Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Alex Landfall

Hurricane Alex making landfall with 100mph winds near La Pesca, Mexico. (NOAA)

Within the last few minutes hurricane Alex, with 100mph winds at a Category 2 status, has made landfall along the Mexican coast about 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. Alex has become the first June hurricane since 1995. Heavy flooding rains have been falling all day in south Texas. In addition to the rain and strong winds, several tornadoes have been reported in Texas. Damage has been observed to structures along the immediate coast including on South Padre Island, and power outages have occurred as well. The Governor of Texas has declared at least 19 counties to be in a state of emergency.

Hurricane Alex

A well developed Hurricane Alex this morning on satellite. (NOAA)

Lots to talk about on this short work week across North America. Most people have either Thursday or Friday off for the Canada Day or the July 4th holiday. This morning we are looking at a deepening hurricane approaching the south Texas and northern Mexican coastline. Alex is located about 235 miles southwest of Brownsville at the mouth of the Rio Grande River. The storm has 80mph winds but a lowering pressure to 961mb, which is indicating further intensification. Alex should approach the coast in the warned area late tonight or early Thursday. Hurricane warnings are in effect from Baffin Bay, Texas to La Cruz, Mexico. A tropical storm warning has been posted north of Baffin bay to Port O'Connor and south of La Cruz to Cabo Rojo. Conditions will begin to deteriorate all day today as winds and seas increase along the coast. Heavy rain is expected all along the Gulf coast with 5 to 10 inches forecast and up to 20 inches in northeast Mexico. Flooding is almost certain. Alex will move inland and weaken rapidly, but still produce very heavy rain well into the weekend in Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley. Elsewhere along the Gulf 3-6 inches of rain is expected.

Holiday Forecast
We remain under weak high pressure with moist unstable air at the surface. As the warm June sun warms the atmosphere today and Canada Day, showers and an isolated rumble of thunder will develop by midday with cloudy and breezy weather. The clouds will keep the temperature around 20C region wide today and Thursday. High pressure will build in for Friday and the weekend, and produce hot and increasingly humid weather with temperatures rising into the low 30's by Sunday.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Montreal tornado

An LCN photo of a funnel cloud yesterday in Pointe Claire

Environment Canada after viewing TV footage from LCN, photographs and talking to witnesses has determined that an F-0 tornado likely occurred in Pointe Claire yesterday afternoon. The storm part of a series that swept Montreal in the afternoon and evening produced 90km/h winds and knocked down power lines and tree branches. Nearly 22mm of rain fell yesterday in Montreal along with the storms bringing our monthly total to 156.4mm. The winds were responsible for power outages to nearly 10,000 homes in Montreal and the Laurentians. May other communities in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario also reported minor damage from the storms. It will be cooler today with a risk of showers and storms again. Wednesday and Canada Day will be cooler with clouds and sun mixing before a the warm and humid air pours back into the region for the weekend. High temperatures will be around 20C rising into the thirties by Saturday.

Tropical Storm Alex is nearly a hurricane this morning. The 8am observation places Alex about 380 miles southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande River on the Texas/Mexican border. The storm has winds of 70mph and should become a hurricane later today. A hurricane warning has been posted from Baffin Bay, Texas south to La Cruz, Mexico. Alex is forecast to strengthen and could become a category 2 storm prior to landfall. Conditions will begin to deteriorate along the south Texas coast by Wednesday afternoon. A storm surge of 3-5 feet is expected along with 5 to 10 inches of rain and flooding. Alex is also increasing winds and waves along the upper Texas coast east into Louisiana. Live updates can be found in the links on the left hand side of this blog.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Funnel clouds in Montreal

Very stormy skies across Ile Perrot at around 8:45pm this evening.

A line of intense thunderstorms has just passed rapidly through the Montreal region from north to south across the entire island. The storm passed over Ile Perrot at around 8:45pm with very turbulent clouds moving in several directions with rotation visible. I took the above photo but it very grainy as I left the tripod in the house. Some rain accompanied the storm along with 52km/h wind gusts at Dorval. According to Environment Canada there have been reports of funnel clouds observed with these storms. They are now heading off to the south and east of Montreal towards the South Shore, Townships and northern New York and Vermont.

