MONTREAL -- Notice to motorists who have not yet put their winter tires on, Quebec's first snowstorm is likely to hit at the beginning of the week.

This first dump of snow could complicate motorists' return home late Monday afternoon in the greater Montreal area and intensify Tuesday.

However, this first winter storm should especially leave its mark off the Island of Montreal, explained the meteorologist Alexandre Parent of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"Estrie, the centre of Quebec and eastern Quebec, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie and Cote-Nord, will not escape, but the intensity remains to be seen," he said.

For the moment, Environment Canada forecasts 15 to 20 centimetres of snow in southern and central Quebec and possibly more in Estrie, Beauce and eastern Quebec. The snow will be accompanied by strong winds, particularly in central and eastern Quebec, which will make travel difficult.

"The impacts should be mainly Tuesday, with snow in the sky, strong winds and potentially blowing snow," said Parent.

"It could affect Montreal, but let's say that the more southerly regions have the highest probability of having significant amounts of snow because the depression will slide along the American east coast. As these areas are closer to the system, larger amounts of precipitation are expected.

"However, it could be just a taste of winter since Mother Nature can be tempted to play yo-yo," said the meteorologist. "After Nov. 20, the vast majority of models bring us to temperatures closer to normal and even above. So we could have a return to the fall, if I may put it that way, at the end of November, with a mercury that could return to around 7 or 8 degrees Celsius during the day."


In the meantime, Québec should experience a good cooling, with a temperature of about minus 15 degrees Celsius at night, with the wind factor.

As for what kind of winter we will have, however, it will take a little longer to have a good idea.

"It will probably be until the end of November," said Parent, explaining that no clear trend stands out for the moment, except one.

"Currently, what we are watching is this warmer body of water on the northeastern Pacific, along the coast of British Columbia. Sometimes it's going to influence the general circulation of the atmosphere, which could make us look a bit colder when we watch the episodes in the past." 

Winter tire deadline approaching

Mechanic Fermo Shaltas said that with the winter tire deadline approaching on Dec. 1 he's been working overtime due to the demand.

"I had a few cars from yesterday I didn't finish up so I came to complete them today," he said. 

Brian Goodleaf of Goodleaf's Auto said his shop is booked up until mid-December.

"Right now we have four bays, I have seven guys, we're doing approximately 500 to 600 tires per day," he said. 

He urged drivers to make the switch, saying a good winter tire can be a life-saver.

"At any given time no more than (the width of your palm) of the tire is in contact with the road," he said. "For that little amount of contact you should have the best amount of traction you can given that little space."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2019.