Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy recovery begins - record high for Montreal

Hydro crews arrive in Vermont to help GMP restore power. (Burlington Free Press)
The remains of once powerful Hurricane Sandy are spinning across Pennsylvania this morning and will lift across Lake Ontario and into Quebec later today. There is not much left to the mighty super storm. The cost from her week long rampage has been high, with damage estimates running into the billions. Nearly 6 million people across the middle Atlantic, Northeast, New England, Great Lakes and Midwest remain in the dark the vast majority of those in New Jersey and New York. Crews are pouring into the region including 25 from Hydro Quebec that have arrived in Vermont and another team heading for southern coastal New Hampshire  Despite the help it could be over 1 week for all the power to be restored. The subway system in New York remains crippled. Some seaside New Jersey communities have catastrophic damage with homes and infrastructure gone. It will be weeks before things can return to some kind of normal. The death toll in the US stands at 33 with 1 in Canada and 67 in the Caribbean.

Complete destruction in Brigantine, New Jersey on the Atlantic Coast. (CNN)
The wrap up for the storm in Montreal is like this, with the worst of the storm heading south and west into Ontario, we fared pretty well. There were a few trees down and power at one point was out to 50,000 Hydro Quebec subscribers, but all in all we did ok. Rainfall was light with about 15-25mm here in the south, most of that falling in heavier showers on Tuesday. There remain a chance for some showers today as more energy spins into southern Quebec. Meanwhile the warm air on the east side of the storm delivered Montreal another record high on Tuesday. The high was 21.3C (70F) edging out the old high of 20.6C set in 1989. Montreal was actually warmer than many southern US cities in a bizarre flip flop of the weather this week. Colder air will move in by the weekend with a return to more normal November weather.


Halloween in Montreal looks variable as it has been for most of the week. Temperatures will be around 10C (50F) with a chance of some showers. Have fun and be safe.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Massive Sandy unwinds

The damage is historic in places as former hurricane Sandy unwinds across Pennsylvania this morning. The center has 65mph winds and is located about 90 miles west of Philly moving west northwest at 15mph.

Water pours into a New York subway station in Hoboken, New Jersey during the storm surge on Monday night.
 I could list for days all the weather and damage this massive storm has unleashed on the eastern portion of North America, but I will some it up in one statement. This one storm has managed to devastate coastal communities from the Outer Banks to Long Island, dump feet of snow in West Virginia, cut power to millions across the northeast and into Ontario and Quebec and flood portions of Manhattan and the New York City subway system all at the same time. The death toll in the US stands at 15 with 1 fatality reported in Toronto, (Sandy had already taken over 60 lives in the Caribbean). Flooding continues to be a problem in many parts of the middle Atlantic, along with strong winds still likely in the 60 to 90km/h range for a few more hours across New England and into the St. Lawrence Valley. The broad circulation of the storm is pumping warm air north into southern Quebec this morning.  Montreal was at 17C (63F) most of the overnight, when our normal low should be near the freezing mark. Montreal today will continue to have gusty winds along with showers and perhaps a bit of heavier rain at times as the circulation continues out of the southeast. What remains of Sandy will eventually lift into Ontario and Quebec pulling down colder air to end the week along with rain for Montreal. Highs today will be near 18C (the record is 20.5 from 1989). Temperatures will cool to end the week with a high of only 4C by Friday.

Heavy snow is falling on the cold side of Sandy in the mountains of West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. (AP Photo)
This morning power is being restored to the sporadic outages across southern Quebec. At one time nearly 50,000 were without power in Quebec, 90,000 in Ontario and currently over 6 million across the eastern US into the Great Lakes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Massive Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey

Major wave action in Scituate, Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)
Sandy has made landfall near Atlantic City. The outer rain bands and strong winds are moving as far inland as Ontario and Quebec at this hour.

Flooding in Cape May today
Just minutes ago Hurricane Sandy, now post tropical, made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Howling winds off the Atlantic Ocean continue to pile up water along the coast with major flooding being reported and record surges. Flooding has washed away coastal infrastructure along the coast from Maine to North Carolina. New Jersey has been hard hit with numerous communities cut off tonight. Major flooding is occurring in New York City at this hour as a record surge continues with the high tide. Over 3 million are without power in 16 states and two provinces. The leading edge of heavy rain is moving into Ontario tonight with a few showers about to move into Montreal. Winds are gusting out of the northeast in Montreal up to 60km/h. A wind warning remains posted with winds expected to gust to 100km/h in the next few hours. The storm has turned deadly in Ontario with a women killed by flying debris in Toronto.

Major flooding has occurred in metro New York including Manhattan where the Hudson River has spilled its banks on both the New York and New Jersey sides. (Getty Images)
Off the coast of North Carolina this morning a tall ship, The Bounty, went down dumping the crew of 17 into the churning Atlantic. Coast Guard from Elizabeth City, North Carolina rescued 15 of them with 2 missing. The body of one has since been recovered with the second still missing. There is a growing list of damage and destruction occurring across New York and the middle Atlantic as well as New England. This storm has so many many different facets to it. I will continue to watch the weather and update it overnight as needed.

Sandy nearing Jersey Shore

Environment Canada track will take Sandy near Montreal this week.
UPDATE: At 3pm, powerful hurricane Sandy is nearing the Jersey Shore. Winds and rain as well as rising sea level and surge continue to pound the middle Atlantic. Winds are 90mph and movement is faster now, NW at 28mph. The barometric pressure is an incredible record low 940mb, the lowest for any storm this far north since the 1938 Long Island Express.

