A mighty Montana low tracking through Ontario and Quebec is bringing a wide variety of impactful wintry precipitation including freezing rain, snow, and rain through Monday. Some areas may see up to 30 cm of snow, while others see a period of freezing rain before switching to straight rain. On top of that, winds will be gusty and could reach 70-80+ km/h at times. Widespread warnings are in effect. More on timing and impacts, below.
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MONDAY: MESSY MIX OF SNOW, RAIN, FREEZING RAIN AND WINDS AMID SHOT OF MILDER AIR
A Montana low is bringing a wide swath of wintry precipitation to parts of Ontario and Quebec. Widespread winter storm, freezing rain, snowfall and wind warnings, as well as special weather statements, are all in effect.
After picking up through the day on Sunday, snowfall is expected to continue north of the warm front, stretching across northern Ontario and into central Quebec on Monday.
Generally, a swath of 10-15+ cm is expected, with locally higher amounts of 20-30 cm over the higher elevations, north of the St. Lawrence river in Quebec. This band of snowfall will taper off to flurries by the evening hours.
Meanwhile, freezing rain will be ongoing through the Ottawa Valley through Monday morning, impacting the city of Ottawa, sections of eastern Ontario and into Montreal. The deteriorating conditions prompted the cancellation of all school bus transportation services across Ottawa first thing Monday. Several schools were closed across central Quebec as well.
Drivers are being urged to consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots will become icy, slippery and hazardous and there may be a significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas.
By the early afternoon, warm air will spread back into the region, and areas that saw freezing rain or a wintry mix will quickly transition over to light rain.
Rainfall totals will not be extreme, but 10-25 mm may still make for slick driving conditions, and will help melt any snow that touches the ground. The rain will continue through the afternoon in southern and eastern Ontario, lingering into the evening for western Quebec.
Strong wind gusts will persist through Monday, further strengthening in the evening as the cold front moves through and the squalls return in southern Ontario behind the system. Gusts up to 90 km/h are expected as the cold air sinks south, making for a blustery start to the week. Widespread wind warnings are in effect.
"Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees," says Environment and Climate Change Canada in the warning. Power outages are also possible as these winds whip through.
Check back with The Weather Network often as we monitor the progress of the low through Ontario and Quebec.