is primarily rain. However temperatures at the surface remain below freezing in the St. Lawrence Valley as well as upstate New York and the Ottawa Valley. A winter storm watch is in effect for upstate New York while a freezing rain warning is posted for the Ottawa Valley and east central Ontario. I expect those will be shifted east into Quebec and Montreal. The precipitation will not start till overnight tonight and it will last well into Boxing Day. Look for 5 to 10mm of ice possible, enough to make travel very dangerous Saturday. Afterwards a strong cold front and cold arctic air will sweep the region Sunday with a burst of steady snow into Monday as the cold air deepens. Roads will be snow covered with low visibilities in blowing snow into Monday. Stay tuned for more information and an update on the warnings later today. Lake effect snow will also develop around the Great Lakes on Sunday.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A weak disturbance today will provide the area with a couple of centimetres of snow into Wednesday. While the accumulations will be minimal, the roads are icing up due to the cold. It should be very pleasant Thursday and Christmas Day with mild temperatures and sunny skies. The weather then becomes a challenge for traveling in Ontario and Quebec late Christmas Day and Boxing Day. As the storm develops over Texas and lifts into the Great Lakes, precipitation will overspread the region. It will begin as snow and then change to freezing rain and eventually rain in southwest Ontario and parts of upstate New York. It appears at this time, and we are several days out, that there will be an extended period of freezing rain possibly dare I say even an ice storm. But as I said, it is still days away and the track remains quite uncertain. There is also the likelihood of another low pressure area developing along the east coast of the US which would complicate the forecast, especially for us here in the St. Lawrence Valley. Stay tuned...but count on decent travel to your destinations, it just may be the return home that is complicated.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It was a blizzard for the record books across the middle Atlantic states and up into the extreme coastal areas of the northeast yesterday and today. Heavy snow whipped by 60mph winds fell in a narrow swath from western North Carolina and Virginia through DC and up into New York City, Long Island and Cape Cod. One to two feet of snow fell setting records. Nearly 2 feet fell in Philadelphia beating a record that dated back to 1932. The snow snarled traffic and closed airports in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Over 3000 accidents were reported in Virginia alone, with 3 fatalities. Washington recorded 18 to 22 inches of snow while parts of New York and eastern Massachusetts had 12 to 15 inches. In Suffolk County on the eastern end of Long Island, East Patchogue reported 27.5 inches of snow with 50 mph winds. The storm is now affecting eastern Nova Scotia with heavy snow.
Winter arrives tomorrow at 12:47 EST here in Montreal. It is just a formality as the cold and snow have been with us since the start of the month. This weekend was chilly but sunny across the region with just a few high clouds from the east coast storm. An Alberta clipper may give us a few flurries late Monday and into Tuesday. The real story will be a Texas low pressure area that is forecast to develop and move north towards the Great Lakes by Christmas Eve. This storm is expected to spread snow, freezing rain and rain across the Midwest and into Ontario and Quebec by Christmas Day. If you are travelling this week, please keep this in mind. The best chance of frozen precipitation will be Christmas Day in Ontario and Christmas night and Boxing Day in Quebec. Please check back often as the forecast is still 5 days out and lots can change.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Montreal can expect an arctic front to cross the region Tuesday with a few centimeters of fresh snow and much colder air from Wednesday on. We can expect up to 5cm of snow with the front, along with gusty winds and the risk of some freezing drizzle. Temperatures will drop into the minus teens for the balance of the week.
Yesterday's little episode of snow dumped 7cm in Montreal and 10cm along the 401 at Cornwall. It was far more than the 2-4cm forecast, and it fell in under three hours. Numerous cars hit the ditch as roads became snow packed and visibility dropped to well under 1km. (See below).
