Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Feels like September

I am not certain where our summer went but I hope it returns soon. Officially at Trudeau Airport, Montreal has managed only four 30C (86F) days this summer, two each in June and July. Only one day over 32C (90F) has occurred, that was July 1st. Last year we managed nine 30C or warmer days in July alone.
Major flooding in Chester, Vermont on Monday. (Chester Fire Department)
 It was just a cold, miserable day on Monday across southern Quebec. Our temperature only managed to reach 18C (65F) for a high and that was early in the day. Most of the afternoon we were stuck at 16C (60F) with a cold northeast wind and rain. I recorded 11.7 mm of rain on L'Ile Perrot with a two day total of 27 mm. Other regions to our south had much more with 25-50mm (1-2 inches) falling from the Townships south into Vermont. In southern Vermont major flooding occurred around Chester and Andover in Windsor County. The rain swelled rivers damaging roads and bridges as well as several homes. Power was cut to over 1000 customers. The low pressure responsible for the lousy weather is now in northern Maine with high pressure building in briefly today. Partly cloudy skies can be expected from eastern Ontario into Montreal along with milder highs of 23C (73F), still well below normal. Wednesday and Thursday will see more clouds with the chance of a shower or thunderstorm as the upper low remains nearly stationary over the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Temperatures will warm slightly to 25C (77F) but we will have the ever present chance of a shower or thunderstorm into the weekend.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rainy & cool start to the week

A rather vigorous low pressure area for late July is centered near Rochester, NY this morning. The system has a large area of rain and thunderstorms pivoting around it, and that area will move into southern Quebec and eastern Ontario this morning as the low moves towards Sherbrooke. It should be a rainy and cool Monday with even the chance for thunderstorms, temperatures will only be near 20C (68F) today and down to 15C (59F) tonight. The rain will be rather impressive with 25-30mm, around 1 inch generally throughout the region. Heavy rain is forecast across the Townships along with embedded thunderstorms. A rainfall warning is in effect for the Beauce and Eastern Townships where 60mm could fall. The rain should end by midnight. The rest of the week looks unsettled with showers and thunderstorms possible with a very slow warming trend.

On Sunday Montreal had about 17mm of rain, mostly in thunderstorms to start the day and scattered showers in the evening. We managed a muggy high of 25C (77F).

Thunderstorms produced major flooding in Toronto last evening with several roads impassable. (Global News)
The same system drenched southern Ontario on Sunday with 50-100mm (2-4 inches) of rain in thunderstorms. High winds cut power, trees fell on homes and cars and even a funnel cloud was reported in the southwest. Flooding occurred last evening on several major GTA highways including the 401. The OPP took to Twitter to recommend drivers stay off the roads and definitely not drive through standing water. The photo shows above some did not head that advice.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Much cooler - less humid air arrives in Quebec

Lightning is believed to have sparked this fire in Derby, Vermont near the border with the Eastern Townships. Strong thunderstorms Wednesday brought an end to the heat and humidity across the entire region. (WCAX 3 News)
My vacation week is slowly melting away, not much going on this year as life has kept me from my usual trek to a beach...any beach. The heat and humidity that started the week has been chased out by Wednesday's cold front. Depending where you were in the region, that front either went through with a whimper or a bang. Thunderstorms in the early part of the day swept eastern Ontario, Montreal and southern Quebec with around 10-20mm of rain and frequent lightning. The storms managed to cut power to nearly 30,000 homes mostly off island in Vaudreuil/Dorion as well as in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County, Ontario. What had been a sultry night with temperatures in the middle 20's quickly became refreshed with the frontal passage. The same front produced heavy thunderstorms in Vermont and New York that cut power, knocked down trees and started several fires in homes. The storms were also responsible for yet another person injured by lightning this summer, this time at a campsite in Waddignton, New York near Massena.

