Monday, May 31, 2010
Vacation is over! It was a great two weeks in North Carolina but all good things must come to an end and reality settle in. When I arrived home yesterday, I was amazed to see how much grass can grow over a two week period. Equally amazing was how dry the soil was. I was pushing more dust around the neighborhood than grass clippings. Montreal has received only 38mm of rain this month, with most of that falling before the 15th.
That brings me to this morning. I had our windows open last night and thought our house was on fire at about 3am this morning. During the overnight, the wind shifted out of the northeast ahead of a warm front and brought smoke from the forest fires north of Montreal into the city. The thick haze is covering the city this morning with a distinct smell of burning forest in the air. These conditions will prevail most of the day with a shift in wind cleaning the air out slightly this afternoon. Nearly 55 fires are burning in the province with 8 out of control. About 1,200 firefighters, including some from Maine, New Brunswick, New Hampshire and Western Canada, are working to put the fires out.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Here on the Outer Banks we are into our last full day. The forecast is improving with the effects of that coastal low diminishing. Temperatures will warm into the 80's today with seas and winds subsiding. We are off to Ocracoke Island for one last frolic on the beach. Then back north tomorrow through that front that is producing the severe weather. I may have some decent pictures by the end of the day.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Lots to talk about on this Wednesday morning both here in North Carolina and at home in Montreal. First in Montreal, another record setting hot day is on tap before a backdoor cold front slices across the St. Lawrence Valley dropping temperatures by at least 10 degrees. yesterday Montreal reached 32C while Ottawa was 33C with a heat index of over 40C. Ottawa Hydro and Hydro 1 in Ontario are asking consumers to conserve power where possible. Meanwhile in Quebec the high heat and dry weather has elevated concerns about forest fires both in Montreal and across southern and central Quebec. Any outdoor burning is now prohibited until further notice by the provincial government.
Here in North Carolina on Hatteras Island the surf put on quite a show yesterday. Waves were running 4-7 feet with the beach virtually disappearing at high tide (photo 2). Some showers occurred as well with gusty northeast winds up to 30mph. The low pressure area causing this rough surf was located about 250 miles southeast of Cape Lookout. It generated enough interest to have The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel broadcast from Buxton this morning. The system will begin to move back out to sea with improving and warming conditions along the coast later today. Yesterday just at the end of our street along the beachfront, the rough surf uncovered the Flambeau wreck (named for the road it sits near). This is an iron and wood barge believed to have been grounded during a storm in 1933. I took photos in the morning when just a few metal bolts were visible (top photo), by the end of the day the entire outline of the barge was showing (photo 2). I am off this morning to see how much more is now visible.
More Outer Banks excitement yesterday as one of the ferries that runs between Ocracoke and Hatteras Island ran aground on a shoal in Hatteras Inlet and had to be towed off it. We have been on these boats dozens of times without incident but noticed on the weekend that they were having trouble with the narrowing channel. There were 27 vehicles and 45 passengers on board, but no injuries were reported. (See complete story here).
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Heavy rain continued along the coast of North Carolina yesterday with one to two inches in many locations. I drove north about an hour or so to Nags Head in a gusty onshore wind and steady rain. Skies cleared a little in the afternoon and the precipitation ended. We are hoping to have some sunshine today, but it remains unsettled with the risk of thunderstorms. Temperatures have been around 23C which is a little below normal for mid-May. The seas were a little rough yesterday as well. I walked the beach in Kitty Hawk and took some photos (above) of the Ocean Rescue training in 60 degree water.
Today it is off to Ocracoke Island, chasing the sunshine south. That stubborn front remains nearly stationary with warmer air south and much cooler air north of us. I am noticing a line of thunderstorms to our southwest - so I may have some decent storm photos later on today. One thing is for certain, a cloudy day on Hatteras is still 1000 times better than a sunny day at work or really anywhere else!
