Wild winter weather to slam Quebec with freezing rain, heavy snow
Environment Canada issues warnings across the province as two weather systems merge over the Great Lakes
Environment Canada is warning Quebecers across the province to travel with caution New Year's Eve as poor weather is on the way.
Two low pressure systems, one from Western Canada and the other from the southern United States, are expected to meet over the Great Lakes before heading toward Quebec Monday night.
While much of the province will be hit by heavy snow, the agency is warning that freezing rain could affect southern Quebec, from Gatineau to the Eastern Townships.
The freezing rain warning includes the Richelieu Valley, the greater Montreal area, Saint-Jérôme and Drummondville.
Highs of –2 C are in the forecast for the Montreal region, with snow rolling in by 10 p.m.
The freezing rain will start around midnight and end Tuesday morning, Environment Canada says. The agency recommends adjusting driving habits to the road conditions.
City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said downtown streets and sidewalks were salted starting Monday afternoon in anticipation of the freezing rain.
All downtown sidewalks will be salted before 9 p.m., he said. Thousands of Montrealers and tourists will be downtown and in the Old Port to ring in the new year.
He suggested taking public transportation instead of walking long distances outdoors this evening.
Snowfall warnings issued
Significant snowfall is on the way for other areas of the province, the agency warns. The snow will begin overnight and persist through Tuesday evening over the Lower North Shore.
Snowfall amounts could reach 15 centimetres in areas such as Charlevoix, the Lower St. Lawrence and the southern Gaspé Peninsula, it says.
Other areas, such Lanaudière, Mauricie, Pontiac, Beauce and the Laurentians could see as much as 25 centimetres by Tuesday noon.
Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult, according to Environment Canada.
Quebec City winter storm warning
As for Quebec City and the surrounding region, hazardous winter conditions are expected.
Snow and blowing snow to start the new year is in the forecast, with heavy snowfall beginning in the evening and continuing through Tuesday.
Temperatures will hover around –5 C throughout the day with heavy snow beginning around 9 p.m.
"Consider postponing non-essential travel until conditions improve," Environment Canada warns. "Visibility will be suddenly reduced to near zero at times in heavy snow and blowing snow."