Monday, October 31, 2016

Perfect Halloween forecast for Montreal and eastern Ontario

First Responders patrol the streets in Notre-Dame-de-L'Ile Perrot last Halloween. They do so each year to ensure the safety of our children. The weather will be perfect tonight, so please slow down and be extra careful while driving among the trick or treaters. Have fun and be safe. (ValleyWX Photo)
Perfect Halloween weather is in the forecast for Trick or Treating in Montreal tonight. Temperatures will be around 4C (39F) at 6pm. Enjoy the evening and be safe.

I am back on this Halloween Monday, with a near perfect forecast for southern Quebec. Friday was miserable, with a cold rain in Montreal, and plenty of wet snow north and east of the city. After a dismal weekend of clouds, drizzle and gusty cold winds, sunshine will return today, with a seasonable high of 6C (43F). High pressure will be in control through the overnight hours and early Tuesday. It will be chilly tonight, with a low temperature around -1C (30F). Tuesday will start off sunny, before an advancing warm front thickens the clouds. The temperature will be much warmer, in the lower teens. A few showers are possible late Tuesday. Wednesday will be partly cloudy and warm for November, with the temperature reaching a very mild 15C (59F). A strong cold front will bring clouds, rain and dropping temperatures by Thursday.

Briefly looking ahead, the first two weeks of November are expected to be near normal. Beyond that, much colder weather is forecast, with the likelihood of the first snow in Montreal. Now is the time to prepare your car before the snow flies. Ignore the December 15 deadline for winter tires here in Quebec, in my opinion, that is just too late.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cold rain and snow for southern Quebec and Ontario

Despite days of strong 40 to 60km/h west winds, some decent foliage still remains on the trees in Montreal and L'Ile Perrot. (Valley Weather Photo)
Stubborn low pressure continued to meander over eastern Quebec on Tuesday afternoon. Blustery northwest winds, along with frequent clouds and even some light showers or flurries, prevailed in Montreal. This is the same system that dumped over 100mm (4 inches) of rain on metro Montreal, along with as much as 60cm (2 feet) of snow across the highest elevations of the eastern Townships, Vermont and New York. The rain and snow produced flooding and power outages, especially across the Townships.

A warm front will produce rain and wet snow in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario late Thursday. (AccuWeather)
High pressure will finally nudge into the region overnight, with Wednesday being the best day of the week. Temperatures will be chilly tonight, below freezing in most locations. The low in Montreal is forecast around -2C (29F). Wednesday will be partly sunny, along with cool temperatures of 6C (43F). On Thursday, clouds will thicken as the next low pressure area moves from the Midwest into the lower Great Lakes. A warm front will approach Montreal, accompanied by light rain mixed with snow. Little accumulation is expected in Montreal at this time. Temperatures will continue below normal into this weekend. More rain is expected on the weekend, but the good thing is that Halloween looks dry and a touch milder.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Windy much colder week ahead

The heavy rain that fell in southern Quebec since Thursday, has produced plenty of standing water on area roads. (ValleyWX)
Strong low pressure is moving into the Gulf of St. Lawrence this morning after providing the region with another dose of heavy rain on Saturday. This storm was the second in as many days to impact Montreal, eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. Heavy, wind driven rain occurred late Saturday, adding to the already impressive three day storm totals. More rain fell in Montreal in 24 hours than in the entire month of September (31.2mm). I measured 90.4mm as of 7am this morning here on L'Ile Perrot. Trudeau Airport recorded 88.6mm, St Anicet 94mm, Cornwall, Ontario 91mm, Kemptville, Ontario 79.7mm and Ottawa 55mm. The rain changed to wet snow across portions of upstate New York, Vermont and along the Quebec, New Hampshire border overnight. Reports this morning indicate anywhere between 5 and 20cm (2-8 inches) of wet snow. Snow was also reported Sunday morning in Sherbrooke and Quebec City.