Dangerous Sandy to impact southern Quebec & Ontario

HIGH WIND WARNING: Montreal & the St Lawrence Valley as well as storm warnings for the Great Lakes and southern Ontario. Northeast Winds from 60-100km/h.

 MONTREAL: In southern Quebec and Ontario, strong winds will develop today increasing out of the northeast up to 100km/h by this evening. They will ease by Tuesday morning. Some light rain is expected overnight but the big story will be the howling wind down the St. Lawrence Valley. Prepare for the likelihood of power outages across Quebec and into Ontario. Temperatures through this event will be mild in southern Quebec but much cooler in Ontario. This morning Montreal is at 11C while Toronto is only 4C, it has been cold there all weekend. Rainfall will be light in Montreal, under 25mm (1 inch) for the entire event, but could be as much as 75mm (3 inches) in the GTA where rain has been falling all weekend.  There is even the chance for some snow across central and southern Ontario and south into the Appalachians of West Virginia and Tennessee.

The forecast track of Sandy takes here into southern Quebec this week. The main weather in Montreal will be strong northeast winds.
Hurricane Sandy is a little stronger this morning as she sits 385 miles south of New York City moving north at 15mph. Hurricane Hunters have reported a deepening storm with a central pressure of 946mb and winds over 85mph. The storm has produced tremendous coastal flooding from North Carolina to Delaware with damage reported to homes and coastal infrastructure. Sandy will begin to transition into a powerful mid-latitude storm today as she turns northwest towards the Delaware and New Jersey coastlines. Severe to record coastal flooding is expected from the Carolina's north to Long Island. Inland strong winds will spread all the way to the Great Lakes. This is a serious storm and has virtually shut down the most populated area of North America. Flights are cancelled, schools and business closed and rail has been suspended. Rainfall will add to the storm damage with 4 to 10 inches (100-250mm) forecast across the middle Atlantic. Rain will taper off rapidly north of the track.

Major coastal flooding has affected the Outer Banks of  North Carolina including here in  Ocracoke Village. I vacation here every year and wish them all well today. (Ocracoke Island Journal photo)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

High winds in Montreal from hurricane Sandy

Sandy, located off the southeast coast of the US is sending clouds 1000 of miles north into southern Quebec.
The big weather story all week will be hurricane Sandy and what she becomes once moving inland over New Jersey on Monday. Today, despite being hundreds of miles off the coast of the middle Atlantic, the storm managed to increase winds and seas all day long from the Carolina's to Long Island, NY. The Outer Banks of North Carolina have been hammered with coastal flooding and widespread power outages. Highway 12 that runs along the Outer Banks has been closed at Oregon Inlet.

The remains of Sandy will be in southern Quebec by the middle of the week.
The storm will impact our weather here in Montreal with very strong winds during a 12 to 24 hour period beginning late Monday. Look for winds out of the northeast in the 60-80km/h range and gusting to 100km/h by Monday evening. In the last hour, despite being over 1000 miles from the center, winds have hit 32km/h in Montreal and 58km/h in Quebec City. High Wind Warnings are in effect for the US border counties and I expect we may see some wind warnings for our area by morning. Storm warnings are out for Lakes Ontario and Erie as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Sandy continues to deepen

This morning's sat image shows the extent of cloud cover from Sandy moving north into southern Quebec. Sandy's center is just southeast of Cape Hatteras. The blocking high pressure over Atlantic Canada is pushing the cold front in Ontario the wrong way, and directing Sandy northwest into New Jersey.
The central pressure in Sandy is now 951mb, lower than the March 13, 1993 Superstorm that paralyzed the east coast from Georgia to Quebec. Montreal by the way had 47cm of snow in about 20 hours from that storm. Sandy at 8 am is located about 395 miles south of New York City moving northeast at 10mph. The storm has 75 mph winds and seems to be starting the transition from a tropical system into one that will become a much larger, deeper mid-latitude cyclone. What all this means for our local area is lots of wind and a little rain in southern Quebec and northern Vermont, northeast New York. Further west the wind will be accompanied by a steady at times heavy rain for Ontario. The main event locally should begin on Monday afternoon with the strongest winds, possibly exceeding 90km/h, occurring overnight into Tuesday. Winds of this strength are certainly capable of toppling trees and knocking out power. Over the mountains of the Townships and into the Green and Adirondack Mountains, winds gusts to hurricane force of 120km/h (74mph) are quite likely. Rainfall in Quebec and northern Vermont will be in the 25mm (1 inch) range and between 50-100mm (2-4 inches) in Ontario and New York by Tuesday.

The big news will come from the middle Atlantic coast and metro New York where Sandy is forecast to make landfall. Aside from strong winds and heavy rain a storm surge will push 4 to 8 feet of water into the bays and harbors around Long Island and New York City.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sandy in Quebec & Ontario

A look at the current forecast track of Sandy from southeast of Cape Hatteras to a landfall in New Jersey and eventually weakening near Montreal by Thursday.
Hurricane Sandy tonight is located 345 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with winds of 75 mph. The storm is moving northeast at 13 mph with a gradual turn to the north and eventually northwest expected by Monday. A landfall along the Jersey Shore is likely by late Monday. Tropical storm force winds of over 39 mph extend outwards more than 500 miles from the center of the storm. Tonight wind driven surf is washing over the dunes and onto Highway 12 along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Peak wind gusts have been reported at nearly 60 mph. Winds and seas will increase northward into the metro New York region over the next 24-48 hours.

