Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall & October arrive together

Monday's storm pushed water off Lake Erie onto lake shore roads in Buffalo.
(Buffalo News photo)

A month that started off with shorts, sunshine and 30C weather is ending as it should with car heaters, fireplaces, warm coats and only 6C this morning. It really feels like fall today. Upper level low pressure continues to swirl around southern Quebec this morning. A cold front passed through the region overnight, with a wind shift and a noticeable drop in temperatures. It will remain cloudy and cool today with sprinkles and even some mountain snow showers. Temperatures will struggle to hit the 10C mark. Any sunny breaks will be very limited. It will remain cloudy and cool Thursday, before a few breaks Friday morning. Then, it appears the weekend will be wet and chilly. Strong low pressure is expected to organize across the plains and move east towards the St. Lawrence Valley. Indications are that more than 25mm of rain could fall this weekend. So just remember the happy thoughts of the first 15 days of September when not even a raindrop could be found. Incidentally the month recovered nicely in the rainfall department. 44.2mm has fallen in Montreal with all of that since the 15th, and half of it in the last 3 days. The normal rainfall for the month is 92.6mm.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wild weather day

Dark clouds and gusty winds greet rush hour traffic on the Champlain Bridge in Montreal.

Wild weather moved across the entire region today from central and western New York across Ontario and into southwest Quebec. A cold front associated with an intense early fall storm swept across the Great Lakes with heavy thunderstorms fierce winds and heavy rain. Winds gusted over 100km/h most of the afternoon along both sides of the Lake Erie shoreline. The water level along the Buffalo shore rose almost 7.5 feet above normal sending water onto some roads close to the lake. Heavy lake effect rain and thunderstorms then swept the region around the supper hour causing flooding and trapping several motorists on Buffalo highways. Numerous trees came down and power was out to over 10,000 homes.

In Ontario winds were recorded at 105km/h at Long Point, 100km/h at Port Colborne and Point Petree. Elsewhere they gusted close to 80km/h. In southern Quebec the front raced across the region around 6:30pm with swirling clouds, small hail and gusty winds. The core of the strongest winds will remain in Ontario and New York as the low pressure slowly lifts into central Quebec. The balance of the week will be cool, breezy and unsettled, very fall like.

Windy & cooler

A warm front has lifted north of Montreal this morning. The low clouds, fog and drizzle should end shortly and then some sunny breaks may even appear. We should reach 20C, quite mild for late September. It will be short lived. The first really strong low pressure area of the fall season is moving southeast towards Buffalo, NY. This should slowly pass south of our area this week. A strong cold front will push across Ontario and Quebec today with strong winds, showers and thunderstorms. Winds are already gusting over 70km/h along Lake Erie, including 73km/h at Long Point. Wind warnings are in effect including the GTA, for winds over 80km/h. Warnings are also in effect for western NY. There is also a Lakeshore Flood Watch posted for Lake Erie. As a result of the shallow lake being whipped by southwest winds, flooding may occur on the eastern and northern shore lines later today. The balance of the week will be unsettled with showers, windy and much cooler. A few snowflakes may even occur over the highest elevations around our area.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big changes on the way

Change is in the air: After a beautiful Saturday, clouds begin to shade the sun in Plattsburgh, NY yesterday afternoon. ValleyWeather Photo

What has seemed like a bonus extra month of summer this September across most of Canada is about to come to an end. A potent cold front is sweeping across the country from the Prairies across Ontario and into Quebec by late tomorrow. Strong winds, showers and thunderstorms and much cooler temperatures are accompanying this front. Parts of Saskatchewan have fallen from the mid 30's Friday into the single digits today, including 1C at Cypress Hills Provincial Park with winds over 50km/h. Wind warnings are in effect for gusts over 80km/h. This front will arrive in Montreal late Monday with strong wind and showers as well as a scattered thunderstorms. High temperatures near 20C on Monday, will do no better than 13C or so for Tuesday and even cooler on Wednesday. According to the National Weather Service in Burlington, we may even see a snowflake or two across the highest elevations of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. We knew it had to arrive sooner or later.

Friday, September 25, 2009

50/50 Weekend

This morning it truly feels like fall. For the first time this September, there is a chill in the air. A front drifted south of the region overnight, and north winds have taken over. It will remain chilly today with high temperatures no better than to 16C. Tonight will be clear and cold with a good chance of frost in most areas away from the city. Frost and freeze warnings are in place across portions of New England already. Temperatures will nudge very close to the freezing point. Saturday will be an ideal September day for any outdoor activity, sunny and a high of 19C. Low pressure will approach our region from the Midwest US on Sunday. Skies will be cloudy with rain expected. Next week will become very unsettled with much cooler weather and the chance of showers and some storms and windy. A fall pattern is developing as we head for October.

