Montreal could get its first real taste of winter this week. An arctic air mass has ushered in an early winter chill. Now, Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the province: come Thursday, a blanket of snow is expected to descend.
The forecast goes beyond a light dusting. Southern Quebec is poised to wake up to nearly five centimetres of snow by Thursday morning. The city, which has been basking in the last vestiges of fall, will see a dramatic transition as the snow is set to become wet or change to light rain as temperatures rise throughout the day. The meteorological about-face brings with it a risk of freezing precipitation during the transition, a possible concern for early morning commuters.
The impending snow and potential freezing rain are predicted to make for slick and hazardous road conditions on Thursday morning. Météomédia is already cautioning that the incoming system could disrupt traffic.
Unlike last week’s snowfalls that barely clung to a still-warm ground, this one is expected to stay. Roads could see quick accumulation and once-clear paths may soon wear a persistent coat of white.
As the system moves in, bringing snow in the morning and possibly rain by the end of the day to areas west of Montreal, Météomédia forecasts a wintery scene. Montreal and the Outaouais region might see the snow pile up to 10 centimetres, while areas toward Québec City can expect a bit less.
The heaviest flurries are expected during Thursday morning’s rush hour. The timing is less than ideal for city drivers, many of whom may not have winter tires installed. The snowy and slippery roads, coupled with reduced visibility, will require extra caution.
The coming snowfall marks a definitive end to the milder weather and serves as a reminder that winter in Montreal is a beautiful but serious affair.