Local effects from Sandy
My best advice for those in metro Montreal is to prepare for possible power outages on Monday. Locally a high wind and flood watch have been issued for the border counties of New York and Vermont. Look for some form of wind warnings to be posted for Montreal and southern Quebec by late Sunday if not sooner. With current guidance and computer model forecasts showing the center passing to our south and west, Montreal should remain on the windy and warmer side of the storm with less rain but the potential for wind gusts up to 100km/h in the St. Lawrence Valley by Monday. The heavy rain will fall in Ontario where up to 100mm (4 inches) is possible from Kingston west to the GTA. Tonight Ontario remains on the cold side of a front with both Toronto and Ottawa around 8C with rain. Meanwhile Montreal is a much milder 14C with clouds drifting across a full moon. This situation will likely remain that way for some time with the front almost stuck just west of Ottawa. A few showers may drift cross it form time to time but the bulk of the rain will remain in Ontario. The rain and wind will increase by late Sunday and Monday. 

We will have more on the exact timing of wind and precipitation expected as well as any local warnings by early Sunday morning. Thanks for reading., stay safe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Record high - calm before the storm

Major damage from Sandy in Santiago de Cuba. (Reuters Photo)
I just walked the dog and what a warm night it is here in Montreal, almost summer like, calm and moonlit. We managed yet another record high today in what has been a year full of them. Temperatures here on L'Ile Perrot reached 22C (72F) while it was officially 21C (70F) at the airport in Dorval. We managed to squeak by the previous record of 20.6C set in 1963. A strong cold front lies to our west this evening with temperatures much cooler behind the front, it is only 7C in Toronto tonight with showers. A line of showers is approaching eastern Ontario so we may see some rain before morning. Our attention will then turn to Hurricane Sandy that is moving away from the Bahamas tonight with 75 mph winds. Sandy is expected to weaken slightly and then regain hurricane strength over the weekend while brushing the Carolina coast. The system will then merge with a front and create a rather large and deep ocean storm that is forecast to make landfall along the Middle Atlantic coast and move inland over Pennsylvania and New York. It is still unclear what the exact timing and impact will be for Montreal, southern Quebec and Eastern Ontario, but there will be one. Look for increasing rain and wind from Sunday through Halloween. The potential is there for damaging winds and flooding rains.

The storm has been deadly with lots of flooding and wind damage in Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Over 41 deaths have been blamed on Sandy so far. Winds and waves are increasing tonight across the Outer Banks of North Carolina where ocean over wash is expected at the various high tide cycles over the next several days. A tropical storm warning is in effect. Some evacuations have been ordered for the Jersey Shore, and a state of emergency has been declared so far in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.

Hurricane Sandy could impact Ontario/Quebec

This is a very complicated forecast with many different scenarios at play. Plan for a prolonged period of inclement weather along the east coast of the US and into New England, New York, Ontario and Quebec from Saturday through Halloween. Check back often for frequent updates and tweets on the progress of this storm.
Current NHC forecast for Sandy.
The National Hurricane Center official forecast track for Hurricane Sandy has gone from well offshore earlier in the week to a landfall now along the Delaware Coast by Monday. Sandy this morning has 80 mph winds and is located about 485 miles (780km) south southeast of Charleston, South Carolina.

As far as the forecast goes, keep in mind this will be a large storm in size and will affect 100's of miles of coastline and interior areas so don't concentrate on the center. It is becoming very clear that Sandy will have a tremendous impact on the weather in the Monday to Halloween time frame from the Carolina's into southern Ontario and perhaps Quebec. With a west shift in the forecast track the heaviest rain in the order of 100mm (4 inches) could fall in our regions. In addition to that strong winds down the St. Lawrence Valley could exceed 100km/h.

Now I don't want to hype up any storm but bear in mind this is a hurricane coming into an area that does not get these storms on regular intervals. In addition we have several other important weather factors acting upon Sandy to make this a prolonged and perhaps disruptive event. Only time will tell and write the history books, so we will have to wait and see. In any event keep in mind that we are looking at rain and wind next week. In the short term high pressure will give us a spectacular day today with temperatures warming into the 20C range. (The record high for Montreal for today is 20.6 in 1963 so we have a shot at it). A strong cold front will advance into the area on Saturday with showers and perhaps some thunder. This front will stall over the area on Sunday and become the focus for tropical moisture streaming northwest from Sandy. Winds and rain will only increase in coverage from that point into Halloween.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hurricane Sandy update

The projected path of Hurricane Sandy approaching the Jersey Shore by Monday morning.
Late this afternoon, hurricane Sandy was located in the Bahamas about 25 miles east of Great Exuma Island. NOAA Hurricane Hunters have been flying several missions into the storm today and report back a well structured Sandy with good outflow and maintaining Category 2 strength. The Bahamas will continue to feel the effects of heavy rain and strong winds with gusts reported over 50mph. Warnings are now up for tropical storm conditions are far north as South Carolina. There is big concern for heavy surf and ocean overwash affecting the Outer Banks of North Carolina as early as Saturday. We have a very complex weather picture evolving this weekend that will pair a strong jet stream with an advancing cold front and what is left of Sandy. Sandy is now forecast by the NHC to make a track close to or onto the Jersey Shore by early Monday. We could be looking at a large and destructive ocean storm affecting New England and possibly Atlantic Canada.

