Sunday, July 31, 2011

More dry weather

This a great story HERE : Ralph the pelican was released this morning in North Carolina after being found on a roof of a Halifax, Nova Scotia business after Hurricane Earl last September. She has been returned home to her native North Carolina, very close to the Outer Banks.

July is drawing to a close today much the same way it started, sunny and warm and very dry. We had about 50 percent of our normal rainfall in Montreal with 56.2mm at the airport. But most of that was in thunderstorms, fell in a very short time and did not affect other parts of the city. For example here on Ile Perrot I had about 20mm of rain, less than one inch. Most of my flowers including the roses are dead, the lawn is hay and the trees are dropping their leaves. We have a strictly enforced water ban in the municipality as do many other regions in the southern part of the province and into Ontario. Today we are looking at temperatures close to 30C with sunshine. Tonight a weak front may produce a shower or two before sunshine and warm temperatures return into mid week.

Tropical Storm Emily?
An Army Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is on route to an area of disturbed weather about 650 miles east of the Lesser Antilles that is expected to become Tropical Storm Emily late today (100% likelihood according to the NHC). The storm is forecast to head towards the islands and affect them this week before moving towards the Bahamas and possibly the east coast. Stay tuned as this will be a big weather story this week.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Don fizzles

Texas Drought - 1 vs. Tropical Atlantic - 0

It was not much of a battle as Tropical Storm Don literally dried out over south Texas last night. The storm, or what was left of it moved inland near Baffin Bay around 10pm and immediately began to evaporate over the drought stricken state. The historic drought was too much for the poorly organized storm and this morning it is a remnant low over the Rio Grande. The storm provided little relief from the drought with just scattered showers and thunderstorms. Forecasters were expecting perhaps 1-3 inches of rain, but that seems generous with most stations reporting much less than that. Winds were perhaps 20mph along the coast. Forecasters are now watching two other areas of interest in the Atlantic basin for possible development. We are now heading into the peak seasonal months of August and September.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Update

The long weekend is upon is several parts of the country. The weather looks ideal in Ontario and Quebec with sunny skies and temperatures around 28C for both Saturday and Sunday. Today we have low pressure with a warm and cold front to our west. The warm front will cross the region early today with some showers or thunderstorms followed by the cold front later today with more storms. Radar shows a narrow band of precipitation marching across Ontario towards the Quebec border this morning. It will be warm and humid with highs around 29C, we are currently 23C in Montreal.

(National Hurricane Center)

Tropical Storm Don
Tropical storm Don remains poorly organized and somewhat elongated this morning over the Gulf of Mexico with 50mph winds. The storm is heading northwest at 14 mph towards the lower Texas coast. Don should make landfall tonight near Corpus Christie with slightly stronger winds and a surge of 1-2 feet. The rain from Don will not by any means be a drought buster for the parched state, but welcome nonetheless. Look for 2-5 inches along the path of Don with as much as 7 inches locally. The rain will be confined to South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. Tropical Storm Warnings are flying along the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande River north to Matagorda.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tropical Storm Don update

Tropical Storm Don remains a minimal system this morning looking a little less organized on satellite and radar than he did last evening. The system will begin slowly pulling away from the Yucatan today and into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande to San Luis Pass. Don is moving northwest at 10mph and will approach the watch area by late Friday. The system is expected to become better organized today and become a strong tropical storm by landfall. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter is en route this morning and we should have a better idea of how Don is behaving shortly.

Montreal weather remains very dry with only 50.6mm officially at Trudeau airport but most of that falling during 2 thunderstorms on 2 days. Only 93.8mm fell last month. No appreciable rain has fallen in the last 10 days, and none in the forecast, just spotty showers or storms over the next 24 hours as weak low pressure moves to our north. Into the weekend look for much warmer and more humid weather with highs from 27C to 30C right into next week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tropical Storm Don

A NOAA Hurricane Hunter flying into low pressure this afternoon just north of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has observed 40mph winds and a closed center, so we now have our fourth named storm of the season, tropical storm Don. Don is forecast to move northwest at about 12mph towards the middle Texas coast. Some strengthening is expected, and we could have a strong tropical storm on the Texas coast by late Friday. The state has been suffering from searing heat and drought so the rain is welcome. Lets hope the wind and wave impact is minimal. Waters in the Gulf are warm but the storm is encountering moderate shear and this may keep development down.

