Monday, July 31, 2017
The high temperature today, and through the entire week, will be in the 27C to 30C range (80 to 85F). As the month draws to a close, Montreal has yet to record a 30C high temperature. Normally we have 5 such days, with July 2016 featuring 6 days above 30C. Overnight lows this week will be on the mild side, around 19C (66F), In addition to the warm temperatures, humidity levels will be on the rise, reaching oppressive levels by Thursday. The risk for showers and thunderstorms will exist each day this week, peaking late Friday with the arrival of a cold front. At this time, next weekend looks decent, with clearing skies, cooler temperatures and low humidity.
The weather has been very active across North America over the past week. Heavy rain and thunderstorms occurred across a portion of the middle Atlantic states, with numerous reports of flash flooding. Meanwhile, the weather remains hot and dry across western Canada, with strong thunderstorms occurring along the periphery of the heatwave in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Temperatures soared into the upper 30s on Sunday, with Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, a little Prairie town I am very familiar with, reaching 37.7C or 99.8F. Mankota, Saskatchewan, near the Montana border, was the warmest placer in Canada on Sunday, reaching 38.2C (101F).
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
|A quick thinking employee from Bed Bath and Beyond, checks on a stranded motorist in Kingston, Ontario on Monday. (Photo via Twitter @YGKtraffic)|
Widespread flooding was observed, with several road closures across eastern Ontario. Numerous accidents were reported along area highways, including Autoroute 20, west of Montreal near Coteau du Lac. Highway 2 was closed near Johnstown, Ontario due to several metres of water covering the roadway near the rail bridge. Isolated power outages also occurred, with as many as 8000 Hydro Quebec customers without power Monday afternoon. That number is down to 1000 as of Tuesday morning.
Flood warnings and watches have been posted for several watersheds in Ontario as a result of rapid runoff. Water levels on the Kemptville Creek and Rideau River basin will be running well above normal for the next few days. All this water will be rushing down the St. Lawrence River towards Montreal over the next week. All waterways across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario remain dangerous for any activities, and vigilance is strongly encouraged.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
The continent appears to be split into two distinct weather patterns this summer: extremely wet or dangerously dry. We all know how wet a year it has been here in southern Quebec, across eastern Ontario and into northern New England. At the same time, they are desperately hoping for rain in fire-ravaged B.C. The culprit this July is a rather large area of high pressure anchored over the central US. Under that dome, temperatures have soared into the upper 30s, with very little rainfall. The influence of this high pressure occasionally nudges into western Canada, keeping that region hot and dry as well. Around the ring of high pressure is a region of instability, with frequent showers and thunderstorms. In many cases, the storms have been severe, with flash flooding. Flooding has affected portions of Arizona, the Great Lakes, New England and southern Quebec, south along the Atlantic Seaboard into the US southeast.
|Smoke from the British Columbia wildfires has now spread as far east as Manitoba (dark grey). There is a chance we may even see some in Ontario and Quebec before the end of July. (Environment Canada)|
|Fire damage from Loon Lake, BC. (CBC)|
In western Canada, more hot and dry weather is forecast in Alberta and Saskatchewan to end July. In B.C., temperatures will trend a little cooler, but unfortunately no appreciable rain is in the forecast. The state of emergency, in effect since the start of the month, has been extended for another two weeks. Over 140 fires are burning across the province, having already consumed over 3200 square kilometres. Of those fires, 27 are considered major, with 15 threatening communities. BC resources are being augmented, with an additional 100 firefighters expected to arrive this week from Ontario. They will join 830 already on the ground from across Canada, including 45 from Quebec and 54 from Australia. To date, 41 homes and three dozen trailers have been lost to the fires. The cost to battle the wildfires has now exceeded $100 million, with over 40,000 residents evacuated. Outdoor fire bans remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Smoke from the fires has drifted as far east as Manitoba, and into the central portions of the US. Air quality advisories have been in effect on almost a daily basis across southern BC and Alberta.
