Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Update

NOAA Image of category 2 Ophelia southeast of Bermuda on Friday morning.

There is lots to talk about on this last Friday in September. First off, the second of two upper level lows will begin to affect Quebec today. The storm along with a strong Arctic front are located over the Great Lakes. Strong winds in excess of 50mph have built waves to over 20 feet on Lake Michigan and high winds and waves are affecting all of the Great Lakes this morning. The waves have halted ferry service at several locations. Thunderstorms off of Lake Ontario pounded Toronto overnight with some flooding and gusty winds.

Meanwhile yesterday's front produced heavy rain in Montreal, especially in the west end and off island towards Ontario. Dorval recorded 26mm of rain while I measured about 51mm (2 inches) at my home on Ile Perrot. The frontal system also produced nasty thunderstorms across the northeast and Ontario with more flooding and even some waterspouts (tornadoes over water) over the lower lakes. More are expected today on Lakes Erie and Ontario as strong lake effect storms develop in the advancing cold air.

What all this means for Montreal and southern Quebec is a cool, cloudy and showery weekend, very fall like. High temperatures will struggle to reach 12C with gusty winds making it feel raw. This comes after a week of above normal temperatures, high humidity, swatting mosquito's and short sleeve shirrs. But don't expect the cold to last too long, more above normal temperatures will spread into the Prairies over the weekend and possibly move east next week.

HURRICANE OPHELIA: Finally, Ophelia is back from the dead. After dissipating early in the week the Atlantic storm regained strength and has rapidly become the fourth hurricane of the season. Ophelia this morning has category 2 winds of 105 mph and is located 695 miles southeast of Bermuda. Ophelia is expected to brush Bermuda before racing off towards southeast Newfoundland late in the weekend or early Monday. It is too soon to say what impacts she will have on the island province, but there will be some and they could be significant. Stay tuned.

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