Thursday, July 31, 2008

Off to the Races

Action from last years race in Montreal. I am pulling for Quebec native and fan favorite Patrick Carpentier. There will be three Canadian drivers in the field, Carpentier, Ron Fellows and Jacques Villeneuve.

It was has become a drone of disappointment we are staring down another long weekend with a not so good forecast. I am running out of words to describe rain. To make matters worse I am attending the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend. It is my big racing event of the year, and if I can't deliver dry weather I will hear it from my buddies. Sadly we have an upper level low spinning in central Ontario, as it has been doing for the last 2 weeks. The air mass remains moist and very unstable. With that the risk of showers and thunderstorms will be very real right through Sunday. There will be a 50% chance of precipitation at any point this weekend, and higher during the late afternoons. Monday looks, at this point, to be sunny and dry with a high of 26C. While the weekend will not be a washout anywhere in our regions, the threat of getting wet is there each day.

Have fun, be safe, drive slow and please be good to each other....I am off to the races!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Severe Thunderstorms on the way

Heavy thunderstorms are moving into the southwest corner of the province at this hour and will spread north and east as the day moves along. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is already in effect for those regions. We can expect these storms to reach us here in Kemptville late this afternoon and continue into the evening. This will only add to our already impressive rain totals for the year thus far. Toronto will surpass its all time rain record today when it moves over 600mm for the year. This amount is double what fell all of last year. The extended forecast looks like more showers for the holiday weekend, but it should clear up and turn quite warm for Civic Monday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kemptville Accident

The scene of a serious accident in Kemptville today between the truck on the left and an OPP Motorcycle.

I am just back from a serious accident on Prescott Street in Kemptville. The crash occurred at 4:30 this afternoon between an OPP Motorcycle and a small Chevy pick up. Out of respect for the officer I only collected some shots of the scene. The Kemptville Weekender will have some closer shots taken by one of our reporters along with further details. At this time the officer was transported to KDH with undisclosed injuries by Leeds & Grenville EMS. KFD and several OPP Cruisers are still on scene and Prescott remains closed indefinitely north of Van Buren Street to Elizabeth Street.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Odds & Ends - Weekend Forecast

Above: Some Damage photos from Brownsville (above) and Padre Island (below), in Texas caused by Hurricane Dolly.

Weekend forecast follows below. Just some pics I wanted to share....

Severe thunderstorms on Highway 4 in New Hampshire.....followed by a gorgeous sunset on Chesapeake Bay with the Bay Bridge in the foreground, and believe it or not the bottom photo is of the snow dump at Turcotte Yards in Montreal. The black stuff is snow, of which 15% of the tons of snow dumped over the winter remains with piles of garbage in it. Yuck!

OK Weather Weekend

OK is the meteorological term when it has rained over 75mm in one week and on 8 out of the 9 summer weekends to date so far here in Ontario and most of Quebec. It will be just that, OK. The stubborn low pressure area that has dogged us all week has now moved east of the region. Today will be very muggy with a high of 26C. There is just an outside chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm. Tomorrow however we are back to rain and thunderstorms along a cold front, before it clears out again for Sunday. It will be 25-27C on both days, so all in all OK!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Environment Canada has upgraded the thunderstorm watch to a warning for Leeds & Grenville Counties. Clusters of heavy thunderstorms are developing along Highway 29 from Smiths Falls to Brockville and moving northeast. They will affect Merrickville, and Kemptville in the next couple of hours with torrential rain. More storms are developing with heavy rain over St. Lawrence County, New York. They will begin to affect the Eastern Ontario region around the 416 shortly including Prescott and Spencerville.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

From Environment Canada at 9:45am...


More rain for Kemptville

The upper level low that has been spinning over eastern Ontario and the Great Lakes will continue for at least one more day. Very heavy rain will once again develop in the tropical air mass from south to north, and produce torrential downpours. Last night more than 40mm fell in many region in a very short period of time, filling drainage ditches, allowing creeks to rise, and flooding some roads. 38.3mm was the official in Kemptville, I had slightly less at 33mm. Whatever the amount, it is falling on already saturated soil as the very wet summer moves along. Any more rain today will only add to the flood potential. Any flooding will be minor in nature, but the risk is present.

