Freezing rain paralyzes parts of the country…


Thursday, April 6, 2023 | 4:27 pm

A low-pressure system from Colorado affected Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada on Wednesday (April 5). As a result, Ontario experienced both winter and summer hazards (snow, freezing rain and potentially severe thunderstorms), while southern Quebec received large amounts of freezing rain. The storm continued east, through Atlantic Canada, where snow, ice pellets and freezing rain were the main weather elements.

The storm’s impacts

Freezing precipitation amounts, totalling 35 mm in some areas, accompanied by moderate northeasterly winds up to 60 km/h hit eastern Ontario, the Outaouais, Laurentides-Lanaudière, Montreal and Montérégie. At the same time, northern Ontario was hit by a snowstorm (part of the same large weather system) along with winds up to 70 km/h.

The combination of weather hazards significantly impacted many regions, with multiple prolonged power outages due to downed trees and power lines. It also forced road closures, travel challenges during rush hour and even delayed and grounded flights at some of Canada’s busiest airports.

On Thursday morning, more than 1 112 000 Hydro-Quebec customers were without power (mostly in Montreal, Montérégie and Outaouais) and around 150 000 in eastern Ontario, with many still in the dark.

Upcoming weather

With freezing precipitation now over in eastern Ontario, southern Quebec and Atlantic Canada, rising temperatures have quickly melted the thick layer of ice. Over the next few days, no further significant weather events are expected. Temperatures will start to rise above freezing after Saturday where spring will finally have a chance to claim its due.

Written and released by Environment Canada

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