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News – New Year: Long-lasting ice rains aimed at Ottawa, Montreal

ONTARIO & QUEBEC | New Year's storm

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Sunday, December 30, 2018, 17:36 – 2019 will come in parts of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec, since on New Year's Eve, the dirty system is aiming for a region with a mixture of snow, rain and freezing rain. Special weather forecasts were published in different parts of central and eastern Ontario and in southern Quebec, including Ottawa and Montreal, in anticipation of what could be a long period of freezing rain to cover enough snow. Many forecasts depend on the route of the low pressure system, which currently accumulates over the southern part of the United States — it does not take long to change the forecast from heavy rain to heavy snow. We look at what you need to watch out for this storm, and also look ahead in the early days of 2019, below.

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  • Dirty winter system moves to eastern Ontario, on New Year's Eve in southern Quebec
  • Initial snowfall followed by freezing rain
  • For some, a significant accumulation of snow is expected, some ice buildup is possible.


The year 2019 will be introduced into central Canada by a powerful low-pressure system, with the result that the lush, wet water of the Gulf of Mexico will face the cold air coming from the Hudson Bay in the north. The result will be a foul mix in southeastern Ontario, the region’s National Capital region, and southern Quebec, where warm and cold air encounters and rain falls, snow and ice rain in the region are in progress.


If your plans for the New Year take you outside to Ottawa or Montreal, you need to be prepared for some difficult driving conditions. It is expected that the initial precipitation wave, which should pass into this region on the eve of midnight, will arrive in the form of a strip of snow with possible decent accumulation from Ottawa to Montreal. However, as the warm air rises north of the system, we expect that during the night hours there will be a frost, which can lead to the formation of a crunchy layer of ice on the new fallen snow.

It is expected that the warm air will continue to fight north over the eastern towns and the Greater Montreal area until Tuesday morning, and this should lead to the retreat of ice precipitation to the north as rain approaches. However, closer to Ottawa, however, it is expected that the mix line will fluctuate throughout the day, and although we may observe some periods of rain, the winter mix is ​​likely to continue in the Ottawa Valley.

The exact route of the minimum will be crucial when it comes to the exact location of this rain / snow transition line; the track further east will mean more snow for the region, while the track to the west will allow this warm air to penetrate even more and push the transition to the rain from the north and west.

Following the system, when cold air descends again from the north, a transition back to snow is likely. Although most of the moisture will move along with the core of the storm, some additional accumulation is possible at the beginning of Tuesday, leading to possible snowfall in the range of 5 to 15 cm throughout the region. The heaviest snow will be over areas where the warm air never makes it far enough in the north to make this transition to rain or ice — over Lavrentsi and towards the city of Quebec, where by the time the snow melts there may be more than 20 cm On Tuesday afternoon.


While the year 2019 begins with a dirty, winter note for the region, winter does not seem to be quite ready for a long move. “The softer air in the Pacific Ocean seems to rise again to the region by Friday and the next weekend,” says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. “However, from this point on, the level of confidence in the details is very low, as some models show another round of arctic air falling south from the Hudson Bay before mild weather can reach the region.” Longing for the long winter cold? There is hope on the horizon. “During the second week of January, a more stable cold character is expected, but it is not expected that the cold character will really consolidate until mid-January,” says Gilham.

Stay with us here at The Weather Network for the latest forecast details.


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