Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tranquil weather

We will get a much deserved break in the weather department for the next 48 hours as high pressure dominates the forecast. Skies will be sunny across the region with seasonable highs in the mid 20's. This will give the Northeast, Ontario and Quebec a chance to dry out. Hydro Quebec restored power to the remaining 8000 homes yesterday from 250,000 at the height of Irene on Sunday night. Up and down the east coast about 3 million are still without power and the death toll stands at 43. Evacuations are still taking place in New Jersey as flood waters crest, but most rivers have begun to recede in Vermont. President Obama has declared North Carolina's coastal counties and New Jersey major disaster areas, with FEMA and the Red Cross already in place.

Looking into the weekend unsettled weather will return to our area, it will be warmer and more humid with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Meanwhile Tropical Storm Katia is meandering across the open waters of the Atlantic. The storm is forecast to become a hurricane today but it will not threaten any land through the foreseeable future. Forecasters will also be watching an area of disturbed weather near Cuba for potential development as it drifts into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The cleanup begins

Marieville firefighters southeast of Montreal tend to flooded homes on Monday (

It will be weeks before we can assess the true cost of damages from hurricane Irene, but it will be in the billions with 40 deaths so far. Just in Canada alone damage to trees, power lines, infrastructure, crops and homes will be in the tens of millions.

Those who hinted on Sunday that Irene was a bust need to take a much closer look at what this storm did. The storm affected such a large swath of eastern North America, wiping some towns off the map and leaving marks on others that will never never be erased. Do not underestimate the far reaching effects of this storm. I don't exaggerate when it comes to weather, I never have, I just report facts. I have been tracking storms since Hurricane David in 1979, and this one stands up there with the worst of them. All to often we get hung up on category strength, the bottom line is these storms are packed with moisture and energy, and that energy needs to be unleashed somewhere. Vermont and New York are facing some of there worst flooding in 100 years. The rivers are receding this morning, but it will take months for the cleanup. Power is still out to millions of homes, including 28,000 in Quebec. My power was out for 20 hours, we lost food but compared to others we feel very fortunate. Several homes in the metro area had damage from fallen trees and flooding, especially southeast of Montreal. The region on the south shore of the city recorded winds close to 100km/h along with 125mm of rain.

Tranquil weather is upon us today and for the rest of the week with just a few showers and maybe a rumble of thunder this afternoon. Of note; tropical storm Katia has developed in the open waters of the eastern Atlantic with 40mph winds, a reminder to us that we are entering the peak portion of the hurricane season. Katia replaced the name Katrina which was retired 6 years ago yesterday after devastating the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Damage widespread from Irene

Above top: Hydro Quebec was kept busy yesterday on L'Ile Perrot as trees toppled power lines resulting in thousands without power. Bottom: North Carolina highway 12 through Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. I feel just terrible for these Outer Banks communities I love so much.

Hurricane Irene will go down as a multi-billion dollar storm after she slammed the east coast this weekend from the North Carolina to Quebec resulting in 21 fatalities including one each in Vermont and Quebec. The storm produced record flash flooding up and down the coast but especially in Vermont where this may be the worst storm on record. Most rivers, streams and lakes were turned into massive torrents yesterday after 200mm of rain fell in about 12 hours. The same is true in upstate New York, the Adirondacks and Catskills where some communities have become isolated by flooding, and several rescues have taken place.

Above: Major flooding in Waterbury, Vermont

Irene is a rather disorganized, windy area of showers this morning over Atlantic Canada. In 2 days the storm managed to wipe out my vacation playground of Hatteras Island, tearing Highway 12 to shreds in numerous places, far worse than Hurricane Isabel in 2003, as well as damaging properties and infrastructure. The storm than marched into New England and flooded out most of central and southern Vermont, including Main Street in Waterbury (above) where I was two weekends ago. Finally the storm lashed southern Quebec with all her remaining energy dumping between 60-165mm of rain on the province, 58mm at my home. Irene also produced strong winds up to 110km/h in Quebec City and 90km/h in Montreal, that toppled trees onto power lines. My home has been without power for over 15 hours now. Hydro was by at about 1am this morning, but the damage to the line and transformer is quite significant and they needed daylight and likely a chainsaw to work on it.

I have so much more information to share but I am going to take a breather now. It was a busy weekend which ended with a 400 km drive to Ontario in the torrential rain and wind yesterday.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene slams Quebec

Heavy rain and strong winds from Irene have been blasting Montreal especially the region along the St Lawrence River today. Winds of up to 90km/h have left nearly 200,000 in the dark across the province. I am blogging in the dark as well on my iPhone. Rainfall of 40 to 90mm has caused flooding in Quebec and Vermont. Clinton County NY is under a state of emergency. Tropical storm Irene is near the Quebec, New Hampshire border at this hour with 50mph winds. Warnings remain in effect. The Montreal Fire Department has responded to hundreds of calls for downed trees and power lines across the city. Strong winds have also been affecting Quebec City and Atlantic Canada.