Sunshine returns

My favorite peeps or pups Ginger (front) and Sheldon enjoying a break in the rain at the beach in Nova Scotia yesterday, on vacation with their mom and dad.

The heat and high humidity will take a break for one day as a pleasant air mass settles into Quebec and Ontario today. Temperatures will be in the mid 20's with low humidity and bright sunny skies. Despite the thunderstorm activity that was quite loud and at times severe across the city yesterday, we only received 1.6mm of rain at the airport and not much more than that at my home. The dry conditions persist with watering bans in effect in many southern Quebec municipalities. I noticed today my roses and trees are just about done. The lawn has been hay for awhile now. The heat will build back into the region starting tomorrow with temperatures at 30C into the weekend and just a slight risk of a thunderstorm.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Still no rain

Depending where you live in west end Montreal and off island to the Ontario border, you have had anywhere between 25 and 50mm of rain this month (1-2 inches), the normal is around 91mm. It is just not enough in this sweltering heat that we have had in July. Lawns, gardens and especially trees are beginning to show serious signs of water depletion and heat stress. This is true in neighborhoods, such as mine that have watering bans in effect. Leaves are changing color to yellow and dropping from trees making some area resemble October and not July. We will see what we can squeeze out of the clouds today. Yesterday the heaviest rain and storms split Montreal moving north and south of the city. Trenton, Ontario had close to 50mm yesterday alone. We had nothing but a few drops with officially 1.2mm at Trudeau Airport, just a splash in the rain gauge. Temperatures and cloud cover have thankfully lowered the temperature, we were at 26C the last two days, just shy of 80F. Today we are expecting weak low pressure to move across southern Quebec with some showers and thunderstorms. Radar returns at this moment are weak at best. Temperatures will be seasonable today at 24C before we warm close to 30C again towards the end of the week with humidity on the rise.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heatwave, Drought?

The locks at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue packed with pleasure craft on a 33C Saturday. (ValleyWX Pic)

Just what is a heatwave anyway? According to Environment Canada it is three days or more of 32C weather. Well lets split some hairs shall we. Following that logic we just finished one of the hottest weeks in recent memory and are in a very warm and dry month. We managed the second warmest temperature on record for the city of Montreal, the highest humidex reading Thursday at 47C, and the region has reported at least 10 heat related deaths. However on one day, Friday, we reached 31.9C so, guess what, no heatwave.

The truth of the matter is it was a dangerously hot couple of days that made today's 27C seem cool. We have seen so far this month 18 out of the 24 days at 27C (81F) or higher. Of those, 9 days, were 30C (86F) or higher. We have recorded precipitation on only 5 days this month for a grand total of 46mm at the airport and only 26mm off island to the west. In my neighborhood we have had even less with no appreciable rain in the last 10 days. Watering bans are in effect, and most trees and lawns are beginning to show serious signs of heat stress. This week will bring some slight relief in the form of showers and thunderstorms, but they will be scattered with no big rain makers in sight. It will be a little cooler to start the week, but we should be pushing 30C again by weeks end.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Record High

The setting sun plays with developing thunderstorms after a hot 35.6C day in Montreal. (ValleyWX Pic)

Montreal was among scores of cities across eastern North America to establish new record highs yesterday. The city reached a scorching 35.6C (96F) beating the old record of 35 set in 1955. It was just shy of the all time record set in August 1975 of 37.1C. Toronto also had a record high for the day and the month at 37.9C just shy of their warmest day ever of 38.3C. Ottawa reached 36.3C while Saint Hubert on Montreal's South Shore hit 36C, the warmest in the province. All regions had oppressive humidity with humidex reading in the mid 40's in Montreal and even touching 50C in southwest Ontario. Overnight lows were impressive as well with 26C so far in Montreal, and 28C (83F) in Burlington, Vermont. That low comes after a sweltering 97F yesterday for a record high as well.

