Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Unsettled weather for Montreal

A Hydro Quebec crew restores power in St Georges in the Beauce region after strong thunderstorms Monday afternoon. (Twitter@hydroquebec)
As has been the rule most of this summer, the main area of thunderstorms developed north and then southeast of Montreal on Monday, missing the city. This resulted in a decent day for Montreal. The morning was cloudy and almost September-like, but the afternoon had sunshine and temperatures responded with a high near 26C (80F). Today will be very similar to Monday, with more showers and thunderstorms developing by afternoon but also a good amount of sunshine. High temperatures will range from 24 to 27C (75 to 80F) across the entire area. A stubborn upper-level low over Hudson Bay with a cool pool of air aloft continues to spin off these areas of energy across Quebec and New England. Any thunderstorm activity that does occur today has the potential for small hail and heavy rain. This weather will persist through Wednesday before skies clear out and temperatures cool down Thursday.

On Monday, strong storms developed across northern Vermont and moved into the Eastern Townships and Beauce region of Quebec. Heavy rain caused some minor flooding along with reports of hail. According to Hydro Quebec, power outages were numerous in the region, but most customers have been restored as of this morning.

EF-2 Tornado
Environment Canada has confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck Teviotdale, Ontario late Sunday. The 9pm storm was part of a large area of fierce thunderstorms that cut power to over 50,000 homes in Ontario. Major damage was reported along a 7 kilometre by 200 metre path. EF-2 tornadoes are capable of winds up to 177km/h. Elsewhere in the province wind damage was widespread, with many regions reporting gusts in excess of 100km/h with the thunderstorms.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Strong thunderstorms possible today for Quebec

Strong thunderstorms are possible today from Montreal south and east into the Townships, New York and Vermont. (AccuWeather)
A potent cold front will slide southeast across southern Quebec later this morning and this afternoon. The front has a history of generating strong to locally severe thunderstorms along it. On Sunday strong storms swept Michigan and southwest Ontario. Power was knocked out to thousands along with reports of damage including fallen trees and power lines. Hail and heavy rain were also observed. Isolated tornadoes also occurred from Iowa into extreme southwest Ontario. The biggest threat for severe weather across metro Montreal will occur from 11am onward towards sunset. Isolated strong storms will produce gusty winds, heavy rain and hail. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect this morning for the border regions south and east of Montreal and may be extended later this morning.
A tree crushed this VW on Grace Street in Toronto Sunday afternoon. This was just one of numerous trees and power lines brought down across southwestern Ontario from strong thunderstorms. Twitter @NEWSneil)
Early this morning scattered showers are occurring along a warm front in Montreal. It is a rather humid morning with current temperatures around 21C (70F) across the region. Highs today will range from 25 to 30C (77-86F) region wide, depending on how much sunshine you get before the cold front arrives. As the front clears the region later tonight, skies will become partly cloudy with lows in the middle teens. More unsettled weather is likely on Tuesday with showers and thunderstorms lingering. Temperatures will trend slightly cooler than normal through the middle part of the week.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Do not leave your dog in a hot car anytime this summer

The temperature inside my car with the windows drawn reached 56.1C on a hot spring day back in early May. These temperatures can be reached in as little as 15 minutes with your windows closed.
Why do we have to keep reinforcing what seems like a very simple message to irresponsible dog owners who continue to leave their dogs in hot cars while they shop or eat? Again this week, right here on L'Ile Perrot, a woman doing groceries left her small dog in her car on the hottest day of 2015. The temperature rose to 33C (91F) which likely set the temperature in the car well over 45C (115F). The dog was rescued by some good samaritans and the provincial police were called. Her response when she returned 45 minutes later, she had no idea you should not leave your dog in a hot car. Really? This dog would have died. Even on a 25C (77F) day the temperature will rapidly approach the high 30's (100F) inside your car. Thousands of dogs suffer a similar fate each summer across North America.