Thunderstorm Update

Very moist and muggy air ahead of a cold front is fueling a line of thunderstorms that is moving towards the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario, Quebec and New York at this hour. A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for Montreal and the metro region both north and south of the city. Individual cells have been popping up most of the afternoon, but this is a solid line of storms heading towards the region. They should pass through the city withing the hour with heavy rain, strong winds and hail possible.

Severe Thunderstorms

Heavy thunderstorms are devolving in the warm and humid air behind a warm front. Temperatures have soared to 26 to 29C across the region with dew points in the tropical range at 21C and humidex readings over 32C.

The following watch is in effect for metro Montreal


Metro Montréal - Laval
4:37 PM EDT MONDAY 28 JUNE 2010
Metro Montréal - Laval CONTINUED

Persons in or near this area should be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions. Watch for updated statements.

Please refer to the latest public forecasts for further details and continue to monitor the situation through your local radio and television stations or Weatheradio.

A very humid Monday

A warm front continues to lift north across Montreal and southern Quebec this morning. The front generated some heavy showers in Ontario and Quebec producing between 25-50mm of rainfall in many regions. Toronto's Pearson Airport had 53mm of rain yesterday raising the June total to a record breaking 191.6mm. The previous record was 169.2mm set in June 2000. Montreal has had 135.2mm as of yesterday.
The showers will taper off and we should have some hazy sunshine today, it will be very warm and muggy with temperatures near 26C. The cold front associated with this low will slice across the region this evening with a good chance of showers and thunderstorms. This will be followed by cloudy and cooler weather until Thursday when skies will clear under expanding high pressure and temperatures will begin to warm.

Tropical Storm Alex has drifted off the Mexican coast and into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico overnight. Circulation and dynamics in the region are ideal for further intensification, and Alex could become a hurricane later today. Peak winds this morning are at 50mph and a Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft recorded a central pressure of 991mb. Alex is forecast to move towards the northwest slowly and could approach the south Texas/Mexican coast by Wednesday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tropical Storm Alex

TS Alex looks good on radar and satellite this morning near the Belize/Mexico border.

The first tropical system of the Atlantic hurricane season developed late Friday off the coast of Belize and has moved inland. Heavy rain and gusty winds are occurring in Belize and along the Yucatan Coast of Mexico. A tropical storm warning was in effect in both those regions. At 9am this morning Alex was located about 170km west of Chetumal, Mexico with 40mph winds. Alex is expected to move back over the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico within the next 24 hours and could become a major hurricane by Wednesday. Models have the most likely path of the storm inland over northern Mexico near Tampico but some models carry the storm northward towards Louisiana and Texas and the BP oil disaster area. This storm has excellent structure on radar this morning and needs to be watched closely.

Heavy Rain
Meanwhile more heavy rain and thunderstorms swept across the prairies yesterday. This will be the last in a series of heavy rain events for a few days as high pressure moves in and produces very warm and dry weather this week. The heavy rain will shift east in Ontario and Quebec. A warm front will lift northward across the St. Lawrence Valley tonight with a soaking rain and some loud overnight thunderstorms. Monday will be warm and humid with thunderstorms late in the day. The middle part of the week will be unseasonably cool with some showers before a marked warming trend into next weekend. Temperatures will be25C today & 27C tomorrow in Montreal but struggle to reach 20C through Canada Day before we soar to near 30C next

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Heavy rain

Above is another view of the collapsed bridge near Bowman, Quebec on Highway 357 after yesterday's 5.0 earthquake.

A line of showers and thunderstorms moved across the western portion of the Island of Montreal between 2 and 3pm and dumped a quick 43mm of rain into my gauge here on Ile Perrot. I think for the most part the water drained well, but my back yard looks like a lake! Skies should clear this evening followed by a sunny and dry day Friday.

