11/26/2013 06:56 EST | Updated 01/26/2014 05:59 EST

First winter storm to hit Montreal

People living in Quebec are about to get hit with their first blast of wintry weather, with some western regions expecting up to 25 centimetres of snow, while areas in eastern Quebec may see up to 80 millimetres of rain.

Environment Canada has issued snowfall and rainfall warnings throughout the province, as a low-pressure system that originated in the Gulf of Mexico approaches.

“It’s a large system with a lot of moisture. Areas south of Quebec — like New York and the New England states — will get heavy rain. In Montreal, we’ll get snow,” said CBC Weather Specialist Frank Cavallaro.

Heavy snow is accompanying the system and will stretch from Montreal’s North Shore — including the Laurentians and Lanaudière — as far northeast as Quebec City and the Saguenay.

These regions could see 15 to 25 centimetres of snow.

In the Montreal area, snowfall will intensify in the overnight hours, and by Wednesday morning, 10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected be on the ground.

Strong winds will accompany the snowfall, with gusts up to 60 km/h that could cause local blowing snow at times.

Messy commute

The morning rush hour on Wednesday will get messy, as temperatures rise and may cause the snow to switch over to freezing rain or rain.

“There is a chance of freezing rain, mainly between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.,” said Cavallaro.

City of Montreal officials are urging drivers who haven’t installed their winter tires yet to use public transit on Wednesday.

Environment Canada is warning people to consider delaying their travel plans.

Montrealers could see an additional two to five centimetres by Wednesday evening, before conditions become drier and much colder by Thursday.

“The winds will pick up Wednesday night into Thursday — 60 to 70 km/h. It will be sunny Thursday, but much colder — with the winds, it will feel like -18. It will feel more like mid-December,” Cavallaro said.

This storm marks the first snowfall accumulation for the Montreal area this season. Last year, the first accumulation occurred on Nov. 28, when about 2 centimetres of snow fell.