Weather picture’s bleak just before Christmas

In a special weather statement now in effect, Environment Canada suggests that the 2-3 days leading up to December 25 will be tough on anyone who might have been expecting to get last minute shopping and chores done in time for Christmas.

According to the weather agency, an intense low pressure system will move over Western and Central Quebec beginning Thursday evening and affect these areas through Saturday.

Significant snowfall amounts, strong winds and blowing snow are expected over the areas to the north of the St Lawrence river, while over the areas to the south, some of the precipitation will fall as rain at times heavy.

Freezing rain is also likely in the snow-to-rain transition area.

As there is some uncertainty as to the system’s track, Environment Canada said on Tuesday afternoon that it was still too early to provide details regarding expected precipitation amounts.

However, by Saturday afternoon, in the wake of the system, snow squalls could also be possible over southern parts of Quebec with the passage of cold air over the Great Lakes.

The arrival of this cold air will see temperatures drop below seasonal values on Christmas Day and early next week.

Road conditions are expected to be difficult and power outages are also possible.

The weather service also cautions that wet and heavy snow may add significant weight to trees and some structures.