Heavy wet snow fell overnight along the New Hampshire, Quebec border. This photo is from Stewartstown, New Hampshire, located 30km southeast of Coaticook on the US/Canadian border. Photo Credit: Kerry Motiejaitis via Twitter from WMUR meteorologist Josh Judge.
The weather is a raw and windy this morning in Montreal, with west winds gusting over 70km/h. Those strong winds will be with us for the next 24 hours. Expect unsettled weather this week, with some sunny breaks, but frequent clouds. There is the possibility of scattered showers or even some flurries at times. Temperatures will be below normal, with highs near 8C (47F) and lows around 2C (36F). By the end of the upcoming week, another storm system will bring us more rain.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall storm to impact Montreal

The European forecast model of accumulated precipitation through Sunday for eastern North America; Montreal and southern Quebec are looking at the potential for 100mm of rain. (AccuWeather - click to make map larger)
Heavy Rain Warning: Posted for the St. Lawrence Valley of Ontario and Quebec, including metro Montreal. 

Heavy rain is forecast in Montreal over the next 48 hours, as strong low pressure moves from the Ohio Valley into southern Quebec this weekend. Rain is forecast to develop by mid-day Thursday and become heavy at times into the overnight hours. The rain will persist throughout Friday. At this time, computer models are indicating 50 to 100mm (2 to 4 inches) of rain for our region. Strong winds will also develop on Friday, as the storm system pulls off to our north and east. The wind will accelerate leaves falling off the trees making driving slick and clogging drains and sewers.

In addition to the increase in wind, temperatures will begin to drop. High temperatures will be near 14C (56F) today, but lower to only the single digits by late Saturday and Sunday. There is even the chance of some wet snow in both Ottawa and Montreal by late Saturday night or early Sunday. No accumulations are expected in the valley. Snow may, however, accumulate several centimetres well north of Montreal, as well as across the mountains of the Eastern Townships and northern New England. The cool, damp weather will persist into early next week.

If that was not enough, forecasters are watching an area of disturbed weather northeast of the Bahamas on Thursday morning. The system has the potential to develop into a tropical or sub-tropical storm over the next 48 hours. If it does develop, it would be named Otto. In any event, this system will pump Atlantic moisture into the northern storm, enhancing the rainfall across portions of Quebec and Atlantic Canada by late in the weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Record warmth followed by mountain snow

Much colder air will bring us back to reality this weekend. (
Record warmth surged into upstate New York, eastern Ontario and southern Quebec on Tuesday. The temperature reached 28.2C (83F) in Saint-Anicet, surpassing the previous record of 26.4C set in 1998. Saint-Anicet, located less than 75km southwest of Montreal, was the warmest location in Canada today. Sainte-Clotilde, just south of Montreal, reached 28C as well. Saint-Hubert posted a record 24C (76F), smashing the old record of 18.8C (65F) set in 2007. The high temperature at my home on L'Ile Perrot, reached just before 4pm, was 26C (79F). Trudeau Airport settled for 24.2C (76F), just short of the record of 25C (77F) set in 1968.

A weak cold front will cross the area this evening, accompanied by showers and perhaps some thunder. Weak high pressure will provide Montreal with sunny and cooler weather for Wednesday. Expect highs to be near 16C (61F). Strong low pressure is forecast to develop Thursday across the Ohio Valley, and move into southern Quebec by Friday. Clouds will thicken early Thursday, followed by an extended period of rain through Saturday. The rain could be heavy at times, with the possibility of more than 50mm falling. As the system pulls to our east, cold air will wrap around the backside of the storm on strong northwest winds. The coldest air of the season will arrive in southern Quebec, with highs no better than 8C (47F) this weekend, and overnight lows close to the freezing point. Some snow is possible over the higher elevation of New York and Vermont, as well as the Townships and Laurentians. It is also quite possible that 10-20cm of snow could fall between Jay Peak and Mount Mansfield in the Green Mountains, late Saturday and Sunday. Some snow may occur northeast of Montreal. A few wet snowflakes may even fall in the St. Lawrence Valley Saturday night. Warnings may be needed as the event draws closer.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Warm, windy, wet week ahead for southern Quebec

The frontal rain predicted for late Sunday arrived a few hours earlier and put a damper on outdoor activities to end the weekend. Close to 13mm (0.5 inches) of rain fell in Montreal. Despite the clouds and rain, temperatures remained warm. The high on Sunday was 18C (65F), while the normal high/low should be 12/3C. As the cold front clears southern Quebec this morning, look for sunshine to develop along with mild temperatures, highs near 16C (60F). A warm front will lift north into the St. Lawrence Valley tonight, with clouds increasing near sunset. Showers with perhaps a rumble of thunder, are expected to develop after midnight. Temperatures will again be mild, near 10C (50F). Tuesday will be an unseasonably warm and windy day, with high temperatures into the middle 20's, depending on how much sunshine develops. Gusty southwest winds will exceed 50km/h in Montreal. Cooler unsettled weather is forecast by the end of this week, with more October-like temperatures dropping into the single digits, and perhaps a decent amount of rain by Friday and Saturday.