The Canadian Hurricane Center issued a statement late today informing the public of the potential for significant weather by late in the weekend across the Maritimes and into southern Quebec and perhaps even southern Ontario.

I will post updates as soon as more information becomes available. Please use the links on this blog and follow me on twitter for updates on how Sandy will affect our regions.

Hurricane Sandy slams Jamaica - what next?

Flooding in Jamaica on Wednesday from Hurricane Sandy. (Jamaican Observer)
Hurricane Sandy blossomed rapidly into a strong Category 2 hurricane last night after sweeping Jamaica with rain and strong winds during the daylight hours. The storm then took aim at eastern Cuba with 110mph winds. This morning the center of  Sandy is located about 40 miles east of Holguin, Cuba moving north at 18mph and a little weaker with 105mph winds and a pressure of 960mb. Hurricane warnings remain posted for Cuba and the Bahamas with a tropical storm warning for Florida. The storm will move across Cuba today and into the Bahamas for Friday.

After that everybody along the east coast from North Carolina to Nova Scotia needs to pay attention to where this storm is heading. There are still a million scenarios that involve everything from a complete miss to landfall between New York City and Delaware. It may be Sandy or a "perfect storm" hybrid combination of systems producing a massive ocean storm. The possibility exists for extremely dangerous surf and coastal flooding especially along the Outer Banks and into Long Island and New England. Heavy rain may create flooding issues inland and there is even the potential on the table for snow on the western edge of the system across portions of the Appalachians. One thing is certain it will be much colder, windy and wet for Halloween week, one way or another. As with most coastal systems the worst of the weather should remain south of the border. We will have to continue to tweak the forecast as the days tick away into the weekend. If your travel take you along the east coast you need to carefully listen to updated forecasts.

**Of note in the short term, a warm front will cross the region today setting the stage for near record highs on Friday across eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Temperatures may hit the 21C (70F) mark in a few locations with plenty of sunshine on Friday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Watching Sandy

Tropical storm Sandy is poised to become a big news maker if the some of the current forecast models hold up. The storm this morning is nearing hurricane strength with 70mph winds about 120 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica. She is moving north at 14 mph and will affect the island today before moving across Cuba and into the warm waters between Florida and the Bahamas. Sandy is then expected to move northeast parallel to the east coast before possibly retrograding back towards the coast early next week in the vicinity of NYC. If this plays out there would be major implications for the east coast especially New England along with very heavy rain and strong winds inland into eastern New York and southern Quebec. This storm scenario reminds me of the Perfect Storm or Halloween Nor'Easter back in October 1991. It is too early to sound the alarm but people from North Carolina to Nova Scotia need to be paying attention to the forecast through this weekend and into early next week. Today all interest are on Jamaica and Cuba that are under Hurricane Warnings for Sandy. Heavy rain will be the main threat with serious flooding possible. A tropical storm watch is also in effect now for southeast Florida.

In the short term high pressure will be in control of the weather here in the east into Saturday before the fun begins. Temperatures will warm from where they sit now, near 2C up into the lower teens today and eventually near 20C for a high by Friday. It will turn much colder by Sunday along with the threat of some heavy rain by late in the day.

Snow clearing in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on Tuesday. (CBC News)
SNOW Update: Heavy snow and chilly winds hit southern Alberta and Saskatchewan on Tuesday with over 10cm of snow in many locations including Calgary. Calgary is at a frigid -8C currently. There were numerous accidents as drivers adjusted to icy, slushy roads. This is a process as we know, that takes some into January to get use to! Simple solution, winter tires and slow down. The bulk of the snowfall today will be across central and northern Saskatchewan.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tropical Storm Sandy - Alberta snowstorm

The snow is falling in metro Calgary this morning.
It is another chilly and very typical October start to the day here in Montreal. Temperatures have just hit 2C (36F) here on L'Ile Perrot and there is a little frost on the car. We can expect a big warming trend here in eastern Canada and the US with temperatures reaching into the 20's by Friday. Sunshine will be the dominant weather factor this week with just a few showers on Thursday as a warm front lifts north of the region. The next threat for a general rain and cooler temperatures will not come until Sunday.

Alberta SNOW
The big weather news this morning is middle winter conditions across Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan. Cold temperatures in the -5C range along with a strong storm moving north from Montana, have set the stage for and early season storm. Snowfall warnings are in effect for the area including the City of Calgary. Roads are snow covered this morning and travel is slow. Accumulations are forecast in the 10-20cm (4-8 inches) range along the storm track from southern Alberta into northern Manitoba over the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Sandy
Tropical Depression number 18 has become Sandy and is located this morning about 345 miles south southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. The storm is moving very slowly north at 3mph with 45mph winds. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect for Jamaica with a direct hit forecast by Wednesday morning. Sandy is in a favorable area for further development and will likely be a hurricane when she hits Jamaica. Beyond that eastern Cuba and Haiti, along with portions of the Bahamas can expect heavy rains and gusty winds. Sandy is then expected to move into the Atlantic east of Florida. Looking ahead into next weekend and Halloween week, numerous scenarios are in place including a possible track along the eastern Seaboard. It is too early to tell exactly where she will go and it what form, but all interests along the coast from Florida to Newfoundland should carefully monitor this storm.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Summer east - winter west

