Friday, July 05, 2013

Power out Thursday to 500,000 customers in Quebec

FLASH FLOODING: The same old scenario in Burlington, Vermont on Thursday as the wet summer continues. (Photo from the Burlington Free Press)
The weather continues to be in the news this week, from forest fires in northern Quebec and across the southwest US to major flooding in New England and tornadoes in southern Alberta. We have too much rain in the same places and not enough in others. Yesterday was no exception with heavy thunderstorms producing torrential downpours across portions of northern New York and especially northwest Vermont. From 1-3 inches or up to 75mm of rain fell in the storms near Burlington washing out more roads and flooding more homes. It has been the same scenario day after day this summer with flash flood watches or warnings posted daily. I thought yesterday the storms would affect us here in Montreal but they seemed to fizzle out before reaching the city. There was activity north and south of Montreal, but none here on L'Ile Perrot. It did stay very warm and humid with highs near 30C in most locations. The heat was compounded by the fact that power went out across a huge portion of Montreal around 5:15pm. It was out from 30 minutes at a low end to several hours. Some customers, about 15,000, still have no power this morning. That means no A/C as temperatures approach 30C again today in southern Quebec and 38C with the humidity. Hydro-Quebec has blamed the outage on intense heat and smoke from forest fires burning near their James Bay facility tripping three main transmission lines. The fires continue today with the risk of further outages.

The weekend looks the same, more heat, more humidity and more showers and storms, about a 60% chance each day in Montreal. Warm daytime highs from 28-30C (83-86F) with mild nights from 20-22C (68-72F). The humidity will remain elevated with sticky weather forecast well into next week. Keep cool and be safe.

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