Weather: Severe weather (again!)

As I write this, we are being hammered with a major snow storm. Temperature is not the issue, but rather the high wind with lots of snow.CBC had the following to say in the main story on their front page for Ontario:

  • A major snowstorm swept across the southern part of the province, and was expected to dump between 15 and 30 centimetres of snow by Tuesday night.
  • Strong east winds were expected to cause whiteout conditions along Lake Ontario, and driving was expected to become hazardous.
  • Environment Canada predicted the storm could become the worst in recent memory.
  • The cold kept school buses off the road in much of northern Ontario.

Environment Canada's weather forecast for Kitchener Waterloo:

Kitchener-Waterloo: Issued 3.30 PM est Monday 26 January 2004 Tonight .. Snow at times heavy mixed with ice pellets. Amount 10 to 15 cm. Occasional blowing snow. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 60. Low minus 8.Tuesday .. Snow and local blowing snow. Amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 60. High minus 4.Wednesday .. Flurries and snowsqualls. Windy. Low minus 13. High minus 8.Thursday .. Flurries. Low minus 14. High minus 10.Friday .. Flurries. Low minus 16. High minus 11.Normals for the period .. Low minus 13. High minus 5.

Yahoo News had this to say (from Reuters)

Deep Freeze, Deep Snow Blast Across Eastern CanadaMon Jan 26, 2:24 PM ET TORONTO (Reuters) - Extreme winter weather blasted into Eastern Canada on Monday, bringing with it bitter cold, freezing rain and what a senior government climatologist called "a real Paul Bunyan kind of snowfall". "Most of our winter wallops can be measured in 12 hours -- they hit and run. But this one is big," said David Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada. He said the storm could dump as much as 45 centimeters (18 inches) of snow in southern Ontario over the next 48 hours. Toronto has received 55 cm (22 in.) of snow so far this winter, down from the usual 68 cm (27 in.) it normally receives by this time, Phillips said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better" he warned. "In fact, it hasn't even started yet."Temperatures in Toronto, ironically, were expected to rise as the storm system arrived, with forecasts calling for a high of -7 Celsius (19 Fahrenheit) on Monday. That's well above recent lows, but still 5 degrees below normal. In Quebec, where temperatures were forecast to remain below -20 C (-4 F) until Tuesday, flood waters caused by ice jams on Riviere des Prairies, between the island of Montreal and suburban Laval, threatened the homes of more than 1,000 people. This snow system will not touch Western Canada, Phillips said, but areas east from Ontario will be hit. The West, however, was suffering under an ongoing deep freeze, with temperatures in Alberta dipping to -31 C in Calgary and -36 C in Edmonton. On the Atlantic coast, rescue crews in New Brunswick continued their search in -20 C cold for four fishermen and their boat, missing since Friday, on the Bay of Fundy. Phillips said the snow storm that began pushing east into Ontario on Monday morning was very "un-Canadian". "Most of our nasty weather comes from the United States," he said. "They give us a bum rap about all the cold air but, really, if it wasn't for the sopping wet storm from Oklahoma that tapped moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and then rammed into our cold air, (there) wouldn't be the snow that we're going to get." An Air Canada agent in Toronto said people flying out of Pearson International Airport, Canada's busiest, should pack some patience and expect weather delays. The same flight-delay warnings were issued for Ottawa and Montreal.

I expected it to be a real chore to make it into the garage, since I reckoned that the beloved Snow Plow will block the drive way with iced out slush. However, when I made it home, the drive was surprisingly normal, no whiteouts, no slippery roads. The snow was fairly fluffy and light, and did not take much time to remove (although it was a lot, and we are running out of space to heave it in to the sides.Overnight, there were lots of snow, ice pellets and even some freezing drizzle.All this mess is caused by a weather system from Oklahoma. The wind passes over the Gulf, and picks up lots of moisture, then travels north, and hits the cold air of Canada and dumps its water as snow or iceOn Tuesday afternoon, another weather system from Ohio is expected to hit us with 10 cm more of snow!This storm is unusual in that it lasted longer than the average hit-and-run storm.

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