Rain and the setting sun slow traffic along Highway 10 east near the Richelieu River on Saturday. (ValleyWX Pic)
That upper level low that brought Montreal lots of clouds and showers on Sunday has finally began to move northeast of the region. This will allow for clearing skies today with plenty of sunshine and temperatures up to 14C. Montreal has had close to 40mm of rain with some locations off island reporting over 50mm since Friday morning. There was even some thunder reported overnight Friday and again Saturday afternoon. Saturday was almost summer like in southern Quebec with humid conditions, bubbly cumulus clouds and temperatures near 20C. I drover to and from Sherbrooke on Saturday and encountered every kind of weather you can think of, from warm sunshine to thunderstorms and rainbows followed by a spectacular sunset while it was raining (see photo above).

The colors were just spectacular here on L'Ile Perrot this weekend, but 50km/h winds on Sunday brought down many of the remaining leaves.
There will be a well defined split in the weather this week across Canada with cold and wintry weather in the west and increasing sunshine and warmth in the east. A strong low pressure over Montana will move into southern Alberta, and with lots of cold air in place, snow is forecast. As much as 10-15cm is forecast along and south of the Trans Canada Highway tonight. Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing most of the week. Meanwhile a warm front will slowly lift across New England and southern Quebec late Tuesday and Wednesday allowing for warm southwest winds to develop. Temperatures are expected to warm from the single digit highs of Tuesday up to 22C (72F) by Friday, double the normal high for late October.

Tropical trouble for east coast?

One final note, forecasters are watching a growing area of clouds and showers south of Hispaniola that has a high chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. Next on the list in this busy season is Sandy. Computer models are all over the Atlantic basin with this storm once it develops, including several scenarios that take it up the east coast as a decent storm. We are days away from development and forecast tracks but this is well worth keeping an eye on for potential weather problems for the east coast and possibly our region Halloween week. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekend weather for Montreal

Waves from Rafael pound a coastal road near Trepassey, Newfoundland. 
(The Weather Network)
What a gem of a day Thursday was, a true gift this late in the season. Under warm sunshine the temperature reached nearly 20C here in the city. Sadly it has come to an end for a little while, maybe until next April! This morning we have lots of rain on the radar moving from south to north across the Adirondacks of New York and into southwestern Quebec and extreme eastern Ontario. Already about 5mm has fallen at my home on L'Ile Perrot with much heavier rain just to our south moving in at this time. We will add about 40mm to that over the next 24 hours, just below the warning criteria of 50mm (2 inches). North of the city into the Laurentians there will be over 50mm, so a heavy rainfall warning is posted there. Temperatures with the rain today will be very mild around 16C. The weekend looks showery, breezy and cooler as we head into Sunday. Looking ahead into next week we have a cold air mass building into Western Canada with some snowflakes possible. That cold air will likely arrive here in the east by next weekend. Time will tell.

Below: Yesterday the strong winds that affected the Prairies, moved into the Dakotas with lots of damage. Gusts to over 70mph in the Dakotas knocked down power lines, spread wildfires and blew transport trucks off of Interstates. Further south the wind created dust storms in Kansas and Oklahoma closing down several highways after numerous accidents in low visibility.

High winds, over 70mph, topple semi trucks like toys in Belvidere, South Dakota on Thursday.
Top Photo: In Newfoundland post tropical storm Rafael passed about 500km off the coast of Cape Race. The heavy seas and towering waves caused major damage to coastal infrastructure along the Avalon including in Trepassey. Some roads were inundated with sea water and debris. One resident told The Weather Network that the damage was worse in her area then that from Hurricane Igor. Amazing the power of water from a system passing so far out at sea.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sunshine before the rain

Enjoy the next 24 hours because the weather is going to turn wet and windy for Friday and Saturday with showers into Sunday. A warm front has lifted north of Montreal this morning with just a few clouds and a sprinkle or two. Skies will clear out quickly in eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec, and we will enjoy a sunny and warm day today with highs touching 20C and maybe even a 21C (70F) in a few places. Winds will be gusty at times out of the south driving in the warm air. Clouds will increase overnight with rain developing by Friday morning in response to low pressure and an occluded front moving in from the Midwest. This same system delayed and eventually postponed the Yankees and Tigers MLB Playoff game last night in Detroit and produced severe weather in the deep south with several reports of tornadoes. The storm also produced strong winds across the Prairies on Wednesday with gusts up to 94km/h at Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and in the 70-90km/h range elsewhere into Manitoba.

Montreal can expect steady rain all day Friday with amounts in the 30-40mm range and up to 50mm (2 inches) by the time it ends on Saturday. Winds will be gusty at times up to 40 or 50km/h. At this time both wind and rain are expected to remain below advisory level but it will bear watching. Sunday will be damp and partly cloudy with a few remaining showers. Temperatures throughout the early portion of the forecast will be mild but cooling off towards Sunday. Highs will be 15 to 20C with lows of 7 to 10C. No really cold air is in sight at this time. That being said, I still plan on getting the snow tires on before the end of this month. Just call it a gut feeling.