Nearly 30 states have heat advisories of some sort today as well as portions of Quebec. The warnings in Quebec will be dropped today as the air mass dries out slightly. A weak cool front has sagged south across the area switching the winds from southwest to west. A few thunderstorms fired up along the front last evening producing vivid lightning once again at my home but little else. Sounds like a broken record this summer but the storms moved north of my location across the Island of Montreal. They produced heavy rain with some flooding and knocked a few branches onto power lines keeping Montreal firefighters busy.

Today and Saturday will remain warm with highs close to 32C. It will cool by Sunday (26C) with even cooler air to start next week before another warming trend. Showers and storms are possible Saturday night.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Live from NASA TV - The Space Shuttle Atlantis touching down at 5:56am in Florida this morning.

6am UPDATE: I am up early today to watch and listen to the final landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135). I remember fondly and at times sadly watching this over the 30 years from Shuttle Mission 1 in April 1981 to this morning. This is the 135th Mission and last of the program. What an incredible landing to watch. Hard to believe 30 years ago I listened on a transistor radio, AM only, now watching it live from inside the cockpit on streaming video... just awesome - thanks NASA!

Weather Update: At 6am, Coolingwood, Ontario 30C (86F) humidex 39C. In Quebec St. Anicet 27C, Humidex 33C, unreal for the time of day. I am showing 25C here on Ile Perrot. Very simply put it will be hot today. It is 5am here in Montreal with an air temperature of 25C, elevated dew points and a humidex value already in the low 30's. Temperatures today will soar into the mid to upper 30's across Ontario and Quebec with 34C for Montreal and 38C for Toronto expected. Some relief may come in the form of thunderstorms later today. This morning a few showers and storms are occurring north of the city but they should remain there.

High Heat and Humidity Warnings and Air Quality Alerts are in effect for nearly 30 states and 3 provinces including locally Ontario, Quebec and New York and Vermont. Temperatures and humidity will make it dangerous today. So far the heat has claimed 22 lives in the US. The warm temperatures will last well into this weekend, but today will be the hottest day.

Tropical Update: We have two systems in the Atlantic, Bret and Cindy. Both are rather disorganized tropical storms and should remain out in the open waters and away from land.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

High Heat Advisory

High heat and humidity advisories are in effect for most of southern Quebec and Ontario as a tropical air mass invades the region from the US. Temperatures will soar into the low to mid 30's with high dew points and heat index values well over 40C, especially in Ontario today through Friday. It short it will be hot and uncomfortable. The heat will peak tomorrow with highs close to 37C (100F) in may areas, probably "cooler" in Montreal at about 34C. There is a risk of strong thunderstorms in southern Quebec tomorrow as the humidity builds as well.

Just how hot is it? Yesterday, Winnipeg was 34C (95F) with a record humidex of 47C. Minneapolis had it warmest dew point value ever at 83F with highs in the 90's and heat index values over 110F. The heat will continue to build into the east for the balance of the week with most regions from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic and Northeast under heat advisories, nearly 1/3 of the US population. Keep cool, stay hydrated and check on your older family members and neighbours. The heat is especially hard on the very old and very young.

*As a footnote to the heat, the air quality is deteriorating as well as smoke from the northern Ontario forest fires drifts over the region. Combine that with elevated pollution from the heat and you get poor air quality for at least the next 2 days in major eastern Canadian cities.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Century mark by Thursday

Storm damage in downtown Ottawa Sunday night. (

There is lots of weather to talk about on this Tuesday morning. Lets start with yesterday as more strong storms rolled across the region. Again most of the storms missed my location but passed well west and east of Montreal, however one cell did cross the city late in the afternoon with heavy rain. Some storms were quite strong in Ontario and New York bringing down more trees and power lines adding to the damage in Ontario and west Quebec from Sunday's storm. The storm on Sunday night knocked out power to over 100,000 homes and claimed two lives in Quebec as well as several injuries in Ottawa.

