It was a slippery start to the day on Friday as freezing rain fell over Montreal.
Environment Canada meteorologist Alexandre Parent called it a “classic case for freezing rain.”
“We have northeast cold winds in the St. Lawrence Valley and we have warm and moist air a few hundred metres above,” he explained, adding that as the rain touches the ground, it freezes almost instantly.
Conditions were worse in the northern part of the Island of Montreal, including Laval and Trudeau airport. Parent said this was due to temperatures that were a few degrees colder in those areas.
Urgences-Santé reported a spike in calls in connection with the weather.
“By noon, we had 20 calls for people falling on the ground in Laval and Montreal,” said Urgences-Santé spokesperson Stéphane Smith.
He also said there were numerous calls for people injured in road accidents but none for major injuries.
Smith recommends people avoid going out unless absolutely necessary. He also advised patients with non-life-threatening injuries to dial 811, Quebec’s health information line, for advice.
“They might tell you to go to the pharmacy or reroute you to 911 if it’s an emergency,” he said.
While the freezing precipitation turned to rain in the afternoon, Parent said it could take a few hours for the ice buildup to melt away.
The sun is expected to come out for the weekend, bringing with it above-average temperatures.
“Temperatures are right around zero for the maximum during the day, so we’re five to six degrees above normal,” Parent said.
While many are enjoying the balmy weather, others lament the fact that it was a green Christmas.
For them, Parent is promising a late Christmas gift.
“We’re going to have a white new year in the Montreal area,” he said. “There is some snow coming for late Monday on to Tuesday.”
The storm system could drop up to 15 centimetres of snow over Montreal, Parent added.
“It might change; we’ll add some precision as we get closer to the event.”