Sunday, December 13, 2009
That little bit of "light snow" this afternoon put down a quick 5-10cm of snow in the St. Lawrence Valley between 1 and 5pm this afternoon. I was attempting to drive from Ile Perrot to Kemptville, and gave up at Cornwall. The snow was heavy and wet with significant accumulations on the 401. The visibility in heavy snow was under 1km most of the afternoon with several cars in the ditch and travel slowed to under 70km/h. It has since tapered off to flurries. It is not to often I get caught in a missed forecast but today was one of those days. The warm air never made it down to the surface in the St. Lawrence Valley so instead of the precip changing to rain, it remained snow. The enhancement of the snow was from a frontal trough sliding southeast into New York state.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Yesterday strong winds and the occasional snow squall made travel icy and slow in places across southern Quebec. Believe it or not a couple of centimetres fell on Ile Perrot from a plume of snow extending inland from Lake Huron over 800km to our west. That plume of snow was driven by 100km/h west winds of of all the Great Lakes. The snow piled up nearly 80cm in parts of central Ontario with as much as 20cm all the way east towards Smiths Falls and Lanark County. The Lake Ontario snow band dumped 2 feet of snow on parts of Oswego and Lewis and Jefferson County in western New York and extended as far inland as the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Seaway Valley.
The snow will continue today but shrink to the more traditional spots along the shore lines. Travel today on Interstate 81 and 90 is not advised in the warning areas adjacent to the lakes.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
The big clean up has now begun across the Montreal area from the 28cm of snow that fell yesterday and overnight. It will take 96 hours and over 3000 pieces of equipment to remove the snow from city streets. It will also take 17 million out of the yearly snow budget to carry out the operations.
Another 3-5cm of snow can be expected today. Radar is showing narrow bands of steady snow off Lake Ontario in the traditional snow belts. These snow squalls are being driven unusually far inland by 100km/h winds and reaching far down the St. Lawrence Valley. They should begin to affect the Montreal region this morning. The heaviest snow, measured in feet, will occur in Jefferson and Oswego County in New York. The snow will fall for the next 24 to 36 hours. The same is true off the other Great Lakes. Buffalo even reported a thunderstorm with the snow during the last hour. Snow will also fall along the 401 from Brockville to Kingston.
Other totals from yesterday's storm include 20cm in Cornwall and 22cm in Ottawa. The other factor today will be the surface winds blowing out of the southwest at 40-70km/h in Montreal. They are bringing in much colder air. We have reached our high today of 1C and temperatures will begin to drop. As the snow becomes more granular, blowing snow may also become a problem especially south of the city.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
In western New York an intense lake effect snow event is about to take place. Strong southwest winds will blow at 30 to 50mph off both Lakes Erie and Ontario and dump 1-3 feet of snow around Buffalo and Watertown, New York. Travel into or through those regions including Interstate 90 and 81 is not advised until at least Saturday.
In addition to the heavy snow, a lake shore flood warning is in effect as Lake Erie is expected to surge over 9 feet high with crashing waves into the shoreline around Buffalo and Niagara.
The pressure in this storm was so low today it resembled that of a Category 2 hurricane. The pressure continues to fall in Montreal and is currently at 987mb. The lowest I saw today in observations on this side of the border was 977mb at Wiarton, Ontario.
Our major winter storm is located along the shores of Lake Michigan this afternoon. It has deepened to a 978 mb low with strong winds and intense precipitation. Steady snow continues to fall in Montreal with more than 15cm this morning. A storm total of over 30cm is expected. Winds have been increasing all day in the St. Lawrence Valley. Visibility has been under 1km for most of the morning at Trudeau Airport. The storm has a nasty cold front that is producing severe thunderstorms in western New York this afternoon. The precipitation will become light this evening in our area but continue through the night. Winds will increase as the cold front approaches and cause considerable blowing and drifting snow. The winds could gust to 70km/h late tonight and Thursday. Behind the front arctic air will pour into the region dropping temperatures and producing heavy wind driven lake effect snows in Ontario and New York.
10am Update: Heavy snow continues to spread north into the St. Lawrence Valley. Cornwall has visibility less than 1km with gusts of wind over 50km/h and Plattsburgh, N.Y. has near zero visibility in heavy snow. Travel is not advised today. Montreal is currently -5C, northeast wind gusting to 41km/h and 0.8km visibility.
