The greater Montreal area received more snow on Saturday than expected -- complicating travel and everyday activity with blowing snow, and winds of up to 45 km an hour. 

In total, 36 centimetres of snow fell on the Montreal area between Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

After a night of heavy snowfall, a winter snow storm warning was issued for Montreal on Saturday morning. 

The warning was lifted just after 1:00 p.m. But to add insult to injury, an extreme cold warning was subsequently issued by Environment Canada and is expected to hit the Montreal-area by Sunday.


City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin said the city had completed 90 per cent of the snow removal operation stemming from the last major storm and that the city had deployed more than 1,000 pieces of equipment and 1,000 city workers to work on clearing the latest batch. 

"We're totally in control with the snow storm, so the main preoccuption today for the city is to plow the streets and sidewalks," he said. "We won't do a snow removal operation."

Sabourin recommended anyone who must venture out on Saturday should take public transportation.

Environment Canada warned motorists of reduced visibility due to blowing snow.

“Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow,” said Environment Canada in the warning. “Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become icy and slippery.”


Urgence-Sante warned Montrealers to avoid leaving their homes as much as possible, saying over 200 911 calls were made between midnight and 6:00 a.m., double the usual number. Urgence-Sante officials urged Montrealers with non-emergency situations to call Info-Sante at 811. 

"It's a very busy day for us," said Urgence-Sante Chief of Operations Benoit Garneau. "We've had many vehicle accidents, many falls, too. The message we want to say to the public is to try and stay at home until the storm is over."

The warning covers the Chateauguay-La Prairie, Laval, Longueuil-Varennes and Montreal island areas.  

The treacherous conditions caused several accidents throughout Quebec on Friday night and Saturday morning but the Surete du Quebec said there were no serious injuries. SQ officials warned of reduced visibility on several sections of Highways 20, 40 and 10. They warned motorists to avoid Rte-175 in the Laurentians due to dangerous driving conditions. 

A spokesperson for Transports Québec, Louis Lalancette, reminded drivers that overall tire grip on the snow is greatly impacted by very cold weather. They recommended that drivers reduce their speed and maintain a greater distance from cars in front of them.

Numerous flights in and out of Trudeau Airport have been delayed or cancelled, according to the airport's website

After a stretch of balmy weather, where temperatures were well over 0 Celsius, a cold blast began sweeping over Montreal on Saturday. Environment Canada forecasted a high of -10, sinking to -23 at night. Temperatures will sink even further on Sunday, with a high of -18, and Monday, with a high of -15. 

- With files from The Canadian Press