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After record-breaking temperatures, Montreal under flash freeze, wind warnings

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Judging by the number of people wearing shorts outside, it's not that surprising that a weather record was broken Tuesday in Montreal, but residents shouldn't get too used to that summer feeling.

A flash freeze and wind warning are in effect for the Montreal area as the weather is set to go on a bit of a roller coaster ride in the coming days.

Under partly cloudy skies, the city reached a balmy 14.9 C by mid-afternoon Tuesday. The mild temperature broke the previous record set in 2000, when the city saw a high of 10.9 C.

Montreal could break another weather record for Feb. 28 as well, with a forecasted high of 13 C on Wednesday that would shatter the record of 8.3 C set in 2017.

The unseasonably warm temperatures will shift dramatically by Wednesday evening, however. A flash freeze warning is in effect for most of central and southern Quebec, including the Montreal area, with temperatures set to drop by about 15 to 20 degrees in some regions in just a matter of hours.

The weather in Montreal will drop from 13 C in the afternoon to about -12 C Wednesday night. 

"Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery," an Environment Canada warning reads.

'From Bermuda shorts to snowpants'

Environment Canada Senior Climatologist David Phillips said Montreal is set for some "weather wars" on Wednesday into Thursday, and that this year could be "warmest winter on record."

"You'll be going from Bermuda shorts to snowpants in one day. It's like a Calgary chinook has arrived in Montreal tomorrow," he said in an interview. ,

"You'll see temperatures that will go up to 13, 14 degrees. I mean, already now as we speak at noon on Tuesday we're seeing temperatures in the northern part of Quebec — my gosh, it's winter up there; -27, -30 and a -40 plus windchill. In Montreal, 14, 15 degrees. Granby, 15, Lennoxville, 15. I mean these are temperatures that you'd expect at the end of April, not at the end of February. There should be winter-like temperatures."

But there's more.

A wind warning was also issued for parts of southern Quebec, including the Greater Montreal Area, for Wednesday evening, with wind gusts of up to 90 km/h expected.

"Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage," the weather bulletin stated.

A rainfall warning issued for the Quebec City area also says northern parts of the region can expect between 30 and 40 millimetres of rain.

On Thursday, the forecast is calling for a high of -8 C with a mix of sun and cloud and some wind.

Weather conditions in Montreal will improve going into the weekend, with highs back into the double digits by Saturday. 

Concerns about Montreal's potholes

With the major weather swing, there are concerns about the state of Montreal's potholes getting worse than they already are.

At the Gordons garage in NDG. Harrison Bouskill says this isn't anything new.

"It's a yearly cycle we go through. Every spring, we have this mini rush of pothole damage. It's pretty consistent every year. It's Montreal — everyone knows our roads aren't the best," said Bouskill, a junior service manager.

The city says it has budgeted more than $800 million over the next 10 years to fix potholes, and advises Montrealers to call 311 to report potholes or upload information to the Montreal Resident Services app.

But when the damage is done, it's costly. Bouskill has been dealing with a steady stream of clients and says in some cases you can make a claim for a refund.

"If you're willing to try to put a claim in with the city, be my guest," he said. "If anything, it will get them to fix potholes sooner."

With files from CTV Montreal's Lori Graham

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