I was just checking out the intense heat and humidity south of Quebec from New Jersey into the southeast. Places such as Norfolk are close to 100F with heat indexes well above 100. One of the highest I found was at Accomac, Virginia on the Eastern Shore, where I was just a month ago. At 4pm the temperature was 100F with a heat index of 113F (45C) - ouch that's hot! Heat Advisories are in effect for a wide area.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

5.0 Earthquake Update

Major damage occurred from the 5.0 quake close to the epicentre in Gracefield, Quebec including this bridge. SQ and Transport Quebec officials are in the photo.

Lots of excitement occurred across Ontario, Quebec and northern New York today as a 5.0 magnitude quake occurred just north of Ottawa. Several small communities in the Gatineau and Maniwaki regions reported damage including the collapse of a small bridge in Gracefield, Quebec. Other damage in that community included a partial collapse of a church and damage to the town hall. Elsewhere both passenger and freight train service was stopped so that tracks could be inspected in the Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa corridor. Some minor power outages were also reported, and firefighters were kept busy answering alarms. Rail service slowly returned to normal during the afternoon rush hour. Thousands of workers evacuated high rise office towers in Toronto and Ottawa but returned to work within an hour.

I was on lunch parked outside at a Loblaws on the West Island of Montreal. It felt as if someone had jumped on my back bumper, or a gust of wind had pushed the car. I did not think much about it until my daughter called a few minutes later to ask what had just happened. She lives 2 hours west of Montreal, so I figured we could rule out a gust of wind!

Severe thunderstorms
Speaking of wind, heavy thunderstorms in Ontario tonight have spawned a likely tornado near Midland, Ontario on the Lake Huron shoreline. Major damage has been reported and a tornado warning is now posted east of there for the Barrie region. Those storms should weaken shortly. Meanwhile a tornado watch is out for Windsor and Essex County in extreme southwest Ontario. Storms are moving in from Michigan and could produce heavy rain, hail and possibly tornadoes. Thunderstorms and heavy rain are expected in Montreal overnight tonight as that low pressure area moves eastward.

5.5 Eastern Quake

3:44 Update: The quake has been adjusted to a 5.0 by the USGS and it was centered near Buckingham, Quebec. Shortly afterwards a 3.0 aftershock was reported as well. No damage so far, lots of frayed nerves especially in Ottawa and Toronto.

Yes it was a quake at about 1:41 pm this afternoon, felt across many areas of Quebec and Ontario. It measured 5.5 according to the USGS and was centered 39km north of Cumberland, Ontario.

Here is the event page link Eastern Quake

More information soon...

2:24pm Update: It was felt from Windsor to Montreal south to Albany. Several buildings in Ottawa and Toronto were evacuated.

From "Earthquakes across eastern Canada are definitely rare but we do have them," said Johanna Wagstaffe, a CBC seismologist and meteorologist. "There are small fault lines along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. There is a relatively active fault line that runs parallel to the St. Lawrence Valley. It's about 1,000 kilometres long." The last major earthquake we saw on that fault line was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake in 1998, she said.

Holiday Update

The June 24 holiday is on here in Quebec tomorrow, and school is ending in most locations across the country this Friday. The weather is not going to cooperate for the next couple of days sad to say. It looks like today will be warm and humid with an increasing threat of thunderstorms. The biggest threat for severe weather today will be in Ontario west of a line from Renfrew to Trenton. The storms will be intense with heavy rain, strong winds, hail and even isolated tornadoes. Keep this in mind if your travels take you down the 401 today. South of us into New York and Vermont it is just plain hot and humid. Temperatures today will be near 30C in Montreal and surrounding areas. Our threat for thunderstorms and heavy rain will take place overnight and into early Thursday morning. Tomorrow will be showery and cooler as a cold front moves through. This will set the stage for a sunny and seasonable Friday before more showers for the weekend and early next week. Lets worry about that forecast later on and enjoy today's weather first.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Western storms - Eastern heat and humidity

Below: The Trans Canada Highway remains closed near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan after weekend flooding. (
Below: Storm clouds move into Regina yesterday afternoon.

