First big snowfall of the season heading toward Montreal, Quebec City

It's officially time to bundle up and get your shovels ready — parts of the province are expecting its first big snowfall of the season.

Environment Canada is predicting between 15 and 20 cm of snow will fall by Tuesday

Snow covers trees in Montreal in March 2018. The city will see its first heavy snowfall on Monday, according to Environment Canada. (Charles Contant/CBC)

For some Quebecers, it's officially time to bundle up and get the shovels ready — the first big snowfall of the season is on the way.

A low-pressure system over the northeastern United States is predicted to bring snow to southern Quebec, Environment Canada said.

The agency issued a snowfall warning Sunday, predicting 15 to 20 cm of snow in the Montreal and Quebec City areas beginning Monday late afternoon.

The snow will intensify in the evening and continue overnight. There may also be blowing snow on Tuesday morning, with wind gusts of about 50 km/h expected for the central and eastern parts of the province. 

"We can expect the morning commute to be bad," said Antoine Petit, a meteorologist for Environment Canada. 

Petit said that the Eastern Townships and Gaspé Peninsula might see as much as 25 cm of snow Monday night. 

And if that isn't enough, temperatures will be below average for most of the week thanks to a cold air mass behind that system, he said.

"We're barely reaching zero during the day and we could see [temperatures] as low as –10 C at night." 

Install winter tires

With the deadline to install winter tires being Dec. 1, the snowfall may be an issue for some drivers who have not yet made the switch.

Jesse Caron, an automotive expert at CAA-Quebec, said drivers who haven't changed their tires yet should avoid driving during this snowfall and should make an appointment to change them as soon as possible. 

"People tend to wait to see the first snowflakes on the ground before it gives them the signal to make an appointment," Caron said. 

CAA-Quebec recommends that drivers get their tires changed before Nov. 10. People who need to buy new tires should do it earlier in the season to ensure they can get the right kind for their car, Caron said. 

"The more temperatures drop, the more the rubber on all-season tires will become harder, and hard rubber won't be able to have good grip and traction on a road that is already frozen," he said. 

As for the low visibility, Caron recommends that drivers look where they're going and avoid focusing on obstacles. He said drivers should also make sure to keep a larger distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them. 

With files from Franca G. Mignacca


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