This dog was rescued from a hot car on the warmest day of 2015 on L'Ile Perrot. (CJAD)
The temperature can rise very fast in a closed car, even with the windows cracked. Within a few minutes the dog will be suffering from the horrible symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration. A dog can suffer brain damage or even death within as little as 20 minutes. Dogs already have a difficult time in the heat as they don't sweat, but cool through their paws and by panting. Leave the dog at home or have another adult remain in the car while you shop. That is what we do with our Bella. There is no excuse. I posted a picture to show you just how hot it can get in your car. Another note regarding pet safety, be mindful of their paws on hot surfaces. Below is a photo of  how hot the pavement was on Wednesday afternoon.

Watch your dog's paws! A little out of focus but you get the point. The temperature on the pavement here on L'Ile Perrot Wednesday afternoon was a sweltering 58C (136F).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Massive Manitoba tornado - heat advisory for Montreal

A spectacular shot of Greg Johnson's team tracking a large tornado near Tilston, Manitoba Monday evening. 
(Tornado Hunters)
It was a wild weather night across southern Manitoba on Monday as a strong low pressure area lifted north from the Dakotas into Saskatchewan. The ingredients were perfect for supercell thunderstorms and mother nature did not disappoint. A large wedge shaped tornado with multiple vortices was on the ground for nearly 3 hours according to Environment Canada. The tornado, up to 4km wide at times, was largely in rural areas of southwest Manitoba near Tilston. Storm chasers in the area recorded winds in excess of 120mph (200km/h). They were likely stronger closer to the tornado with pavement being scoured from highways. At first light we will see if more damage has occurred. Hail the size of baseballs also fell in the region along the North Dakota border. Heavy rain on the backside of the storm produced flooding in Saskatchewan including Regina, where more rain fell yesterday (78.2 mm), than in the last three months. Flooding was also reported in my old home town of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. More storms are forecast today in Manitoba, with strong winds in Saskatchewan.

Lightning illuminates the sky on L'Ile Perrot last night. (ValleyWeather)
 Meanwhile southern Quebec had a warm and humid day Monday followed by strong thunderstorms last evening. The storms rolled across the Island of Montreal and L'Ile Perrot after 8pm. Heavy rain and frequent lightning occurred, putting on quite a show. I measured 16 mm of rain at my home in less than 30 minutes along with vivid lightning, lasting over one hour. Lightning is extremely dangerous, and this was highlighted last night as a cyclist was struck in the Rosemont district of Montreal. He was listed in critical condition this morning after going into cardiac arrest. The storms also knocked out power to thousands in Quebec. A fire in Brossard was blamed on a lightning strike and there were reports of hail in St Hubert. Numerous trees were knocked down across the Beauce along with flooding. Between 50-100mm of rain fell near the New York State border in Huntingdon.

The warm and humid weather will persist through Thursday with more storms likely each day. A heat advisory is in effect stretching from southern Ontario into southern Quebec. High temperatures at or above 30C along with high humidity, will make it feel more like 40C. Stay hydrated and keep an eye on the sky for late afternoon and evening storms.

Street flooding from Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan after more than 75mm of rainfall Monday. 
(Gravelbourg Fire Department)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Active weather week - warm & humid with thunderstorms

More widespread severe weather is forecast for the southern Prairies today and tonight. There is an elevated risk of dangerous storms in southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba today. Above: Strong thunderstorms produced this funnel cloud near Calgary late last week. (CBC News)
An unseasonably strong area of low pressure will move from the northern US plain states into southern Manitoba over the next 48 hours. This storm will push a surge of warm and humid air from eastern Saskatchewan across the Great Lakes and into Quebec this week. Along the path of the storm very strong thunderstorms are likely, with heavy rain, up to 30mm behind the system. There is an elevated risk of large hail and tornadoes across eastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba today into tonight. Already this morning watches and warnings are on place across the southern Prairies. Temperatures will soar into the low 30's (low to middle 90's) from Manitoba across southern Ontario and into southwest Quebec this week. Humidex readings will approach 40C (104F) in many locations including Toronto and Montreal.