The snow started shortly after 7am this morning on the west end of Montreal Island and is spreading rapidly north and east. The heavy snow is just southwest of our region. Already visibility has gone from 24km to 2km at Trudeau Airport and dropping. Winds are in the 30km/h range and will continue to increase as the morning moves along. The center of the intense low pressure area is approaching Lake Michigan at this hour with a wide swath of heavy precipitation along the (warm front) eastern flank of the storm. The heavy snow will continue all day today across eastern Ontario and western Quebec with he heaviest amounts in the St. Lawrence Valley from Montreal northeast where 25-35cm may fall. Ottawa and eastern Ontario is forecasting 15cm with 10-15cm across New England as a mix of sleet or rain mat occur. It remains very chilly in Montreal at -6C. Winter Storm and Wind Warnings are in effect for the entire region. Precipitation will become more scattered this evening before another burst of heavy snow along a powerful arctic front tonight. This will be followed by strong west winds Thursday from 50-70km/h causing cold wind chills and considerable blowing and drifting snow.
**Visibility is now down to 1km in Montreal as of 8am with winds increasing. School bus service has been canceled across Eastern Ontario and several school boards south of Montreal have canceled classes. Call ahead to the airport as flights are beginning to be delayed as well, especially to Toronto and the Midwest US. Drive slowly today or cancel travel all together.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Stats are impressive so far with the storm with wind gusts over 90 mph in the southwest US. Over 250,000 people lost power in Phoenix last night as the cold front associated with the storm roared east. This will be a storm to remember. There is a real threat of power outages in many areas. South of the border in western New York, flooding is even possible along Lake Erie from a storm surge associated with the strong winds.
Here is a quote from the weather discussion out of Quad City, Iowa.
THIS STORM IS IMPRESSIVE. SNOW AMOUNT WISE...IT HAS BEEN ABOUT 10 YEARS SINCE SNOWS OF THIS MAGNITUDE AND EXPANSE HAVE BEEN SEEN. STORM STRENGTH IS ANOTHER MATTER. BASED ON THE CURRENT FORECAST OF A 980MB OR BETTER SURFACE LOW...IT HAS PROBABLY BEEN 20 TO 30 YEARS SINCE A WINTER STORM OF THIS MAGNITUDE HAS BEEN SEEN IN THE AREA.
I will update the situation early tomorrow morning.
Environment Canada has posted a snowfall warning for southern and central Quebec for Wednesday. In Ontario for some reason no warnings have been issued yet despite a similar forecast for the St. Lawrence Seaway and Ottawa. I guess with the precipitation primarily falling as rain in the GTA, there appears to be no rush to advise the public of this dangerous winter storm. As the first storm of the year, it will be impressive tracking from Colorado towards Chicago and then north of Montreal. A heavy burst of snow will develop Wednesday morning in southwest Quebec and spread north and east. The snow will mix with sleet and rain in the afternoon in Montreal. Accumulations in our region will be in the order of 15-30cm with 15 at the US border and 30cm in the mountains of New England and north of Montreal. In addition to the snow gusty east winds will approach 60km/h before backing to the northwest Thursday and reach speeds up to 90km/h. The winds will blow around whatever falls.
We are not alone with this storm. Strong winds and heavy snow are falling from Arizona to Illinois with blizzard warnings in effect on the backside of the storm. In the warm sector severe thunderstorms are expected from Texas to Georgia.
Closer to home a Winter Storm warning is in effect for the Adirondacks and Green Mountains, with a Winter Weather Advisory in the Champlain and St. Lawrence Valley. A High Wind Watch has also been issued for New York and Vermont.
This is a difficult storm to forecast with bitter arctic air to the north and very warm air streaming in aloft. The forecast is very changeable so watch for updates today and prepare for nasty weather.
Monday, December 07, 2009
The cold air that will invade our region set several record lows in Alberta this morning including -37.5C in Edmonton shattering the previous record of minus 35C in 1972.
Low pressure will emerge from the southern Rockies and move to near Chicago on Wednesday and just north of Montreal on Thursday. This low is expected to intensify rapidly to a 975mb low. The intense storm will produce heavy precipitation north and east of the system. It appears that snow will start across Ontario late Tuesday and spread into Montreal by Wednesday morning. The onset will be all heavy snow with 10-20cm expected before a push of warmer air and a transition to freezing rain and sleet from Montreal south. From Montreal north it should remain all snow with 25cm plus expected. There may even be some rain along the US border. There is still some question as to the track of the system, but the described scenario above is becoming more clear with each computer model run.
Another component of this storm will be fierce winds. Winds will be northeast from 30-60km/h and then backing Thursday to the northwest 50-70km/h and gusty. These winds will cause blowing snow and reduced visibility. Air and road travel will be impacted all over the Northeast, New England, Ontario, Quebec, the Midwest and eventually the Maratimes. Plan your week accordingly.
