Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricane Watch for Carolina Coast

The high pressure that brought record heat to southern Quebec today, 32C in Montreal, is also slowly driving Hurricane Earl northwest towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the eastern Seaboard. It is unlikely the storm will make a direct landfall on the Outer Banks, but that does not matter. This narrow thin ribbon of land that I like to call my home away from home does not need a direct hit for major damage and ocean over wash to occur. Late this afternoon the National Hurricane Center issued a Hurricane Watch from Surf City north to Duck including Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds. Hurricane conditions may arrive as early as late Wednesday or Thursday. Earl remains a very dangerous hurricane tonight with 135mph winds at a Category 4 status and is 1000 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras . The storm is expected to maintain this strength for the next 24 hours as he squeezes between the high mentioned and a cold front over the Great Lakes. How close the storm comes to the coast will determine the extent of the warnings. All interests along the coast north into Nova Scotia need to monitor this storm closely. It is very likely that by Saturday, we will have a Category 1 storm making landfall in eastern Canada.

Record Heat

An interesting forecast track from the NHC shown on right has Earl brushing the east coast before moving into Nova Scotia this weekend.

A tropical air mass remains established over southern Quebec and Ontario this morning. High heat and humidity warnings are in effect for all of the St. Lawrence Valley south to the US border. The combination of temperatures between 32C and 34C and the humidity will push humidex values into the low 40's. Today will be a record breaker in Montreal with the temperature expected to surpass the 1993 record of 31C. The heat will continue into Wednesday with tonight's low a muggy 22C and tomorrow's high 33C. Last night we only dipped as low as 22C and not until 5am. We are already at 24C with a humidex in the 30's. Smog and poor air quality are also quite obvious this morning. Drink plenty of water today and use sunscreen.

Hurricane Earl
Hurricane Earl continues to move away from Puerto Rico this morning after brushing the island with heavy surf, flooding rains and 70mph winds that cut power to over 100,000 people. Earl is moving west northwest at 13mph and heading towards the southeastern Bahamas, Turks and Cacaos. By late Thursday, most computer models have Earl approaching the southeast coast of the US, from the Outer Banks northward. At this time forecasters feel the storm will not make a direct hit but remain offshore. That still means very high surf and tropical storm force winds from the Outer Banks across the Delmarva and into Long Island and Cape Cod. In addition it appears that earl will make a direct landfall in Nova Scotia, perhaps as a Category 1 storm. What condition the storm will be in by then, it is too early to tell. The time frame for arrival in Canadian waters is this coming weekend. But once again lots can happen between now and then and several other factors are influencing the storm. We will just have to wait and see.
**Updates are available 24/7 with the links on the left. I will update the blog by 8pm this evening if not sooner.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Earl becomes a dangerous storm

A NAVY Image of Hurricane Earl tonight

Here is an update tonight on what has become a very dangerous hurricane over the last few hours. Earl has spent the day skirting the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico with 50-60mph winds, driving rain and pounding surf. Despite this, the storm has been able to blossom into a major hurricane with 135mph winds and a central pressure of 938mb. Earl has developed a very well defined eye and continues to increase in intensity while moving west northwest at 14mph. The storm is expected to impact the Bahamas and Turks and Cacaos next, and a tropical storm warning is out for those regions. Beyond that concern is growing along the eastern seaboard from North Carolina to Newfoundland. Present computer models are bringing Earl closer to the coast with each successive run. Watches may required for a portion of the coast as early as Tuesday. The Outer Banks and Hatteras Island are a prime target at the moment for Earl. I spend two weeks each year on Hatteras Island, so all my energy and thoughts are pushing this storm out to sea.

This is a very dangerous storm and the US Coast Guard is urging those along the coast to listen and monitor forecasts. Swells and surf will begin arriving Tuesday and rip currents are likely along the entire coastline. Environment Canada issued a statement today indicating that Earl may likely affect eastern Canada. It remains too soon to pinpoint the exact location but all coastal residents are advised to begin thinking about preparations and or possible evacuations. I will post an update on Hurricane Earl early tomorrow morning.