- A Valley Weather post using BlogPress from my iPhone

Irene Update 10:39

Rain starting in Montreal at this hour. Radar shows the heaviest precipitation southeast of the city near Lacolle, QC and Champlain, NY and moving northwest towards St. Lawrence Valley of Quebec and Ontario. I will be on the road for a few hours today so look for updates/photos via twitter

Irene Update

10am Update: Above - Irene inland over southeast New York. Rain now just south of Montreal with heavy rain just south of the US border moving towards the city.

From the Canadian Hurricane Centre, the forecast track of Irene through southern Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

9:30 Update: Irene landfall was near NYC at 0900 this morning and she has now been downgraded to a tropical storm with 65mph winds. The pressure is 965mb, moving northeast at 25 mph.

Hurricane Irene is located this morning on the coast near New York City. The large storm system has winds of 75mph and some slow weakening is forecast today as Irene moves inland over southern New England and up the Connecticut River Valley between Vermont and New Hampshire. Irene will then move into southern Quebec and New Brunswick. Montreal is already feeling the effects of the storm. At 9am we are cloudy with a northeast wind of 39 km/h. Winds are forecast to increase to between 70 and 100km/h today. The storm has been drawing in some dry air and has also experienced some shear. Despite this tropical storm force winds extend outwards nearly 300 miles from the center. Where we may see a break in the forecast is in the rain department. Radar is showing very heavy rain across Vermont extending just into Quebec at this hour. It will continue to nudge towards the St. Lawrence Valley. Heavy rain warnings are in effect for all of southern Quebec and now also include southeast Ontario including Cornwall and Glengarry County. Over 50mm is expected this afternoon into tonight with as much as 100mm locally. However the storm is moving faster now and rainfall amounts may be less, we will have to wait and see.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene update

Above are two very familiar spots to me from the Outer Banks. North Carolina 12 in the heavy rain and wind and the awning down at the BP I gas up at in Avon, NC. Below the northern cloud deck of Irene has reached Montreal. Photos are from the Virginia Pilot.

8pm: Hurricane Irene is back over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean just east of Virginia Beach and about 315 miles south southwest of NYC. Hurricane Warnings remain in effect up and down the east coast with Tropical Storm Warnings in effect for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Heavy rainfall warnings for 40-60mm of rain and high wind warnings for winds between 60 and 100km/h remain posted for southern and eastern Quebec. Already the northern cloud deck from Irene has pinwheeled into southern Quebec this evening with the precipitation as far north as Albany, NY. The strongest winds should reach the St. Lawrence Valley of southern Quebec by daybreak Sunday and persist most of the day. Irene has been deadly today, responsible for 8 fatalities and millions in damage. Nearly 1 million residents are without power on the east coast and that number is growing. Wind and water damage from Irene and several tornadoes spawned by her continues to occur from the Carolina's into the middle Atlantic including one minutes ago near Lewes, Delaware. Tonight a tornado watch is posted until 5am for a large swath of the northeast including metro New York City. Thousands have been evacuated form the coast with nearly 9000 flights into NYC cancelled. Public transit has also been closed until further notice.

Irene Update

Image of North Carolina 12 at Mirlo Beach completely inundated by the Atlantic Ocean. This basically closes off Hatteras Island to the north.

The ghostly image of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse being lashed by Hurricane Irene this morning.

Hurricane Irene has made a landfall at Cape Lookout, North Carolina at about 7:30AM this morning. I have been looking at local observations and it appears strong winds have been buffeting Ocracoke and Hatteras Island since midnight. A wind gust to 125km/h was observed on Ocracoke, with 137km/h at the Lighthouse on Hatteras. Heavy rain has also been falling with flash flooding. Winds have toppled trees and power lines with thousands without power. Scattered tornadoes overnight also caused considerable damage. Reports from the NWS in Newport indicate about 5 to 7 inches of rain overnight with a storm surge of 5 to 9 feet along the sounds and coast. I am trying to determine damage on the Outer Banks south to the Core Banks. I am listening to the hurricane net and so far this morning lots of tornado warnings are being posted for southeast Virginia as heavy squalls move inland.

Warnings remain in effect up the entire east coast to Maine. Inland tropical storm warnings are in effect for southern New York and New England.

Synopsis for Montreal: Here is a breakdown of what will happen in southern Quebec. Irene has weakened this morning to a category one storm with 90 mph winds. Despite this she remains a big wind and rain maker and will continue to do so into Sunday. Montreal remains on the western edge of the system with a very sharp drop off of weather expected west of the city. That being said it looks like about 50 to 100mm of rain beginning early Sunday and lasting all day from the city east and southeast. Eastern Ontario may only see scattered showers. The rain will be capable of producing flash flooding especially in the Townships and points east. A high wind warning is in effect for Montreal and southern Quebec. The valley will help channel northeast winds into the city with gusts between 50-90km/h throughout Sunday. Winds of that strength are capable of downing power lines and trees. Winds will back to the north late in the day and drop to 50km/h. The strongest winds will be in the St. Lawrence Valley and across the higher elevations of southern Quebec. More updates to follow via twitter.