Friday, July 14, 2017
|Firefighters rescue trapped motorists from the Decarie Expressway after thunderstorms generated historic flash flooding on July 14, 1987. (Radio Canada)|
|Widespread flooding trapped hundred of motorists in Montreal on July 14, 1987. (Radio Canada)|
Officially, 102.2mm (4.02") fell at the McGill Observatory on McTavish, 86mm (3.38") of that fell in less than one hour. At Parc Lafontaine, 103mm (4.05") was recorded, with unofficial reports of as much as 180mm (7.1"). The deluge would overwhelm the sewer system, designed for no more than 36mm (1.41") per hour. Water would pour into highway underpasses, basements, businesses and of course the Decarie Expressway. Over 300 motorists became trapped in their vehicles on the Decarie alone, requiring rescue from the Montreal Fire Department. Nearly 400 cars would be abandoned. Traffic was gridlock across the city as major routes such as Highway 20 at 1st Avenue in Lachine and the St Remi Tunnel became flooded as well. The Metro was forced to close as a result of flooding on several lines. The evening commute would last into the wee hours of July 15th.
|Flash flooding on Atwater Street in downtown Montreal, July 14, 1987. |
(The Montreal Gazette)
|Water pours down Mount Royal Avenue during flash flooding on July 14, 1987. |
(The Montreal Gazette)
Monday, July 10, 2017
|Highway 97 near Ashcroft, B.C. remains closed as a fire burns out of control near the community, 90km west of Kamloops. (BC Transportation via Twitter)|
Stormy in Eastern Canada
It was a much different story here in Montreal, and across a large portion of eastern Canada. Our wet and frequently cool summer continues, with little relief in sight. Early Saturday morning, a strong thunderstorm with wild lightning and up to 25mm of rain in less than 30 minutes, moved from L'Ile Perrot towards the downtown core of the city. The storm produced some minor flooding, especially off island to the west. The entire weekend was unsettled, with below normal temperatures and frequent clouds, showers and thunderstorms. The weather this week will follow a similar one to that of the entire summer to date. More showers and thunderstorms are possible each day through the weekend. Temperatures will struggle to reach the normal high of 26C (79F) each day. Sadly this trend is expected through the end of July. Montreal has had measurable precipitation, on 6 of the 10 days this month, with 37.8mm of rain so far. In Ottawa 98.4mm of rain had fallen through Sunday. The July average for the entire month is 91.9mm.
Friday, July 07, 2017
Scattered thunderstorms are possible in Montreal and across southern Quebec today, as a warm and humid air mass is in place. Some of the storms may produce heavy rain and gusty winds. Temperatures will be near 27C (81F), along with elevated humidity levels. Temperatures will be slightly cooler tonight and into the weekend, with lows down to 16C (61F), and highs both Saturday and Sunday near 24C (76F). Unfortunately the weekend will display the same weather we have become accustom do for the last few months. I hate to reuse the same word over and over again, but unsettled comes to mind. The atmosphere will be busy, changing frequently and quickly, with fair skies in the morning, building instability, and showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon. This type of weather will prevail into early next week.
Where is all the hot air?
If you want heat, go western North America. However, the sunny, hot weather comes at a price. Wildfires are running rampant from California to Montana and in especially hard-hit Colorado. Heat emergencies have been declared in many communities. The hot air has arrived in Canada, from southern interior B.C., eastward into Alberta and Saskatchewan. Temperatures this week have been in low to middle 30's, and may approach 40C along the Montana border by next week. Heat warnings have been issued by Environment Canada for several locations in Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan.
As we head into summer vacation time in Quebec and Ontario, please be extra careful around any body of water. Levels on the Great Lakes, Ottawa and St Lawrence Rivers continue to run very high. When you add any wind to the mix, the water can easily overwhelm a boat, or make swimming dangerous. Minor shoreline flooding also continues in several communities.
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
|A spectacular rainbow developed at sunset over the St Lawrence Valley late Sunday. It was a perfect end to a not-so-perfect weather weekend in Montreal. (Valley Weather Photo)|
|A tornado moves over Sebago Lake in western Maine on Saturday, July 1st. It was one of four reported in the state on Saturday alone, double the annual average. (TWC)|
The entire region will be under high pressure for the next two days, before more clouds, showers and thunderstorms arrive for Friday and Saturday. The humidity will be on the rise as well as we head into Thursday. Meanwhile in Western Canada, heat warnings are in effect for portions of southern Alberta. A prolonged heatwave is forecast this week for interior B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Some locations near the US border are expecting high temperatures in the middle and upper 30s.
Saturday, July 01, 2017
|Mother Nature will provide the fireworks today, with increasing clouds, and more showers and strong thunderstorms forecast for Canada Day in Montreal and Ottawa.|
|Flooding is occurring in parts of northern Vermont after torrential rain Thursday and Friday. (WCAX TV)|
After today's storms, Sunday will dawn slightly cooler and less humid, but still with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Conditions should improve on Monday, with dryer weather forecast for the first time in over a week. The sunny and dry conditions should persist into early Thursday.