Napa 200 - Hurricane Earl - HOT

Speed.com Image

Odd title, let me explain. Sadly it is Monday morning again after a spectacular late summer weekend here in Montreal. The weather will be mid July like as temperatures push over 30C under strong high pressure. This ridge will remain well established this week producing increasing warmth and humidity. The air quality will begin to deteriorate as well with smog warnings already in effect for southwest Ontario. They may be needed elsewhere including metro Montreal.

Yesterday the NAPA 200 was run at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. The weather was perfect all weekend, if not too warm yesterday. The temperature soared into the lower 30's at the track putting drivers and spectators at risk for heat exhaustion. The weather was in stark contrast to the last two years when rain plagued the event. Borris Said (09) enjoyed his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory beating Max Papis (33) by a bumper (above left) to win an exciting race. Montrealer and F-1 Champ, Jacques Villeneuve is in the background in 3rd place. Andrew Ranger took the Canadian Tires series victory earlier today.

Active Tropical Atlantic
Now the big news, Hurricane Earl. First Danielle is becoming extra tropical in the northern Atlantic and has until now spared any land. The only effects have been swells and heavy surf from North Carolina to Newfoundland. Meanwhile Hurricane Earl is about 50 miles north of the Leeward Islands with 110mph winds. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Leeward Islands as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Earl is expected to remain offshore but deliver strong winds and heavy rain in the warning area. Afterwards the storm is expected to strengthen further as it moves off to the west northwest. Several models have the storm approaching the Outer Banks of North Carolina by late Wednesday, but remaining offshore. As someone who visits Hatteras Island on a yearly basis, I know even offshore is not good for the low lying, narrow Outer Banks. All interests along the coast from North Carolina to Newfoundland should closely monitor Earl. The storm may affect any portion of that coast from Wednesday through Labor Day weekend.

(At right, Hurricane Earl this morning nearing the Leeward Islands. NOAA Image)

Friday, August 27, 2010

HOT weather to end the summer

NOAA image of major Category 4 Hurricane Danielle taken this morning.

The two big stories this morning are the hot and dry weather that is moving into eastern Canada and Hurricane Danielle. After a cool start to the day with some patchy fog in places, we should warm into the low 20's today under sunny skies. The strong high pressure will take hold along the east coast, deflecting Danielle and Earl away from us, and delivering almost a full week of sunshine and very warm temperatures to start September. Sunshine will prevail until late next week with daily highs either side of 30C and overnight lows around 18C. Yesterday was hot in Saskatchewan. temperatures along the Montana border reached 100F (37C), It was just slightly cooler in Assiniboia and Gravelbourg, around 35C and close to 33C in Regina. It will be cooler today and into the weekend.

The NASCAR Nationwide teams are n Montreal for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 this weekend. The weather will be perfect. Bring a hat, lots of sunscreen and water and get ready for an awesome weekend. The track opens before 7am tomorrow and at 8am on Sunday. Leave the car at home.

Now on to Hurricane Danielle. While we were sleeping this storm, that once looked like it was decaying, has blossomed into a Category 4 storm and has her sights on 5. This major hurricane now has 135mph winds gusting to 150mph and is moving northwest at 12mph. The storm is expected to move well east of Bermuda, however the size and strength of Danielle will cause very dangerous surf along the coast. The swells and rough surf will be felt as far west as the Eastern Seaboard of the US, particularly from North Carolina and the Outer Banks northward. All interests should continue to monitor Danielle. Earl meanwhile has 45mph and is moving along a path just south of the one taken by Danielle. Earl is expected to become a hurricane on Saturday and threaten Bermuda early next week. A third area of interest lies juts off thew African coast. This area of showers and thunderstorms is expected to further develop and become a depression next week. The tropics are certainly heating up as we head into the most active portion of the season, September.

**If you have a chance, check out this link from Hurricane Felix back in 2007. This is what flying into a hurricane is all about. No flights are scheduled today into Danielle. NOAA Recon flights are expected in 12 hour intervals starting tomorrow. P.S. I noticed the audio with is is a little rough now, but the video is still good.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two for one in Atlantic

The Atlantic tropical season is off and running with two named systems. Hurricane Danielle (seen in the NOAA satellite picture at left this morning) is nearly a Category 3 storm with 110mph winds. Forecasters expect Danielle to remain east of Bermuda and away from the US. Meanwhile Tropical Storm Earl is located in the open waters of the Atlantic, southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Earl is expected to follow a path very similar to Danielle but a little further south and west. Earl may approach Bermuda next week with more significant wind and wave impacts than Danielle.

