Friday, June 29, 2012

Long Weekend Weather

Happy Canada Day!

A few thunderstorms rattled across the region overnight, or so I was told. After three nights in a row of getting home at midnight, I slept through them. I noticed no appreciable wind gusts here overnight and just a splash of rain in the gauge this morning at 2.54 mm. It is 20C this morning, but a little more refreshing then last night with the rain clearing the air out a little. A very warm and humid air mass is set to invade the northeastern portion of the country with temperatures climbing to near 30C in Montreal and southern Quebec today. The heat will start today and last well into next week. It will be sunny to start both today and Saturday, but then become rather unsettled into the middle portion of next week with frequent thunderstorms. Intense heat is forecast up and down the eastern seaboard with heat index values well into the 100's. Numerous states have advisories or warnings posted for the dangerous combination of the heat and humidity. The warnings stretch from the Midwest and southern appalachians into the Carolinas and north to metro NYC. So far no warnings are in place for the heat north of the border, but a smog advisory has been posted for the GTA.

Canada Day Sunday looks great for the festivites in the Nation's Capital with high temperatures in the upper 20's and nothing but susnhine forecast at this time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Severe weather pounds Saskatchewan

From - A large tornado passes south of the Trans Canda Highway near Chaplin, SK.

This photo was taken by my friend Dayna Smith-Short north of Moose Jaw on Tuesday. I lived in Saskacthewan for 3 years and trust me there is no better place in Canada to watch and chase storms.
 SASKATCHEWAN - Strong storms swept across Saskatchewan on Tuesday promting numerous warnings. At one point the temperature was 9C in Calgary and 31C in Regina. When you have that kind of air mixing in the atmosphere combined with just the right amount of moisture and energy, you get severe weather. It was a big day for heavy weather across Saskatchewan Tuesday from Alberta east to the Manitoba border. It started early in the day with golf ball size hail reported at Consul at 9:30am. As the storms spread eastward they spawned a significant tornado between Moose Jaw and Swift Current just south of the Trans-Canada Highway. The storms pressed eastward with large hail, 120km/h winds and torrential rain into Saskatoon and Regina. Thousands are without power with SaskPower saying it could be days before all is restored. Trees were toppled and numerous accidents were reported on area highways. So far only minor injuries have been reported. There are still severe thunderstorm watches in place in the southeast part of the province this morning.

If you want more on yesterday's storms check out an incredible website at TORNADO HUNTER.

A fierce storm moves through Moose Jaw last evening. (Moose Jaw Times-Herald)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Up to 25 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Debby

A tornado spun off by Debby moves across the Florida Gulf Coast.

Back to work after a decant long weekend here in Quebec with sunshine and warm weather Saturday and Sunday giving way to showers and humid conditions on Monday. An upper level low spinning over upstate New York has been the focus of numerous showers and thunderstorms over the last 24 hours, some producing very heavy rain locally. The same will occur today with the axis of precipitation slipping slightly east of Montreal and Lake Champlain. Look for a few sunny breaks today but otherwise lost of clouds and perhaps a rumble of thunder. Temperatures will be below normal, perhaps hitting 20C if we receive a break or two of sunshine.
Point taken. (AP Photo)
Tropical Storm Debby
The moist air is being fed by a deep plume of tropical moisture that extends all the way down to tropical storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico. Debby is nearly stationary off the Florida coast drifting east at 3mph. The storm has been pounding the coast all weekend with a 3 to 5 foot storm surge and up to 8 inches of rain. Nearly 2 feet of rain could fall by Friday as the system slowly crosses northern Florida and emerges in the Atlantic Ocean. Winds are at 45 mph and several tornadoes have been spun off by the storm. Two fatalities were reported and power is out to over 35,000 homes. Coastal flooding has closed some highways and heavy rain is producing inland floods.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cooler & Drier

Just a few high clouds dot the sky in Montreal yesterday as temperatures again reached into the mid 30's. (ValleyWX)
As we head into the first of two consecutive long weekends here in Quebec, the weather is looking cooler and drier. We hit highs well into the 30's again on Thursday with 33.3C at the airport just short of the record high. Unofficially it was as warm as 36C on the island of Montreal with numerous stations reporting 34C including mine on L'Ile Perrot. Records were set yesterday at St Jean sur Richelieu at 33.8C, St Anicet at 34C, Cornwall 34C, Toronto 34.4C and Ottawa 34.6C.

