After an extremely mild month of January, the province is bracing for a blast of arctic air that will move in tonight and last until Saturday. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued extreme cold warnings that covers most of the province with wind chills expected to be between -38 and -42 across the South and -50 across Northern Quebec.

Extreme cold warnings

An aggressive arctic front will push across the province on Thursday. The front will produce intense snow squalls that could cause near-zero visibility at times on the roads. Montreal is expecting flurries during the day with the intense burst of snow in time for the evening rush hour.


Environment Canada has issued snow squall watches across Southwestern Quebec warning motorists to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions resulting in hazardous travel as result of whiteouts, and possible black ice.

Behind the front, temperatures will drop rapidly Thursday night. Montreal will go from a high of -1C Thursday evening, to a low of -21 C in a matter of hours.

Night planner

The front will open the door to the polar vortex. Montreal will not only see its coldest air of the season, but its coldest air in years. The temperature on Friday night will drop to -27 C and the wind will make it feel closer to -40. The mercury is expected to stay below -20 C during the day on Saturday and the wind chill is expected to be around -30. Temperatures will begin to rise Saturday night.

Weather forecast

The last time Montreal recorded a daytime high below -20 C was on January 6, 2018.

Fortunately, the extreme cold will be short-lived. Temperatures will bounce back above the freezing mark on Sunday with about five centimetres of snow and milder air is in the foreacast for next week.

Seven-day forecast

The arctic air comes after a month of really mild temperatures in the province. Montreal saw a mean temperature of -4.6 C, which is more than five degrees above average. Snowfall for the city was nearly double the normal.

Temperatures and snowfall