Sunday, May 31, 2009

Where is summer?

7pm UPDATE: My good friend in Merrickville, ON, Ryan B sent me these 2 pictures (above) of hail this afternoon. Several thunderstorms produced small hail in many areas. There was even some snow in western Quebec and across the higher elevations of the Adirondacks in NY.

Frost and freeze warnings dot this map from the National Weather Service. Is it June or October?

The cool & wet weather this weekend has continued the trend established very early in May. With the month drawing to a close, the average temperature here in Montreal for May 2009 is 12.6C, a full degree below the normal. At this hour it is a ridiculous 6C outside with light rain and gusty northwest winds over 40km/h. The temperature has been falling all day since a cold front passed the region overnight, including a six degree drop since noon. Kemptville dropped all the way to 5C at 2pm but has since "warmed" to 10C. Spotty showers and even some small hail and thunder have been reported with the unstable and cold air mass. The front has left us with very chilly air that will result in clearing skies tonight and frost in many regions to greet the start of June. The normal high for May 31 should be 23C. Warnings are out south of the border as well as for west Quebec.

Below: Strong winds stir up the St. Lawrence River behind a cold frontal passage today. SB Pic

The cool weather will continue this week with temperatures around the 20C mark by late in the week. Showers are possible on Tuesday with sunny skies expected expected before more rain next weekend.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rainy Friday

Above: Swirling rains and fog slowed the morning rush hour on Champlain Bridge in Montreal. SB Photo

Rain and thunderstorms will continue this morning in southern Quebec and taper off in eastern Ontario. From 15-25mm of rain has occurred in most areas, with the heaviest rain remaining to the south of our region across the Adirondacks of New York where a flood watch remains in effect. The forecasted totals were pretty accurate with the 25mm in in our region and the 50-75mm across the areas south of the valley. Look for stubborn low clouds and some showers to remain in the area through most of the weekend. It will not be a washout by any stretch, but it won't be summery either as the temperature remains well below normal.

Yesterday the first tropical depression of the season formed in the Atlantic, and this morning is some 400 miles south southwest of Halifax. It is no threat to land with winds of 35mph and is expected to remain below the Tropical Storm threshold of 39 mph. The season officially begins June 1st and runs through November.

Below: TD 1 south of Halifax.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A soaker on tap

We share a forecast area with upstate New York and northern Vermont. Often the forecasts from Environment Canada and the National Weather Service in the US can be so different it makes you wonder if they read each others forecast products. Today is one of those times. They both agree it will be wet for the next several days, but our US colleagues have posted a Flood Watch and are forecasting between 50-100mm (2-4 inches) of rain through Friday with even higher amounts, especially in the St. Lawrence Valley. On this side of the border the forecast calls for 15-25mm or close to an inch of rain with perhaps another 10mm on Friday. Time will tell. The culprit is low pressure over the Midwest and an elongated warm front south of the lower lakes. The warm front will move north and become stationary across upstate New York. It will become the axis for very heavy rain late tonight and Thursday. As the front very slowly lifts north of the region we can expect isolated thunderstorms to occur from late Thursday in Friday morning. These will add to the heavy rain event. The potential exists for some small stream flooding and ponding of water on roadways, especially along the US border. Winds will be gusty out of the northeast, and it will be cool today and Thursday and warm slightly to near normal Friday. The weekend at this point looks better, but it is early in the week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More rain - cool weather

This years weather is slowly beginning to resemble that of last summer when every weekend through June, July and August was cool and wet. When September rolled around it was as if we had no summer at all. The various models that forecasters look at are showing no major warm up in sight. Temperatures last night dropped to 3C in Kemptville and 6C in Montreal. It was cool for May, but a stiff northeast breeze eliminated the frost threat at least in this area. Regions to the south in the Adirondacks and Green Mountains dropped to and in some cases below 0C, and frost was reported. We have warmed since to 7C and clouds are on the increase as the next weather system is poised to move east and control our weather for the balance of the week. Rain and thunderstorms can be expected from late tonight into Friday. This system produced 25-50mm of rain along its path from the southern Prairies across northwest Ontario. We can expect a little less here, but it will be wet and cool.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Frost Warning

The weather in Ottawa was spectacular yesterday for the Capital City Marathon. SB Photo

Here we are nearly at the end of May and we are still talking frost. High pressure will crest over the area tonight and result in frost and freezing temperatures across Ontario, southwest Quebec and much of New England and New York. Frost Warnings have been posted.
This spring has seen several 30C days but for the most part it has been unseasonably cool with numerous nights close to freezing. I expect the area around Kemptville will dip to 0C tonight, along with other rural regions of Eastern Ontario and Quebec. The area around the big cities and close to the river or Great Lakes should stay just above the freezing point at 2 or 3C.