Warnings for southern Quebec

I am preparing a full statement, but as a result of Hurricane Irene, we have high wind and heavy rain warnings in effect for southern Quebec.

Heavy Rain Warning : 50-100mm (2-4 inches)
High Wind Warning : Increasing northeast winds to 50km/h tonight and up to 90km/h by Sunday morning.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene lashing NC

Irene approaching the Carolina coast tonight. This Environment Canada radar image gives you a good idea of the distance between Montreal, Quebec and the storm center.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect from North Carolina along the coast north and east to the Maine border. Irene tonight is a potent category 2 storm with 100mph winds. Large swirling rain bands have begun to affect the Carolina coast. In the last hour a wind gust to 62 mph was reported at Wrightsville Beach. Winds and seas will increase along the coast tonight, as a surge of 6-10 feet is expected. The storm is rather large and slow moving with hurricane conditions expected to last 10 to 12 hours along the Carolina coast. Tornadoes are also possible in the stronger squalls tonight which is quite common in a land falling Hurricane.

Locally a flash flood watch is now in effect for all of Vermont and northern New York. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the southern tier of New York, the Hudson Valley and New Hampshire. Rainfall of 1-3 inches is possible from the St. Lawrence Valley east to Lake Champlain with 3-7 inches in Vermont. Flash flooding is expected in Vermont. High wind watches are also in effect. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Burlington are expecting winds in excess of 35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph in the Champlain Valley and across the spine of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. In southern Quebec and more specifically Montreal, heavy rain will begin Sunday and continue much of the day and into the evening. Amounts will likely be in excess of 25mm here as we remain just on the western edge of the rain shield and much more south and east of the city. Winds will increase late Saturday night from the northeast and gust 30-50km/h overnight and stronger on Sunday.

Irene update

10:10 AM: Here is an image I looked at so much while on vacation this past May on Hatteras Island. It is the local radar from Buxton, showing the outer edges of Irene just south of Cape Hatteras.

All the collective energy in the world does not seem to be wishing Irene away from the Outer Banks. I pray for my future retirement destination and for all the permanent residents of the fragile barrier islands off the North Carolina coast.

Here is what you need to know about our weather this weekend. Hurricane Irene this morning is a category 2 storm with 110mph winds located about 350 miles south southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The storm is moving northward at 14 mph and should reach the Outer Banks by Saturday afternoon. A hurricane warning is in effect from the North Carolina/South Carolina border northward to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. North of Sandy Hook a watch is posted up to Merrimack River, Mass on the New Hampshire border. This watch includes Long Island and Metro New York City. Evacuations are well underway in coastal areas from the Carolinas to the Jersey Shore.

Irene is forecast to move up the coast and come onshore very close to New York City on Sunday. At this time the storm is then forecast to cross interior New England and move into southern Quebec and the Gaspe region. Locally no watches are in effect at this time. Today and Saturday will be partly cloudy with increasing northeast winds late Saturday. Sunday looks very windy in Montreal, gusts over 50km/h quite likely. Rain will develop in the afternoon and become very heavy east of the city. Amounts will range from 25mm over western regions to as much as 200mm well south and east of the city and into the Townships and Vermont. Flooding is likely in Vermont and eastern Quebec with a watch of some sort expected later today or early Saturday.

I will have much more as the day and weekend progresses, either by blogging or via twitter. Please stay safe this weekend.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Warnings

Hurricane Irene has been pounding the Bahamas all day.

Hurricane Warnings are up for the North Carolina coast tonight to Virginia Beach with a Hurricane Watch north of there to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. A state of emergency is in effect for the coastal counties of North Carolina with evacuations ordered in Hyde, Dare and Currituck counties. Tropical storm conditions are expected to overspread the area by late Friday. Evacuations have also been ordered along portions of the coasts of Delaware and Maryland and will likely be extended north into southern New Jersey on Friday. A state of emergency is also in effect for New York City. Large and dangerous Irene is located about 530 miles south southwest of Cape Hatteras with 115mph winds. The storm is forecast to approach the Outer Banks and pass west of the cape on Saturday. Computer models tend to be favouring a more western route for the storm. That spells bad news for North Carolina as well as the northeast. The storm is expected to move into New York and New England on Sunday with heavy flooding rains and powerful winds. Montreal remains on the western edge of the model runs so we will likely see strong northeast winds and rain by Sunday. Most of eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada can expect tropical storm force winds and heavy rain if Irene remains are her current forecast track.

Hurricane Watch for NC

A hurricane watch is in effect for the entire North Carolina coast including the Outer Banks. Irene remains a large and powerful category 3 storm this morning with every indication that she will gain strength over the warm waters east of Florida today. The storm counties to tear into the Bahamas with heavy rain and strong winds. There have been reports of flooding, damage and power failures. Once the storm clears that region it will take aim at the Carolina coast and points north.