Our weather will become very pleasant and unseasonably warm from Saturday well into next week. A frontal boundary will cross the area today with some spotty showers. Temperatures will be mild and humidity levels slightly elevated. Skies should clear out quickly tonight and it will cool down to about 10C. The forecast period from Saturday through next Thursday will feature strong high pressure off the east coast of the United States. This will pump in warm air from the deep south, resulting in bright sunny skies with temperatures in the 27 to 30C range. Nights will be clear and pleasantly cool dropping into the mid teens. The next chance of precipitation after today will not be until next Friday. Enjoy it, I am not saying this will be the last of the warm air, but you never know. Once Labor Day arrives, we are on the other side of the weather calendar.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Late August heatwave

The leaves along the commuter rail line near Pointe Claire yesterday are not only turning color, but bright reds and oranges already. ValleyWX Pic

Lots to talk about this morning and not much time to do it in. Lets start with Danielle. First of all I am not the best speller in the world. I have yet to master the English language let alone French or any other. I misspelled Danielle yesterday, my bad. Danielle this morning is back to hurricane strength after briefly weakening to a tropical storm yesterday. Some dry air working into the system was responsible, but now the storm is once again a hurricane and still expected to reach Category 3 intensity. The storm may be in the waters near Bermuda by Sunday.

Thank YOU
We are coming up on some significant weather anniversaries, the most important being the 5th of Hurricane Katrina. I will have more on that in a later post. Also coming up is the 31st anniversary of my start in daily weather observing. It was back during 1979 while tracking Hurricane David at the age of 13 that I began the journey. Prior to that I dabbled in some weather but never to the extent from 1979 to the present. That brings me to yesterday, as I reached another milestone on this blog when it went over 70,000 hits. I could never imagined that when I started it on July 25th, 2005. I have had some good days and some bad days, good entries and bad entries, but the blog has given me an avenue to share my passion with others. For years I recorded the weather at home and talked about it to only a few friends. This blog has certainly allowed me to share my interest. I thank each and everyone of you for reading, especially during the past year when life events have prevented me from writing as much as I would have liked to. Your time spent on this page is very much appreciated.

August HEAT
One last item today: Despite the cool, cloudy and fall like weather today and tomorrow, and the leaves changing color, perhaps a final surge of very hot weather is on the way. It looks like low pressure along the east coast will spread rain and wind into New England, but stay east of Montreal over the next 24 hours. By Friday high pressure will build in from the west along with increasing warmth. We should see sunshine and temperatures close to 30C starting Sunday well into next week. That is good news for the NASCAR teams in Montreal for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in Montreal all weekend. It has rained the last two years so I am looking forward to a dry race. The sunny warm weather will begin Saturday and is expected until at least next Wednesday. As a matter of fact September looks warm and dry here in the east.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Category 2 Danielle

Hurricane Danielle has reached Category 2 status with a central pressure of 973mb. The system, currently about 1100 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, has winds of 100mph. Forecasters expect the storm to strengthen further and likely reach Category 3 by later today making Danielle a major hurricane. The good news is it appears the storm will remain out at sea and affect no land. The storm may get close enough to Bermuda on the weekend to generate rough seas and possibly some rain or wind. Meanwhile directly behind Danielle another area of disturbed weather just off the African coast south of the Cape Verde Islands is showing signs of development and will be investigated further today. This system may become a depression in the next 24 hours.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rainy weekend

At right: NOAA image of Tropical Storm Daniele this morning

Tropical Update: Tropical Storm Daniele has formed in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The storm is moving WNW at 14mph with 60mph winds. Forecasters expect Daniele to become a hurricane in the next 24 hours and move northwest to be southeast of Bermuda by Saturday.

It certainly felt like September this past weekend. Clouds and northeast winds kept the temperatures in the teens most of the time and an intermittent rain fell from late Saturday through most of Sunday and into this morning in Montreal. The chilly wet weather made it feel like autumn, and the signs of fall are all around as the days grow shorter and the leaves slowly begin to turn. School is back at many locations this morning, and our Sears Christmas Wish Book was even dropped on the doorstep Sunday. Way to soon, but hey what can you do.