This morning a weak cold front has cleared Montreal with no precipitation and winds are now out of the west. While it is still warm, it is noticeably drier. We are expecting a sunny day today and into the start of the weekend with warm temperatures near 27C. By Monday low pressure will be approaching southern Ontario and Quebec with showers and cooler weather expected into the middle of next week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Record Heat

Smog hangs over Toronto on Wednesday as the temperature soared to a record 34.6C. CTV News
Above: In response to a comment left by a reader asking about Ottawa's apparent record high, I just wanted to post the preliminary report made available by Environment Canada this morning regarding the record highs in Ontario on Wednesday.

Dozens of record highs fell once again across Ontario and Quebec yesterday as the temperature rose into the 30's. Ottawa was the warmest in the country at an even 35C breaking the old record of 34.8C set in 1988. Montreal also hit a record high of 32.7C (91F) topping the old one of 32C set in 1988. Toronto was under its second day of a heat emergency reaching a record breaking 34.6C. Other notable locations with record highs were Kingston and Kemptville in Ontario, St Anicet here in Quebec as well as Quebec City and Burlington, Vermont. The record high for Montreal today is 33.9C set in 1953, we have an outside shot at it.

High heat and humidity warnings remain in effect for today across southern Ontario and Quebec including Montreal. The temperature in Montreal is already at a warm 26C up from the "low" of 24C (76F), with temperatures expected to be in the 32 to 35C range and heat index values over 40C. Winds will be light and skies should be sunny but hazy all day. Yesterday we had some convective activity develop late in the day with thunderstorms forming along the St. Lawrence River and drifting south into the border region and upstate New York. Today we will not see any such activity. On Friday a cold front will approach from the west bringing in widely scattered thunderstorms as well as lower humidity and much cooler temperatures for the weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer arrives today

High Heat & Humidity Warning

The summer solstice takes place at 7:09pm today in Montreal, with 15 hours and 41 minutes of daylight, so it is fitting that most of the region is under a high heat and humidity warning. Temperatures have already reached 26C here on L'Ile Perrot making it the warmest morning of the year so far. Factor in the humidity and you are already looking at real feel temperatures in the low 30's. That will only worsen today as the mercury creeps up to 32C to 37C (90 to 100F) across the southern portions of Ontario, Quebec and into New England and the Eastern Seaboard. The official high for Montreal is forecast to be 32C (90F). Depending on cloud cover and the arrival of air mass thunderstorms, we may or may not get warmer. In any event the humidex readings will be high all day reaching values between 35 and 40C making it feel rather uncomfortable for outdoor activities. Air quality will be poor in major metro areas such as Montreal, Toronto, New York and Washington. It will be even warmer on Thursday creeping into the 34C range here in metro Montreal. Any showers and storms that do occur will bring only slight relief and will actually elevate the humidity. It will be very warm and muggy overnight with lows only dropping to 23C. A cold front will usher in more seasonable and less humid air by Friday.

Summer arrives in Hampton Beach, NH and everywhere today. (ValleyWX Pic)
Heat Advisories & Warnings mean that the combination of high heat and humidity will make any outdoor activities quite dangerous if not deadly. Poor air quality especially affects those with respiratory illness. You are advised to remain in shady areas today, drink lots of liquids and take A/C breaks as needed. Pay attention to the very old and young and please remember your pets. NO time in a car is alone is appropriate for a dog in this kind of weather, I can't stress that enough.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

High heat & humidity warning

A spectacular night shot from a CNN viewer of fierce wildfires burning across northern Colorado where temperatures have been near 100F.
The intense heat that has been affecting the southern and southwest US is spreading north and east across the Ohio Valley and into southern Ontario and Quebec today. The combination of very warm temperatures and stifling humidity will make it dangerous for outdoor activities. Health officials have issued warnings in all three big east cities today including Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal metro areas. Temperatures will hold down today as a result of cloud cover, showers & thunderstorms. They are however expected to soar into the mid 30's on Wednesday and Thursday with humidex reading into the low 40's. The heat will push the mercury close to 37C (100F) in places like New York, Philadelphia and Washington. Health officials up and down the east coast are warning people to limit outdoor activities where possible, drink lots of water and seek A/C often to help lower body temperatures. My method of choice has always been a Corona by the Atlantic but short of that I guess I will have to settle for by air conditioned office.