For the specifics, we are looking at hazy sunshine in Montreal through Thursday with daytime highs near 30C (86F) and overnight lows near 21C (70F). Areas of fog are reported this morning in the region, and may form each morning this week. Each afternoon into the early evening there is a 40 per cent change of scattered thunderstorms, some may be strong. A cold front will bring more widespread showers and thunderstorms by Thursday. Cooler and dryer weather will return to southern Quebec by next weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2015

More showers and storms for southern Quebec

Numerous showers and thunderstorms developed in southern Quebec on Wednesday and Thursday including this one near Vaudreuil. The trend will continue today. (ValleyWX)
An upper level low spinning over southern Quebec has maintained a pool of cool and unstable air over the region. Montreal has had very unsettled weather the last 48 hours, with numerous showers and thunderstorms. The trend will continue today with showers and thunderstorms scattered about all day. The clouds and precipitation will help to keep temperatures cooler than normal in the low to perhaps middle 20's. Additional rainfall may be significant is some of the storms, adding to the impressive totals so far this month. Small hail is also possible. I have measured 104.5mm (over 4 inches) of rain here at my home on L'Ile Perrot, 105.9mm has fallen at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue with 87.2mm at Trudeau Airport. The clouds and frequent rain has meant a cooler than normal July for the city.

Warmer air will nudge the upper level low northeast and out of Quebec this weekend. (AccuWeather)
Looking ahead, high pressure will briefly clear the skies over Montreal and southern Quebec tonight into Saturday with sunshine forecast, lows of 16C (60F) and highs up to 26C (79F) Saturday. By Sunday the heat and humidity will be on the rise with temperatures climbing into the upper 20's and even low 30's by Tuesday. Numerous showers and thunderstorms will be around Sunday and next week in the warmer more humid air mass.

El Nino
The much talked about El Nino, that ribbon of warmer than normal water in the Pacific Ocean off the South American coast, continues to upset weather patterns across the globe. The current El Nino is showing no signs of leaving anytime soon and may be strengthening. It has led to a very unsettled and at times destructive weather pattern across North America from heavy rain and flooding in California to intense wildfires in northern Saskatchewan. El Nino has also been responsible for an increase in severe weather across central portions of the continent as well as cool weather for Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

More thunderstorms today - then cooler & less humid

It was hot at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the NASCAR race on Sunday. Thankfully the heavy thunderstorms shown above remained just north of the venue until after the race ended. (Valley Weather Photo)
Another round of showers and thunderstorms is likely today for Montreal along a cold front slipping into Quebec and Ontario. The storms may have some brief heavy rain but should not be as strong as the severe weather outbreak that occured over the weekend. High temperatures will be warm again today near 28C (83F) before a cooling trend to end the week.

Over the weekend strong thunderstorms developed in the very humid air mass locked in place over the region. Tropical dew points and a strong jet stream allowed some of the storms to be quite strong including several funnel clouds and hail. A tornado warning was even issued from Kemptville, Ontario east towards the Quebec border. The Sunday morning storms brought very heavy rain to southern Quebec including 65mm measured at my home on L'Ile Perrot, half of that in a 20 minute period around 6:20AM. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue recorded 58mm, while Trudeau Airport had 35mm.

Major flooding from thunderstorms occurred in Barre, Vermont late Sunday night. The photo above is the clean up Monday morning. (VPR Photo)
The other story over the weekend was the elevated heat and humidity levels making it very uncomfortable. Montreal had a temperature close to 30C (86F) on Sunday with humidex readings near 40C (104F). I was at the NASCAR race in Loudon, New Hampshire where the temperature soared to 32C (90F) with heat index values well over 100F. Several of the drivers had to be treated for heat related issues, and the venue actually ran out of bottled water! Elsewhere the thunderstorms produced major flooding across portions of northern Vermont and New Hampshire. In Barre, Vermont mud and water flowed into several neighborhoods after torrential rain from severe storms. Nearly 80 homes were flooded and some have been left uninhabitable.