Post tropical storm Rafael is located about 400km southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland this morning and moving rapidly across the Grand Banks. The storm will produce very heavy surf today along the eastern coast of that province with a high surf advisory in place for the Avalon. Seas will build to 7 metres along the coast, but should subside later tonight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New England earthquake

The region was once again shaken up by an earthquake, this time in Maine. The 4.0 magnitude tremor occurred at around 7:12 pm last night in coastal York County, Maine near Waterboro. The quake was felt across a wide area of New England from Vermont southward towards Boston and even on Long Island. There were no reports of major damage. This is the fourth tremor in less than one month to be felt in New England, Ontario and Quebec and comes on the heels of last Wednesday's 4.5 quake near Beloeil on the South Shore of Montreal.

The longer nights and frost have rapidly turned many of the trees in  Montreal this past week. Most are in various stages of color from full green to brilliant red. This was one of the few trees the same color from top to bottom. ValleyWX Pic
It is another chilly morning in Montreal with the mercury flirting with the freezing point and scattered frost being observed here on L'Ile Perrot. It will be a partly cloudy day, with more clouds than sun as the afternoon moves along and temperatures chilly, around 10C. Thursday will be partly sunny and much warmer with perhaps 20C in spots. That will be the end of the dry weather for a few days as a low pressure area moves from west of the Great Lakes across southern Quebec into the weekend. A steady rain is forecast for Friday with showers Saturday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chilly Tuesday then warmer

A relatively dry cold front swept across the Montreal region late Monday with just a few sprinkles and some gusty winds. The air is noticeably cooler this morning with the current temperature at 5C (41F) here on L'Ile Perrot down from nearly 20C (68F) on Monday. Today will be the coldest day of the week with clouds, perhaps a sprinkle or two and highs no better than 10C (50F). It will be cold overnight with lows generally approaching the freezing point. The balance of the week into the weekend will be rather mild with temperatures above normal. Highs on Wednesday will be near 18C (65F). High pressure will dominate into Thursday before a decent low approaches the St. Lawrence Valley from the Great Lakes. Look for rain by Friday into Saturday with slightly cooler temperatures.

Hurricane Rafael
The news is better this morning regarding Rafael and Newfoundland. First of all Rafael became a hurricane on Monday and now has 85 mph winds. A tropical storm warning is out for Bermuda with the center expected to pass east of the island tonight. The storm this morning is about 395 miles south of Bermuda, moving north northeast at 16 mph. Gusty winds, rough seas and about 2-4 inch's of rain are forecast for Bermuda as the storm passes by to the east. Looking ahead the storm is now expected to remain offshore of Newfoundland largely affecting the Grand Banks and marine waters. Rain may affect the eastern portion of the province along with rough surf and gusty winds. Adding to the rain and wind and even some snow is a strong low pressure area located in New Brunswick this morning. The two systems will combine to bring unsettled weather to Atlantic Canada for most of the week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Warm & windy Monday

In stark contrast to most of this past weekend, we are expecting warm temperatures today, approaching 21C (70F) in both the Champlain and St. Lawrence Valley. Over the weekend the mercury struggled to clear 10C as we had a decent freeze Saturday morning, and low clouds, fog and rain most of Sunday. A warm front has lifted north of Montreal this morning, with temperatures on the rise on southeast winds. We are sitting at 12C, the warmest it has been since late Thursday. Increasing south winds will help temperatures to rise under partly cloudy skies. Clouds will thicken again later this afternoon in advance of a cold front moving from Ontario into Quebec. Showers will accompany the front along with dropping temperatures down to about 7C (45F). We will warm very little on Tuesday to 10C (50F) under partly cloudy skies. Winds will be another issue today becoming gusty out of the southwest over 50km/h with gusts to 70km/h possible in the St. Lawrence Valley. Those winds will diminish this evening as they back out of the northwest 20-40km/h. Rainfall will be light today adding to the 20mm that fell over the weekend.
A NOAA image of Tropical Storm Rafael north of Puerto Rico this morning.
Tropical Storm Rafael
Tropical storm Rafael formed over the weekend and has been giving rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The storm has 70 mph winds this morning and is located about 290 miles north of San Juan. Forecasters have issued a tropical storm warning for Bermuda and are expecting Rafael to become a category 1 hurricane later today.  Rafael is generating high surf and big waves in the Bahamas as he moves north northwest at 10mph. Looking ahead to the middle of the week, the likelihood is increasing that Rafael will have some sort of impact on Newfoundland. The storm could approach the Avalon as a post tropical storm with gusty winds and heavy rain by Wednesday. The Canadian Hurricane Centre is already tracking the storm and releasing statements on it. Warnings may be needed as the path of Rafael become more clear late today and Tuesday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hard freeze on the way

Snow fell across northern Alberta on Wednesday, including here in Grand Prairie. (Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune)
A cold front is poised to cross the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley by late today ushering in the coldest air of the season. Temperatures are chilly on L'Ile Prrot this morning at 4C with a gusty wind making it feel rather raw outside. Look for partly cloudy skies today before clouds and showers increase this evening. Temperatures will reach 10C today before dipping to 5C overnight and really not moving on Friday with a strong northwest wind over 40km/h. The front has limited moisture but may give a few millimetres of rain, similar to yesterday's front the brought 5.1mm to Ile Perrot. As mentioned the coldest air since last spring will move in on Friday setting the stage for a hard freeze Friday night across the entire area. Frost and freeze conditions will affect Ontario and Quebec and south across New England even into the middle Atlantic. This will bring an end to the growing season with lows easily in the -2C range in the city and as cold as -10C north and south of the metro region. The showers tonight may end as a few flurries especially north of the city and in the Townships, Adirondacks and Green Mountains south and east of Montreal.