A typical summer pattern has established itself across eastern Canada. We remain on the periphery of strong high pressure over the US. The ridge has produced a severe heat wave across most of the central and eastern US with temperatures close to 37C (100F) in may areas. Where the heat has not reached that high, the humidity had created dripping heat indexes and dangerous air quality. Montreal was warm and humid yesterday, but with a refreshing breeze. Today we can expect an increase in clouds that will produce some decent thunderstorms overnight tonight. Wednesday will be showery with thunderstorms and very humid with temperatures near 27C (80F).

The severe weather continues across portions of western Canada. Many parts of southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan continue to be pounded by heavy rain and thunderstorms. Medicine Hat, Alberta had heavy flooding from the South Saskatchewan River on Sunday after nearly a months worth of rain fell in one day. The same has occurred in Maple Creek, SK (100mm) along the Trans Canada. Portions of the highway have been washed out near that town, along with flooding of basements and businesses. The water is slowly receding but the forecast continues to emphasize the threat of more wet weather. Yesterday heavy thunderstorms pressed north across the Montana border towards Moose Jaw and Regina. Numerous tornado watches and even a warning were posted. There were reports of tornadoes on the ground but no major damage or injuries occurred. Moose Jaw had over 25mm of rain in a very short period during the late afternoon. The heavy rain produced by the storms caused more flooding of fields already under water. According to the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), it is the least amount of acres seeded so far this year since the summer of 1971. Many fields will never see wheat or any crop this year. Only 70% of all crops have been seeded so far this year, with the normal being nearly 100% by late June.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tornado Watch in Saskatchewan

On this first day of summer, heavy thunderstorms are moving north from Montana into southern Saskatchewan. Theses storms have a history of tornadic activity, therefore a TORNADO WATCH has been posted as of 2:57 CST for parts of southern Saskatchewan including Gravelbourg and Assiniboia. Further updates later.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thunderstorms possible today

Just a quick update on this steamy Saturday. Clouds and winds are on the increase ahead of a cold front moving southeast from Ontario. I expect showers and thunderstorms to develop anytime after lunch from Ottawa west and then slowly press across the St. Lawrence Valley and into upstate New York and the Champlain Valley by evening. Some of theses storms have the potential for very strong winds close to 100km/h, hail and torrential rains, as much as 50mm. So far a small line of storms has developed west of Ottawa in a line south towards Kingston. Temperatures are very warm at 27C in Montreal and surrounding regions with humidex values close to 33C.

Surface winds ahead of the cold front are expected to increase from 30-50km/h.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Weekend Update

High pressure will draw warm and humid air from the southern US today and push the mercury up to 30C in Montreal. Yesterday started cool and showery but once the clouds cleared the temperature soared to 27C in a matter of hours. The rain accumulated between 30 and 35mm in most regions.

June is turning out to be quite a wet month as system after system from the west moves across the Great Lakes and along the US border. Speaking of the west, yesterdays storm in northern Montana dumped up to 150mm of rain on southern Alberta with 25-50mm in southwest Saskatchewan. It is likely that many agricultural regions in both provinces will need to be declared disaster areas as a result of excessive rainfall and flooded fields. Seeding is way behind schedule in most areas of Saskatchewan and may likely be abandoned all together in some fields.

Back east the heat and humidity will last throughout the weekend with just a chance of a shower or thunderstorm each afternoon. Keep cool & be good.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hot & Humid

From a water soaked field in southern Saskatchewan.

The cool wet weather is nearly behind us. Yesterday, as expected a band of heavy rain crossed the region in the late afternoon and evening. Around 30mm was reported at several locations including on Ile Perrot. This system is slowly moving east of the region this morning, with the rain coming to an end. Skies will clear out today and it will become warmer and much more humid as we head into the weekend. Temperatures will rise above 27C tomorrow, and approach 30C on the weekend. The humidity will be on the rise as well into next week.

