Environment Canada has issued public weather alerts calling for high winds, freezing rain and in some cases blowing snow for much of southern Quebec.

Freezing rain and high winds are on the way for Montreal and Lanaudiere, while the Eastern Townships and the Laurentians are only under the freezing rain warning.

Snow will begin Sunday evening and change to freezing rain later on in cities along the St. Lawrence River.

“Caution: this will be a major freezing rain event at the beginning of the first week back at work after the holidays. Roads and sidewalks could become very slippery,” the warning reads.

The freezing rain will turn to rain Monday morning as mild southerly winds push temperatures above the freezing mark.

In addition, the wind will reach speed upwards of 90 km/h in the Montreal area.


But the weather service warns the warmer temperatures will be brief, and a cold front will sweep across southern and central Quebec Monday afternoon causing temperatures to fall rapidly.

As the cold front sweeps through, the rain will turn back to snow. Montreal will see about five centimetres of snow accumulation and up to 20 millimetres of freezing rain, says CTV Montreal's Lori Graham.

Environment Canada has also issued freezing rain and snowfall warnings for the entire southern part of Ontario, as the same weather system battering the U.S. makes its way north.

While residents in some parts of the region woke up to light snow Sunday morning, it's expected to develop into heavy snow this afternoon, with up to 25 centimetres forecast in areas north of Toronto.

Further west, extremely cold, dense air has encased much of the Prairies.

Dangerous wind chills of -50 C greeted residents of Winnipeg and Regina Sunday morning, with the frigid temperatures expected to continue into Monday.

--with files from CTVNews.ca staff