01/05/2015 09:12 EST | Updated 03/07/2015 05:59 EST

Canadian weather brings full-on winter, slush and ice

It's winter weather full-on across Canada today with the return to work and school after the New Year's holiday weekend.

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, which took the worst of it Sunday, got warmer Monday, but faced more slushy snow, with winds gusting to 60 km/h, making driving hazardous in Newfoundland. CBC reported many school closings.

There was a dramatic swing from the freezing temperatures that sent chills throughout much of Newfoundland in recent days.

Strong southwesterly winds gusting to 100 km/h were forecast to develop over most of coastal Newfoundland through the day and into Monday night. Forecasters are warning that loose objects could be tossed about by the winds.

In Halifax today, people outside enjoyed the respite of above-freezing temperatures, but it wasn't expected to last. The Weather Network was forecasting a low Monday night of –14 C, followed by a high of –12 C on Tuesday, with clear skies.


Southern Ontario and Quebec were the targets of frigid temperatures moving west from the prairie provinces, turning Toronto's rainy Sunday into snow overnight, and on Monday morning causing fender-benders and minor accidents.

In Montreal, what the Weather Network called "roller-coaster temperatures" landed freezing rain on top of snow Sunday, icing streets. Monday has brought snow flurries and a temperature of –12 C, expected to fall to –20 C tonight.

The freezing rain felled power lines across Quebec through the weekend. At the height of the power outages, more than 150,000 Quebecers were without electricity. By Monday morning, only a few thousand homes and business remained without power.

Monday was also the anniversary of the start of the 1998 ice storm. It poured freezing rain onto southern Ontario and Quebec for more than 80 hours, almost double the normal precipitation, according to Environment Canada.

"The storm claimed as many as 35 lives and brought down millions of trees, 1,000 transmission towers, 30,000 utility poles, and enough wires and cables to stretch around the world three times," Environment Canada said.

Western Canada

In Western Canada, snowbound Winnipeggers were looking forward to a high of –21 C today after even colder weather Sunday, CBC's Chris Glover reported. The current wind chill was –41 C.

That cold extended west across sunny Saskatchewan and Alberta, with –30 C forecast as the low for Saskatoon Monday night, the Weather Network reported.  

In Vancouver, heavy rain was forecast to continue Monday, with a high of 6 C.