There is increasing concern along the middle Atlantic and northeast into New England and eastern Canada this morning. The region had heavy rain last week and the potential for serious flooding exists. At this time hurricane conditions will spread across the Outer Banks Saturday, evacuations are underway today. On Sunday the storm will move northeast along the coast and slam into Long Island. The forecast track at this time, subject to change, has Irene moving into New Hampshire and then southern Quebec as a tropical storm. East of the track heavy surge and wave action will affect the coast while along and west of the track heavy rain and strong north and northeast winds are expected. With this track, Montreal would remain on the western edge of the storm with rain and strong winds by Sunday. I will have much more on Irene as the day moves along with the next complete update this evening. All the links on this page are active with information.

Above: The NHC forecast track for Irene.

At right: Two locations I know so well on the Outer Banks. I have waited at that ferry terminal on Hatteras Island 100 times if not more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Active weather pattern

Radar image of Irene this evening.

We have so much weather going on tonight I am not sure where to begin. We will start in Ontario where a cold front has prompted a day long tornado watch for a big portion of central and southern Ontario. After the F-3 Goderich twister last Sunday, Environment Canada appears to be airing on the side of caution with this one, with conditions reasonable for some severe storms and rotation. Heavy rain and dangerous lightning appear to be the main threats with these storms. They are marching across Ontario and should begin to affect southern Quebec after midnight. Some may be strong around Montreal as well with heavy rain and gusty winds.

Hurricane Irene
Meanwhile all eyes are on hurricane Irene tonight as the storm moves slowly across the Bahamas, northwest at 12mph. It is currently moving between Rum Cay and Long Island. The category 3 storm has winds tonight of 120mph and is expected to increase to category 4 on Thursday. The large storm has tropical force winds extending outwards up to 230 miles from the center. I am very concerned for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a place I like to call my second home. The location and its residents are very special to me. It appears that Irene may move over or very close to the Outer Banks by Saturday with Category 3 force winds, heavy rain and a storm surge. Then we need to look further up the coast into New York and New England as well as Eastern Canada. The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a special statement for southern Quebec and Atlantic Canada to pay close attention to Irene and expect high winds and heavy rain in a portion of the forecast region by late Sunday and Monday.

Irene a category 3

This will be brief, Irene is now a category 3 storm with 115mph winds heading for the Bahamas. The storm will further intensify and affect the Outer Banks of North Carolina up to New England and the Maratimes this weekend. Evacuations will begin on Ocracoke this morning and likely spread to Hatteras and Bodie Islands later today. More later today.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quake rattles east coast

Damage in Washington DC from a 5.8 quake today (Getty Images)

A moderate earthquake of 5.8 rattled the east coast from Montreal and Toronto south to Florida. The quake occurred at around 2pm close to the small town of Mineral, Virginia about 90 miles northwest of Washington D.C. While others in Montreal told me they felt the swaying for about 30 seconds, I must admit I did not. Office buildings in New York, Boston and other cities were evacuated, as was the White House and Pentagon. Minor injuries were reported with some serious damage scattered throughout the mid-Atlantic with the worst close to the epicentre in Virginia. Scattered power outages were reported and several nuclear plants were placed on alert or taken offline. Train and plane service slowed or stopped immediately after the quake and is slowly returning to normal. The quake was the worst to affect the region in nearly 100 years.

Hurricane Irene
The region is also preparing for what could be a major hurricane by the weekend. Hurricane Irene is centered near the Turks and Caicos Islands this evening with 90mph winds, a little weaker than earlier today but still expected to become a major hurricane over the next 48 hours. Computer guidance has been shifting the track of the storm further east away from Florida with the last several runs and it now looks like the Outer Banks of North Carolina could be a target. Anybody who knows me or reads this blog knows my connection to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. I have been vacationing there since 1991 including this past May. The thin, fragile barrier islands look like they could take a direct hit from the storm. Further up the coast residents from Virginia to Nova Scotia are being advised to monitor the storm closely. I will have much more on Irene this week, updating via Valley Weather blog or twitter as often as I can.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Irene now Category 2

Hurricane Irene on visible satellite image this evening.

A hurricane hunter has reported 100mph winds with Hurricane Irene this evening. That makes the storm, the first hurricane of 2011, now a category 2 on the Saffir Simpson scale. The storm is expected to maintain a northwest motion at 10mph and skirt the northern coast of Hispaniola before heading into the Bahamas Tuesday. Forecasters expect Irene to become a major hurricane on Tuesday. The forecast track of the storm has it approaching the southeast coast of the US as a major storm by Saturday. The latest guidance has the storm now missing Florida and threatening the Carolina's.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tropical Storm Irene

Tropical Storm Irene developed yesterday in the Caribbean Sea southeast of Puerto Rico and is hammering the region tonight with heavy rain. A hurricane hunter aircraft has reported winds of 60 mph and further strengthening is expected. Irene will likely become the first hurricane of the season on Monday. The storm is expected to affect Haiti and the Dominican Republic before heading toward south Florida later in the week possibly as a strong hurricane.

