Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rare January Tropical Storm

Subtropical Storm Alex south of the Azores this morning. (NHC)
A very rare event has taken place in the Atlantic Ocean, a tropical system in January. For the first time since 1978, we have a named tropical system, Alex. The storm is actually subtropical, not exhibiting a warmer core like it would in August or September, but the system is still potent. This morning, Alex is located 560 miles south southwest of the Azores. The storm has intensified overnight and now has 70 mph winds. Alex is moving north northeast at 18 mph and should approach the Azore Islands later tonight and Friday. Heavy rain and storm-force winds are likely before the storm races off towards Greenland and loses any tropical characteristics. The formation of such a storm in January shows us just how much El Nino has affected the weather patterns.

Montreal Weather
After a little light snow today and a chilly high of -10C (14F), we can expect a quiet day Friday before temperatures warm up for the first half of the weekend. Weak low pressure will approach southern Quebec this weekend with perhaps a period of light snow or mixed precipitation Saturday. I don't expect a big storm, perhaps 5cm, but like this past Tuesday, the system will be weakening as it approaches Montreal, so amounts may be less. We are also watching a coastal storm developing near North Carolina, but it appears this storm will remain well offshore and not affect southern Quebec. Temperatures will warm up Friday and Saturday, perhaps reaching 0C (32F), before cooling off Sunday and the early part of next week.

A New Hampshire State Police officer was injured on Tuesday after a Canadian trucker failed to slow down or move over striking his patrol car on Interstate 89. (New Hampshire State Police Photo)
During the snow and squalls on Tuesday, numerous accidents were reported across Ontario and Quebec, as well as the northeast US. One accident on Interstate 89 near Warner, New Hampshire involved a truck and a New Hampshire State Police car. The truck, from Canada, failed to slow down or move over striking the car and injuring the officer. The truck then fled the scene. The vehicle is described as a semi with a dark cab and white box-type trailer, with Canadian plates. They did not say which province. Anybody with information is asked to call the New Hampshire State Police at 603-271-3636.

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