A large tree lies across a home in southern BC, after 100km/h wind gusts hit the region from Friday through Sunday. (TWN/Twitter Abbotsford Police)
Stormy West
While it has been rather quite and mild in eastern Canada, the west has been stormy and, in some cases, snowy. Several October snowstorms have impacted Alberta and Saskatchewan. Heavy snow fell last Friday in Edmonton, resulting in numerous accidents from unprepared drivers. Amounts ranged from 10-20cm across central Alberta. On the B.C. coast, strong winds gusted over 100km/h, producing pounding surf and toppling trees and power lines. Widespread damage was reported from southern B.C. into Washington and Oregon. A total of three storms knocked out power to over 200,000 B.C. homes. Ferries were cancelled and at least one fatality was reported. Between 100 and 300mm of rain has fallen during the three-storm event.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Frosty start to the weekend in Montreal, then warmer

Montreal continues to have a very warm and dry fall, despite the recent showers. On Thursday, 4 to 7mm of rain fell in the region, along a brisk cold front, bringing the monthly total to 19.6mm here on L'Ile Perrot. That amount is less than 50 percent of the normal for the month of October, a trend that has been persistent all year. Temperatures have also been quite mild. However, we did manage our first frost of the year this week. I recorded my first sub-zero temperature of the season here on L'Ile Perrot Friday morning at -1C (31F). A decent frost occurred as well, at least in my neighbourhood.

Strong high pressure will move into the region today and crest over New England this weekend. Conditions will be sunny through Sunday in Montreal, with high temperatures near 12C (54F) today. The temperature will warm into the upper teens and even low 20's by Sunday. Another cold front will bring the chance of showers Sunday night into Monday. Looking ahead to next week, the same pattern remains in place, with warmer-than-normal temperatures and just a chance of light precipitation early in the week and again by Friday.

A spectacular NASA image of Hurricane Nicole approaching tiny Bermuda on Thursday. (NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team Image)
Hurricane Nicole
Powerful hurricane Nicole became one of only seven such storms to pass within 40 miles of Bermuda since 1851. The tiny island was dwarfed by the massive storm on Thursday. Winds gusted in excess of 120mph, with widespread damage reported. Roofs were torn from homes, power poles were snapped, and flooding was reported. Power is out to most of the island. Thankfully no fatalities have been reported thus far.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Matthew's misery spreads from Haiti to Newfoundland

Heavy rain produced widespread flooding in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on Thanksgiving Day. Above is a street in Sydney on Monday afternoon. (TWN/@redbatgirl)
Hurricane Matthew's parting shot at North America occurred Monday, as a moisture-fueled front dumped several months worth of rain in one day on Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. A state of emergency has been declared in several portions of both provinces, after 100 to 225mm of rain fell in 24 hours. Halifax reported 102.8mm, Eskansoni 199.3mm and Sydney 224.8mm. In Newfoundland, 180mm fell at Burgeo. The torrential rain produced widespread flooding of homes and businesses, as well as the collapse of several roads. Schools are flooded in many cases and, as a result, closed today.

Matthew moved into South Carolina on Saturday, before exiting the coast Sunday and merging with a cold front along the east coast. The front drew moisture north into New England and Atlantic Canada.