The next update will be no later than 7pm this evening.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Here is the long played out scenario: First of all the Houston snowstorm will move off the middle Atlantic coast today and hit the Maratimes tonight. The Calgary storm that produced visibilities of less than 1km for over 10 hours will slide just south of Montreal on Monday and produce a general 1-3cm snowfall in our region. Cold air will then pour into the region behind that storm while low pressure begins to organize in the US southwest.
The southwestern storm will then move across the Midwest and to near the lower Great Lakes on Wednesday. This storm will have good atmospheric support, a strong wind field and plenty of moisture as it passes just south of Montreal mid week. Combine that with the newly arrived cold air mass, and we are looking at our first snowstorm potential for Wednesday and Thursday. It is early yet, but successive computer model runs are pointing to s significant winter storm for Ontario and Quebec. Stay tuned folks!
Friday, December 04, 2009
Quite the weather event taking place today across the deep south. Snow has been falling in the Houston metro area most of the day with a couple of inches of slushy accumulation reported. Winter weather advisories are in effect and freezing temperatures are expected right down to the Gulf of Mexico. When I checked about an hour ago Galveston was actually colder than Montreal with a reading of 2C and light snow.
The winter weather is being caused by an upper level low that is expected to lift northeast from the gulf states towards Cape Hatteras. Snow will spread across the deep south tonight and northward into the middle Atlantic and southern New England. This will be a coastal event with very little effect here in Montreal. Some light snow may spread into southern Vermont. Nova Scotia has posted winter storm watches for their province. Depending on the exact track of the low pressure, 15-25cm of snow could fall.
Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta are bracing for blizzard conditions tonight as cold air pours into that region. 10-15cm of snow with winds up to 70km/h is expected to produce dangerous travel and zero visibility. As the cold air moves south and east we can expect temperatures to gradually lower in Quebec and Ontario as well over the weekend. It will be a slow process. Snow may affect our region by next Wednesday as another storm lifts out of the US towards the Great Lakes. Speaking of the lakes, snow is falling around them in western New York and central Ontario today. Some portions of upper Michigan saw over a foot of snow yesterday.
Of Note: Houston has had more snowfall than Burlington, Vermont this year to date!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Montreal was 8C today with about 25mm of rain here on Ile Perrot just southwest of the city. The mild air is being chased out by gusty Northwest winds tonight. It will be cooler this weekend but the main batch of Arctic air will hold off till next week. There is a chance we could see measurable snow on Monday with a greater chance of a storm by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
In the west it is a very different story. Temperatures struggled today to reach -10C across Alberta and Saskatchewan and they have fallen back tonight to -17C in Regina and -20C in Assiniboia. This is just a taste of what is on the way. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted for most of central and southern Alberta for Friday, and they will likely be extended east into Saskatchewan. A strong arctic cold front will slide southeast across the region Friday with intense winds in excess of 50km/h, snowfall of over 15cm and dropping temperatures. Blizzard conditions are likely outside of the major urban areas and travel will be difficult. The front will clear the region and in its wake leave an arctic air mass with temperatures in the minus 20's. It will remain cold all next week.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Low pressure deepening over the Gulf states is expected to lift north across upstate New York over the next 24 hours. The inland track of this storm will guarantee Quebec and eastern Ontario mild air and rain. Today should be sunny and mild with high temperatures around 5C. Clouds will rapidly thicken tonight, and the rain should begin by midnight. Mild air tomorrow will push temperatures to near 10C with a steady rain all day. Indications are that 25-35mm will fall. It will be windy with gusts over 60km/h expected. This would have been a great first snowstorm!
Winter is settling into portions of the country. It has turned sharply colder across the west with snow falling from Calgary eastward towards Winnipeg. Some parts of southeastern Saskatchewan had 15-20cm yesterday, and it was blown around by cold northwest winds over 50km/h. It is bitterly cold this morning with reading in the -10C to -20C range in Alberta and Saskatchewan, including -20C at Stony Rapids. That arctic air mass will move east but modify as it moves into Ontario and Quebec. Temperatures will cool significantly this weekend with flurries possible, especially around the great Lakes. Low temperatures will be in the -7C range with highs staying below freezing at -1C.