Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Solstice, tropical troubles and searing heat

The forecast track of soon-to-be-named tropical storm Cindy. Heavy rain is forecast to spread along the Gulf Coast into the Ohio Valley by the weekend. (NOAA/NHC)
There is plenty of weather to talk about this morning. To start, we have a few lines of showers and thunderstorms moving across the Island of Montreal. The poor timing of the rain has meant a long and difficult commute for many. The storms primarily contain heavy rain, but there have been reports of some intense lightning as well. Precipitation will become more scattered in nature as the day progresses, but conditions will remain unsettled for most of the week. Temperatures will be noticeably cooler, around 24C (76F).

On Sunday, severe weather impacted portions of Quebec. While the storms missed Montreal, the regions of the Laurentians, Mont-Laurier and Lanaudière were affected. Mirabel recorded a wind gust of 89km/h. Damage in the Lac Vert area indicates that a tornado may have occurred. A cabin was destroyed in Sainte-Anne-du-Lac. Environment Canada is investigating.

Swirling storm clouds on Sunday in the Lanaudière region of Quebec. (Quebec Vortex via Facebook)
Summer Arrives
The next week will feature the longest days of the year here in Montreal. The Summer Solstice will occur in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, at 12:24 a.m. The sunrise will be at 5:06 a.m, setting at 8:47 p.m., with 15 hours and 40 minutes of daylight. Sadly, after June 25, the days will begin to get shorter.

It will feel like summer across southwest portions of the US, as a potent heatwave takes shape. Temperatures have been well over 40C this week, with some locations in southern California and Arizona flirting with 50C (122F). The heat has caused numerous issues, including power outages, wildfires and heat-related health concerns. Records were shattered in several locations. Phoenix reached a record high of 118F on Monday. Roads have been buckling in the extreme heat and several airlines were forced to cancel flights, including American Airlines in Phoenix. The heatwave is expected to last throughout the week.

Atlantic hurricane season officially started June 1, and the tropics are heating up. Two systems have developed in the last couple of days. On Tuesday morning, tropical storm Bret was located 35km east, northeast of Isla Margarita in the southern Caribbean. The storm has 45 mph winds and is moving west, northwest at 21mph. Bret is forecast to skirt the South American coast over the next couple of days. Another tropical system is located in the central Gulf of Mexico, 430km south, southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River. This storm will likely become Cindy in the next 24 hours. Cindy will become a big news maker over the upcoming week and into the weekend, as she moves towards Louisiana. A tropical storm warning is in effect this morning for southeast Louisiana. Heavy rain and strong winds will spread onto the coast later today and especially Wednesday. Cindy will then spread heavy tropical rains inland across the US southeast and into the Ohio Valley.

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