The record high for Montreal today is 33.1C set in 2001. We will not hit that today as clouds are increasing and some showers and storms are moving across eastern Ontario this morning. We may have a shot at that or higher on Wednesday. Nighttime lows will stay very warm in Montreal remaining in the low to mid 20's in the city center. Relief will come by Friday as a cold front approaches the area.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hot weather this week

Numerous funnel clouds and tornadoes were reported in west central Saskatchewan on Friday afternoon. Minimal damage and no injuries were reported.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for southern Ontario and Quebec as we look at our first prolonged heat of the season. Summer will arrive on Wednesday and right on schedule so will the high heat. We have had warm days this year, many as a matter of fact, but it looks like our first 32C (90F) temperatures will occur by Wednesday. High pressure will crest over the region with a strong southerly flow allowing warm air to move north along with increasing humidity. Humidex values will increase to near 40C on Wednesday and Thursday and air quality is expected to lower. The majority of the week will be dry, but several fronts will interact with the warm humid air, so there is a risk of some showers or thunderstorms, especially later in the week. A stronger front will arrive late Thursday into Friday bringing a more widespread threat of showers and storms, along with cooler temperatures on Friday. I expect highs in Montreal to be either side of 30C through Thursday. Overnight lows will be very mild, especially in urban areas, remaining in the low 20's (70's).

The leading edge of clouds from Hurricane Carlotta approach Mexico's Pacific coast on Friday.
Active weather occurred on Friday and over the weekend as thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across Saskatchewan and into the northern high plains. Meanwhile a strong hurricane Carlotta moved into central Mexico over the weekend and dissipated rapidly. The once category 2 storm slammed into Puerto Escondido south of Acapulco late Friday with 80mph winds and drenching rain. Damage was widespread along the coast with numerous building damaged and trees down. Mudslides were responsible for the deaths of two young girls.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Abundant sunshine

Happy Flag Day! The stars and stripes with Mount Washington in the background. (ValleyWX Pic).
The image above shows it all, forecasts do not get any easier than this. Strong high pressure will settle into southern Quebec and affect all of Ontario and New England well into next week. As a result the entire forecast period is the same, sunny and dry days with highs from 23C today and Friday up to the low 30's by the start of next week. Lows will be seasonable to start around 12C but also warm into the mid teens. The high will slowly slide southeast off the Atlantic coast with an increase in humidity and perhaps some showers but not until late next week.

June 14, 1966 in Montreal. (double click to make it larger)
Today is Flag Day in the US and also my birthday! I can't believe how quickly the years pass, but life has been great to me and for that I am ever so thankful. I posted a snippet above of the weather on June 14, 1966, I was born between 4 and 5pm. As you can see it was a warm and humid day with what my mother had always described to me as a fierce thunderstorm when I was born. Apparently power was out and trees were knocked down. There is also a family rumor about us loosing a screen door at our home on the St. Lawrence River in Verdun. In any event it speaks volumes of both my fear, respect and love of weather.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hot in Labrador - snow in Manitoba

A rare June snow in Gillam, Manitoba.. (The Weather Network)
I posted yesterday about the heat across far northern Quebec on Monday. Well the odd late spring weather of late continued Tuesday with more records falling in the far north, including the warmest place in the country, Goose Bay in Labrador at 34.5C. (96F) It was a record high for the community and one of the warmest June days on ever. Here in the south, clouds and showers managed to keep temperatures down in most locations, but we still managed a 26C (79F) here in Montreal. An area of rain moved through around 1pm dumping a quick 20mm on the city. That was followed by a solid line of thunderstorms that developed in Ontario, but they dissipated after sunset and just produced a shower or two last evening here in Montreal.

I wanted to mention the bizarre weather in Ontario and Manitoba this past weekend. On Friday a hailstorm moved across Cornwall, Ontario causing millions in damages. The storm was part of the same cell that produced a tornado near Huntingdon. Meanwhile in Manitoba strong thunderstorms produced hail as big as golf balls across southern portions of that province with major damage reported. Claims are still being assessed, but it could run into the tens of millions of dollars. In the north it was snow, in June! A record 20cm of snow fell on Gilliam, Manitoba surpassing the previous June record of 9cm. I still can't handle June snow, thankfully we have never had snow in June, July or August here in far!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heavy showers today

Kuujjuarapik Airport on Hudson Bay (B) reached 31C yesterday, warmer than Montreal (A) at 30C.
The region will receive a break today from yesterdays sweltering heat and humidity. The mercury rose to 32.5C in Ottawa and 32.2C in Kemptville for some of the warmest readings in the country. Montreal reached 30.3C at the airport with 31C here on L'Ile Perrot and 32C southwest of Montreal in St Anicet. The heat spread all the way into far northwestern Quebec with Kuujjuarapik Airport on Hudson Bay reaching a record high of 31C (88F). (This is roughly 1125km from Montreal) This morning the airport was at 19C (66F) one hour ago, but reality has returned quickly with the wind blowing in off the water. The temperature has plummeted to 5C (41F) and they have 0.6km visibility in fog. Ouch - that is one quick turnaround!