Today CJAD Meteorologist Ed Cowell is retiring after 34 years on Montreal radio. He spent 20 of those at CJAD, and has been a meteorologist for over 45 years. I had the privilege of meeting him back in 1991 when he gave me a tour o the weather office at Dorval Airport here in Montreal. Ed is a true gentleman and very professional meteorologist. Thanks Ed for all the weather information over the years and enjoy your retirement.
Above right: Ed Cowell - Montreal Gazette photo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warm start to fall

The pumpkins are ready! A sign of the seasons at this IGA store on the West Island.

It is already 20C (humidex 26C) this morning in Montreal on the way to 23C. That is well above the normal daytime high of 18C and it is only 8am. Fall arrived yesterday at 5:18pm and there are some signs that the seasons are changing. The leaves are slowly turning, some areas have had frost, and the likelihood of a hard frost or even a freeze exists into next week as much colder air is forecast to invade the region by Tuesday.

Yesterday's showers dropped about 10.4mm on Montreal as tropical air and moisture was in place. That brings our monthly total to 14.6mm, or less than half of the normal precipitation. We should get some more decent showers today as a cold front is just north of the Ottawa Valley this morning. Radar is showing some heavy showers and embedded thunder moving south towards the St. Lawrence River.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo striking the South Carolina coast and racing north down the St. Lawrence Valley and through Montreal. Heavy rain fell north of the city, while south of the system in Montreal high winds and very warm and muggy air was in place. We reached 29C and only dropped to the low twenties overnight. Winds gusted to 70km/h in the valley knocking down trees and cutting power. I was working for the Gazette at the time driving at night. It was interesting night working, seeing first hand some of the power of this fast moving storm. Hugo maintained tropical storm status well inland. I have never seen clouds moving so fast before or since Hugo. The storm caused billions in damage and killed 49 people along its path.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall

I am still crunching the numbers, but we may have just, at this very minute, finished the most dismal summer in decades. Fall has arrived here on the east coast as of 5:19pm. Appropriately summer ended with showery weather, however it continues quite mild and very humid today as well. Warm and moist tropical air is streaming north from the Gulf states and will continue through mid week with some more showers Wednesday, and maybe even a rumble of thunder. It will continue warm with a high of 25C. Happy Autumn everyone!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pleasent week

Warm south winds greeted travelers at this truck stop in Cornwall, Ontario yesterday afternoon. SB Photo

The spectacular late summer weather will continue in our area into this week. September has been a remarkable month across most of Canada but especially in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Very little rainfall has combined with above normal temperatures and record sunshine to make us forget about our terrible summer. This week the region will have above normal temperatures, near 25C for the next three days before a cooling trend with rain into next weekend. This past weekend featured cool temperatures and frost, but brilliant sunshine, the third weekend this month with near perfect weather.

While the weather has been great here, it has not been so good across the US southeast. Many areas have had 6 to 8 consecutive days of rain with over 10 inches of rain falling in some areas. Flooding is widespread across metro Atlanta and many other parts of the deep south. Low pressure over the southern Appalachians is drawing tropical moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico. The system will continue to slowly move east over the next few days. Meanwhile the remains of Hurricane Fred are located about 250 miles east of Cape Hatteras. While no redevelopment is expected at this time, it is still expected to produce some rough surf, in conjunction with our strong high pressure, as well as scattered showers and thunderstorms moving inland over Carolina's during the next day or so.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Weather

Radar is showing a gusty cold front moving across the St. Lawrence Valley this morning. The front is producing the first appreciable rain of the month in Montreal, (only 0.4mm to date at Dorval) right at the morning rush. The heavy showers will move southeast of the region, followed by a second line later this morning. Skies should clear by noon with a windy and chilly afternoon and evening. The weekend will be sunny, dry and seasonable with temperatures near 18C. Overnight lows will be cold enough for frost north and south of Montreal and in rural areas of central and eastern Ontario. Monday will be very warm for September, a high of 26C for the last full day of summer 2009. Summer had a nice recovery thanks to September.

Speaking of heat, Saskatchewan was baking yesterday. Numerous record highs were smashed including 37C (100F) in Rosetown. That was after an overnight low of 11C or a whopping 49 degree Fahrenheit difference. What a temperature range for a 12 hour period. The previous record was 31.5C set in 1981. Other records included Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Leader. Temperatures in Gravelbourg and Assiniboia were around 33C. More heat is expected this weekend before a slight cooling trend next week.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Warm west - cool east

Spectacular late summer weather is occurring across western Canada, with dozens of record highs tied or broken yesterday including 32C in Edmonton and 34C at Brooks. It will be a little cooler in Alberta today, but hot in Saskatchewan and the northern plains. Temperatures in those areas will rise above 30C again and well into the 30's over the weekend before cooling off next week.