Rainfall totals were decent in the region in the neighborhood of 15-25mm. The heaviest rain fell and is still falling over the St. Lawrence Valley between Kingston and Prescott and south of the border into upstate New York. Rain totals have been impressive from this storm in that region. Kemptville has received 24mm, Brockville 65.2mm as of this morning and the rain continues to fall. Potsdam, New York has recorded 3.16" and Norwood south of Massena 5.60". Flood advisories remain in effect for portions of St. Lawrence County this morning as well as other parts of the Adirondacks and northern New York. The rain should slowly taper off today, and the balance of the week looks fair with warmer weather by next weekend.

Warning: RANT below!
I find it interesting that Environment Canada posted heavy rain warnings for areas adjacent to Lakes Ontario and Erie and then canceled them before the event had even began. Portions of the region ended up exceeding 50mm in 24 hours. They never bothered to issue any advisories for eastern Ontario, just a statement for 20-30mm, and Brockville is approaching 70mm or just under three inches. I find they just continue to confuse the public with variable criteria for warnings and watches, issuing them and then cancelling them with little explanation, especially when the event is ongoing. Most of the media and general public has no idea how our warning system works in this country. We need more clearly defined watches and warnings like those of the National Weather Service in the US. Just my thoughts...SB

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekend Update

Smoke from BC forest fires reduces visibility in Edmonton yesterday.
(Edmonton Journal Photo)

A bizarre day yesterday in Montreal. A cold front to our west had abundant moisture and a line of fairly intense thunderstorms as it was approaching the St. Lawrence Valley and into southern Quebec. Then as if a switch had been activated, they dissipated rapidly. Such is the nature of weather. The front went through Montreal with a wind shift and a sprinkle or two, but little else. This was a far cry from the strong winds and heavy rain as the front raced across Ontario.

The weekend will be 50/50. Saturday will be sunny and September like with temperatures around 23C after overnight lows in the chilly 10C range. Sunday will be showery with and increasing risk of thunderstorms and perhaps some steady rain by late afternoon. Low pressure will be moving east form the Great Lakes and will tap into some southern moisture. Early estimates are for 25-50mm of rain across northern New York, Vermont and the St. Lawrence Valley. We will have to wait and see.

In western Canada air quality has become rather poor in Saskatchewan and Alberta as a result of forest fires in BC's interior. The smoke is drifting southeastward across the Prairies, and has reduced visibility to under a kilometre in many places including Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon and produced very poor air quality. The smoke should begin to lift and air quality improve this weekend.

**Tropical Update: An area of disturbed weather in the far eastern Atlantic is being closely monitored today. It appears as we head into the heart of hurricane season, late August through September, we may have our next hurricane, Danielle by early next week. Stay tuned and be sure to check for updates using the links on the left side of the blog at Accu-Weather or hurricanecity.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A potent cold front is racing across Ontario at this hour. Doppler radar is showing a line of strong thunderstorms from the Ottawa Valley to Lake Ontario. This front will push into eastern Ontario this afternoon, and southern Quebec late this afternoon and this evening. Environment Canada has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the metro Montreal region and all of southern and western Quebec. The main threat with these storms will be heavy rain and gusty winds to 90km/h. The front is moving quickly so skies should clear out late this evening in the region.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunny Wednesday

Squalls move into New Orleans from TD 5.
(From NOLA.com

High pressure has moved into southern Quebec this morning and produced a cool overnight. It felt like Autumn was in the air this morning with a slight chill. We should warm today under sunny skies to 25C. Yesterday turned out to be interesting in parts of the province, especially the higher terrain north and southeast of Montreal. Thunderstorms developed across theses regions as a result of the gusty west winds and some orographic lift. Some of the storms produced heavy rain and brief gusty winds. A rogue flash of lightning and bang of thunder nearly gave me heart failure during the lunch hour yesterday. I had conditioned myself to the fact there would be no thunderstorms yesterday. The lightning came from an isolated storm moving just north of the city across the north shore.

TD 5 is wringing out like a sponge over southern Louisiana this morning, with radar estimates showing 1 to 2 inches of rain per hour overnight across the area. Flash flooding is occurring with warnings in effect. Flooding is also occurring along a slow moving frontal system stretching from TD 5 northeast to southern New Jersey. This front will continue to be the focus for heavy rain today. The front is separating the warm and humid air to the south from the cooler, fall like air that has settled in across northern New England and the Great lakes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Second warmest July

The remains of TD 5 inland over Louisiana.