Here in the south, cloud cover allowed temperatures to remain uncomfortably warm overnight and most areas are sitting close to 20C this morning. A slow moving cold front is inching its way across Ontario and heading for western Quebec. Gusty showers and perhaps some thunder are possible beginning this morning in the Ottawa Valley and spreading into Montreal by early afternoon. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain with some ponding of water on roads again, but not the generalized flash flooding of two weeks ago. In any event a good 25-40mm is not out of the question in many locations. The rain and showers will taper off by Wednesday, setting us up for a long period of sunny and warm weather into the weekend. With abundant sunshine temperatures will warm to 30C by Saturday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Huntingdon tornado confirmed

Heavy damage to a gas station near Huntingdon, Quebec from an F-1 tornado on Friday evening. (The Weather Network)
Severe thunderstorms split the Montreal area again on Friday moving across the downtown core and off to the southeast as well as southwest of my location here on L'Ile Perrot. The storms were quite strong to severe especially the cells that moved out of eastern Ontario and across the Valleyfield area and into upstate NY. Hail up to 1 inch in diameter along with heavy rain was observed. Quebec's third tornado of the young season was confirmed by Environment Canada as well, an F-1 (Enhanced Fujita Scale) touching down near Huntingdon southwest of metro Montreal. The storm hit around 5:30pm producing winds of 150 to 180km/h and causing severe but very local damage. A gas station was heavily damaged along with trees in the area. Power was also knocked out in the region. Normally the province reports 6 tornadoes in an average year.

Saturday was a much more quiet and dry day with pleasant highs close to 26C in Montreal. The heat and humidity will be on the rise today and Monday with temperatures near 30C both days and humidex values knocking on the 40C mark by Monday. The weather will be ideal for the Montreal Grand Prix today, but bring lots of sunscreen and water. A strong cold front and moist area of  low pressure will usher in cooler weather and some showers and storms by Tuesday. An active weather week lies ahead with several areas of low pressure and perhaps some tropical development making headlines from the Gulf Coast up the eastern seaboard. More on that Monday.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Strong storms possible

F-1 weekend is here and the weather looks perfect. Sebastian Vettel qualifying in Montreal in 2011.
Strong to severe thunderstorms are possible after the noon hour today across the St. Lawrence Valley of Quebec and Ontario and south into New York and Vermont. A trough of low pressure will be the focus to provide some lift and the daytime heating of the warm June sun will provide the energy. It is a warm and muggy morning at 17C and temperatures should rise rapidly into the mid 20's. Thunderstorm activity will begin to flare up by early afternoon. Any strong storms that do develop will be capable of gusty winds to 90km/h and small hail. I don't think we will see the prolonged flooding rains of last week, but with all thunderstorms localized heavy rain is possible. Yesterday some thunderstorms did develop late in the day but split the city moving west across Valleyfield and also east of the island. Light rain did fall here on L'Ile Perrot, but it was very brief and spotty.

The activity should come to an end by sunset with patchy fog overnight. At this time the F-1 weekend in Montreal, at least from a weather point of view look great. Sunshine and seasonably warm temperatures around 25C should prevail both Saturday and Sunday. Lets hope this spectacular event goes off without to much interruption from our professional protesters.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Alberta tornado

An area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere continues to provide the region with enough instability to produce afternoon showers and thunderstorms. On Wednesday such was the case with sunshine to start the day followed by increasing pop up showers in southern Quebec with some thunder. Strong storms did develop in Ontario along a lake breeze. The storms produced hail, heavy rain and even the threat for tornadoes.

Today's showers should be weaker with drier air in place, there is just a 40% chance of some afternoon pesky raindrops. Temperatures will warm to near 22C. On Friday, early sunshine will transition into more showers and thunderstorms, this time a little stronger. Another disturbance in the atmosphere will interact with unstable air and produce a round of showers and storms in the afternoon from Ontario across southern Quebec and into northern New England. Some of the storms could contain small hail and strong winds, but it should not be a widespread severe weather outbreak.

By the weekend high pressure will settle in with a warm and humid period expected until the middle part of next week. Temperatures should approach 30C by Monday. With the heat and humidity, the risk for thunderstorms will increase into Tuesday.

