Snowstorm blankets much of southern Quebec
Published Saturday, December 14, 2013 3:32PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 15, 2013 7:01PM EST
Snow buried much of southern Quebec Saturday night into Sunday morning, stretching from the Saguenay right down to the U.S. border.
As of 3 p.m. Sunday, 30 centimetres had fallen on downtown Montreal, with up to five more centimetres acculumating through until midnight.
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The winter storm is sweeping through Central Canada, causing flight delays and traffic problems in some places.
Dozens of flights through Toronto's Pearson and Montreal's Trudeau airports have either been delayed or cancelled.
VIA Rail, however, said it is business as usual on its train lines.
A low pressure system from the southern United States began to intensify as it settled over New England Sunday morning.
Snow associated with the system began to fall in southern Quebec beginning on Saturday evening.
Over the same period, winds from the northeast picked up, causing blowing snow conditions. The worst of the storm hit overnight on Saturday, into the following morning, said CTV Montreal’s Lise McAuley.
And though snow clearing began in Montreal Sunday, the Monday morning rush hour may still be tricky as snow-clearing operations continue. The snow-clearing operation is expected to take about eight days.
The Montreal police also issued a warning, asking pedestrians, especially, to be vigilant of heavy trucks, and be sure the driver sees you, to prevent any unfortunate incidents.
Saturday morning, the temperature hit a low of -22 degrees Celsius in Montreal, -32 degrees with the wind chill.
Environment Canada said Montreal will warm up to a manageable -11 degrees Sunday, though winds will pick up from 30 kilometres per hour to 60 kilmoetres per hour, making the overnight low of -16 Celsius feel much colder.
The mercury is set to drop even further on Monday -- into the -20s and could even approach -30 in some of the more outlying spots.Milder air won't reach Montreal until Thursday, with precipitation coming in the form of rain on Friday.
Sunday was also the deadline for Quebec drivers to install their winter tires.
And although some drivers doubt their efficiency, Celso Louro of Merson Automotive said even new all-season tires aren’t enough to get most Canadians through the winter.
“Four season tires come with a compound which freezes at -7 degrees,” he said.
“Winter tires will still stay soft past that. So you definitely need a snow tire in order to work properly in those conditions.”
Fines for failing to install winter tires range from $200 to $300.
-- With files from the Canadian Press