Below: A few odds and ends on this sunny Tuesday morning...SB

**As a follow up to the warmest June on record on the planet, July was the second warmest on record, missing the record by a hair. The average worldwide temperature was 16.5C (61.6F) or 1.85 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The warmest was 61.7C in 1998. In the US it was the warmest July ever. The warm and humid daytime highs were followed in many instances by record warm nights. The heat this week has been pushed into the deep south and along the Gulf coast.

**Meanwhile TD 5 has moved inland over Southeast Louisiana. This pesky depression, that refuses to die or strengthen to a named storm, seems to be on its last legs after more than two weeks meandering about. The system will produce gusty winds, and another 3 to 6 inches of rain along the Gulf coast today with flooding possible.

**I missed an historic anniversary yesterday. It was on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42, that Elvis Presley died. Now you may ask why mention this on a weather blog? Well naturally I must tie the weather into it somehow. I took a train ride with my mother and grandmother from Montreal to Ottawa for the day. It poured rain and was unseasonably cool. I remember shopping in downtown Ottawa and needing to purchase an umbrella (oh and a little yellow Tomy die cast school bus, but I digress). We heard about Elvis from my dad who picked us up at Central Station in Montreal in a driving rain that evening. A quick glance at the record books on that historic day shows 16mm of rain fell in Ottawa with a cold high of 16C, while only 4.8mm fell in Montreal, with thunder and fog and a high of 18C.

** Speaking of my Dad, regular readers know how much he influenced my interest in weather. It will be one year since his death on August 19, 2009. I still miss him everyday. You can read about him HERE

Monday, August 16, 2010

Severe Thunderstorm Watch cancelled

Update 4pm: The threat for storms is over in Montreal as the focus has shifted east and south of the city.

A severe thunderstorm watch for southern Quebec remains in effect now until 6pm. Lines of storms this morning have given way to sunny skies, it is breezy and humid with temperatures at 28C in Montreal. The threat remains for thunderstorms to develop this afternoon.

From Environment Canada...


Metro Montréal - Laval
2:23 PM EDT Monday 16 August 2010
Severe thunderstorm watch for

Weather conditions in these regions are favourable to the development of severe thunderstorms. Some of them could produce large hailstones - high winds - heavy rain, frequent lightning and significant rain amount in a short period of time. People in these regions should take the necessary precautions and listen for subsequent weather warnings, as severe weather warnings may be issued if severe weather becomes imminent.

This watch is in effect from 01:25 PM to 06:00 PM EDT.

A major and nearly stationary low pressure system is lying over Northwestern Ontario. The cold front associated with this low stretches from Gouin Reservoir to Lake Ontario and is moving slowly eastward. Ahead of the front, lines of heavy thunderstorms could redevelop at anytime today.

Early morning thunder

I was briefly in Ontario yesterday, catching the last 10 minutes of the Upper Canada Village car show near Morrisburg. The weather was humid and breezy but the turnout was good. I was dismayed by the number of trees beginning to change color across upstate NY and eastern Ontario. I am not quite ready to give up on summer.

A very narrow line of heavy thunderstorms moved through the Montreal and upstate New York region between 6 and 7am this morning. The storms skirted Montreal with intense lightning and thunder, but little else. We remain under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10am, but at the moment radar is clear to the west of the city. The storms are a result of a cold front that is slipping across southern Quebec and eastern Ontario. Drier air will begin to slowly move in over the course of the day with increasing northwest winds and lowering humidity. The balance of the week looks warm and dry for our entire region.

Tropical depression 5 has been meandering across the south central Gulf coast for most of this past week. The system is now back out in the open waters of the Gulf just south of Panama City. Circulation and convection is beginning to increase and the system could become a tropical storm during the next day or two. The system bears close watching.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Update

Beautiful Lake Champlain from Burlington, Vermont, with the Adirondack Mountains as the background. The pup below had the right idea yesterday, taking a dip in Lake Champlain. The warm summer has left water temperatures in the 70's. ValleyWX Pic

Hey folks, sorry for the quiet week. I have been on vacation, quietly enjoying some R & R. It has been quiet on the weather front as well, at least in southern Quebec. A cold front on Tuesday produced very little in the way of action in Montreal, but there were some storms east of the city. With the exception of some early morning fog patches it has been a sunny, seasonable and dry week in Montreal. This will hold into the weekend with temperatures near 27C and no rain in the forecast. The next threat for rain will come from a cold front late Sunday and into Monday. Temperatures will remain mild for August.
No matter how hard I try to hold onto summer, you can feel it slipping away. The nights are getting longer and cooler, with fog forming, and we have yet to hit 30C in Montreal this month. I spent the last two days in northern Vermont and believe it or not, some trees are beginning to change their colours.