In Fayetteville, the North Carolina National Guard preforms a water rescue, one of thousands in that state. (@NCNationalGuard)
The death toll from Matthew is approaching 1000, including 23 in the US. Of those, nearly half occurred in North Carolina, where a combination of surge and fresh water flooding has produced catastrophic damage. On the Outer Banks, a record storm surge washed away roads and homes. In Fayetteville, firefighters and the National Guard were forced to perform thousands of water rescues. Power outages continue for hundreds of thousands of residents from Florida to Atlantic Canada. Matthew has produced an estimated $6 billion in damages in the US alone. In Haiti, residents are trying to piece together what little they have left, with relief agencies making a desperate plea for help. Thousands are homeless, with over 900 dead from Matthew. There are now fears of a cholera outbreak in the wake of the storm.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Hurricane Matthew crawls into the Carolinas

Happy Thanksgiving! Smoke Meat Pete on L'Ile Perrot decorated for the season during Friday's spectacular weather. (ValleyWeather Photo)
Hurricane Matthew has been the focus of my columns this past week, and as a result I have been a little negligent on the home front. I have a preoccupation with hurricanes that goes back decades. Despite the rain this morning in southern Quebec, our weather continues to be warm and dry. Rainfall since late August is running at less than 50 percent of the normal. Temperatures have continued to be well above normal, including 25C (77F) on Friday. A cold front today is producing showers that will continue into Saturday afternoon. Noticeably cooler air arrives for Sunday and Thanksgiving Day, with temperatures closer to the normal high/low of 14C and 4C.


Damage was extensive from Hurricane Matthew in the Daytona Beach area as well as northeast Florida. (TWC/AP Photo)
Hurricane Matthew
Hurricane Matthew's death toll continues to rise sharply with each passing hour. The storm is responsible for over 900 fatalities as of Saturday morning, including 4 in the US. Hard hit Haiti is reeling from torrential rains and mudslides, after a direct hit from Matthew. Florida has reported significant damage, especially along the northeast coast. The eye of the storm remained offshore this morning, but a tremendous surge of water has produced record flooding in some coastal locations. This morning a weakening Matthew, with 85 mph winds, is located 20 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm surge continues to be the big story, with 5 to 7 feet of water flowing into the South Carolina coast. Surge flooding and torrential rains will move into North Carolina as the day progresses. Over 1 million southeast US residents are without power this morning. Numerous coastal roads including the A1A in Daytona Beach, have been heavily damaged. South Florida escaped the worst of the storm.

One last check of the beach, before the storm surge inundated the coast at Jacksonville, Florida (AP Photo)

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Millions evacuate Florida's east coast ahead of Matthew

NOAA Satellite image of Hurricane Matthew, 215 miles southeast of the Florida coast Thursday morning.
Hurricane Matthew has been pounding the Bahamas for over 24 hours now. The center of the strengthening hurricane is located 215 miles (350km) southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida this morning. Millions of residents have been ordered to evacuate the coast, from Miami northward toward Jacksonville and beyond into Georgia and South Carolina. A hurricane warning is in effect, with the center of Matthew forecast to skirt the coastline through late Friday. Winds in excess of 125mph can be expected along Florida's east coast starting this evening. Heavy rain and a storm surge in excess of five feet are also expected along the southeast US coast.

Hurricane Matthew is currently a Category 3 storm, but forecast to strengthen to a Category 4 storm as it approaches Florida late today. Overnight winds gusted to 145mph in the Bahamas. Already this morning, Matthew is looking better organized on radar and satellite, with a deepening pressure to 939mb in the center of the storm. If Matthew comes ashore, it will be the first major hurricane to make landfall in the US since Wilma in 2005.

Damage from Matthew has been extensive in Cuba and Haiti. At least 27 fatalities have been reported across the Caribbean. Many portions of Haiti remain isolated, with flooding and no communications. Residents in coastal communities up and down Florida's east coast spent much of Wednesday boarding up, stocking up on supplies, and heading inland. A state of emergency has been declared in numerous coastal counties from Florida to North Carolina. Matthew is expected to linger along the coast during the upcoming weekend, before weakening and looping into the Atlantic, east of South Carolina.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Next up for hurricane Matthew: Florida and The Bahamas