It will be sunny on Tuesday and a little warmer, close to 19C. Low pressure organizing over the northern plains will slide into the region for the balance of the week with unsettled weather, showers and thunderstorms.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fair Weekend

Strong southwest winds blow across Lake St. Louis on Montreal's West Island. The winds drove the temperature up to 29C yesterday. SB Photo.

The skies have cleared this afternoon over all region as high pressure moves into the area. A few clouds may prevail early Saturday, but it will otherwise be a very dry and pleasant weekend. The overnight period will be quite cool both days but temperatures under the warm May sun will warm into the low twenties on both Saturday and Sunday.

Yesterday was very warm in Montreal with a high of 29C. It was short of the record, but there were record highs reported elsewhere including Halifax and Charlottetown. Moncton was one of the warmest locations in the country at 32C. Kingston, ON was an excellent example of just how cold the Great Lakes are in the spring, and how they can influence the weather. With the wind blowing off Lake Ontario yesterday morning, Kingston struggled to reach 17C by 3pm yesterday. Between 2-3pm the wind switched from the south off the water to the west off the land. The temperature responded by hitting 25C in less than an hour.

Heavy rain, flooding and coastal beach erosion continue over south Florida as low pressure spins from the Atlantic across the state and into the northern Gulf of Mexico. The storm is non tropical in nature, but has still produced up to 20 inches of rain in places this week, including in Daytona Beach. Strong winds out of the northeast have produced beach erosion and coastal flooding. The storm is forecast to slowly move along the Gulf Coast this weekend as far west as New Orleans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BIG warm up arrives

The warm front has finally lifted north of Montreal and temperatures are responding under bright sunshine. The temperature has risen from 5C at 11am to 14C at 5pm at Dorval. Ontario is even warmer with Ottawa going from 8C at 11am to 24C at 5pm a rise of 16 degrees in just a few hours. Toronto and Windsor were in the upper 20's. The warm air will remain in place overnight tonight and Thursday before a cold front arrives on Friday. Look for temperatures to be between 27 and 30C in both provinces on Thursday and remaining in the upper teens tonight.

Much warmer air on the way

Much warmer air is streaming northeast into Ontario at this hour. It has yet to reach Montreal as we remain north of the warm front with a gusty northeast wind and low clouds with drizzle. It is only 5C at Dorval (41F) but it is already 24C (76F), 35 degrees warmer in Toronto behind the front. Brockville and Kemptville also remain north of the front but a little warmer near 11C. Look for all areas to gradually become sunny this afternoon on increasing Southwest winds and much warmer temperatures. Tomorrow under sunny and hazy skies all areas will reach near 30C except close to the lakes and rivers where it will be a little cooler.

The mild air will remain into the weekend, but it will be a little cooler, close to 21C.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Frost and snow, May?

The fog and showers did not discourage the many Canadian visitors to the Seacoast of Main and New Hampshire this past weekend. At left is the Piscataqua River Bridge separating Kittery, Main from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. PJ Photo

Hi folks, sorry for the break in updates to the blog this past weekend, I was in coastal Maine and New Hampshire for the long weekend enjoying some beach time. The weather was chilly, and breezy with showers, but it did not matter I live to get away to the Seacoast.

The weather remains unseasonably cold throughout many areas of the country and well south into the southern US. Temperatures were running 10 to 20 degrees below normal this holiday weekend. There was even scattered frost again last night in our region on what is typically the official start to planting season. Not only has it been cold, but snow is falling in many parts of Alberta with 10-20cm expected in Edmonton. Currently it is 0C with freezing rain in Edmonton.

