Tuesday , January 19 2021

News – New Year: Extended freezing rainfall Ottawa, Montreal

ONTARIO & QUEBEC | New Year's Storm

Digital writers

Sunday, December 30, 2018, 5:36 PM – 2019 will storm into parts of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec, as a messy system targets the region with a mix of snow, rain and freezing rain for New Year's Eve. Particular weather forecasts are issued across part of central and eastern Ontario and in southern Quebec, including Ottawa and Montreal, ahead of what could be a prolonged period of freezing rain to cover quite a few snow. Much of the forecast hinges on the track of the low pressure system currently brewing across the southern United States – it won't take much of a shift to change your forecast from heavy rain to heavy snow. We take a look at what to look for with this storm, plus a look forward in the first few days of 2019, below.

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  • Scary wintery system moves into eastern Ontario, southern Quebec New Year's Eve
  • Initial snowstorm followed by freezing rain, rain
  • Substantial accumulation of snow is expected for some, some quantities of ice are possible
  • Latest looks and warnings

See below: Bad weather begins New Year's Eve, timing

2019 will be ushered to central Canada by a powerful low-pressure system that brings the juicy Gulf of Mexico moisture north to collide with cold air lowering down from Hudson Bay. The result will be a messy blend of southeastern Ontario, the National Capital Region, and into southern Quebec, where hot and cold air clashes and drops rain, snow and freezing rain on the region in the process.


If your New Year's Eve takes you outdoors in Ottawa or Montreal, you will be prepared for some challenging driving conditions. The initial wave of precipitation – set to move into the region at the head of midnight – is expected to come as a band of snow, with some decent accumulations possible from Ottawa to Montreal. As warm air rises northwards with the system, we expect a change in frost weather through the overnight hours, with the potential to put a crowned ice layer on top of the new fallen snow.

Hot air is expected to continue fighting north over the eastern townships and the Greater Montreal Area on Tuesday morning, and it should see that iced precipitation is being withdrawn to the north when rain enters. Closer to Ottawa, the blend line is expected to fluctuate throughout the day, and while we can see some rainy periods, a winter blend is more likely to continue in the Ottawa Valley.

The exact trace of the low will be critical when it comes to the precise location of this rain / snow crossing line; A trail further east will mean more snow to the region, while a trail to the west will allow hot air to penetrate further and push the transition to rain north and west.

In the wake of the system, which cold air again comes from the north again, it is likely that a switch back to the snow. While much of the humidity will have moved with the core of the storm, a possible extra accumulation is possible through the early Tuesday, giving possible snowfall totals up to 5 to 15 cm range across the region. The heaviest snow will be over the areas where the hot air never quite makes it far enough north to force the transition to rain or ice – over the Laurentians and Quebec City, where up to 20 cm is possible at the time the snow jumps of Tuesday afternoon


While 2019 will kick on a messy, winter-like note to the region, the winter does not look quite ready to embark on the long haul. "Milder Pacific Air seems to slow back to the region for Friday and next weekend," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "However, the details of this point are very low in confidence, as some models show another round of arctic air that kills south from Hudson Bay before the mild weather can reach the region." Longing for the long chill of winter? There is some hope on the horizon. "A more consistent cold pattern is expected in the second week of January, but a cold pattern is not expected to lock in until around mid-January," Gillham says.

Stay with us here on The Weather Network for your latest forecast details.


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