Saskatchewan Rain
Another low pressure area is moving out of Montana and into Saskatchewan today. This has been a trend throughout this spring and has left many fields across the province under water, delaying seeding. According to Sask Ag, 70% of the crops have been seeded so far, this compares with the five year average of 96% and 99% at this time last year. In Assiniboia and the southland nearly 180mm of rain has fallen since May 1st. Farmers simply cannot get into the waterlogged fields with any type of equipment except maybe a boat! The current storm is forecast to dump between 50-75mm of rain in the southwest and west central regions, with heavy thunderstorms expected in the southeast.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Heavy Rain

This entry will be short, as I am on battery backup, our power just went out...again!

Today low pressure from the midwest US will slide across Lake Ontario and down the St. Lawrence Valley. An area of heavy rain and thunderstorms will spread into Ottawa and Montreal this afternoon. Amounts may reach 20-30mm, but may be even higher locally in thunderstorms. This morning, London, ON had 13mm in just 30 minutes. No warnings have been posted, but a special weather statement is highlighting the risk of heavy rain today. Skies will slowly clear on Thursday and it will become hot and humid across the region into the weekend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hot & humid weather on the way

The hot and steamy weather that has been baking the southern and central US will begin to move northeast into the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valley's towards the end of the week. A warm front will lift north of the region on Wednesday with showers, and behind that front temperatures and humidity will be on the rise right into next week. I expect high temperatures close to 29C with humidex reading pushing 36C. There will also be the risk of thunderstorms especially on the weekend.

The warm and humid air has been sparking thunderstorms across the southern plains. Some locations in Oklahoma reported nearly 10 inches of rain yesterday producing rapid and severe flash floods. A sate of emergency has been declared in at least 59 counties.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Muggy week ahead

Ok so now I am o for 2 in the weekend weather forecast department since my return from North Carolina. However yesterday's error was much better than last Sundays. Despite the prediction for rain, we had sunny skies all day and warm temperatures around 26C. The weather was perfect for the Canadian Grand Prix here in Montreal. Today is showery but mild as a front settles south into New York State this morning. Skies will clear later today. The week looks fair but humid with the chance of showers and thunderstorms almost everyday right into next weekend.

Arkansas Flood
Crews continue the grim cleanup in Arkansas after heavy rains last Thursday night produced devastating flash floods early Friday morning along the Little Missouri River. Radar estimates show as much as 10 inches of rain fell in a short period of time. The river rose from 8 feet early in the evening to nearly 24 feet by morning moving through a National Park and campground sweeping away cars, cabins, trailers and people. Rescue crews have found 19 victims so far with one young girl still missing.

Flag Day
Today is flag day in the US. It also happens to be the day I became interested in weather. On June 14, 1966, it was a very warm and humid day in Montreal. High humidity pushed the temperature to 30C with a humidex of 36C or nearly 100F. There are several theories as to why I am into weather so much, one of them being that between 4-5pm in the afternoon, just as I was coming into this world, a fierce line of thunderstorms swept the Island of Montreal. The gusty winds, hail and heavy rain were accompanied by, as my mother described, the loudest thunder she has ever heard. It actually blew the back screen door off our home and allowed a large amount of water to pool in the kitchen. My mom figures this peaked my interest immediately and thus began the constant trek to the window, and years of wearing out carpets and curtains along the way until I moved into my own place. Anyway the interest in weather moves along into another year...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend Update

It looks like Sunday's race here in Montreal may be
similar weatherwise to the 2000 race shown above

