Unsettled but mild weather ahead for Montreal

Crews were busy over the weekend removing some of the mounds of snow in the AMT parking lot in Vaudreuil. Over 100cm of snow has fallen across southern Quebec since early January. With temperatures largely remaining below freezing over the last few weeks, much of the snow remains on the ground. The current snowpack of 42cm at Trudeau Airport is the deepest recorded in over a decade.

Could we be looking at the end of winter already? A very mild period of weather is forecast across southern Quebec over the next week and perhaps even longer. Temperatures will be at or slightly above the freezing point as we head towards the start of meteorological spring on March 1st. While it has not been a particularly difficult winter, the last few weeks have still seemed rather snowy and cold in Montreal. We have been lucky this winter as the strongest storms and bitter cold have stayed away form southern Quebec.

That being said, since January 1st, the temperature has risen above the freezing point on only eight days in Montreal, and always between 0 and 3C (32 to 38F). In that same period, close to 108cm of snow has fallen at Trudeau Airport, with even more in other locations around the city. Combine that with the lack of a prolonged thaw, and we have a very deep snowpack around southern Quebec, officially 42cm at Trudeau, but much deeper in many other locations. Let's all hope for a slow, prolonged thaw to avoid any flooding this spring. 

While the weather will be milder, we are still looking at some snowfall over the upcoming week. A series of rather weak clipper type systems is expected to move along the international border from southern Alberta into Atlantic Canada. These moisture starved systems tend to deliver at best 5 to 10cm of snow along their tracks. One such system on Monday brought 3 to 5cm of snow to southern Quebec. Another is expected Wednesday afternoon with a third by the weekend. Light snow is expected late Wednesday, with perhaps a few centimetres accumulation in Montreal, with more north of the city.

Temperatures will be above the normal high/low of -2C/-11C over the next week, with the exception of a 24 hour shot of cold air behind Wednesday's clipper. That cold air will result in a daytime high of only -5C (23F) on Thursday along with brisk northwest winds, it will however be sunny. The good news is the temperature should be back above normal on Friday and remain that way into next week. 

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