High heat and humidity is gripping the prairies and US Midwest and will spread back into Ontario and Quebec for the balance of the week. Temperatures yesterday were in the mid 30's with humidex values in the 40's. Numerous severe thunderstorms flared up across Alberta and Saskatchewan with several reports of softball size hail and even a couple of tornadoes. The mercury will begin to soar in our region with highs on Wednesday around 32C and rising to 34C by Thursday. In Toronto and southwest Ontario temperatures will exceed 38C (102F) with humidex values off the charts in the 40's. Advisories for high heat will likely be posted today for the entire region. To add to the already poor air quality, some smoke from the northern Ontario forest fires is beginning to drift south into eastern Ontario and Quebec. At this time no relief is in sight for the heat with it lasting well into the late weekend and possibly next week.

TROPICAL STORM BRET: continues to move slowly northeast into the Atlantic Ocean and away from land. The second system of the year is 410 miles south of Cape Hatteras with 50mph winds.

More dust is blowing around Arizona as the hot summer of 2011 moves on. Another dust storm was observed yesterday near Phoenix. Temperatures are hot in the most of the US with 100F plus temperatures in Dallas and Oklahoma City recorded everyday this moth except one.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More heat and storms

The wind, estimated at 100km/h, collapsed the main stage
at Bluesfest in Ottawa last evening.

Round 2 of the thunderstorms have just moved across eastern Ontario and the Valleyfield area this morning, and are exiting the region into northern New York. There will be a bit of a break to allow the humidity and heat to build again and we should see more storms later today as the mercury hits 29C.

The storms this morning were nothing compared to the fierce line of thunderstorms that moved across the Ottawa Valley last night. High winds, estimated at 100km/h toppled the main stage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, injuring twelve, one seriously. The stage collapsed at around 7:30pm with the band Cheap Trick preforming. Hydro One reported nearly 50,000 without power in eastern Ontario while Hydro Quebec estimated 100,000 without power from Gatineau to St. Jerome. The storms skirted the Montreal region with gusty winds and lightning but no damage was reported.

The heat will return starting Tuesday and build as the week moves along with highs expected in the 30's.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A line of severe thunderstorms along a slowly advancing cold front is moving across eastern Ontario and into southwestern Quebec. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for Valleyfield, Huntingdon and the western off island suburbs of Montreal until 9:30pm. The storms produced 60km/h winds in Ottawa with higher gusts and dropped the temperature from 30C down to 21C. They will approach the city in the next hour or so.

The watch remains in effect until 1am for the entire region and has been extended south into northern New York and Vermont.

Heatwave moves east

Above the large Seaway ship Commencement approcahes the lift bridge at the western entrance to the Beauharnois Canal in Valleyfield yesterday. The boat held me up for 20 minutes, but it was worth the wait. ValleyWX Pic

**Well I was updating my blog when I heard a loud crash. It seems that a 20 or 30km/h southwest wind can lift a patio table and umbrella off a deck, who knew! Anyway latest temperatures around the region are heating up. Montreal is 27C, Ottawa 28C and Toronto already 30C. The heat has now prompted a High Heat and Humidity Advisory for metro Montreal.

Stifling heat and humidity is spreading across the Great Lakes and into the east this morning. As of 8am Montreal was already at 24C with highs expected close to 32C (90F) today. The humidity will be building as well with heat index values approaching 40C today. A brief break in the heat will affect areas along the Quebec/New England border tonight and Monday as a weak cold front triggers some thunderstorms and lowers the temperature. Monday Montreal is expecting high temperatures near 28C. By Wednesday the heat will be building east once again with temperatures rising back into the 30's. Southwest Ontario will be hot and humid all week with daytime highs in the 32 to 35C range and warm overnight lows in the 20 to 24C range. A heat alert has been issued for Toronto.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spectacular Weekend

Map of expanding heatwave (

Strong high pressure is building into the central plains and will slowly slide east during the weekend and into next week. This means a prolonged period of warm weather is on the way. The weekend in Montreal will be simply spectacular with bright sunshine and temperatures from 29C to 31C (85 to 88F). The warm weather will continue into next week with humidity levels on the rise and the risk for showers and thunderstorms beginning Monday.

