Monday, November 28, 2011

Fierce winds in Alberta

Wind damage in downtown Calgary on Sunday (Calgary Herald)

Strong winds swept across southern Alberta and Saskatchewan yesterday bringing record high temperatures to the region but also causing considerable damage. Winds gusted as high as 144km/h at Claresholm, Alberta and 91km/h in Calgary. The winds toppled trees and power lines and tore roofing off structures in downtown Calgary. The wind punched out several windows on high rise buildings spraying glass over the downtown core and forcing firefighters to close most of the central part of Calgary for a time on Sunday. Just two weeks after the record arctic chill, temperatures soared into the teens in parts of Albert and Saskatchewan with nearly a dozen new record highs.

Meanwhile here in the east we had a rather dull, but very mild weekend. This morning Montreal is at 12C with a gusty southwest wind. That temperature is well above the normal high of 3 or 4C for late November. Some wintry weather is on the menu for overnight tonight. First today we are dealing with a cold front this morning that should clear the valley by noon with any rain tapering off. Temperatures will fall today to around 4C this afternoon and down to 0C overnight. Overnight another stronger area of low pressure will lift out of the Gulf states and into southern Ontario. It will also bring another surge of warm air which will override the cold air at the surface and produce a period of freezing rain, especially northwest of the Ottawa Valley in Ontario and across the area well north of Montreal. Spotty freezing rain may occur in Montreal but it will be short lived. This next storm will be around through mid week with quite a bit of precipitation. So far this morning the only warnings in place for this next storm, is a Winter Storm Watch for northeast Ontario (Parry Sound, Algonquin, Haliburton). More warnings for rain and freezing rain may be needed later today or on Tuesday. Temperatures will remain above normal for this time of year with no arctic air in sight. Keep in mind any freezing rain that falls can ice roads very quickly, so if your travel takes you north or northwest of Montreal tonight or Tuesday, plan accordingly.

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