NEWS

Montreal's wild weather hampers snow-clearing

01/17/2012 02:16 EST | Updated 03/18/2012 05:12 EDT

More snow mixed with freezing rain is creating headaches for snow-clearing crews in Montreal, Que. that are still in the midst of plowing and carting away snow from last week's snow storm.

Environment Canada predicted another 10 to 15 centimetres of snow for the greater Montreal region Tuesday, changing to freezing rain by late in the day.

City crews have managed to remove just over half of the snow from last week's storm – the first major snowfall of the season.

Montreal city spokesperson Jacques-Alain Lavallée said crews are expected to interrupt planned snow removal operations in order to begin plowing the fresh snow.

"It's the kind of situation where we have to really adjust our operations according to the weather," Lavallée said.

That's not easy when the weather changes so quickly. The forecast called for freezing rain by about 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, forcing city crews to shift focus yet again and begin salting roads and sidewalks.

Overnight the rollercoaster ride continues, with the freezing rain expected to change to rain as the thermometer rises and then back to snow, as the temperature drops once again.

And that's not all.

"We should expect gusty conditions by the end of the night, with gusts up to 70 to 90 km/h," said Environment Canada meteorologist André Cantin.

The precipitation is expected to end early Wednesday as the temperature plummets. Then snow-clearing crews should get a reprieve until Friday – when snow is once again in the forecast.

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