The tropics remain tame to this point in the 2010 season. TD 5 moved onshore yesterday along the Louisiana coast with heavy rain and gusty winds. There has been plenty of sheer so far this season tearing apart the storms before they have a chance to develop. While several tropical waves are moving around the Atlantic basin, no development is expected at this time.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Another humid Monday

Sounds like a song, or a broken CD if you will, it's just another humid Monday. The difference between dew point temperatures on Friday and Sunday was staggering. Last Thursday we were in the tropics with dew points near 22C, that lowered to the 7C range by Saturday before surging back up to near 20C yesterday and this morning. The air was so dry and crisp Friday and Saturday that it really felt like fall. I did not like it, way to early for this awesome summer of 2010 to draw to a close. The cool air mass that surged in behind Thursdays cold front left single digit overnight lows and a real sense that we are on borrowed time. However Sunday brought a return to the high humidity and thunderstorms as a warm front lifted north across the region. The front was ahead of schedule as I expected it to arrive today. We are now into the warm and humid air once again with the risk of showers and thunderstorms today and Tuesday. It will clear out for the middle part of the week but remain warm, near 27C across the region. The really hot air will remain to our south across the middle Atlantic and into the deep southern US.

That warm front yesterday brought quite a few heavy downpours and embedded thunderstorms. Heavy rain was the main threat with 49.6mm at Wiarton, Ontario, 35.5mm in Kemptville and 20mm here in Montreal at Trudeau Airport.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Weekend Update

A heavy thunderstorm is back lit by the setting sun in the Montreal suburb of Lasalle.

Heavy thunderstorms once again moved across Ontario and Quebec in waves yesterday afternoon. I was caught up in one in Lasalle around 7pm last evening. The torrential rains, thunder and lightning were backed by a spectacular setting sun. It was one of the oddest thunderstorms I have seen. A second wave of much stronger storms swept the island around 9pm in the evening. These storms once again produced heavy wind driven rain and lots of vivid lightning. From my vantage point on Ile Perrot we had gusty inflow winds and a spectacular light show, but the main cell passed just to my north.

This morning we are noticeably cooler and drier. The dew point has fallen form almost 22C (72F) down to 14C (mid 50's). This is a very good indication of the much drier and more stable air that has arrived behind the cold front. Today will be variable with a sprinkle or two and a high of 21C, about 8 degrees colder than Thursday afternoon. Skies will clear out tonight for a sunny and dry weekend. Temperatures will be much cooler, 10C tonight and around 23C on Saturday. The heat and humidity will retreat into the middle Atlantic region and southeast before it makes an attempt to move back north into New England, Montreal, Quebec and Ontario by Monday.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

More storms today

Just some of the major flooding in northern Clinton County, NY. at Ellenburg.
(Press Republican photo)

Expect more thunderstorms across the region this afternoon for the third straight day. So far between 50-100mm (2-4 inches) of rain has fallen in the severe storms in Ontario and Quebec. The heavy rain produced major flash flooding across upstate New York yesterday morning. Nearly 140mm of rain or about 5.5 inches fell in northern Clinton County forcing the Great Chazy River to flow freely through the towns of Ellenburg and Ellenburg Depot. State Police and firefighters were forced to close Route 11 and rescue several motorists and campers that had become stranded. Two campgrounds were evacuated after major flooding inundated trailers including Blue Haven Campground which is a popular spot with many from Montreal and southern Quebec.

Montreal had another 16mm of rain at the airport yesterday for a two day total of 66mm. I measured around 60mm on Ile Perrot. The wind was a factor yesterday gusting from 60-90km/h at many locations. It was enough to move my massive BBQ across the deck and destroy my rose bushes. More storms will develop this afternoon in the hot and humid air as a cold front crosses the region. Friday will much cooler and drier. Today's storms have the same potential to produce heavy rain and strong winds. There is plenty of low level moisture available, and the atmosphere is saturated.