More storms tonight

The tornado warning has been allowed to expire, but a severe thunderstorm warning remains in effect for Lacolle and the region along the US border from New York into Vermont. Heavy thunderstorms with hail and strong winds continue to develop in the unstable and humid air mass in the region. They will affect all of southern Quebec tonight with heavy rain and gusty winds. West of Montreal a large area of showers and storms is heading towards the city. The precipitation will continue until well after midnight. While it is not severe at this time, heavy rain is expected. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are also in effect for eastern Ontario.

This afternoon at around 4pm, Goderich on the shores of Lake Huron suffered tremendous damage in the downtown from what is suspected to be a tornado (see above photo from The Weather Network). The damage photos are unbelievable. One fatality may have occurred with the storm according to OPP. Tree and roofs were torn down and homes damaged. Cars were tossed around and golf ball size hail was reported.

Severe Thunderstorms

6:45 pm - The latest radar showing strong storms across the region including rotation near the US border.

6:45pm UPDATE: Tornado Warning Issued Radar images are suggesting the presence of a Tornado at The U.S. Border. This Severe Thunderstorm Cell is moving northeastward at close to 40 kmh and should reach the Brome- Missisquoi area in the next few minutes. Gusts of 100 Kmh or more, possibly hail Of 2 centimetres or more and frequent lightning are associated with this Storm Complex. People in these regions should take the required precautions and listen for subsequent Weather Warnings. This Warning Is In Effect From 18:28 To 19:30 EDT.

Strong thunderstorms have been occurring all day across southern Ontario, southern Quebec and into northern New England. Heavy rain has been the story so far, but strong winds and hail have developed along the Lake Champlain shoreline with some of the storms. Radar has even indicated rotation with one storm just east of Lacolle moving northeast. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings are in affect for the region south of Montreal to the US border and east into the Beauce region. Earlier today a water spout was reported near Gananoque, Ontario.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Update

Ron Fellows NASCAR race car at the Canadian Tire on St. Charles yesterday,
before the thunderstorms. (ValleyWx Pic)

It is two years today since my dad passed away.
As always this blog is written for him. See post HERE.

The weekend forecast will be 50/50 for the entire region with a sunny and warm Saturday followed by showers and thunderstorms and cooler for Sunday. The weather Saturday will be ideal for the NASCAR NAPA Auto Parts 200. I have my tickets, if your going bring the sunscreen and water, it will be sunny at 30C with just a few stray clouds. This morning we have already warmed to 22C and it is quite humid after some overnight showers. The day should be sunny and warm at 28C with just a slight risk of an isolated shower or storm, especially south of the city towards the US border.

The tropics are heating up with tropical depression 8 southeast of Belize City with 35 mph winds and a couple of invests in the Atlantic. The next storm will be Harvey. Look for the development of several disturbances over the next couple of days. I will have more information on that late today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Perfect summer day

You can feel the days of summer passing us by. Last evening I noticed some trees in our neighborhood showing signs of color. The days are getting shorter and the longer nights mean cooler temperatures. After yesterday's high of 27C most areas across southern Quebec dropped to between 10 and 15C this morning, however there were some notable exceptions. Mirabel was 9C (48F) and St Jovite 5C (41F) this morning. The winner for an early fall chill this goes to La Grande where it was 2C (34F). We will recover nicely here in Montreal today, under bright sunshine we should reach 27C (81F). The balance of the week will be warm and muggy with temperatures near 28C right into the weekend. There is a risk of thunderstorms on Thursday and Friday and again on Sunday. The weather at this time looks perfect for the NASCAR NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis and Camille

Damage from Camille in 1969

Historically late on this day in 1969 Hurricane Camille roared onto the coast at Gulfport, Mississippi. In my life time this was the benchmark storm growing up that people and forecasters always referred to when talking about big hurricanes, that was until Katrina in 2005. Camille was a small but potent Category 5 storm that hit the region at night with a 20 foot storm surge. Over 260 people died in the storm, mostly drowning deaths along the coast and further north in the Appalachian mountains of northern Virginia. The storm was one of the strongest on record worldwide with winds of 200 mph and a central pressure of 905mb. Damage was complete in coastal communities all along the Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana coasts.

ELVIS: Also of note on this date was the death of Elvis at age 42 in 1977. Most people remember where they were when the heard the news, I was on a VIA train. Of course I am going to put a weather spin on this. I was only 11 years old and was traveling with my mother and grandmother to Ottawa for the day. I remember it was unseasonably cool and very rainy in both Ottawa and Montreal. A quick look at the stats showed a high of 18C with rain and fog in both cities, 4.8mm in Montreal and 16.0mm in Ottawa.

**More showers are possible today as an upper level low continues to spin over eastern North America. The heaviest rain yesterday remained over New England and New York. It will be warmer today and the instability could result in a shower or two this afternoon in southern Quebec. Skies will clear for Wednesday with warmer weather, close to 29C.