The same system produced snow yesterday from Alberta east into Manitoba. Around 5cm fell in Edmonton with as much as 10cm in Grand Prairie. That system is spreading snow today across northeast Ontario.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Earthquake rattles Montreal

The 4.5 magnitude quake was centered east of Montreal near Beloeil on the South Shore.
A 4.5 magnitude earthquake rattled the region overnight, centered on the South Shore of metro Montreal near St Hyacinthe. The quake occurred at 12:19am about 9km northwest of Beloeil and was measured at a depth of 9.9km according to Earthquakes Canada. It was felt across a wide area from Ottawa to Cornwall and south into northern Vermont and New York. No damages or injuries were reported. Normally I am a very light sleeper along with my trusty canine Bella, who is very sensitive to these events. However with this one, we both slept through it and felt nothing at all. There were numerous reports of decent shaking across the city of Montreal, especially in the southwest sector. I grew up in Verdun and historically when we get a quake, that area of the city shakes something fierce. It is largely on landfill and very close to the St. Lawrence River. Here on L'Ile Perrot we have lots of solid rock which tends to absorb the shock as opposed to Verdun that shakes like a bowl of jello! No aftershocks have been reported as of 7:25 this morning.

We are in for a blustery day as a cold front approaches the region from Ontario. Temperatures will be mild in the 16C range on increasing southwest winds gusting over 50km/h. That should bring down plenty of leaves across the city. Showers are expected to develop in the afternoon and taper off by midnight. Thursday will be partly cloudy, blustery and cooler with highs near 10C. Another cold front will move across southern Quebec early on Friday morning with the coldest air of the season coming in behind it for Friday night. Look for widespread frost and freezing temperatures Friday night into Saturday before it warms a little this weekend. At this time Saturday looks like the best day of the weekend, sunny and milder.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Seasonable week ahead - spectacular northern lights

An amazing photo of last nights northern lights taken by Beth Allan outside Edmonton. (
Seasonable, a weather geeks word for boring. We are looking at another week of seasonable weather with temperatures in Montreal and across eastern Ontario running very close to normal (4/14C). Highs will be in the teens today, around 16C for Montreal. High pressure is in control of our weather today with low pressure along the east coast keeping clouds and showers well southeast of our region. It is a chilly start to the day with temperatures around 4C at the airport but only 1C here on L'Ile Perrot with scattered frost. A freeze occurred in the rural areas off island with St. Anicet at -1C and Lennoxville at -2C at 7am. This is thew second morning in a row I have had to scrape ice off the windshield. This is roughly the normal arrival for frost in this portion of the province, same as last year. I started winterizing the property just a little yesterday as I remain is disbelief how fast the seasons have swung. The balance of the week will see a couple of cold fronts cross the area with pretty chilly air by Friday in place. There is a risk, and just a slight one, of a few snowflakes by late Thursday night. Otherwise look for sunshine today followed by a chance of showers late Wednesday and again Thursday night. No big storms on the menu for this week.

Spectacular Aurora
A geomagnetic solar storm on October 4th has released millions of particles into the atmosphere and has generated spectacular northern lights across a large portion of the northern hemisphere. There were endless reports of the spectacle last night along with amazing photos across Canada and the northern third of the US. I did not see anything here in Montreal, but mind you we have so much light pollution in this city that seeing anything other than a street lamp is rather difficult. You can read up on this phenomenon as well as other information at

Friday, October 05, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend Update - No snow...yet

A truck rolls along the Trans Canada in snowy Manitoba on Thursday. The early snowstorm cut power and slowed travel, including this combine. (Photo: John Woods - Canadian Press)
That wild snowstorm that sent the weather from the low 80`s with grass and brush fires in Minnesota and Manitoba down to the 30`s with snow, has now moved into northwest Ontario and is weakening this morning. The storm was responsible for accumulations in the 10 to 30cm (4-12 inch) range with winds in excess of 70km/h. The snow spread from northeast North Dakota across northern Minnesota, northwest Ontario and southeast Manitoba. This combination closed schools, knocked down trees and power lines and forced major delays in road travel. Snow does often occur in October across this region, bit not this early and rarely this intense. Temperatures in some areas dropped more than 30 degrees in less than 24 hours. A hard freeze across the Prairies and northern US Plains is bringing an end to the growing season in many areas this morning.