Flooding is being reported today in Nassau, Bahamas, well ahead of Hurricane Matthew. (TWC/AP Photo)
Hurricane Matthew continues to be a very dangerous hurricane Wednesday afternoon. The center of Matthew is located 165km (105 miles) south of Long Island in the Bahamas. The storm is responsible for at least 11 fatalities in Haiti and Cuba, with that number expected to rise. Many locations in far western Haiti have reported widespread destruction. Homes were levelled in many villages, with major flooding reported and bridges washed out. Communications are down and thousands are homeless in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Hurricane warnings are in effect across the Bahamas, as well as the east coast of Florida, inland to central portions of the sunshine state. Evacuations have been ordered in many coastal communities from Florida to the Carolinas. Forecasters expect Matthew, currently a Category 3 storm with 120mph winds, to strengthen once again this afternoon. Matthew is expected to move through the Bahamas today and tonight, and along the Florida coast late Thursday. By Friday, the storm is expected to loop out into the Atlantic, east of South Carolina. Earlier forecasts had the storm moving up the entire east coast into Nova Scotia and Quebec this weekend. Current models are painting a much different scenario today, having the storm slow down and even move back towards Florida. Matthew will need to be monitored very closely by all east coast residents over the next few days. A state of emergency has been declared in several coastal counties from Florida to South Carolina. There has been a rush on water, gas, generators, batteries and anything else deemed useful to ride out this powerful storm.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Hurricane Matthew making landfall in Haiti

NOAA satellite image of hurricane Matthew just prior to landfall in western Haiti Tuesday morning. The eye is visible in the center of the image, nearing Tiburon, Haiti.
Powerful hurricane Matthew is making landfall Tuesday morning near Tiburon in western Haiti. Matthew intensified overnight, with maximum sustained winds now of 145mph gusting to 185mph. The eye of the storm increased in diameter as well, allowing the hurricane to look quite impressive on satellite and radar images this morning. Matthew is the first Category 4 storm to make landfall in Haiti since Cleo in 1964. Cleo was responsible for 132 fatalities in Haiti. A weather station in coastal Haiti reported a wind gust to 107mph this morning before it stopped transmitting. Haiti Libre reports major coastal flooding from the storm surge, as well as mudslides. One fatality was reported so far.
Hurricane Matthew will continue to impact Haiti and Jamaica today, with hurricane conditions spreading north into Cuba tonight. Torrential rain over the region, in some cases in excess of 40 inches, is possible. Rain of this magnitude will likely liquify soils, producing widespread flooding and mudslides across Haiti into the Dominican Republic.

Matthew is forecast to move north and then northwest over the next few days. This will bring the center of this dangerous storm into the Bahamas Wednesday, and eventually towards coastal Florida and the Carolinas by late Thursday and Friday. A hurricane watch may be needed later today for a portion of the Florida coast, including the Keys. By this weekend, hurricane Matthew will be moving close to the New England coast, with perhaps direct impacts here in southern and eastern Quebec, as well as Atlantic Canada into Thanksgiving Day. Plenty has to happen before then, but all interests from Florida to Nova Scotia should monitor the progress of Matthew.  

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Powerful Hurricane Matthew heads north towards Jamaica

The view of Hurricane Matthew from inside the US Air Force C-130 Hurricane Hunter. (Twitter@53d_HHA)
Hurricane Matthew started a slow turn to the northwest Sunday morning. The 13th storm of this busy Atlantic hurricane season is also the strongest since Felix in 2007. On Saturday morning, Matthew attained the strongest Category 5 status, with 160mph winds. The storm has since settled back to 150mph winds, with gusts to 185mph, making it a Category 4 storm on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Scale. Hurricane warnings have been posted for Jamaica, Haiti and eastern Cuba. A hurricane watch is in effect for the Bahamas. All interests up and down the east coast from Florida to Nova Scotia should monitor the track of Matthew during the upcoming week.

The National Hurricane Center forecast track of Hurricane Matthew through the southern Caribbean. (NHC)
On Sunday morning, a US Air Force C130 Hercules Hurricane Hunter aircraft reported the center of Matthew 315 miles (510km) south southeast of Kingston, Jamaica at 8:00 a.m. Matthew is moving northwest at 5mph. The storm is forecast to maintain a slow trip north, taking the center across western Haiti or eastern Jamaica and into eastern Cuba over the next 36 hours. Beyond then, the storm may impact the US coast late in the week. Preparations are being rushed to completion in Jamaica and Haiti. Along with the wind and storm surge, torrential rain is forecast; in some cases, over 20 inches (500mm) of rain is possible. This type of rainfall over the mountainous portions of Haiti has, in the past, resulted in deadly flash flooding and mudslides.