Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tornadoes & record warmth

Special Weather Statement for southern Quebec today for winds up to 80km/h.

A strong tornado moves across central Mississippi on Wednesday. (WREG TV)
As expected, Montreal has established a new record high for December 24th at 12C (54F) so far this morning. In fact, we broke the record just after midnight, eclipsing the previous of 8.3C set in 1957. Both Toronto and Ottawa are among hundreds of other locations across eastern North America that have already set new record highs for Christmas Eve, before daylight even breaks.

That is the good news. The bad news is all this wacky warm weather has lead to severe weather across the southern and central US. The last 24 hours have been deadly, with at least 6 fatalities and scores more injured across Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee north into Indiana and southern Illinois. Strong thunderstorms produced long-lasting large tornadoes. Cars and trucks were blown off interstates and numerous homes were destroyed by the large twisters. One storm in Holly Springs, Mississippi produced massive damage with 4 fatalities. More severe weather is possible today from the Carolinas to Georgia.

The low pressure responsible for this severe weather is lifting north across the western Great Lakes with a cold front sliding into the warm, humid air across the east coast. In Montreal, we can expect showers today with winds increasing to 50-80km/h by this afternoon. Temperatures will warm to 16C (61F) before falling back down to the single digits this evening behind the cold front. Christmas Day at this time looks bright and cooler with a high of 5C (41F).

Montreal Snowstorm Update
What a difference 24 hours can make in the long-term forecast. It now looks like we may have our first winter storm of the season in southern Quebec by next Tuesday. The details need to be worked out and forecast models are presenting several different scenarios. At this time, it looks like we'll have much colder weather with some form of wintry precipitation Tuesday into Wednesday. If you have travel plans play close attention to future forecasts. I will update word on the potential for this storm throughout the holiday weekend.

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