Major storm to slam southern Quebec with up to 40 cm of snow by Wednesday

Major storm to slam southern Quebec with up to 40 cm of snow by Wednesday

So you thought this winter was bad so far? Well, it's about to get a whole lot worse.

Much of southern Quebec is under a winter storm warning, with as much as 40 centimetres of snow could accumulate by Wednesday.

Environment Canada says snowfall will start gradually in the late afternoon Tuesday across southwestern Quebec.

By midnight, the full effects of the storm wil be felt, says Simon Legault, a meteorologist with the weather agency. On Wednesday, Quebecers will wake up to about 25 centimetres of snow accumulation.

"It is going to accumulate really fast," Legault said. "It's going to be pretty intense for the commuting hours of Wednesday [morning]."

Wind gusts could reach 50 km/h, creating blowing snow that will likely reduce visibility, he said.

Residents should avoid travel if possible, the agency warns. 

When possible, Legault said people should try to work from home Wednesday rather than heading out into the storm.

"There's going to be a lot of traffic jams," Legault said. "It's going to cover almost all of the southern part of Quebec."

Total snowfall amounts of 20 to 30 centimetres are expected in areas touched by the storm, but some could be harder hit.

Along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Montmagny, as well as the Outaouais and Témiscamingue regions, could see between 30 and 40 centimetres.

Residents in the Montreal area, the Quebec City region and the Eastern Townships should all expect to be affected by the storm, said Legault.