A Flood Watch remains posted for northern New York and Vermont. Heavy Rain Warnings are in effect in southern Quebec, excluding Montreal, for 50-70mm addtional rainfall today. That could push this weeks totals to well over 100mm.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Heavy Rain Warning

Environment Canada has issued a heavy rain warning for Kemptville and eastern Ontario. Very slow moving south to north thunderstorms along the 416 corridor have been dumping torrential rain over the region for the last two hours. Already over 25mm has fallen in Kemptville, causing flooding on many roads. Another 25mm can be expected in the next few hours.

• A waterspout or tornado over water occurred on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal today (SEE ABOVE). The photo above was taken near the Port of Montreal. The storm produced 60-100km/h winds but caused no damage or injuries. They are very rare in Montreal and far more common over the Great Lakes.

Dolly & Thunderstorms

Two Updates at this hour...

Hurricane Dolly has made landfall on South Padre Island, Texas in the last hour with 100mph winds. Several localities in deep southern Texas have reported wind gusts to over 70mph. Heavy rain will be a big threat with 8-12 inches forecast with as much as 20 inches over the next 24 hours. Surge flooding of 6-8 feet will gradually subside as Dolly moves inland.

THUNDERSTORMS IN ONTARIO and Quebec this afternoon. A line of storms is moving north towards Kemptville at 3pm from the St. Lawrence River. Some may approach severe limits with heavy rain and hail. This afternoon a severe storm produced a funnel cloud over Montreal. The atmosphere remains prime for thunderstorms and heavy rains well into this evening. Flood Watches have been posted for the US counties bordering our region. watch for threatening weather this afternoon moving in from the south.

Hurricane Dolly Update

Hurricane Dolly is now only 40 miles off the Texas coast and heading west at 8mph. The storm will approach Brownsville later today. The area is being battered by 6 foot seas, torrential rain and fierce winds. Pressure has lowered to 967mb and winds have increased to 95mph, making it a strong Category 1 storm and she may reach Cat 2 status before landfall. Winds along the coast have been recorded in the 50-60mph range and reports of damage are starting to come in.

Dolly heads for Texas

Dolly on Brownsville, Texas radar just minutes ago...The eye is becoming well developed.

Dolly is taking aim at south Texas and the Rio Grande Valley at this hour. The storm is beginning to look much better organized on radar and has slowed down its forward speed. This would allow the storm to gain some strength before landfall expected at about noon today near Brownsville, Texas. Dolly has 85mph winds and a NOAA Recon Aircraft reported a central pressure of 972mb during a recent flight. She could still reach Cat 2 status just prior to landfall. The storm is expected to produce 6-10 inches of rain in the region with life threatening flooding and tornadoes being the biggest risk at this time. Seas are rough and a surge of 4-6 feet above normal is expected along the immediate coast.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cristobal drenches Nova Scotia

Dolly this evening in the Gulf about 130 miles southeast of Brownsville

Tropical Storm Cristobal passed well southeast of Nova Scotia today with 85km/h winds reported out in the open waters and shipping lanes. Despite being far off the coast it still managed to drench southern coastal Nova Scotia with torrential rains. 165mm was reported in Baccaro Point on the southern tip of Nova Scotia with 120mm recorded in just 6 hours. Basements were flooded and some roads washed out. Close to Halifax the amounts varied greatly with 145mm at Sambro, but only 15mm at Halifax International Airport. 34mm was reported at the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth.