Monday, August 15, 2011

NYC flooding

Flooding in Massapequa, New York on Sunday. CBS 2

A record 7.72 inches of rain fell at JFK yesterday flooding roads and basements and knocking out power to thousands in metro New York City. The rain, part of a system that stretched from the middle Atlantic to the northeast, generated slow moving thunderstorms that deluged many areas. The northern edge of the same system produced severe thunderstorms in our region with gusty winds and heavy rain. Trudeau Airport reported just under one inch of rain (22mm) for the 24 hours, I measured about 0.5" (15mm) at my home west of the airport. Heavier rain occurred southwest of Montreal and into eastern Ontario and upstate New York. As the upper level low over Ohio and the coastal system move slowly northeast today, more showers are possible with heavy amounts up to 2 inches (50mm) across the region in the slower moving cells. Radar is showing showers and some thunderstorms over southern Vermont moving north this morning. They should reach southern Quebec by the afternoon. The air mass will remain unstable well into Tuesday before drier air moves in from the northwest lowering dew points and humidity levels. Wednesday and Thursday look sunny and warm at this time.

Above: Accu-Weather Radar this morning.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Severe Thunderstorm Watch

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for southern Quebec including Montreal until 9pm this evening. A slow moving frontal boundary combined with warm, humid and unstable air, is the focus for heavy storms this afternoon. Most of these storm cells are moving very slowly and producing heavy rain in a short period of time. Several storms are affecting the region between Valleyfield and Morrisburg, Ontario at this hour with up to 50mm of rain possible. Warnings have been issued by Environment Canada for this area. These particular cells are drifting slowly northwest and should not affect the metro region. Others are developing over the central portion of the island and south towards the US border.

Storms are also occurring south of the border in New York and Vermont. One cell produced 1.32 inches of rain in 30 minutes in Saranac Lake. A flood advisory has been posted by he National Weather Service for Franklin, Clinton, Essex and St. Lawrence Counties.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Parade of storms

National Hurricane Center

Our weather will be spectacular today across southern Quebec. If you have outdoor activities, today is your day. Sunshine and warm with high temperatures around 29C. The same applies for eastern Ontario and northern Vermont and New York. A cold front will move across the St. Lawrence Valley late overnight and Sunday with showers, thunderstorms and cooler weather.

Parade of storms: The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on newly formed tropical storm Franklin northwest of Bermuda and moving away from any land. While Franklin is not a concern, the three potential areas on the map above could be. We will have a busy week ahead and I imagine a busy remainder of August and into September as we approach the peak part of the hurricane season in what looks to be an active year.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Update

It was a coll start to the morning across the area today with temperatures in the 10 to 15C range across the province. This would make it one of the coolest mornings since May. Under bright sunshine the temperature will recover to 26C today and a warm 30C on Saturday under sunshine. A frontal boundary will return the threat for showers to southern Quebec, Ontario and northern New England by Sunday.

Just how hot a summer has it been this summer? Well here in Montreal, we reached 30C (86F) or better on 9 of 31 days in July. We had 21 of 31 days over 27C (81F) and a record high of nearly 35.7C, the warmest since the heatwave of 1975. Well how about Windsor, Ontario, they recorded the warmest monthly average ever in Canada at 25.8C, by comparison we were an equally warm 23.1C. South of the border the numbers are impressive. Texas has been melting under intense heat and drought for the entire summer. Dallas yesterday ended its streak of consecutive days of 100F or better at 40, just shy of the 1980 record of 42 days. Waco broke its record at 43 days off 100 plus temperatures and Wichita Falls 42 days, both set during the summer of 1980.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More storms

Was severe weather and lightning or arson responsible for yesterday's fire at the old Motel Raphael in Montreal? Police are investigating.
(The Gazette)

Flooding in Montreal last evening. (

A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect in Montreal and southern Quebec until 11pm this evening. It caps off what has been a very active 24 hours in and around the region. It started last night with more rain in 3 hours than we had the entire month of July. I measured 71mm overnight at my home, 66mm of that falling in a 3 hour span. I am quite confident of its accuracy with the gauge in the middle of my yard, and bone dry at 6pm. I will add a second gauge to my property for the next time, but radar does support that amount. The cells moved right over my location about 25km southwest of the airport.

That is nearly double what the airport measured at 37.2mm. That was a record for Montreal for the date, the previous being 32mm set in 1959. Keep in mind that was a 24 hour record, this fell in just a few hours. Closer to my location St Anne-de-Bellevue recorded 51mm. The heavy rain produced major flooding in some sectors of the city. Thankfully our sewer system here on Ile Perrot is awesome and handled the torrential downpour. Last month Montreal had only 59.2mm, much less away from the airport, and 93.8mm for June. Officially so far in August we have measured over 90mm.

