Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Relentless snow & cold to continue

Moncton, New Brunswick on Tuesday. (CBC Kate Lerrerick)
The title of this blog entry states the obvious, after all it is February in Canada. We have a mild morning in Montreal with a current temperature of -6C (21F). Cloud cover with light snow is being reported across most of eastern Ontario and western Quebec. A clipper near Lake Ontario will rapidly move east across the region today. Snow will accumulate 5cm in Montreal with perhaps a little more in places. The mild air will be short lived as an arctic front will cross southern Quebec tonight with a burst of snow and dropping temperatures. The low tonight will be -15C and it will not warm up at all on Thursday. Tomorrow night will be clear and cold with lows in the minus 20's once again by Friday morning. The weather this weekend is a little up in the air. Depending on which model you look at, it will either be sunny or we get snow. It will be cold. The snow, if it happens will not be anything impressive, perhaps a few centimeteres. We will know more in the next 24 hours.

Snow has pounded New England and Atlantic Canada once again with over 30cm (1 foot) in parts of New Brunswick, PEI and Nova Scotia on Tuesday, adding up to over 100cm in the last two weeks. A state of emergency was declared in St John after 91cm of snow. Winds in excess of 150km/h produced blizzard conditions in western Newfoundland on Tuesday as well. A rapid freeze occurred in Newfoundland with snow changing to rain or freezing rain and then back to snow in a matter of hours. In Boston, the city has set a record for the most snow in a seven day period with 40.2 inches, this after another 16 inches hit that city Monday. More snow is forecast Thursday for New England and the Maritimes with winter storm warnings now posted for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

A Vermont Transportation Department snow plow lies on its side off Interstate 91 in Vermont after it was hit, one of four on Monday alone. (WCAX TV 3)
The snow combined with the frigid temperatures has created treacherous road conditions over the last few days in our region. Yesterday was no different with a major accident closing Highway 15 north of Montreal into Laval at the height of the morning commute. Also on Tuesday a fatal collision between a car and truck closed Highway 401 near Cornwall, Ontario for several hours. Two deaths were reported in that accident. The OPP reported numerous serious collisions and urged motorists to slow down. The same message was being delivered by Vermont State Police after a rash of major accidents on Interstate 89 and 91 Monday and Tuesday. One of their officers was nearly run over after a semi truck collided with his stopped patrol car. In Vermont, no less than four VTrans snowplows were hit on Monday alone. At one point state police were escorting the trucks. The message SLOW DOWN!

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