Words of advice, mow your lawn today, it may be too wet this weekend. Our dry May has been replaced by a cool and wet June. Very warm and muggy air sits just to our south, however a persistent track of potent late spring lows keeps on sliding along the US border from the Prairies across the Great Lakes and into Ontario and Quebec. This morning we are experiencing low clouds and some fog after yesterdays rain. Skies will slowly clear followed by a sunny and seasonable day. Saturday will turn more humid with showers and thunderstorms developing and sadly they will continue into Sunday affecting the Canadian Grand Prix. The race runs rain or shine, but typically water and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve do not mix well. Monday looks like a washout as more rain and cool temperatures prevail before a gradual warming trend next week. Unfortunately work and the real world beckons so the entry will be short today. I will update the weekend forecast later today.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Unsettled weather returns

Despite the presence of high pressure and sunshine, yesterday was another in a series with popcorn showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. After my blog entry about how dry it has been and only receiving 38mm of rain for May, we have now had 44mm at the airport since June 1, and between 50-100mm in many other locations around the city. More rain is on the way. After a sunny day today, low pressure over the Great Lakes will swing east and produce another cloudy, cool and windy day Thursday, with periods of rain. Skies will clear out Friday and it will be pleasant into Saturday before the air mass becomes more humid with thunderstorms Sunday. Temperatures will be around 22C today, drop to the teens tomorrow with the cloud cover and rain and rebound to the mid 20's for the weekend. Looking into next week and beyond it appears that very warm and humid weather is on the way.

Leamington, Ontario tornado damage (Leamington Post photo)
Looking at some of the damage from Sunday's storm in southwest Ontario it appeared that the damage was much worse than an F-1 storm. My suspicions were confirmed yesterday when Environment Canada determined that the Leamington storm had damage along sections of its path that have qualified the storm as an F-2. Investigators found a two storey house that had been shifted on its foundation. A storm of this strength is capable of winds between 180 and 240km/h.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

F-1 Tornado

Cool weather continues across most of Canada so far this June. This morning the temperature is only 0C (32F) in Churchill, Manitoba with freezing rain. The freezing rain is expected to change to a few centimetres of snow today. Meanwhile frost warnings are in effect for the lower north shore here in Quebec as well as the Saguenay and Lac St. Jean regions. The cool weather is expected to persist into the weekend. High pressure will dominate the region today with sunny skies but below normal temperatures. Low pressure will give southern Quebec and eastern Ontario showers late Wednesday into Thursday before skies clear out for another pleasant Friday. The weekend looks a little sketchy at this point, lets wait untill we get closer.

Environment Canada has confirmed an F-1 tornado in the Leamington area Saturday night. The damage path was 1km wide by 5km in length. A state of emergency is still in effect in Essex County due to the severe and extensive tree damage, as well as major power outages. Hydro One expects that it will take several days to repair and replace damaged lines, transformers and poles. Southwest Ontario was not the only region affected by severe weather on Saturday. During the afternoon hours several severe thunderstorms moved across eastern Ontario and western Quebec as far as the Island of Montreal. One of theses storms produced an F-1 tornado near Ste-Anne-de-Prescott in the extreme eastern part of Ontario. The storm caused considerable damage to several farms as well as uprooting trees and downing power lines as it pressed eastward towards the Quebec border and dissipated. According to Environment Canada the damage path was about 8km long and ranged in width from 20 to 30 metres. An F-1 tornado is capable of winds up to 180km/h. The tornadoes were the first two of the season for Ontario. Canada usually receives on average about 80 tornadoes each year.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ontario tornado

Just some of the damage from Leamington, Ontario. (Leamington Post photo)

That was a brutal weather weekend, especially for the Tour de L'ile bike event in Montreal yesterday. The system that I thought would take most of rain south of us did not do as expected and made for a dreary, cold and wet Sunday here in Montreal. The heavy cloud cover and rain allowed the temperature to reach only 13C. On Saturday the first system produced a rather showery, warm and humid day with some thunderstorm activity in the afternoon. Rainfall was heavy at times, and I measured 60mm on Ile Perrot from the weekend rains, or nearly double the May total. The airport in Dorval to my east had considerably less, and this makes sense due to the isolated nature of Saturday's storms.