More storms flared up this afternoon with fierce lightning, hail and gusty winds. Power was out in many areas and another 10-15mm of rain fell. Just after the storm started a major fire erupted at the old Motel Raphael in the Montreal borough of NDG. The landmark building famous for room rentals by the hour since the 1960's, had been abandoned since 2009. It is not clear if lightning started the fire, but investigators are on scene tonight.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

From drought to flood

Flooding along Lakeshore Drive in Toronto today. (

Low pressure over Ontario is spinning its way east this evening into southern Quebec. Warm and humid air in place is providing the fuel for very heavy rain. Radar at 8pm is showing rain with embedded thunderstorms moving over northern New York State and the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario and lifting north into southern Quebec. A special weather statement has been issued from both the National Weather Service and Environment Canada for 1 to 2 inches (25-50mm) of rain locally overnight. The rain will be very heavy at times in thunderstorms. The same system produced flooding in portions of Ontario today including the GTA and points east towards Belleville and Kingston. The threat for showers and storms will persist into Wednesday.

Cooler weather

It was another spectacular day on Monday in what has become a spectacular summer. Sunshine pushed the mercury above the forecast high again to 28C in Montreal. Today will be the last in this current string of awesome days with sunshine through increasing clouds and a high of 27C. Tonight showers will develop as weak low pressure and a cold front move from Ontario across Quebec. Wednesday will be noticeably cooler with showers and thunderstorms and a forecast high of 21C. Skies will clear by Thursday and the first half of the weekend at this time looks good, the second half not so good.

**I spoke briefly the other day on the cooler nights and fog as August moves along and September beckons. Last night when I went to bed it was a summery 23C at 11pm. Just 5 hours later Ile Perrot was 16C. That is a drop from 73F to 61F in just 6 hours (more dramatic in Fahrenheit), that my friends is radiational cooling at its best under clear skies and with light winds. That is very fall like for sure, just saying!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Sunshine returns

Deep hail in southeast Saskatchewan after major storms hit the region this weekend. (The Weather Network)

While searing heat continues to affect the southern plains and southeast US, a little bit of Autumn is working its way into western Canada. In between humid and unstable air has produced impressive thunderstorms. After a nearly bone dry month of July in my little corner of the province, I measured over 30mm of rain this weekend in thunderstorms. Numerous reports of damage came in from all over the province including Canada's 7th tornado this season, an F-1, with winds up to 150km/h, confirmed in the tiny municipality of Saint-Ludger-de-Milot, 100 kilometres northeast of Chicoutimi. The storm uprooted trees and damaged houses cutting power to over 1600 homes. Storms in Quebec this weekend produced flash flooding southeast of the city where nearly 100mm of rain fell. There were also reports of downed trees and power poles. Meanwhile out west southern Saskatchewan and Alberta were hammered by deadly storms that produced ankle deep hail, strong winds, heavy rain and at least one tornado. Two deaths have been blamed on the storms, one in Saskatchewan and one in Alberta. The hail, reported to be as large as golf balls in places, caused considerable damage to crops with claims nearly doubling in one week. The air is a little more stable this week so look for sunny skies and little threat for severe weather.

Meanwhile back here in Montreal high pressure will give us a sunny and warm Monday and Tuesday before another frontal boundary returns showers and thunderstorms to the region by Wednesday. Temperatures will be near normal, around 27C (81F) most of the week.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

More storms today

I measured 20mm of rain here on Ile Perrot last night as a thunderstorm crossed the area around 10pm. Only 2mm fell at the airport. The rain was very welcome in my neighbourhood where all the lawns had become a crisp yellow. This morning we are already at a very humid 24C (76F) with the ever present risk of showers and thunderstorms all day as a weak front lies to our northwest. Humidex values will be well into the 30's today making it feel uncomfortable. Some of the storms this afternoon may be on the strong side with heavy rain being the main threat. Radar this morning is showing a line of storms well to the north of Montreal across the northern Laurentians along with several isolated cells in eastern Ontario. They may pop up in the metro region at anytime today.

Saturday, August 06, 2011


Radar image from continues to show a decent storm cell moving across Ile Perrot from south to north. Steady and much needed rain has fallen over the last half hour, more I believe than we saw the entire month of July at my home.

A weak frontal boundary and a rather warm (30C) and humid day have triggered a few thunderstorms this evening over extreme southwest Quebec. One cell, that had a warning on it that has since expired, is moving into the Dorion/Ile Perrot region at this hour. There are gusty winds, lots of lightning and some decent rain with this storm. It is moving oddly from south to north and will move onto the West Island of Montreal and Laval in the next hour. More showers and storms are possible overnight an into Sunday as the air mass remains moist and unstable.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Weekend Update

We have low clouds and fog again this morning, further indication we have entered the month of August. The nights are just a little longer and the dew points a little higher and we end up with fog. A marine layer of air has been hugging the St. Lawrence Vally both yesterday and today. It took until noon for it to lift yesterday but then temperatures responded quickly to 26C. We will have sunshine and warmer temperatures again today, once the fog burns off, look for highs around 29C. The weekend will be unsettled with showers and thunderstorms and temperatures from 22 to 28C. It will not be a wash out, as the system will pass to our south, but higher humidity will result in the risk of showers all weekend.

