While the normal temperature for mid-January is around -6°C, a warming trend saw the thermometer rise to 6°C by Monday. Thus, the precipitation that fell all day, which normally would have been snow at this time of year, came down instead as rain. The remaining snow was washed away in areas that had been shovelled or plowed. The temperature dropped below freezing overnight, and by Tuesday morning, the water that was lying on the surface of the frozen ground had formed sheets of ice.
The river was flooded, the waterlevel as high as I’ve ever seen it in the year we’ve been here.
Giant shelves of ice were tipped up in the water.
I walked down to where the road crosses the river. The water level was near the top of the two large drainage pipes that carry the flow beneath the road. The smaller drainage pipes nearer the riverbank are nearly empty under normal conditions. Now they were completely submerged, with little whirlpools forming at the surface as water was sucked down into the tube.
With some 41 millimetres of rain falling by late Monday afternoon, Ottawa broke the 33.6-millimetre record set in 1995.
The sander truck came by, leaving a pattern of crusty arches on the icy road surface.
Temperatures are expected to return to the seasonal average, about -7°C daytime and -15°C at night, by the weekend.