That same system on Saturday dragged a cold front across the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Numerous severe thunderstorms fired up late Saturday and into the pre-dawn hours Sunday across Illinois, southeast Michigan, northern Ohio and southwest Ontario. Several communities reported tornadoes that claimed at least 7 lives from Illinois into Ohio. In Ontario the town of Leamington southeast of Windsor was hit hard at around 3am Sunday morning. A potential tornado hit the community bringing down hundred year old trees on cars and homes and snapping power poles in half. The damage is very severe in many neighborhoods. Luckily nobody was hurt in the storm. Environment Canada will be investigating the storm damage today to determine if it was a micro burst, straight line winds or a tornado. Early reports from them indicate it was likely a F-1 tornado along the Lake Erie shoreline, however they continue to investigate.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Weekend Update

The image above is from NOAA in the US and shows the plume of smoke extending from the Quebec wildfires north of Montreal southeast across our region and into New England this past Monday.

Showers overnight have ended this morning with just some low clouds and fog persisting in most areas. Skies will clear out and it will be a sunny, slightly humid, and warm day with temperatures either side of 25C across the area. Low pressure in the Great Lakes will move across the St. Lawrence Valley with showers and thunderstorms beginning overnight and continuing into Saturday. The anticipated cloud cover will keep temperatures down around 20C both Saturday and Sunday. A second area of low pressure over the Ohio Valley will slide to the east and just to the south of Montreal on Sunday. The track of this system may keep most of the precipitation south of the city, but we can't rule out a stray shower. The annual Tour de L'Ile will be running in Montreal on Sunday with thousands of cyclists participating. While it will be a decent day, bringing a raincoat along for the ride is not a bad idea.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Showery weekend ahead

Showers continued overnight providing the region with much needed moisture. Montreal ended last month with only 38mm of precipitation, that did include 0.2cm of snow on Mother's Day, but also a 35C high temperature reading last week. We are heading into a period of unsettled weather this weekend across Ontario and Quebec. Skies will be partly cloudy today with temperatures no better than 20C and the ever present chance of showers. Tomorrow will be the best day of the next four with sunny skies and temperatures warming to 26C. The weekend looks cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms for the entire weekend and even into Monday. The damp and cooler weather is helping the forest fire situation here in Quebec. Firefighters are now battling 40 blazes down from 45 and more importantly only 5 are listed as out of control down from 16 last weekend. The air quality region wide has improved tremendously from this past Monday.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Some relief from poor air quality

When I posted yesterday morning I did not realize the extent of the smoke invasion from the forest fires here in Quebec. Bridget left me a comment about the smoke reaching Kemptville, and I noticed the visibility in Ottawa was quite low most of the morning, actually lower than here in Montreal. In addition to Ontario, advisories for the smoke were issued in New Hampshire, Vermont and New York and reports were received from as far south as Cape Cod. So what many thought was there own home on fire, was actually encompassing thousands of square kilometres.

This morning a welcome rain is falling across southern Quebec. The rain is scrubbing the air and helping knock down the dust and smoke. It will be beneficial for all regions regardless of how much falls. Radar is showing a wide area of rain in eastern Ontario and western Quebec that will slowly move east this morning. The relief will be short lived as Smog Warnings are already in effect for the metro region for later today and tomorrow. Warm and humid air will move back into the region overnight. Relief will arrive in the form of a cold front overnight tomorrow into Thursday morning.

June 1st is the official start of the Atlantic tropical season. We already had a taste of this last week as that non tropical low east of the Carolina's produced rough surf, beach erosion and lead to the deaths of at least 3 swimmers along beaches from new York to Florida. Forecasters are predicting a very active season with as many as 23 named storms, with up to 11 becoming hurricanes and several of those major storms (category 3 or higher). I will be watching the tropics closely as I have been since 1979, and several of the links on the left side of this blog will provide you with current information 24/7. Over the weekend the Pacific storm season began when Tropical Storm Agatha came onshore along the Guatemala/Mexican border. The heavy rains produced flash floods that killed at least 144 people in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. More information can be found HERE