Montreal has warmed nicely today on southwest winds. We are at 17C at noon. Much warmer air is forecast to invade the east coast, Ontario, Quebec and New England this week as a warm front moves in late today and Wednesday. Look for high temperatures to reach 30C on Thursday before it cools into the Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Winds reach 100km/h

Police direct traffic in downtown Montreal today after winds cut power in several areas. SB Pic

Sporadic power outages totaling nearly 61,000 customers ( in the province of Quebec and several downed trees and power lines have been reported in the wake of strong southerly winds today. The winds developed near daybreak this morning and are beginning to taper off this afternoon. They developed in advance of a sharp cold front moving into the region. Gusts were recorded at 90km/h in South Shore St. Hubert, and reached nearly 100km/h in some portions of the Quebec City region. Elsewhere they remained below warning criteria with gusts to 60km/h reported on the Island of Montreal. Gusts in the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario reached 60km/h. South of the region in New York it was much the same with the Champlain Valley recording winds in excess of 50mph. Plattsburg, NY had a peak gust of 43mph so far.

The biggest impact of the windstorm was the closure of Highway 10 near St Jean in the Richelieu Valley. The winds toppled three tractor trailers into the ditch. While traffic was a mess and the clean up time consuming, no injuries were reported. Fire crews on and off the island have been responding to several downed trees and dangling power lines.
From a truck lies on its side east of Montreal on Highway 10.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Windy Thursday

Another ocean going vessel noses its way towards the St. Lambert locks in the St. Lawrence Seaway today. Winds will play havoc with smaller craft on the river Thursday. Gale warnings have been issued.

It was just a beautiful day across our area today. Bright sunshine allowed the mercury to climb into the low twenties in most regions. A frontal system will bring showers and thunderstorms to the area on Thursday along with very strong south winds. Winds will gust from 30-50km/h in Ontario and Quebec and from 50-90km/h across northern New York and the Champlain and Richelieu Valley's. Wind warnings are in effect for those regions. Skies will clear late Thursday and Friday should be sunny and mild.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunny & warmer

Temperatures this morning fell to 0C in Kemptville and 3C in Montreal. Frost was scattered around the region but was light in Ontario and Quebec. Temperatures across the higher elevations of the Adirondacks in New York were below freezing, and the frost was a little thicker in places there. It is nothing but sunshine and warmer temperatures for today and Wednesday, before a weather system brings the region showers and thunderstorms to end the week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Frost Warning

Clear skies and calm winds will allow for the temperature to drop to near freezing in most areas of Eastern Ontario, western Quebec and upstate New York. The cool temperatures will likely allow frost to form just before sunrise in many regions, especially away from urban centres and the St. Lawrence River. Frost Warnings and Advisories are in effect for all our regions on both sides of the International border. The weather will be sunny and milder on Tuesday and for the rest of the week diminishing the frost threat.

The National Weather Service in Burlington Vermont has confirmed an EF1 tornado in Washington, Vermont (photo above) this past Saturday. The storm produced 100mph winds and caused considerable damage including a roof blown off an apartment building. The system that produced the tornado was the same storm that brought our first round of severe weather on Friday with strong winds and hail reported in Ontario and extreme southern Quebec along the US border.

I took the photo on the left today near the Quebec/Ontario border in Glengary County. Hydro One crews as well as several other public work personnel were busy cleaning up tree branches and prunning trees away from wires. The photo above is from Fox 44 News and is tornado damage in Vermont.
Incidentally while we are paying 102.4 a litre for gas in Montreal, it was 85.9 cents a litre in Lancaster, Ontario. Trust me it is worth the drive to this quaint little village on the St. Lawrence River. I love that place, and I have since I was a little kid. It is a very short drive down the 401 or for an even better drive take the 2.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

A tug resembling Theodore passes through the Laprairie basin dwarfing this fisherman just prior to yesterdays thunderstorms. SB photo

