Monday, July 23, 2012

Severe thunderstorms likley today in Ontario & Quebec

Tornado damage from Saturday near Smeaton, Sask, northeast of Prince Albert. (CJME Website)

In a scenario that has played out frequently in southern Canada this summer, we are looking at the threat for severe weather across a wide area once again today. A strong jet stream over southern Canada and a large dome of hot air and drought conditions over the US is pushing lots of severe weather well north of where it should be and into our regions. The number of tornado warnings this summer in Saskatchewan, all the Prairies, Ontario and southern Quebec is unreal. More tornadoes were reported in Saskatchewan on Saturday with one smashing into a farm and destroying a house in Smeaton. There were reports of large hail and strong winds over 110km/h in southeast Saskatchewan. Meanwhile local thunderstorms produced as much as 80mm of rain near Hamilton with flooding reported. Last eveing isolated strong storms occured in the Ottawa Valley northwest of Montreal.

Here in Montreal we had a warm and humid weekend with highs near 31C and overnight lows well into the 20's. It is already 24C (76F) at my home here on L'Ile Perrot with elevated humidity and dew point readings. A warm day is on tap with temperatures near 32C (90F) region wide. This combined with the humidity will push heat index values to near 40C. The heat will come to an abrupt end this afternoon and evening as a potent cold front settles southeast across the St. Lawrence Valley. There is a risk of strong to severe storms in southern Quebec and from Ottawa southwest towards Toronto beginning late this afternoon and lasting until midnight. Heavy rain, in excess of 30mm, gusty winds and large hail are possible. There is even the risk of an isolated tornado. The threat will slip southeast across the Townships and into northern Vermont and New York by evening.

I will update all watches and warnings for the region today via the Twitter feed on the upper left side of this blog.

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