Meanwhile Hurricane Dolly is heading for the Brownsville, Texas area and is expected to make landfall as a category 1 hurricane mid-day Wednesday. People have been ordered out of the most low lying points along the coast. A surge of 4-6 feet is expected along with heavy rains. Some tornadoes may also occur along the coast as early as tonight. I am listening to at the moment, an awesome site for tracking storms. They are reporting lowering pressures in Dolly as she continues to slowly head towards the coast. She currently has 75mph winds but is in favorable conditions for some increase in intensity before landfall.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tropics Active

Tropical Storm Dolly moving away from the Yucatan and towards Texas.

Tropical Storm Cristobal moved along the Carolina coast today and off towards the northeast. The storm brought very little in the way of weather to the coast, but is producing pounding surf. The wave action had produced dangerous riptides which have led to at least one fatality. The storm is expected to affect the coastal waters of Nova Scotia beginning late Tuesday. The area can expect 50 to 100km/h winds and up to 100mm of rain with high surf along the coast. Environment Canada has issued a statement here...

Meanwhile Tropical Storm Dolly is in the Gulf of Mexico heading northwest towards the Mexico and the lower Texas coastline. A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect from Port O'Connor, Texas south into Mexico. Dolly had 65 mph winds and is expected to reach hurricane strength shortly. The watches may be upgraded to warnings this evening.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tropical Storm Cristobal

Tropical Storm Cristobal has formed off the South Carolina coast and is just 100 miles south of my most prized place on the planet, Hatteras Island. Tropical Storm Warnings have been posted for the entire North Carolina coast including the Outer Banks. The storm is expected to move northeast today just off the coast. Heavy rain, thunderstorms and a surge of 2-3 feet is expected along the barrier islands. Winds are expected to be over 50mph with this storm. Further ahead into this week, Cristobal will head for Nova Scotia. The storm is expected to cross the province by Wednesday morning as a 50mph Tropical Storm. Stay tuned for further statements on this storm.

Locally, heavy rain from a tropical airmass is forecast today in parts of Ontario, Quebec and New England. Flash Flood Watches have been posted for the hard hit areas of upstate New York and Vermont. The region has had two consecutive days of severe weather with flooding, wind damage and thousands of people without power. Numerous trees are down and some roads had to be closed close to the Quebec/Vermont border in the Lake Champlain Islands.

I drove through a wicked storm on the 401 near Cornwall on Friday. The storm dumped so much rain the water was running across the highway. Many vehicles pulled off. Lightning crackled across the sky while the rain fell. it was one of the coolest storms I have seen in some time. Sadly because of reasons beyond my control, no pictures. However the picture above is of rain falling through last nights sunset in Montreal. Very neat!

Friday, July 18, 2008

KFD off to Pennsylvania

KFD firefighters responding to call of smoke on George Street in Kemptville yesterday morning.

This past April 10 my friend Doug from Kemptville was involved in a terrible accident on Interstate 81 in Frackville, Pennsylvania. It took the life of a friend and seriously injured three others including Doug. The accident hit a little too close to home, you see I rent off of Doug. Doug and a group of Firefighters from Kemptville will be heading south to Frackville this weekend to take part in a Block Party and Parade to say thank you. I would love to attend but sadly can't. This is my way of saying thank you as well, not only to those firefighters who helped my friend, but also to our group of men and women in Kemptville who give tirelessly all year to keep our region safe. Thanks! A full story is in this weeks Kemptville Advance (link at left) as well as at this LINK.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS: A line of fast moving storms last night appeared on radar just north of the GTA around 9pm. I was wondering if the complex would hold together, I received my answer at 4am this morning. The line travelling at over 100km/h raced east through Kemptville with spectacular lightning, and heavy rain. Winds gusted to over 50km/h with the storms. By 6am the storms had intensified even more and swept across the island of Montreal, covering hundreds of kilometres in one night and remaining for the most part intact. I am amazed at how fast nocturnal thunderstorms move. Today should be muggy with more storms by afternoon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Storm Information

A towering thunderstorm dissipates slowly, south of Kemptville last night.

