Friday, September 30, 2005

Above: Tree damage in Kemptville

Wind Damage across area....

Here is a quick summary of the peak winds yesterday. There was tree damage as well as signs and power poles knocked down. Some structual damage and crushed cars were reported as well.

TORONTO PEARSON 78 km/h
TORONTO ISLAND 74
PORT WELLER 82
POINT PETRE (Sandbanks) 111 (Peak Gust in Province)
KINGSTON 80
OTTAWA 67
KEMPTVILLE 60 (may have been stronger locally)
CORNWALL 92
WINCHESTER 74
MONTREAL 84

Thursday, September 29, 2005

High Winds Today
Environment Canada and The National Weather Service have posted high wind warnings for both sides of the border from Toronto to Montreal. In all areas today a sharp cold front will produce winds in excess of 50km/h with gusts as high as 100km/h. This is over Tropical Storm force to put things in perspective.

Already this morning winds are gusting to 42km/h here in Kemptville with some damage reported. Winds have topped 80km/h in Toronto and 98km/h in Port Stanley.

In addition short lived violent thunderstorms have been reported in a line from Alexandria to Cornwall moving east into Montreal. A second fast moving potent line had developed along the cold front and will move through Kemptville the Seaway and Montreal before noon today.

Be safe and forget about the umbrella.

For Marine interests, a Gale warning and waterspout advisory is in effect all day for Lakes Erie and Ontario. As well a Gale Warning is in effect for the St. Lawrence River.

I will have pictures later today.......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Strong cold front for Ontario/Quebec
A developing storm system over the Great Lakes will sweep a powerful cold front across our area tonight into Thursday morning. Showers and thunderstorms will accompany the front dropping more rain on already waterlogged Quebec City. Temperatures will drop behind the front on Thursday down to the single digits.

The big feature with this front will be Strong Winds from the southwest from 60-90km/h. These are capable of some wind damage, specially along the St. Lawrence and Richelieu Valleys and along the north shore of Lake Ontario. Warnings have been posted.

Heavy Rain is also forecast for the area north of Montreal and the upper Ottawa Valley.

A Wind Advisory is in effect for St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis Counties in New York from 6am to 6pm on Thursday.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Rita sweeps Northeast
Heavy Rain Warnings for Montreal/Ottawa

Despite earlier predictions of Rita stalling out over Mississippi for the better part of the upcoming week, she has decided to spare the south her heavy rains. Thankfully the storm is being swept northeast along a trough of low pressure. The system will slide down the St. Lawrence Valley into Monday with heavy rains forecast. Upwards of 100mm could fall in Ottawa and Montreal. Heavy Rain Warnings have been posted from Kingston to Quebec City and north to the Laurentians. Embedded thunderstorms are also expected and winds could be gusty.

While many people in Texas are beginning to return home it is a different story in Louisiana. The southwest part of the state; basically what was not hit by Katrina, was hammered by Rita. Heavy damage was reported in both Vermillion and Cameron Parishes. It will be days before the extent of the damage is known. No exact figure on casualties is available.

Meanwhile the death toll from Katrina has exceeded 1000.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rita Inland over Texas
Hurricane Rita's centre moved onshore near Sabine Pass on the Texas/Louisianna border around 3:30am this morning. The storm has pounded areas of southwest Louisianna including affecting the New Orleans area with another surge of water that has breached levees dumping 5 feet of water into portions of the city again.

It is early and damge assesments are underway, but it appears thea the Galveston/Houston area is going to be ok. I am very worried about the southwest coastal areas of hard-hit Louisianna. The state has certainly suffered another major event in Cameron Parrish and other parishes near the Texas border and along the coast. The storm is weakening further, but will remain a serious flood threat to Texas, Arkansas and Louisianna through mid week.

It is not expected to affect Ontario as a decaying depression.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Rita continues towards Texas Gulf Coast
Hurricane Rita is continuing to move towards the Texas coast looking eerily like Katrina three weeks ago. While a slight decrease in intensity has occurred, that is pretty much academic at this point. She remains a very dangerous storm capable of severe damage and destruction.