Tropical Storm Emily weakened yesterday to a low pressure system near Haiti. The storm is still meandering around the eastern tip of Cuba this morning (see 1 in image). Forecasters say the storm has a 60% chance of redevelopment over the next 24 hours as she moves northwest towards the Bahamas. All warnings are down as of this point. All interests along the southeast US coast should continue to monitor the system. At the very least high surf, rip currents and perhaps some showers may affect the Outer Banks by late Sunday.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Typical August weather

Flash flooding yesterday in Puerto Rico from TS Emily. (

It looks like we are going to settle into a typical August pattern for the next few days. The nights have turned noticeably cooler and the days are staying around 27C. We have clouds this morning as a northeast breeze is producing a maritime layer of air over the St. Lawrence Valley. Temperatures are cooler at 19C. The sunshine has broken out in Ontario and across the Ottawa Valley, so I expect skies to clear here before noon. Friday will be spectacular, before an unsettled weekend with showers Saturday at 29C and Sunday at 23C.

Tropical Storm Emily is located about 40 miles south southwest of Isla Beata, Dominican Republic at 8am. The storm is slowly expected to drift northwest across Haiti today. The main threat remains very heavy rain with 6-12 inches forecast and as much as 20 inches. With 600,000 people still living outdoors after the January 2010 quake, this could be critical with flash floods and mudslides possible. Yesterday Puerto Rico reported flash flooding along many roadways and villages. The storm remains a threat to the Bahamas and perhaps the southeast US this weekend. Emily has 50 mph winds and will weaken slightly today while interacting with Haiti. She is expected to slowly gain strength into the weekend and could reach hurricane strength by Sunday off the Carolina's. There remains lost of uncertainty in the forecast, check the link on the left often for the latest updates from the NHC.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tranquil weather

Another awesome sunset in Montreal. ValleyWX Pic

There are parts of the country not having very good weather today, but southern Quebec is not one of them. Our spectacular summer moves along with another partly cloudy and dry day with seasonable temperatures around 26C. Into the late week and weekend, heat and humidity will build again with the threat for some showers or thunderstorms by the weekend.

Meanwhile portions of Atlantic Canada will see 25-50mm of rain today from thunderstorms especially Nova Scotia. Looking south it remains sultry from the southwest across Texas and into the southeast and middle Atlantic. More triple digit highs are expected today. Last month over 2500 record highs were broken across the US with even more in Canada including Montreal's 35.6C one of the warmest days ever in this city. It looks like the heat will prevail into August.

A quick update on Tropical Storm Emily. The storm is located about 145 miles from Santo Domingo. Warnings are out for the region with heavy rain being the main threat. Over 10 inches could fall in the Dominican and Haiti. Afterwards the system is expected to reorganize and take a run at the Bahamas before moving offshore of the southeast US coast. There is still a possibility of the storm becoming a hurricane over the weekend and all interests from the Carolina's to Florida should remain on high alert.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Emily Update

It finally rained in Montreal yesterday, but too much too fast in some areas of the city with 26.3mm falling at the airport in a brief period of time in the late afternoon. The rain was already half of what fell in the entire month of July. It produced flooding in Verdun and the downtown core with several underpasses closed. In my little corner of the metro region we missed the first storms but some late last night and overnight brought about 6mm of rain, not much but I will take it. We managed a warm high of 31C yesterday before the storms, and we should reach about 27C today. We still have a slight risk of some showers early today, but the radar is clear except close to the US border and I expect it will stay that way.

Tropical Storm Emily : has developed in the Atlantic and is about 265 miles southeast of San Jaun this morning and moving west at 14mph. The storm is poorly organized but could still be a rain producer for Haiti, the Dominican and parts of the Leeward Islands. Winds are around 40mph with some slow strengthening possible. The storm could threaten the Florida east coast by the weekend.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Severe Thunderstorms

9:30pm Update: Storms are now moving just south of L'Ile Perrot with rain finally falling on my parched lawn and flowers. Lots of lightning, but no severe weather. Storms are heading for Chateauguay and Mercier.

A line of fast moving thunderstorms crossed the island of Montreal around 4pm today producing flash flooding in some suburbs and toppling trees and power poles in others. The storms caused flooding and wind damage through the center of the city with major flooding at Victoria and Jean Talon (above from, and power poles knocked down in South Shore Brossard. Trees also fell in may areas including several onto cars and one onto a home in Cote St. Paul where several families had to be evacuated. Despite the flooding in parts of the city, others such as here in Dorion had no rain at all. The temperature under sunny and humid skies had reached 30C but rapidly dropped to 22C during the storms.

Another line of storms is splitting the area at this hour, with cells passing west of my location across Valleyfield as well as more storms across the center portion of the city. I don't have an estimate on rainfall as of this time from the afternoon storms, and my gauge here at the house was bone dry.

Below: Storms are splitting my home here on L' Ile Perrot. (