Monday, August 08, 2016

Drought conditions worsen in Quebec and Ontario

Southwest Quebec is experiencing moderate-to-severe drought conditions. It has not rained in two weeks. (

You cannot understate how dry the weather has been across southern Quebec and Ontario. According to the most recent data, most of southern Quebec is either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought. The far southwest, including L'Ile Perrot, Hudson, Valleyfield, northwest towards the Ottawa Valley, is currently showing as being under a severe drought. As you travel further southwest into Ontario, conditions are even worse, ranging from severe to extreme drought, including Toronto.

Similar conditions are occurring across southwest and eastern Ontario as well. This map is from early July. The situation has since become extreme in portions of the GTA. (Agriculture Canada)

We need rain! The last measurable rainfall at Trudeau Airport in Montreal was 5.8mm on July 25. Cumulative rainfall for the summer season so far is running at 40 to 50 percent of normal for Montreal. Ottawa has recorded even less rainfall. Couple that with the prolonged stretches of hot weather, and you have the recipe for drought. On Friday, Montreal recorded one of the warmest days of the summer at 34C (93C). This established a new record high for the date, surpassing 32.9C (91F) from 1988. More heat is forecast this week, with the mercury expected to reach the upper 20s today and low-to-middle 30s the balance of the week. Forecasters are watching the weekend for perhaps the most significant amount of rain so far this summer for Montreal. A moisture-laden storm system may move close enough to the St. Lawrence Valley, by Friday. That event is several days away, so we will have to wait and see how the system plays out.

In the meantime, conserve water. The signs of heat stress are widespread. Most of the lawns on L'Ile Perrot look like hay, the plants are wilting and numerous trees are starting to shed their leaves. Additionally, water levels on area lakes and streams are very low. Use caution when boating.

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