That same ridge of high pressure will be responsible for a prolonged heatwave that will see temperatures between 30 to 40C (86 to 103F) from the northern plains and prairies into the Midwest, Northeast and middle Atlantic. Temperatures in Windsor, Ontario for example will reach 35C by next Wednesday, Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan, 34C with Montreal around 32C. Further south the hot weather will be accompanied by high humidity as well with heat index values in the 100-110F. The only relief from the heat will come along the Vermont, New York, Quebec border where a cold front could trigger some thunderstorms as early as Monday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Brief storms

A frontal boundary moving across southern Quebec produced clouds and thunderstorms for most of the afternoon today keeping the temperatures down from yesterday's 30C (86F). We reached 24C (76F) prior to the storms around the lunch hour and then temperatures tumbled down to 16C (61F) before rebounding back to 24C (76F) under sunny skies to end the day. Just a few minutes ago I snapped the picture above near my home on L'Ile Perrot off the western tip of Montreal Island. We had a very brief shower go through with a rumble of thunder and then this beautiful double rainbow.

The storms that affected Montreal earlier today pushed into northern New York and Vermont between 3 and 5pm this afternoon. They were strong enough in Clinton County to produce 1-3 inches of rain in a very short period of time. Some flooding was reported. Skies should clear everywhere this evening with pleasant lows around 16C (61F). It will be sunny and warm for the next several days with temperatures from 27C (81F) tomorrow up to a hot and humid 33C (92F) by Sunday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heat and Humidity

Widespread damage occurred yesterday in Chicago from hurricane force winds. (Photo Chicago Tribune)

High heat and humidity continues to engulf most of eastern North America. Temperatures are in the high 80's to 100F with heat index values from 100F in southern Quebec and Ontario up to as high as 115F across the Tennessee and Ohio Valley's and into the southern plains and Gulf Coast. Yesterday a fast moving line of very strong thunderstorms known as a derecho blasted the Midwest from Illinois southeast into the middle Atlantic. Chicago at the height of the storm reported nearly 870,000 customers without power, a new record for the city. The storm produced widespread damage as hurricane force winds were recorded. Vehicles were blown over, trees torn down and wires and poles snapped. The thunderstorm complex started in the pre-dawn hours and raced across Illinois and Michigan, brushing southwest Ontario and lasting until late afternoon when the system finally dissipated over northern Virginia.

Besides the heat today, close to 30C in Montreal, we can expect a 40% chance of more thunderstorms. I had expected drier air today, but the cold front remains to our northwest. Wednesday will be showery and muggy as well before a period off great summer weather into next weekend with sunshine, low humidity and warm temperatures. Stay tuned and be sure to check out my twitter link for updates during the day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot Monday

Impressive lightning over Denver yesterday. (Fox News Denver)

The A/C has already kicked in here at work, something that usually does not happen until late morning or early afternoon. The temperature in Montreal is at a hazy and humid 23C with a humidex already at 29C. Hot and humid air is streaming northward from the central US where triple digit heat has been baking the region for several weeks. Many locations in the southern plains have seen their warmest days since the 1980's. Oklahoma had temperatures near 110F over the weekend. Drought in the southwest continues to generate isolated sand storms, thankfully none as big as the monster one last week in Phoenix.

As far as our region goes, hazy sunshine will give way to clouds and thunderstorms by late today. Temperatures will reach 31 to 33C (88 to 92 F) in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario, and 32 to 35C (90 to 95F) in southern Ontario. Humidex values will approach 40C (104F), and into the 40's over Windsor and London where humidex advisories are in effect. Triple digit heat will spread from the southern plains into the middle Atlantic today. Meanwhile the leading edge of drier air is moving into the Midwest today. This morning strong thunderstorms and squall lines are producing wind damage from the eastern Dakotas across Minnesota and into Illinois and Indiana. Those storms will spread east today into Ohio and New York, and may graze southern Ontario. The storms in Montreal tonight will be gusty with lots of lightning, but they should not be severe. We will have to wait and see. Watch my twitter account for updates (link on upper left side of blog).

