If you thought balmier spring weather had taken hold, think again. Quebec, Ontario and northern New Brunswick are being battered by snow, ice and intense winds, and it could last several days.
"It's going to be very messy for many folks from Ontario through Quebec into Atlantic Canada tomorrow, as a major U.S. storm… continues to grind up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States," CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland said Sunday night.
Snowstorms began in Quebec's Saguenay-Lac St. Jean region on Friday, dumping a thick blanket of white powder on streets, homes, cars and yards. Much of the rest of southern and eastern Quebec is in for a dusting overnight Sunday to Monday, with snowfall reaching 20 centimetres in some areas along the eastern St. Lawrence River, Environment Canada said.
With temperatures hovering around freezing, there will also be freezing rain and ice pellets in areas, or large amounts of just plain rain in still others.
Environment Canada issued snowfall warnings for an east-west band of Quebec from Abitibi to Manicouagan, and rain warnings for cities and towns along the St. Lawrence, including Montreal and Trois-Rivières, saying up to 40 millimetres of precipitation could fall.
A wind warning is in effect for Quebec City, where gusts of up to 90 kilometres an hour are expected.
Parts of New Brunswick were under weather warnings as well. The northwest of the province, around Edmundston and Campbellton, are forecast to get snow followed by ice pellets and then freezing rain. Southern areas, including Fredericton and St. Stephen, could see up to 100 mm of rain by Tuesday morning, Environment Canada cautioned.
"What we're going to see is mainly snow transitioning to rain for much of Quebec and east," Scotland said. "Heavy rain and driving wind will be your story."
Eastern, Southern and Central Ontario will be hit as well, with snow starting Sunday night and lasting through Tuesday, Environment Canada says. Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough, Toronto and Hamilton can all expect flurries, while North Bay and Sudbury could continue to see wintry precipitation through the end of the week.
Scotland warned air travellers to check with their airline before they leave their home if they are getting on a plane on Monday in Ontario or Quebec, or if they've heading to the U.S. Northeast.
"You have high winds and heavy snow which could lead to power outages," he said.
All this meteorological misfortune might sour residents in parts of the country that thought they were clear of winter, but they can take solace that at least they don't live in Iqaluit, where Sunday night's forecast low is –18 C.