Thursday, July 12, 2012

Warm and very dry

This message now appears on the municipal website for Vaudreuil and Dorion.
Water levels are way down across the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence River, making recreational boating a little more dangerous.
The weather continues to warm up this week but the evenings have been very pleasant. We managed a couple of 28C days in Montreal over the last two, but that will change beginning today as the heat and humidity slowly creep up into the weekend. High temperatures should hit 30C today and well into the 30's for the weekend and into next week. Any chances of rain will be very minimal as the extremely dry weather continues across Ontario and Quebec. I took a look at the rainfall for the past three months and it is not far from normal in Montreal. In May Trudeau Airport measured 91.8mm just a little above normal, 73.6mm in June (normal 83.1), and so far a dismal 21.0mm for July, with the normal being 91.3mm for the entire month. Most of that rain fell in one storm as did most of the rain in May. Add to that the scorching record high temperatures and a real water problem is beginning to evolve across the Great Lakes and Seaway on both sides of the border. Watering the lawn, filling your pool and washing the car may are now off limits in Vaudreuil/Dorion, and this may spread to other municipalities in the near future. A outdoor burning ban is also in effect for the region. A look west into Ontario, where our water comes from, shows even less rain with a paltry 12.7mm in Kemptville, with the normal being 97.5mm for July, and only 11mm in Toronto since mid June.

Low water levels on St. Lawrence River
The lack of snowfall and now rainfall has led to a 10 year low in water levels in the St. Lawrence Seaway. According to the St. Lawrence River Board of Control that oversees such issues on both side of the border, water levels are down nearly 10 inches below the normal. This has increased the danger in recreational boating as well as concerns over commercial shipping. If the trend continues, and at the moment it looks like it will for July anyway, the problems will only increase. As I mentioned already this week this is a developing story

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