03/12/2014 07:20 EDT | Updated 05/12/2014 05:59 EDT

'Huge' winter storm approaches Montreal, southern Quebec

Winter’s (hopefully) last gasp is upon Montreal and other regions of southern Quebec as a storm system from the United States moves into the area, bringing with it between 20 and 25 centimetres of snow and gusting winds.

“It should begin gradually this morning but it will really intensify this afternoon,” said Bruno Marquis, a meteorologist with Environment Canada.

The agency has issued winter storm warnings for the entire southern portion of the province surrounding the St. Lawrence River.

He said the snowstorm should start around 1 p.m. on Wednesday and continue throughout the night, adding that northeasterly winds will shift gears from 40 to 60 kilometres an hour.

The blowing snow will create tough road conditions for motorists. 

“Road conditions will really deteriorate late this afternoon,” Marquis said.

The southeastern portion of Quebec, particularly the Eastern Townships, will get a winter walloping far worse than Montreal, though, with 40 to 50 centimetres predicted by Environment Canada.

“It’s going to be a huge storm,” Marquis said.

Meanwhile, Quebec City should receive less accumulation than its more southern counterparts.

For those expecting to catch flights today, some cancellations have already been made for flights connecting through Toronto and Chicago.

Montreal's transit authority (STM) warned wheelchair users to expect difficulties today boarding buses.

Temperatures are also expected to drop later in the week, with an expected high of –7 C called for Sunday's St. Patrick's Day parade. 

Marquis said March storms are really not all that unusual, and that Quebecers should expect them through until around the third week of the month.