Over 60 cm of snow has already fallen on regions east of Montreal, particularly in Bas-St-Laurent, the Lower North Shore and Gaspésie, where up to another 40 cm could fall before the day is through.
Winds are gusting up to 90 km/h.
"It's a real old time Gaspé winter storm,” said local resident Elizabeth Baird. “Snow halfway up the windows. People opening doors and snow three feet up in the doorways."
According to Maxim Desharnais of Environment Canada, the hardest-hit regions -- and Gaspé in particular -- will get about a metre of snow, making it one of the biggest winter storms the region has ever experienced.
“We're looking at 20 to 30 cm more today and an additional 10 to 15 tonight, so that metre of snow is looking likely to happen.”
Avalanche warnings are in place for the Chic-Chocs mountains, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence gulf.
Highway visibility on Route 132 between Matane and Gaspé is, if not null, severely reduced, and parts of the road are closed entirely.
Heavy snow and high winds have also affected Atlantic Canada. Last night, 170 km/h winds were recorded on the western edge of Newfoundland.