Quebec: Dangerous travel in hours of freezing rain
Thursday, January 24, 2019, 11:50 AM - Dangerous winter conditions continue across eastern Canada, as another Colorado low -- this one much further north than last weekend's storm -- brings a slushy mess to Quebec through Thursday. Localized flooding has been a concern as the warm-up and heavy rain spur accelerated snow melt -- but that warm-up won't last for long. Temperatures come crashing down again and that means this slushy mess turns back to ice before the week is out. More on the precipitation types and the widespread closures as a result, below.
- Freezing rain warnings over Quebec City and eastern regions through Thursday
- Heightened flood threat with heavy rain
- Short-lived warm-up followed by return of bitter cold
HOURS OF FREEZING RAIN ON THURSDAY
Freezing rain was already falling through the evening for Ottawa and Montreal on Wednesday, and the ice continued to spread north through the St. Lawrence valley through the overnight into Quebec City. A freezing rain is in effect with it expected to to persist for "much of the day" over Quebec City and eastern regions.
"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery," warns EC. "Be prepared to adjust your driving with changing road conditions."
SCHOOL CLOSURES AND POWER OUTAGES
While the freezing rain threat has eased across Montreal, all major school boards in the area closed their doors early Thursday due to the dangerous and slick road conditions. Officials say about 2000 customers were without power in Montreal my the late morning hours on Thursday with a total of about 41,000 Hydro-Québec customers affected by 11 a.m. As rainfall lingers throughout the day, the accumulation of water on frozen grounds continues to rise.
"The Eastern Townships can expect periods of moderate rain through the day on Thursday leading to a slushy mess and the risk for flooding, due to the previous weekend system dropping 25 to 35 cm of snow and likely blocking storm drains," warns Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg. Accelerated snow melt will add to the risk for ponding and pooling on roadways with no place for the water to go.
COLD RETURNS, BEWARE OF POOLS OF WATER ICING UP
Even as precipitation turns to rain in the southeast, snow makes a return in the west. A shot of mixing or snow can be expected in Montreal and much of southwestern Quebec through the evening and overnight hours as temperatures fall once again. Rapidly dropping temperatures later Thursday also means standing water and slushy roads and sidewalks will be prone to freezing, creating potential hazards for pedestrians and drivers alike. By dawn, temperatures will be well below zero once again -- a 5 to 10 degree drop between Thursday and Friday mornings -- with temperatures continuing to fall through the day on Friday.
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