Just how muggy is it in Montreal this morning?
Montreal is at 23.3C with a dewpoint of 21.2C, producing a relative humidity of 88% and a humidex of 32C.

Meanwhile 2600km to our south, Miami, Florida is at 28C with a dewpoint of 24C, producing a relative humidity of 79% and a humidex or heat index of 33C.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Severe Thunderstorms

5pm Update: Waves of thunderstorms have been sweeping across the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Valley's this afternoon. Torrential rain and strong winds have been very common with these storms. Winds gusted over 60m/h at 4pm at Dorval and even higher elsewhere on the island. More storms are developing to our northwest and the threat for severe weather will continue until at least sunset.

3pm Update:
This is an update to 3pm. This band of storms will approach Montreal by 4pm.

Maxville - Alexandria
2:29 PM EDT Wednesday 04 August 2010
Severe thunderstorm warning for
Maxville - Alexandria issued

A severe thunderstorm west of Perth will move eastward with the potential to give wind gusts to 90 km/h and heavy downpours. The storm is moving eastward at 50 km/h. Another severe thunderstorm near Rockland will continue eastward to the Québec border and possibly move through Alexandria over the next hour with very heavy downpours and the potential to give 90 km/h gusts. Thunderstorms will develop early this afternoon and may rapidly become severe due to heavy downpours and strong winds. Small hail and frequent lightning is possible and there is a risk of a tornado in the regions under a severe thunderstorm watch.

2pm Update:
Thunderstorms continue to increase across the area with a few cells just off the western tip of the island. No warnings have been posted at this time, however watches now cover all of eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec. Flood watches and warnings have been dropped in New England and New York state, however many rivers remain at bank full across Clinton and Franklin counties in New York.

Previous Report: The update below is from Environment Canada. At this time the only storms on radar are northwest of Ottawa. Storms will begin to increase in aerial coverage this afternoon across the region. Flood watches have been upgraded to flood warnings for Clinton County, NY. Some roads have been closed.

Metro Montréal - Laval
11:34 AM EDT Wednesday 04 August 2010
Severe Thunderstorm Watch for
Metro Montréal - Laval issued

Weather conditions in these regions are favourable to the development of severe thunderstorms. Some of these thunderstorms could produce large hailstones, high winds, heavy rain and intense lightning. People in these regions should take the necessary precautions and listen for subsequent weather warnings, as severe weather warnings may be issued if severe weather becomes imminent.

This watch is in effect from 11:30 AM to 07:30 PM EDT.

A major low pressure system over Extreme Northern Québec is producing a trough that extends over the south of the province. Severe thunderstorms could develop along this trough this afternoon.

More heavy rain possible

The atmosphere remains saturated this morning across Quebec and Ontario as well as northern New England. Nearly 50mm or 2 inches of rain fell in Montreal yesterday afternoon and evening. In northern New York and Vermont from Plattsburgh and Burlington north to the border, upwards of 3 to 6 inches (75-150mm) of rain has been reported. Flash flood watches are in effect in those regions. More showers and thunderstorms are expected today in the warm and very humid air. Dew point temperatures are in the low 20's (70's F) which is more indicative of the southern US not Quebec. This saturated air will produce juicy thunderstorms later today, with the potential for more heavy rain.

Meanwhile south of this frontal boundary, a dangerous heatwave prevails across the southern and central US. Triple digit highs were reported yesterday from Dallas to Memphis and numerous places in between. Those who did not reach the century mark were in the high 90's. High humidity has pushed the heat index into the 105 to 120F range. Portions of 13 states are under heat advisories. The dangerous heat has lead to numerous weather related deaths. Even overnight temperatures have remained in the 80's with several locations smashing records for warmest lows.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tropical humidity

Lightning continues to light the night sky in Montreal at this hour. Radar is showing more thunderstorms moving across eastern Ontario and into the western edge of the metro region. A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect and should be allowed to expire shortly as the last of the storms begin to move southeast away from the region and dissipate. Earlier today nearly 30mm of rain fell in a very short period of time during rush hour across the metro region, but no flooding was reported. Environment Canada has yet to confirm if the funnel cloud north of the city in St. Eustache actually touched ground. It was observed around 4pm.