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Weekend Update

Dark clouds begin to form behind fans at the U2 concert
last night in Montreal (Montreal Gazette)

A gusty line of thunderstorms greeted U2 fans last night as an unexpected downpour occurred around 11pm to coincide with the end of the concert. I was watching the radar last night and was impressed with the storms that developed rapidly after sunset well north of Ottawa and raced across the St. Lawrence Valley. The storms brought strong winds, over 60km/h at the airport, that toppled trees onto power lines. Montreal firefighters were kept busy answering numerous calls for trees on wires and debris blowing around. The downpour put about 10-15mm of rain down quickly drenching the 80,000 fans trying to return home. It cleared rapidly after midnight. Today and Sunday will be sunny and warm with highs around 27C (81F). The second U2 concert goes tonight and the weather will be perfect this time with no rain expected.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Atlantis Launch & U2

This severe thunderstorm produced tornadoes near Olds and Sundrie, Alberta.

Lots going on today in the weather world. First major storms struck southern Alberta last evening producing at least 3 tornadoes. Storms were fierce with up to 60mm or rain in under 2 hours and winds over 100km/h. One tornado was reported near Sundrie with minor damage reported. Environment Canada will be investigating today. More severe weather is occurring this morning.

Meanwhile the big Montreal event many have been waiting for is here. the U2 concert will be held outdoors in the central part of Montreal tonight and aging tomorrow evening. It is expected at least 160,000 fans will flock to the event. At this time the weather looks good for tonight and awesome for the weekend. We have some high clouds around at the moment and they will lower and thicken during the day with just a slight risk of a spotty shower. There is no rain expected Saturday. temperatures both days will be warm near 27C.

Space Shuttle Atlantis: The 135th launch in space is schedule to take place at 11:26am this morning when Atlantis lift of the pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida. At this time the weather is suspect at best. There is lots of moisture around in response to a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico (that is another story). Clouds and lots of moisture are in the air and shuttle control would like clear skies for the event expected to draw millions of viewers. The launch is the last in the 30 year shuttle program. I can't tell you how excited I was on Sunday, April 12, 1981 when the first shuttle lifted off. I actually taped it on an audio cassette of the TV. Lets hope they get safely off the ground. Currently it is overcast and muggy at Cape Canaveral. A decision will have to be made shortly. Yesterday lightning struck dangerously close to the launch pad, but no damage was reported.
**As of 8:30am the astronauts are in the shuttle and the launch as at least a chance of liftoff.

Above: The Space Shuttle Atlantis sits on the launch pad last night waiting for today's 11:26 launch. Below: A lightning strike hits the pad coming oh so close to the shuttle yesterday. (NASA photos)

Complete shuttle coverage can be found HERE.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Storm damage in Vermont

Above: Lightning triggers a massive blaze at Holy Family Catholic Church. (Burlington Free Press)

Power poles lie on an angle in Georgia, Vermont this afternoon.
(Burlington Free Press)

A strong cold front raced across the region today with several rounds of thunderstorms. The storms produced steady rain in Montreal, but little else. About 15mm of rain fell throughout the day. As the front slipped south and east of the city the storms become much more pronounced and severe. Strong winds tore down trees across northern and central Vermont with numerous reports of downed power lines and poles. As of 7:30 this evening 13,000 homes are still without power.Lightning was responsible for at least two fires in the state including the parish hall at the Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Essex. The fire started around 3:30pm and destroyed the 100 year old building. There are still some storms on radar south of Montreal in northern New York, but they are moving away from the region and dissipating.

A rainbow over Dorion, Quebec this evening was a nice
way to end a stormy day. (ValleyWX Pic)

Severe Thunderstrom Watch

** I am now using Twitter as well to provide quick updates during the day. You can view my page or follow me HERE or click on the link on the left hand column at the top.