I should not have second guessed myself yesterday when I saw those storms developing over the Gatineau hills and moving south. I wanted to update my blog, but I was waiting for Environment Canada to acknowledge them, sadly they did not till 15 minutes after the storms swept Ottawa. Ironically even then they issued a watch and not a warning, despite the fact the storm was developing a history of flooding rains, hail and winds approaching 100km/h. The storms were the most intense to hit Kemptville this summer to date.
When the storms reached Kemptville, and only then, was a warning issued. Too little too late for those caught outdoors in it. My best advice, when you see dark clouds in the summer, especially like yesterdays storms, head for shelter, off the soccer field and golf course, off the water and in somewhere safe.

The lightning was spectacular for a daytime storm and allowed me to capture only my second image of lightning in all my years (SEE BELOW). I have videoed it often but it has eluded me on my camera. The storm knocked power out briefly in Kemptville and dumped 15-25mm of rain depending on which side of town you were on. It knocked down trees and power lines east of Kemptville along the 43. Over 1500 clients were without power, it is down to 135 this morning.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Severe Thunderstorms

A line of heavy thunderstorms is in the process of moving south along the 416 corridor towards the St. Lawrence River at this hour. They have a history of wild lightning, heavy rain that has caused ponding on roads and hail. Warnings are in effect till at least 6:30pm. I took the photo above in Kemptville around 5pm.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Kemptville, Ottawa and Leeds/Grenville as well as the Seaway. A line of storms is currently moving south along the 416 corridor with dangerous lightning and heavy rain. More storms may occur this evening.

Typical Summer Weather

We are about to head into a period of typical mid-July weather here in Kemptville, eastern Ontario, west Quebec and upstate New York. For the next week it appears we will see daytime highs in the upper 20's (80-85F) and lows in the upper teens (60-65F). It will be muggy with the threat of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoons each day. Good time to head to the beach, just have an escape plan to your car if thunderstorms approach.

Tropical Storm Bertha is now well east of Bermuda. The storm will continue to meander around the central Atlantic before racing off to the northeast by the weekend. The storm is expected to track well southeast of Newfoundland's coastal waters late Sunday or Monday.

An area of disturbed weather in the southern Caribbean will be investigated by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter today. It could become a tropical wave by evening and soon after a storm (39mph winds) which would be called Cristobal.

Monday, July 14, 2008

More RAIN!

Blue sky and developing showers provide stark contrast over Kemptville this afternoon.

The unstable air mass that produced rain and thunderstorms this past weekend remains in place today. More heavy showers have developed this afternoon in Kemptville. Not including today's rain we are already at 49.0mm or about half the normal of 97mm for July. Another wet month in what has been a soggy, humid summer. Only one weekend had been completely dry since May 20. After more showers this evening we can look for clearing skies and a low around 12C overnight. Tomorrow will be sunny and dry, no rain and 26C. The balance of the week will be warm and humid again with more showers and storms possible at any time.

Yesterday's rain was rather light in Kemptville compared to areas south and eats of the region. Upstate New York and Vermont reported from 25-75mm of rain with some flash flooding.
Tropical Storm Bertha is nearing Bermuda at this hour with 70mph winds and high seas. The storm is expected to brush the island tonight and move slowly off to the north and east Tuesday. From 75-150mm of rain are possible. Forecasters are watching another area of disturbed weather in the Atlantic that could become Cristobal in the next few days.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Saskatchewan hit by tornadoes

Tornado over southern Manitoba on June 28
Several Tornadoes ripped through southern Saskatchewan overnight tearing roofs of homes and barns and snapping power poles. The storm affected the area south and east of Regina. The tiny town of Carlyle was hit hardest by Thursday nights storms. This comes only 24 hours after the southwest part of the province was hit by strong storms that cut power and produced flooding. The storms in the east occurred overnight making it much more dangerous. Tornado Warnings were in effect for several Rural Municipalities in the southeast, and eastward into Manitoba. No injuries were reported.
On Tuesday severe thunderstorms produced the first tornado of the season in Quebec. The town of Shipshaw in the Saguenay was hit by an F-1 tornado that caused heavy damage and overturned a sea plane. No injuries were reported. On average 4 tornadoes occur in Quebec each year.