The outer most rainbands are beginning to sweep across the coast this evening from Mississippi west towards New Orleans. Heavy rain and thunderstorms will increase in coverage over the next 24 hours leading up to landfall. Seas are rising already along the immediate coast. Areas already hit from Katrina can expect flooding from Rita.

Traffic is moving so slow inland north towards Dallas. My fear is always that people will become trapped on the highways as the storm hits.

Strong high pressure is blocking the storm from moving rapidly north. This will mean a prolonged period of heavy rain and wind far inland towards the northern portion of the state and Dallas.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rita...Katrina's ugly twin......

Rita has become a 5.....

At 4pm EDT Rita has been upgraded to a Category 5 and is steaming through the Gulf of Mexico, 735 miles ESE of Corpus Christie, moving towards the west. A turn towards the north is expected with landfall near Galveston Texas expected. Mandatory evacuations are now in effect for coastal areas along the upper Texas Coast. There is still uncertainty and the storm could strike anywhere from southwest Louisiana towards Corpus Christie, TX.

http://www.hurricanecity.com/ is an awesome site with audio, pictures and numerous other resources. Please visit and support Jim and his site. I will post numerous updates as the week moves along. For now there is no reason to believe that this storm will be any less intense than Katrina. The conditions remain very favorable for Rita up until landfall.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ophelia, Rita and Snow!!!
I was on vacation for a week and am suffering from a bout of some kind of flu bug, but the weather never stops does it!
It was a wild weather week for certain across many parts of North America. While I was visiting the snow capped Rockies in the midst of an early winter storm, Ophelia was taking pot shots at my other favorite destination, the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Out west as much as 45cm of heavy wet snow fell in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta knocking down trees and power lines. In the valleys heavy rain, in some cases over 100mm fell. The rain has forced water levels on the Saskatchewan River to begin rising again.

Our attention is still on the Gulf Coast in the wake of Katrina. However we are now looking at newly formed Tropical Storm Rita. Rita is nearing Hurricane strength as she glides towards the southern Florida coast and the Keys tonight. The storm is expected to head into the Gulf and become a major hurricane. By the end of the week, she could be threatening the area from Louisiana west to Texas. This unreal season just continues to amaze me. At the same time Hurricane Philippe may affect Bermuda by weeks end.

Of Note: The western influence of Ophelia provided some lift to the rain over the weekend. Montreal had 35mm, Ottawa 25mm and parts of St. Lawrence County, NY hadover 100mm with flooding reported.
Below: Snow covered Rockies after last weekends storm

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Please help if you can at www.redcross.ca
For some reason I have mulled over this most recent entry for many days and I am finally writing it. I have written it and rewritten it in my head several times. It is no great mystery to anyone who knew anything about hurricanes that New Orleans was vunerable. I guess what is troubling me is the massive death toll we are expecting. Over the years many storms had produced large death tolls, but I thought the days of Camille (69) Betsy(65) and other storms were behind us. Forecasting ability has become so much better, so has the ability to evacuate large areas of coastline. And yet we somehow failed with Katrina. FEMA and the US Government somehow forgot about those without cars or the means to leave. Unfortunately it is these people who have been left behind, and in many case will make up the large death toll. The images speak for themselves. It is beyond imagination the level of misery that we see on the evening news. The word from those on the ground is it is even worse when you add the smells, sounds and inject 100 degree heat.

The task at hand is huge and being dealt with on a daily basis. The levees are being repaired the evacuees being dealt with finally and the bodies being collected. Canada is sending aid in the form of several ships, helicopters and Red Cross personnel. If you can help, please do so at http://www.redcross.ca/. Click on the Katrina link.

Of Note: In our area Katrina (tropical depression) moved through very quickly last Wednesday, August 31, with the worst weather along the Seaway. Cornwall had the peak wind gust at 79km/h. Rainfall was as follows, St Anicet, Quebec (on the St. Lawrence) 110mm, Montreal 75mm, Watertown, NY 100mm, Massena/Cornwall 80mm, Kemptville 40mm, Ottawa 35mm. Winds were gusty, over 50km/h along the St Lawrence River from Kingston to Quebec City.