A strong cold front over Ontario will slice across Quebec and northern New England today with a good chance of severe weather. This front has had a history of big storms from out west and into the northern US since Sunday. Look for thunderstorms to develop in the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valley's by noon and spread southeast into Vermont and New York. Environment Canada is reflecting the severe weather concern, and has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for all of southern Quebec. The main threat with these storms will be heavy rain, up to 40mm in a short time. Strong winds are also possible along with hail. Remember on Sunday night when only portions of the area were hit, the same will occur today with scattered to numerous storms. The threat will end by sunset in our area with clearing skies. It will be cooler and drier on Thursday. Temperatures today will reach about 27C before the thunderstorms start up. Radar this morning is showing some storms out ahead of the main front, located from Kingston to Cornwall.

AP Photo of massive dust storm sweeping into Phoenix last evening.

Southwest Dust Storm: A massive dust storm swept across Arizona and into metro Phoenix last evening. The area has experienced dry and hot weather for weeks. The dust cloud was as much as 50 miles high and reached between 5000 and 8000 feet into the sky. It was accompanied by 60 mph wind gusts that cut power to many homes and businesses.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Summer storms

Sandbag walls protect homes along the Souris River in Manitoba yesterday. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Environment Canada spent yesterday compiling a list of damage from thunderstorms across Ontario and Quebec over the weekend. They included downed trees on cars, toppled power lines felled by 100km/h winds and flooded basements from torrential rains. The system also produced storms in the Montreal area on Sunday night. By all accounts the light show was spectacular on parts of the island. Heavy rains swamped some basements as over 40mm of rain fell in a short time from the central part of the city across to the South Shore. Large hail was also reported, up to 4cm in diameter in the Richelieu Valley. All was quiet yesterday with just an isolated shower or storm across eastern Ontario that drifted into new York. Today will be much the same, warm and humid with another 30C day expected.

Yesterday the warmest place in the country was Emerson, Manitoba at 33.4C (91F). Valleyfield in southwest Quebec was not far behind at 31C (88F). Across southern Manitoba the warm and humid air mass was swept east by a cold front late in the day. The front produced widespread severe weather including funnel clouds in Manitoba and across the border in northwest Ontario. Winds gusted to 107km/h in Emerson and there were numerous reports of hail. The rain added to the already swollen Souris River that continues to crest once again and flood portions of southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Hot Weather

Happy 4th of July

Heat and humidity are spreading across the continent from the US southwest into Quebec. Temperatures will be near 30C again today after yesterday's high of 31C. Lines of thunderstorms affected the city and points east and south into Vermont last night, with some of the storms strong producing heavy rain and strong winds. A storm around 11pm, missed my home off the western tip of the island of Montreal, but pounded the city with up to 30mm of rain and winds over 60km/h. Several trees and power lines were down and the fire department was kept busy responding to calls for alarms triggered by the storm. The heavy rain also produced some minor flooding.

Hot temperatures occurred out west as well with the warmest spot in the country at 33C in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Heavy thunderstorms ripped across the prairies with funnel clouds, fierce winds and more heavy rain for the waterlogged region.

It appears we are in for a warm and humid week with temperatures near 30C during the day and not far from 20C at night. Look for the risk of showers and storms by Wednesday.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Storms today - warm week ahead

Storm damage from Detroit's east side last night.

Hot and humid weather was the focus for heavy thunderstorms last night across southwest Ontario and into Michigan. The hardest hit areas were from Detroit to Hamilton where strong winds toppled trees onto cars and homes and power was out to thousands. The storms have since dissipated.

Early this morning a line of storms passed well south and east of Montreal and they too have weakened. We have partial sunshine at the moment with high humidity and temperatures already approaching 25C. Look for another round of showers and storms later today but they are not likely to be severe. Nevertheless some heavy rain may occur. Temperatures may rise a degree or two before the frontal passage, up to 27C. Tonight skies will clear out and it will cool off to 14C. The rest of the week looks warm and increasingly humid as more of that hot air from the US moves into the Valley. Yesterday Montreal reached 30C and we only dipped to 21C overnight.