Monday, May 17, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Last night a gusty potent little thunderstorm went through Montreal at midnight with lots of thunder and vivid lightning and about 7mm of rain. This morning winds were gusty and it was quite chilly when I left at 5am. Today while driving in sunshine and increasingly warmer temperatures it was about 17C in Montreal. By the way on a non-weather rant, I can't believe how much fun it is to drive in New Jersey. It is probably the only place where a Quebec driver going 75mph can be passed by everyone other car. Crazy!
Anyway I hope to post some pictures over the next week or so, once I get a USB cord for the digital. In the meantime be good and enjoy the increasing sunshine and warmth in Montreal as I head towards the May long weekend.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Anyway back to the weather. It has been a rather traquil week with scattered frost across the area. I had a little on the roof of my car this morning on Ile Perrot southwest of downtown Montreal. The sunshine will warm us up to about 17C today. A week frontal boundary will provide us with some showers Friday and early Saturday before a sunny and cool day Sunday. It appears the warmer weather will try to make a run at the region early next week. We may see a 22 or 25C day by Wednesday.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Friday, May 07, 2010
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
As Montreal basked in summer warmth with thunderstorms, Alberta was being hit by the second spring blizzard in as many weeks. Nearly 16cm of snow surprised Edmonton yesterday with fierce winds. The storm was expected to affect mostly the southern portion of the province, but a heavy band of wet snow set up over the city. Amounts ranged from 7cm in Spruce Grove to 16cm on the east side of town. The strong winds created havoc on area highways with reduced visibility. Winds were gusting over 60km/h in Edmonton and as high as 113km/h in Onefor. Snow continues today in the southeast part of the province and into southwest Saskatchewan and northern Montana. The storm also delayed flights in Calgary and Edmonton and cut power to over 15,000 hydro customers.
Meanwhile eastern Ontario and Montreal had temperatures over 20C yesterday with thunderstorms. Some storms in Ontario became severe with gusty winds over 80km/h and small hail. Today will be sunny and 22C with more showers by weeks end. The Mother's Day weekend, sorry to say, looks rainy, windy and cold as the western system moves east.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
On the east side of the storm more warm and muggy air will feed thunderstorms across the Midwest. In our region another cold front is producing showers and thunderstorms today with the biggest threat being heavy downpours and perhaps small hail. A gusty storm went through the Montreal region at around 7am this morning with strong winds.
Monday, May 03, 2010
It is hard to believe we had a humidex reading of 30C and and overnight low of 19C in Montreal during the same week we had a snowstorm, but hey here we are. Yesterday was very muggy across the eastern two thirds of North America as a steady stream of humid air poured northward. Montreal reached 26C but it was much warmer in Vermont and New York with temperatures approaching 30C. The warmest place in the US over the weekend was Norfolk, VA at 36C. The same areas that had 2 feet of snow on Tuesday were over 80F yesterday. This morning numerous showers and thunderstorms are around the St. Lawrence Valley as a cold front approaches from the west. The front will move the humid air off to the south and east and clearing skies will ensue with winds increasing out of the northwest from 30-50km/h.
Over the weekend this same air mass produced unprecedented flooding across the southern sates including Tennessee where nearly 8 inches of rain produced severe flooding in Nashville closing Interstates and washing away cars, homes and people. The death toll is at 15 from the weekend storms including several deaths in Arkansas from tornadoes and sever thunderstorms. The heavy storms are along the Gulf Coast today from Louisiana to Florida and Georgia. The storms along the Gulf Coast are hampering the US Coast Guard in clean up efforts (see National Geographic photo above) in one of the worst oil spills in US history. Millions of litres of oil are spreading north from an uncapped British Petro (BP) oil well in the Gulf of Mexico towards the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida coasts. Already marine life is washing up along the shores and fishing has been suspended for at least the next 10 days. Rough seas and storms over the weekend made it difficult to set up booms and skim the oil off the surface of the Gulf.