Hurricane Bertha this afternoon, Bermuda in the upper left corner.

Bertha Update: A NOAA Recon Aircraft has just finished flying into Huricane Bertha and they are sending back data. The storm has 85mph winds and is strengthening just slightly as it moves northwest at 6 mph with a gradual turn to the north expected soon. It is just 300 miles southeast of Bermuda. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING has been posted for the tiny island. Rough seas are already occurring well ahead of Bertha. Bermuda can expect the outer fringes of the storm to brush by the island this weekend. All interests along the east coast of Canada should continue to monitor the storm.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Less Humid in Ontario

Heavy rain yesterday in Kemptville
A cold front swept through eastern Ontario yesterday clearing out a week's worth of humidity and dropping over 25mm of rain in the process. Most of that fell during the evening hours as weakening thunderstorms moved through the region. We can expect a one day respite from the heat before it returns on Friday and the weekend.

An update on Hurricane Bertha: the storm is about 545 miles southeast of Bermuda and heading northwest. She weakened slightly yesterday before increasing again to a category 2 with winds of 105mph. The forecast is calling for the storm to miss Bermuda, but provide some wind and very rough seas in the area. After the weekend the forecast becomes a little unclear, and she will have to be watched for any affects on the northeast US or the Maratimes.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for Kemptville and all of Eastern Ontario. A very warm and humid air mass has pushed temperatures above 30C. This combined with high humidity and dew points in the low twenties has created ideal conditions for thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight. They are begining to form along a cold front just west of our area. Stay tuned and check out the updates and radar along the left side of this page.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hurricane Bertha Update

Hurricane Bertha has blossomed into a major category 3 hurricane this afternoon. The center is spinning westward in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean about 1155 miles southeast of the island of Bermuda. No land is threatened at this time. Winds are at 115 mph with higher gusts making Bertha a 3 on the Saffir Simpson scale with 5 being the worst.

• Locally high heat a humidity with some smog thrown in for good measure is being reported over Ontario and Quebec. Warnings have been posted for metro Montreal for Tuesday as the combination of the heat and humidity will make it dangerous for outdoor activity. It is 29C in Kemptville with humidex readings in the mid 30's. Other parts of the province have hit the 30C mark today including Ottawa. To determine the Humidex reading in your location use this link...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tropical Storm Bertha

The second tropical system of the young Atlantic hurricane season has formed and is named Bertha. The storm has 40mph winds and is moving west northwest away from the Cape Verde Islands. That area is being affected by the outer rain bands this morning. The storm is expected to very slowly strengthen and may reach hurricane strength over the weekend. Beyond that forecasters expect the storm to take a northwest track and possibly loose strength due to a southwest wind sheer early next week. Visit the National Hurricane Centre at for maps and info.

Happy 4th of July

A very Happy Fourth of July to all my American readers and friends. I am on my way down to take in some Fourth Fireworks tomorrow.
It rained in Kemptville this morning as a cold front raced south and east. We have dropped into the teens but should rebound under the warm afternoon sun and clearing skies. The weekend looks excellent for all outdoor activities, sunny and in the high twenties in eastern Ontario, and west Quebec.

Below: My buddy Roo trying to fetch his ball, and settling on some water on a sunny 27C afternoon. The bottom picture is the heavy rain that fell along a cold front in Kemptville this morning.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day
My gift to you is a sunny and dry day...No really after 160mm of rain in June we begin July dry and warm, for today and tomorrow at least. A few showers Thursday and then a sunny and warm weekend. Enjoy the day, there are plenty of parades and fireworks around. Events are being held all day in Brockville, Kemptville, Smiths Falls and of course Ottawa.
This is an awesome country to live in, we are very fortunate to enjoy the safety and freedom we some times take for granted. Enjoy the day, Happy 141st Canada.