Extreme wind chills, flurries heading for Montreal
After an extremely mild month of January, the province is bracing for a blast of arctic air.
Environment and Climate Change Canada issued extreme cold warnings that stretch from the northern tip of the province, down toward Lachute and Saint-Jerome with wind chills on Thursday night expected to be between -38 and -48.
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 intense bursts of snow in time for the evening commute.
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements, warning motorists to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions resulting in whiteouts, and possible black ice.
Behind the front, temperatures will drop rapidly Thursday night. Montreal will go from a high of -1 C Thursday evening to a low of -21 C in a matter of hours.
The front will open the door to the polar vortex, which will bring Montreal its coldest air of the season — and the coldest air in years.
The temperature on Friday night will drop to -27 C with the wind making it feel closer to -40.
The mercury is expected to stay below -20 C on Saturday, with a wind chill of -30.
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 forecast for next week.
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.
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