Currently we have a thunderstorm in Montreal. When I stepped outdoors a few minutes ago, it reminded me of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We are sitting at a warm 22C with a dew point of 21C and a dripping wet relative humidity of 94%. This is producing a 10pm heat index of 31C or 88F. More showers and storms with muggy hot weather can be expected on Wednesday.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Severe thunderstorms are affecting eastern Ontario and western Quebec at this hour. Warnings have been posted for Montreal. Heavy rain is falling with these storms and the possibility exits for over 50mm in just a few hours with upwards of 100mm with some storms. They are training, forming over the same regions from Ottawa to Cornwall and east to Montreal. Flooding is possible.

Here is the official update from Environment Canada:

Metro Montréal - Laval
4:30 PM EDT Tuesday 03 August 2010
Severe thunderstorm warning for
Metro Montréal - Laval continued

Radar and satellite images show that heavy thunderstorms are developing near Ste-Justine-de-Newton and near Montréal. A tornado may have touched down near St-Eustache at around 4 PM.

These thunderstorms are tracking eastward at 40 km/h and could produce gusts of 90 km/h or higher, hail 2 centimetres in diameter or larger, heavy rain and frequent lightning. Warning... Some of these thunderstorms are particularly intense and one of them could produce a tornado.
People in these regions should take the required precautions and listen for subsequent weather warnings.

This warning is in effect from 04:25 PM to 05:25 PM EDT.

Southern Québec is under the influence of a humid and very unstable airmass. Thunderstorms will develop during the afternoon and some of them could be severe.

Muggy unsettled week

The best way to describe this morning is soupy. The air is thick and crackling with electricity. Thunderstorms are producing numerous lightning strikes and some steady rain across the island of Montreal at this hour. We had about 12mm of rain overnight and more showers and thunderstorms are expected to occur today as a frontal system remains over the area. It will be warm and humid with temperatures near 27C. The threat of showers and storms will prevail through most of the upcoming week.

The storms yesterday moved through Montreal with little in the way of action. This was not the case elsewhere in the province and across upstate New York. Hail occurred north of Montreal and south of the city heavy rain produced some flash flooding in Clinton County, NY with 1.54" of rain in a very short period of time.

Tropical Storm Colin has formed in the far eastern Atlantic about 945 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. The storm is forecast to move rapidly to the northwest and may intensify slowly from its current winds of 40mph. At this time it appears the storm will avoid land and be well east of the Carolina coast by Sunday morning.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Flooding storms in Plattsburgh

This is a recent update from the National Weather Service: Storms will continue into this evening across the region. None as of this hour in Montreal.
326 PM EDT MON AUG 2 2010





July was HOT

July is over, and just in case you did not venture outside during the entire month, it was a hot one. Numerous records were smashed all up and down the east coast with several cities recording the most 100 degree days, or warmest overnight lows. It was no different here in Montréal as we came very close to tying our all time July record and several locations including St. Anicet exceeded 37C (100F).

Let’s take a look at the July 2010 numbers here in Montreal. Our average high temperature was 27.9C, well above the normal of 26.2C. Our minimum temperature was far more impressive with 18.5C compared to 15.6C. Take away the three nights of the month when we dropped close to 10C and that number would have been record breaking. We had 6 days of 30C or warmer and an incredible 21 days of 27C (80F) or warmer. Our extreme temperature was 35C, just shy of the warmest July day in Montreal which was 35.6C. We had a string of 15 days from July 3-17 where we had daily highs well into the upper 20’s and low 30’s, that included a 5 day stretch of 30’s with humidex readings over 40C, a first for Montreal. Precipitation was average with close to 100mm. However most of that fell in thunderstorms, and it remains too dry in many regions of the province.

August started off delightful with a beautiful, near perfect Sunday. Today we are warm and very humid with the increasing threat of thunderstorms this afternoon. Already watches are up in the northwest portion of the province and I expect those will be extended south this afternoon.

**Of note August is the time of year when the tropics begin to heat up. Right on schedule we have TD 4 about 1365 miles east of the Lesser Antilles in the open waters of the eastern Atlantic. Forecasters expect the storm to strengthen and become Colin in the next 24 hours.