Thursday, March 01, 2012

Deadly tornadoes & a little snow

Our current weather system has been a little bit of a bust on the snow side so far. While is is snowing in Montreal and forecast to do so the balance of the day, I think the heaviest precipitation, what little of it there is, will remain south of metro Montreal. The storm center is currently over the Great Lakes and moving east. It will try to regain a little of its former self today but I think snow totals will be under the original forecast. Looking at the radar this morning we have some light snow over southern Quebec with another batch mixed with some freezing rain over Ontario and upstate New York. Winds have been creating a little blowing snow in places but nothing extreme. Environment Canada has lowered the winter storm warning to a snowfall warning (this is the equivalent of a winter weather advisory in the US). Storm totals will end up somewhere between 10 and 15cm by late today. Here in L'Ile Perrot we sit at -5C with about 4cm on the ground overnight.

EF-4 tornado damage in Harrisburg, Illinois (Reuters Photo)

The real deadly aspect of this storm was the severe weather that occurred yesterday along the trailing cold front. I was amazed by the strength of the pre-dawn twisters that swept through Missouri and into Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. At one point a tornado watch was in effect clear up to northern Ohio along the Lake Erie shore. It is only February people and we witnessed quite likely an EF-4 tornado yesterday in Harrisburg, Illinois. The damage is extensive in Harrisburg with 6 deaths reported in that state and a total of 12 so far. Damage was widespread with homes and businesses destroyed. The storms are a little weaker today but still potent with the threat shifting into the southeast including Alabama and Georgia.

There was even thunder and lightning reported at multiple locations across Southwest Ontario last night including Sarnia, London and Windsor.

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