Many people living in Quebec woke up to a wintry morning, with some western regions expecting up to a total 25 centimetres of snow, including what fell overnight. 

Environment Canada has issued snowfall and rainfall warnings throughout the province, as a low-pressure system that originated in the Gulf of Mexico approaches.

“It’s a large system with a lot of moisture. Areas south of Quebec  like New York and the New England states  will get heavy rain. In Montreal, we’ll get snow,” said CBC Weather Specialist Frank Cavallaro.

Heavy snow is accompanying the system and will stretch from Montreal’s North Shore  including the Laurentians and Lanaudière  as far northeast as Quebec City and the Saguenay.

These regions could see 15 to 25 centimetres of snow.

In the Montreal area, residents woke up to about 10 centimetres of snow on the ground, with a chance of falling snow turning to rain, especially in the South Shore region. 

Strong winds will accompany the snowfall, with gusts up to 60 km/h that could cause local blowing snow at times.

Messy commute

The morning rush hour on Wednesday will get messy, as temperatures rise and may cause the snow to switch over to freezing rain or rain.

“There is a chance of freezing rain, mainly between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.,” said Cavallaro.

hi-winter-storm-Montreal

A major system, which originated in the Gulf of Mexico, will bring the first winter storm of the season to southern Quebec. (CBC)

City of Montreal officials are urging drivers who haven’t installed their winter tires yet to use public transit on Wednesday.

Environment Canada is warning people to consider delaying their travel plans.

Montrealers could see an additional two to five centimetres by Wednesday evening, before conditions become drier and much colder by Thursday.

“The winds will pick up Wednesday night into Thursday — 60 to 70 km/h. It will be sunny Thursday, but much colder — with the winds, it will feel like -18. It will feel more like mid-December,” Cavallaro said.

This storm marks the first snowfall accumulation for the Montreal area this season. Last year, the first accumulation occurred on Nov. 28, when about 2 centimetres of snow fell.