Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Cold & windy few days for Montreal

The first snow of the season slowed traffic in Montreal on Monday. Today howling winds are forecast up to 90km/h for the St. Lawrence Valley. (Photo - The Suburban)
 The first snow for winter 2014/15 is in the books with 6-10cm falling in Montreal and 5-15cm across eastern Ontario. Wet snow fell all day in Montreal on Monday mixed occasionally with rain. A strong arctic cold front moved across Quebec overnight with temperatures dropping to the current reading of -5C (23F). The big news today as far as Montreal goes is the wind. Gusty southwest winds are increasing this morning with a gust a Trudeau Airport already reaching 79km/h. They will remain strong all day reaching 90km/h at times. Wind warnings have been issued by Environment Canada for the St. Lawrence Valley and most of southern Quebec. Other than a few flurries off the Lake Ontario band of snow, it should be partly sunny, but cold with highs no better than -3C.

That lake effect snow band I spoke of will be historic in places such as Buffalo and Watertown, N.Y. Two well established plumes of snow have formed over the relatively warm waters of Lakes Ontario and Erie. Overnight heavy snow fell in the suburbs south of Buffalo with over 2 feet (60cm) reported. Elma, New York has already had 32.4 inches. The snow was driven by southwest winds reaching 45mph. Needless to say travel is nearly impossible in a small region that included portions of the New York State Thruway south of Buffalo towards the Pennsylvania border. The snow was accompanied by thunder an lighting and fell at the rate of 4 inches (10cm) per hour at times. Heavy lake snows are also falling in Ontario east of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Some of that activity may make it into the Ottawa Valley.

Off Lake Ontario, another narrow band of snow will produce 1-2 feet across the region from the Thousand Islands south to Watertown and the Tug Hill and northeast into St. Lawrence County and the Adirondacks. Some of this activity may make it into the northern St. Lawrence Valley closer to southwest Quebec but it would be light. This major lake effect event is expected to last well into Wednesday so we could be looking at significant amounts of snow in New York and Ontario by weeks end.

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