Quebec & Ontario
On the other end of the scale southern Quebec and Ontario are enjoying very mild weather this morning with the mercury already at 15C here in Montreal on the way to a warm 21C. The area remains under a warm southwest flow with winds expected near 50km/h today, bringing in warm and humid air from the southern US. There has been lots of fog around this week, a product of the longer nights which allow temperatures to cool rapidly after sunset. Enjoy this as major changes are expected beginning tonight. A strong cold front will begin to cross the area overnight with a steady rain and cooling temperatures. Highs on Saturday will be in the 15C range and that will drop to 10C by Sunday. Look for an unsettled Thanksgiving Weekend with below normal temperatures and a risk of showers each day. More rain is likely to start next week as a series of low pressure areas affects southern Quebec.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

First snowstorm for Manitoba - Ontario

An early season winter storm is creating heavy snow and strong winds across the Red River Valley of North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba this morning. Heavy snow and winds in excess of 50km/h are creating whiteouts on the roads in that region. Low pressure will lift from South Dakota into northwest Ontario today along with the snow and wind. Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for the area including southeast Manitoba and northwest Ontario. Temperatures are right around the freezing point this morning with a cold rain in Winnipeg, but snow south of the city along the US border. Some parts of northeast North Dakota will see over 30cm (1 foot) today with 10-20cm in Manitoba and northwest Ontario. The wind is producing blizzard conditions with difficult travel reported on Interstate 29 as well as Highway 75 north into Winnipeg. Later today snow and winds will spread across the Trans Canada Highway between Kenora and Winnipeg.

Temperatures behind the storm are cold for October with below freezing lows across Saskatchewan and Alberta. In Denver the temperature plunged from 83F yesterday down to near freezing overnight including an 18 degree drop in one hour. Accu-Weather reports winds to 47mph along with steady snow in Fargo, North Dakota this morning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Summer warmth - winter cold

A dark webcam image from early this morning in Canmore, Alberta where it is -2C with light snow. You can see the snow covering the ground and the buildings. (
It is October, and like April it is a month of serious transition. Therefore it is quite possible to have 30C one week and snow the next. The residents of southern Manitoba will experience that scenario this week. After the warmth of last weekend, many areas of southern Manitoba, northwest Ontario as well as adjacent North Dakota and Minnesota are looking at the first snowstorm of the season. Winter Storm Watches are flying this morning as low pressure is forecast to take shape over the northern Plains and strengthen as it heads across Lake Superior. Cold air and increasing north winds on the backside of the system will change the rain to wet snow with 10-15cm (4-6 inches) possible by Friday morning. The trailing cold front is already spreading snow across southern Alberta this morning with several centimteres accumulating overnight in the near Canmore, Alberta, the foothills and western Montana.

Meanwhile here in the east it is perhaps summer's last stance. It is a mild and muggy morning with a southwest flow of moisture streaming north from the Gulf of Mexico and into Ontario and Quebec. The elevated humidity and long nights have led to widespread fog along the Eastern Seaboard and into our region. The fog will dissipate followed by a partly sunny and warm day with highs near 21C (70F). The above normal temperatures are here to stay until that aforementioned cold front arrives by late Friday. From a precipitation point of view, we are looking at a slight risk of showers today with an elevated risk of showers and thunderstorms by Thursday. The weather will remain unsettled into the weekend with more showers, and turning much colder with highs not getting above 10C (50F) on Sunday and Thanksgiving Monday.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Colder & snow?

Right on cue snow arrived on the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire on Monday morning, October 1. (Mount Washington Obs Photo)
Ok now that I have your attention, no snow for Montreal, at least not this week. After what has been a seemingly endless stretch of above normal temperatures, we are looking at a potent cold front diving across Alberta and the northern Plains today and into the Great Lakes by the weekend. Accompanying the front will be the coldest air of the season so far along with rain and snow showers. Places like Winnipeg that were near 30C on Sunday will drop down to the single digits by Thursday with flurries possible. A couple of centimetres of wet snow may fall as early as this evening in Calgary. Winds are forecast to be in the 50 to 70km/h range with the front across a wide area of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Snow is also forecast from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass in BC with up to 10 centimetres (4 inches) possible.

A softer version of the front will arrive in time for Thanksgiving Weekend in Montreal with cooler weather and highs near 10C by Monday. Until then Montreal is in for above normal temperatures with highs between 18 and 20C. That is the good news, but clouds and showers will be on the increase today as well. It is sunny at the moment but we only have to look into eastern Ontario to see clouds on the increase with showers moving up the 401 corridor. Partly cloudy skies and scattered showers will persist into Wednesday for southern Quebec and Ontario.

Monday, October 01, 2012

October weather is here

Well it certainly feels like October this morning across southern Quebec and Eastern Ontario with temperatures around 11C and drizzle. We had a raw and chilly weekend with drizzle and northeast winds becoming a steady rain late Sunday afternoon and lasting well into the overnight. Officially we had 22.4mm at the airport to end the month with just over 30mm here on L'Ile Perrot. That brought our monthly total up to a respectable 103mm of just over 4 inches. All that fell on only 5 days, so the trend of a dry summer lasted into at least September. Such was not the case for other parts of the country with Halifax having its wettest September on record. A total of 386.8mm of rain fell on the city breaking the previous record of 308.7mm set in 1996. That total was oh so close to the all time wettest month on record of 387.1mm set in August of 1971.

The weeks looks showery but mild at least for early October. Today will be chilly with more showers as a stubborn and slow moving upper level low slides east of Montreal and into the Atlantic. The balance of the week will have intervals of sun and cloud with showers. I think there will be more cloud than sun but it will be mild with temperatures in the low 20's for highs and above 10C for lows. That will change by next weekend as a cold air mass begins to settle into he east. That cold has brought portions of Alaska and northern interior British Columbia their first snow of the season. Around 15cm fell in portions of southeast Alaska with 5 to 15cm forecast for the mountain passes of the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, BC.