Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer arrives today, with heat and thunderstorms

The annual car show in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue benefited from spectacular weather on Saturday. Huge crowds viewed hundreds of classic cars. Sunshine with near record high temperatures occurred all weekend across southern Quebec.
(Valley Weather Photo)

It is a hot morning across southern Quebec and Ontario on this last day of spring, first day of summer. The solstice, accompanied by a full strawberry moon, occurs today, with summer officially arriving at 6:34 pm. Today will feature almost 16 hours of daylight. We also have very active weather expected today, as a strong cold front pierces through the heat and humidity. We started very warm this morning, 9am temperatures were already pushing 27C (80F) around the region. Highs should settle into the 32C (90F) range, with humidex values approaching 40C (104F) this afternoon. Montreal has an outside shot at the record high for the date, 32.7C (91F) set in 2012. Environment Canada has posted a heat advisory for much of eastern Ontario and southwest Quebec, including metro Montreal.

Gusty southwest winds will be a factor today. Winds are already increasing this morning, with forecast speeds up to 60km/h expected this afternoon, and 80km/h this evening. In addition to the wind, we can expect thunderstorms to develop along a potent cold front after 5pm in Montreal. Some of the storms may become severe, with strong damaging winds and possibly hail. Once the front clears the St. Lawrence Valley overnight, we can expect cooler weather, with lows dropping to 18C (65F), and highs near 23C (73F) on Tuesday, under partly cloudy skies.

Searing heat in the southwestern US has lead to widespread brush fires in Arizona and California, along with multiple weather-related fatalities. (AP Photo)
While Montreal basked in near-perfect summer weather over the weekend, strong thunderstorms occurred over western Canada. Several tornadoes were reported in Saskatchewan, with minor damage but no injuries. Searing heat impacted the southwest US, with high temperatures in Phoenix and Las Vegas rising into the middle 40's. Phoenix recorded that city's 5th all-time warmest temperature on Saturday, establishing a new record high at 47C (118F). Four deaths were blamed on the heat, along with widespread wildfires.

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