Winter storm cancels flights in eastern Canada

MONTREAL, Dec 31 — A winter storm in eastern Canada led to the cancellation of nearly 200 flights yesterday, and came too late for a White Christmas.

The mix of snow and freezing rain disrupted both departures and arrivals at airports in Montreal, the capital Ottawa, and the country’s largest city Toronto, an AFP count showed.

Worst-affected was Montreal-Trudeau International Airport with more than 100 cancellations, mostly to Ontario and the northeast United States, an airport spokesperson told AFP.

Snow accumulations of 15-20 centimetres were expected by this evening in southern Quebec, according to the federal environment ministry.

The storm came after Montreal had a snowless Christmas, something that happens about once every five years, the ministry said. Only 13 centimetres of snow had fallen in December, compared with an average of 49 centimetres for that month. 

Neighbouring parts of the United States in the northeast and New England regions have also experienced heavy snow and rain or freezing rain. Moisture from that system was surging northward, the US National Weather Service said. — AFP

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