The front pushed the hot weather to our south and east with highs only in the middle 20's in Montreal yesterday. Meanwhile the high heat was across Atlantic Canada with several record highs recorded as the mercury hit 30 to 32C. This morning Montreal is dry and much cooler at 17C (63F), quite a change from the low 30's of Monday and Tuesday. It will be a dry day with a northwest breeze and highs near 24C (75F). Clear and cool conditions expected tonight with lows around 14C (56F). Friday and Saturday look good with sunshine and highs near 26C (79F). We will see an increase in clouds on Saturday followed by a chance of showers late in the day and into Sunday. Sadly it looks cloudy, showery and cooler as we head into the last week of July. Another pool of much cooler than normal air will cross the Great Lakes and become established by early next week.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Warm & humid - strong thunderstorms Wednesday

The yellow arrows show smoke over Ontario drifting into Quebec and New England late last week and into the weekend. The haze and smokey air is travelling along the jet stream from wildfires burning in Alberta and B.C. (NWS Burlington)
Well almost immediately after I guaranteed a spectacular weekend on Friday, mother nature began to challenge that claim, at least for some of us. A colder than normal air mass over the Great Lakes managed to produced afternoon clouds and even some scattered showers over Ontario as far east as the Ottawa Valley. However sunshine and only some high cloudiness prevailed in Montreal. Temperatures responded in the sunshine making it to 28C (83F) on Sunday for metro Montreal, while it was only 23C (73F) in the clouds in Toronto. Another shot of much cooler than normal air will arrive in Ontario and Quebec and the US Midwest by Thursday but until then it will be very warm and humid. Partial sunshine can be expected both today and Tuesday in southern Quebec with just some high clouds and perhaps some haze and smoke form the western wildfires. Highs will make it close to 30C (86F) both days. On Wednesday a cold front will arrive with clouds and showers along with the risk of a few strong thunderstorms. Highs will be cooler reaching 26C (79F). By Thursday sunshine will return with a much drier and more comfortable air mass and highs near 22C (72F).

The moist, unstable air has Toronto down to 1 kilometer visibility in fog and mist this morning, with a special weather statement in effect for much of southwest Ontario for dense fog. The fog should burn off in the next few hours, but until then travel is slow with visibility locally as low as zero on some highways.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Nothing but sunshine for southern Quebec & Ontario

A beautiful rainbow over the West Island of Montreal last night signalling the end to a brief shower and the start of a spectacular period of weather! (ValleyWX Photo)
 Vacation time is upon us for many and the weather looks nearly perfect. A ridge of high pressure is slowly moving across the Great Lakes and into Quebec today with nothing but sunshine, light winds and low humidity forecast through the entire weekend. Temperatures will range from 27-30C (81-86F), as I said perfect!

The high pressure in question will very slowly drift across Quebec and into New England this weekend and eventually off the east coast. The return southerly flow will increase the heat and humidity next week with highs moving into the low 30's, close to 90F by Monday. The same forecast holds true for northern New York, New England and most of southern Ontario. No rain is expected before Wednesday of next week at the earliest. Be safe and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perfect stretch of summer weather for Montreal

A massive tree crushes a car in
York, Maine late on Tuesday
Ok, so I should have left my forecast alone yesterday. But I must admit the radar looked impressive in Ontario and most of us really thought Montreal would see a decent shot of heavy rain and thunder through the middle part of the day. As with so many other days this summer in Montreal, it was not to be with only about 2-3mm, a splash in the rain gauge occurring near the noon hour. Otherwise it was a cloudy, damp day with all the big storms staying either north or south of Montreal, same old story this year.

Tho storms managed to dump 20-30mm of rain is some portions of the Townships,  notably near Granby. They also produced very heavy rain across New Hampshire with flooding observed as well as severe weather over portions of coastal Maine and New Hampshire. York, Maine was particularly hard hit with trees crashing onto homes and cars late in the afternoon. Power poles were also snapped across the Seacoast with numerous outages.

The forecast for southern Quebec is looking great as we head into the upcoming weekend and the start of a very busy summer vacation period in this province. There is a slight risk of a few showers today, but otherwise sunny through next Monday. Temperatures will be around 25C (77F) for highs today into Saturday with lows near 16C (61F). Temperatures will rise this weekend and into next week along with the humidity, with daytime highs easily reaching 30C (86F) by Sunday and perhaps 32C (90F) early next week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strong thunderstorms with heavy rain for Montreal

I know I promised quiet weather this week for metro Montreal, but first we have to get through Tuesday. What looked like only scattered showers from a low pressure area and cold front is turning into a rather large area of heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms this morning. Heavy rain warnings have now been posted for the St. Lawrence Valley from Kingston to the Ontario/Quebec border. A severe thunderstorm watch for pretty much the same reason is now in effect for metro Montreal and southwestern Quebec. The front is moving into very moist, unstable and humid air and will trigger heavy downpours. Between 25-75mm (1-3 inches) of rainfall is possible in a very short period of time today from about 11am unti late afternoon for Montreal. Temperatures will be muggy near 25C. (77F). The weather should begin to dry out and cool off by Wednesday morning.