Dust swirls around an apparent tornado near Taber, Alberta on Tuesday evening. (AP photo)
On Tuesday night a rare round of nighttime tornadoes spread across southern Alberta moving north from Montana between 6 and 10pm. There were no reports of injuries but Environment Canada is investigating at least 4 possible tornadoes in Alberta with several also reported in northern Montana.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

June snow on Mt Washington

From the Mount Washington Observatory website, a photo of the crew building a June snowman on Monday. Below is my photo from last Sunday, taken on the same observatory deck, showing just how variable the weather can be on the summit.
A combination of an upper level low over the Great Lakes and a slow moving low off the New England coast, is keeping clouds, cool and showery weather over the region. The sun did peak out late yesterday afternoon in Montreal, and managed to push the temperature to 16C. We are close to that this morning as we start the day off partly sunny with a temperature at 17C here on L'Ile Perrot. The weather will remain unsettled into Friday with a smattering of sunshine, but also some pop up showers and maybe even a thunderstorm by Thursday. High pressure will then arrive by the weekend with a much warmer and gradually humid air mass. High temperature will approach 30C by late in the weekend or Monday.

Mount Washington observatory deck on Sunday, May 27. (ValleyWX Pic)
Mount Washington: What a difference a week can make or for that matter even a few hours on the summit of Mount Washington. Last Sunday, as regular readers know, I went to the top of New England's highest peak on what was an exceptional day with unlimited visibility, mild temperatures (49F) and light winds (35mph, light for Mount Washington). The day was near perfect for a visit. Yesterday however was a little different. As the observer described it in the briefing on the Mt Washington weather page, " expect to be met with FULL-ON WINTERTIME CONDITIONS above tree line," concluding with, "DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE MONTH OF JUNE ON MOUNT WASHINGTON." This was the case on Monday as that same coastal low affecting us pumped in cool, moist maritime air allowing for rime ice, fog and snow on the summit. On Monday snow accumulated several inches along with brisk winds at times over 50mph causing blowing snow and temperatures below freezing most of the time. Today will be just a tad milder but with more snow and ice and even a rumble of thunder. Use the link on the right hand side of this page to access their awesome website with web cams, photos and data.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Unsettled start to week

High surf  covers the beach and crashes along the seawall in North Hampton Beach, N.H. on Friday evening. (ValleyWX Pic)
Well it is back to the regular routine this morning, blogging from the not as picturesque L'Ile Perrot. It was a great visit to the New Hampshire Seacoast with decent weather for late May. What a joy to climb Mount Washington last Sunday and visit the top of New England. The peak has been the focus for lots of wild weather over the years including 200 mph plus winds on numerous occasions.

Today we are looking at more showery weather here in southern Quebec and extending into eastern Ontario and New England. Stubborn low pressure continues to spin east of Cape Cod feeding the area with a cool northeast marine air mass. We lucked out yesterday in Montreal with gusty showers all around us, but here in the city mostly sunny and mild most of the day. We are not so lucky this morning as the temperature is a very chilly 11C with a gusty northeast wind to 25km/h. Those winds will increase in the St. Lawrence Valley to between 30 and 50km/h today. So it will be cool and showery most of the day with highs no better than 16C. The good news is we should have a gradual warming trend by the end of the week with much warmer summer type weather by next weekend.

Over this past weekend, very heavy rain fell across portions of New England, primarily Maine and New Hampshire, areas that were already affected by major flooding last week. As much as 2 to 3 inches of rain soaked the area. Trust me it was raining hard, I drove home in it on Saturday. In addition the rain that coastal system has caused flooding and high surf from Massachusetts all the way northeast into Newfoundland including coastal areas of eastern Quebec. Watches and warnings are in place.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Rainy weekend

Sunrise this morning here in Hampton Beach. ValleyWX Pic
This is my last full day here on the Seacoast of New Hampshire. It has been a great week with good weather for late May. Sadly that is about change for all of us, including southern Quebec. Today is the meteorological start of summer, but you won't be able to tell this weekend. A strong low pressure and frontal system will move into the region from the Great Lakes and hang around well into next week. A soaking rain is forecast for the entire region from Ottawa into Montreal and south across New England. The amount of rainfall could easily exceed 50mm of 2 inches. Strong east winds up to 50km/h and cool temperatures around 16C are forecast both Saturday and Sunday. Showers will continue into next week. As a result of all the rain and flooding this week, water levels will have to be monitored closely for any possible warnings. The low pressure will slowly sink southeast into New England early next week maintaining clouds and showers well into Wednesday. Of note, I hope to have my data back online by Saturday night or Sunday.

The Seacoast: The forecast is the same here on the New England coast. The other factor here however will be high astronomical tides combined with the storm that could produce coastal flooding. A special weather statement has been posted and warnings may be needed. This morning was spectacular with a beautiful sunrise at 5:02 that I captured above.