The rain sadly will not go away soon enough for a sunny Mother's Day. Yesterday heavy thunderstorms rattled across the Ottawa Valley and passed south of Montreal. Heavy rain and lots of hail was reported in Ontario with just rain in Quebec. Today was muggy again with steady rain as low pressure and the associated fronts moved across the region. Radar tonight is still showing areas of rain and thunderstorms to our west and south. Expect more rain overnight with dropping temperatures and increasing winds. Sunday will be cloudy and cool with gusty winds and scattered showers.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Severe thunderstorms have fired up in the muggy air this afternoon. Radar at 3pm is showing two clusters, one moving into southern Quebec south of the St. Lawrence River, and the second cluster just moving through the south end of Ottawa and stretching into Lanark County. Both clusters are moving east and will affect all of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. A severe thunderstorm warning has been posted for Ottawa and Smiths Falls. I imagine it will be extended eastward into Leeds & Grenville and S D & G. The second cluster has prompted a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the counties south of Montreal to the US Border. High winds and heavy rain with small hail is possible.

Muggy with some thunder

Very unsettled weather is expected across our forecast region right through this upcoming weekend. After yesterdays steady rain, nearly 15mm in most areas, today has dawned muggy and much warmer with some intervals of sun. The sun will only destabilize the atmosphere and promote some thunderstorm development this afternoon, especially along a frontal boundary that will slide through the region. Look for showers and thunderstorms after lunch in Kemptville and Ottawa and close to the supper hour in Montreal.

A similar scenario is on tap for Saturday with lots of sunny breaks, mild, muggy air and afternoon thunderstorms. The Saturday storms may be more vigorous as a stronger cold front is expected to slide across Eastern Ontario and Quebec. This will be followed by yet another low pressure system for Sunday. I expect more rain Sunday, but it is looking a little milder than it did 24 hours ago.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Lots of rain Thursday

Tuesday proved to be a very pleasant day across eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec. The expected showers held off for the entire day and the mercury inched up to 21C or 70F. Today has dawned showery across Quebec with clearing skies in Ontario. The storm system responsible for the morning showers is moving along the Atlantic coast up into the Maratimes this morning. The western edge of the precipitation shield has just caught the St. Lawrence Valley. The showers falling this morning will be light, and should end by noon. Some sunny breaks can be expected this afternoon with mild temperatures.

Another more potent low will move from the Ohio Valley towards New York State on Thursday. Look for steady rain to overspread the entire region overnight and continue into Thursday with 20-30mm expected. We will have some breaks on Friday with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Saturday will have clearing skies and warm weather, and it will be the best day of the weekend. It looks like Mother's Day will be cloudy, windy and cool with more rain.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Wet week ahead

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones surveys the damage in Irving, Texas after thunderstorms collapsed a practice facility injuring several coaches. Photo: The Dallas Morning News

It was a beautiful but chilly weekend across Ontario and Quebec to start the month of May. I went down to Plattsburg, N.Y. yesterday and they had more cloud cover than southern Quebec. The cloud was part of out next weather maker that will introduce a week of showery weather with just a few breaks for Montreal, Ottawa and the Seaway Valley. Today will be sunny, and we are off to a good start in the temperature department, already at 13C. With the warm May sun we may reach plus 18 to 20C in places. The balance of the week will be affected by a slow moving frontal system that will lift north into New York State tonight. This system has been responsible for heavy rain across the middle Atlantic and severe weather in the deep south. Numerous tornadoes occurred yesterday and individual thunderstorms cells knocked down trees and power lines in many states. The Dallas Cowboys training facility suffered some heavy damage as well when a tent collapsed injuring several people during rookie camp on Saturday.

The buds were out yesterday along the shores of Lake Champlain in upstate N.Y. Photo SB

This system will provide our regions with cool and showery weather through Wednesday before yet another deepening low pressure area moves in on Thursday with more showers. May can be a difficult month with the cool and wet weather hanging on. We had a very dry and mild March and April, so perhaps it is time for the "April showers", one month late.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Strong Winds

May 1 Wind 2

Very strong southwest winds are blowing at this hour across the St. Lawrence Valley. They have reached over 50km/h in Montreal and along the south shore May 1 Wind and will continue to



increase to well over 60km/h this evening. A cold front will pass through the region late this afternoon and this evening with scattered showers and maybe even some thunder. It will clear out overnight and become much cooler. This weekend should be partly cloudy and chilly.

 The photos above are a tangled mess of wires on Rome Blvd in Brossard this afternoon. The wind has been gusting well over 50km/h along the riverfront.