Sunday, July 01, 2012

Power cut to 3 million homes

HAPPY CANADA DAY - Ottawa a few minutes ago getting set for the big Canada Day concert. The weather is warm with a few clouds and an outside chance of a thunderstorm.
Thunderstorms are fickle animals at best. They can form quickly and yet dissipate just as fast. One late yesterday afternoon rained on my outdoor BBQ in Verdun when I assured everybody we were good for the day. It was a little embarrassing, but such is the nature of weather. We had another warm and humid day in Montreal reaching 31C (88F) before the storms arrived around 5pm. They were isolated in nature and cooled some areas while others such as here on Ile Perrot had nothing. Today is another humid day but a little cooler on this side of the border, perhaps hitting 28C. We had a shower early this morning, about 2mm of rain, and we may see another later today. It will be a warm and humid week with showers and thunderstorms and temperatures warming to over 30C most of the week.

Linwood, New Jersey thunderstorm damage. (
DERECHO: Our storms were pale in comparison to the massive outbreak of severe weather state side that stretched from Illinois south and east to New Jersey and Virginia overnight Friday and into early Saturday morning. The storms amalgamated together to form one large long lived thunderstorm complex that raced southeast and held together even into the overnight hours. This type of event is called a derecho (Spanish for straight), a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms in the form of a squall line usually taking the form of a bow echo. This system was particularly violent and deadly coming after days of record heat. The storms cut power to more than 3 million homes and businesses prompting a state of emergency in several states including Ohio and Washington D.C. They also claimed the lives of at least 13, mostly crushed by falling trees, in homes, at campsites and in cars. The power may be out for days, with the heat continuing.

The storms left the region with no air conditioning on Saturday is sweltering heart that was just a little cooler than the all time records set Thursday and Friday. Included in those record highs was Atlanta at 106F and Nashville at 109F, the warmest since record began dating back to the Civil War days.

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