Ontario and Quebec will feel a little more fall like on the last weekend of the summer. Temperatures will be near or slightly above 20C with sunshine. The only rain will be some brief showers Friday morning along a cold front. It will be breezy behind the front with cool overnight lows and frost, especially off island to the north and in rural areas of eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Last night the temperature dipped to -1C at Mt Tremblant and 5C at St. Hubert, 7C at Dorval and 5C as well in Kemptville, ON.. A sure sign of things to come.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More sunshine

Yesterday's cold front barely wet the rain gauge in most of southern Quebec. There were some isolated areas that had some pretty good downpours last evening, but they were very short in nature. One shower went across the south shore at around 7:15pm last night, and it was the first rain of the month with some lightning as well. The front passed rapidly south of the valley followed by clearing. Only 0.4 mm fell at Dorval and that is the monthly total to September 15. A little more rain fell across eastern Ontario with 6.7 mm at Kemptville, and 9.6 mm at Ottawa. Today will be a little cooler with mostly sunny skies and a few afternoon cloudy periods. It will remain dry through Friday.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some much needed mositure today

The shadows are getting longer as September moves along. This is the sun setting in Lancaster, ON. last week.

The lawns are beginning to turn brown, and I noticed a rapid acceleration in the turning of the leaves in the last week or so. Normally the fall foliage begins to appear as a result of the decrease in daylight as we move from August into September. The changing of the leaves can be enhanced by frost or in this case no precipitation at all. Today will mark day 15 of no rain in the Montreal area. That is expected to change on this Monday, as clouds are on the increase from the west and a few showers and maybe a rumble of thunder can be expected by noon. The catalyst for the showers is a cold front slipping southward from central Quebec. The front will also return temperatures back to below normal for a good portion of this work week (17C Tuesday). After the showers today, there will be another shot of showers Tuesday afternoon, before a sunny, cool and "fall like" balance of the week.

The weekend was splendid with warm temperatures and sunshine. There were a few more clouds in the region Sunday, but it was still pleasant for late summer. The entire country has enjoyed decent weather of late with the exception of southern Manitoba where heavy rain late last week caused some flooding. Some areas had between 100-200mm of rain. In Alberta and Saskatchewan late summer record warmth occurred with nearly a dozen temperature records broken including 27C at Edmonton yesterday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another glorious weeekend

Please take time to remember today.

Strong high pressure is blocking the weather over most of the northern half of the Continent. If you have good weather, like we do, you get to keep it. Sadly if you have poor weather, like the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, you get to keep that as well. This blocking ridge of high pressure will remain in place well into next week. Today is our 12th day in a row with no precipitation and abundant sunshine in Montreal, including the entire month of September to date. I am attempting to find out some information on total sunshine hours for Montreal for September, and just how close we are to establishing a record here. The best I could find this morning, is that on average, Montreal records 174.6 hours of sunshine for the entire month. That works out to about 46.3% of the total daylight hours. Considering that we are somewhere between 90 to 95% sunshine so far, I would say a record is in there somewhere. The next chance for any precipitation will not come before next Thursday. It will remain very warm as well, 24C tomorrow and 27C on Sunday. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What a September

What can you say about a month that is now 10/10. September 10 just happens to be the 10th consecutive dry and sunny day in Montreal. The precipitation at the airport for the month, 0 mm. This trend has been provided to us by very strong high pressure anchored over Quebec. The days have been sunny and warm and the much longer September nights starlit and cool. All the nasty weather is being kept well to our south across the middle Atlantic region and Ohio Valley. There is some indication that a warm front will lift north of the St. Lawrence Valley on the weekend with scattered showers on Saturday. That may end our consecutive streak, but not the nice weather. Next week looks sunny and warm again, all week. It will start on Sunday, with a sunny 27C day. That is better than 90% of the weekends were this past summer. Imagine that!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labour Day

Sailing on Lake Champlain while the fall colors begin to show near Rouses Point, N.Y. today. (The photo is taken from the New York side of the lake, with Grand Isle, Vermont as the background)

It was truly a spectacular long weekend to close out the summer of 2009. Today marks the 7th consecutive day of sunshine and seasonable temperatures. It will continue into the start of this work week with showers expected by the middle portion of the week. The nice weather was limited to eastern Ontario and most of Quebec. The further southwest you went the nastier the weather became. Low pressure across the Ohio Valley and a "tropical like" system on the Carolina coast are combining to produce copious amounts of rain from the Midwest across the the middle Atlantic region. Portions of the Carolina coast including the Outer Banks have reported between 3-5 inches of rain today. Some areas along the Crystal coast near Wilmington, NC, have had as much as 8 inches of rain with flood warnings in effect. The system, will slowly move northeast along the coast tonight and exit the region.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The best weather of summer

Strong high pressure over the northeastern US will guarantee the best stretch of weather this summer in eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec. It has been sunny since Monday and will continue that way well into next week, including the entire holiday weekend. Temperatures will be above normal, around 25C for highs and down to 12 to 14C for lows. The only blip on the radar is a weak backdoor cold front late Saturday that may produce a sprinkle, a cloud and a wind shift, otherwise, brilliant sunshine abounds. There may also be some patchy fog overnight towards morning. The nights are getting longer and the dew is forming. The quick drop in overnight temperatures after a warm day aides in the development of fog, especially in river valleys.