Monday, July 10, 2017

Thousands forced to flee British Columbia wildfires

Highway 97 near Ashcroft, B.C. remains closed as a fire burns out of control near the community, 90km west of Kamloops. (BC Transportation via Twitter)
Nearly 300 wildfires are burning across interior British Columbia, according to the BC Wildfire Service. Of these, at least a dozen are large, intense and out of control. This includes a fire burning near 100 Mile House, that prompted the evacuation of the entire community Sunday. This increases the number of evacuees in B.C. to over 10,000. More are likely today, with a provincial state of emergency now in effect. Nearly 2000 firefighters are battling the fires, with help coming form Alberta. The fires are the result of hot, dry weather, with frequent lightning strikes prompting new fires daily. The weather has been hot across all of western Canada, with high temperatures on Sunday in the middle 30s. A brief break is expected in the form of thunderstorms by Tuesday, before high pressure builds back in, with more extreme heat. The heatwave is expected to continue right through the end of the week. The hot weather stretches into Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as a large portion of the western US.

Stormy in Eastern Canada
It was a much different story here in Montreal, and across a large portion of eastern Canada. Our wet and frequently cool summer continues, with little relief in sight. Early Saturday morning, a strong thunderstorm with wild lightning and up to 25mm of rain in less than 30 minutes, moved from L'Ile Perrot towards the downtown core of the city. The storm produced some minor flooding, especially off island to the west. The entire weekend was unsettled, with below normal temperatures and frequent clouds, showers and thunderstorms. The weather this week will follow a similar one to that of the entire summer to date. More showers and thunderstorms are possible each day through the weekend. Temperatures will struggle to reach the normal high of 26C (79F) each day. Sadly this trend is expected through the end of July. Montreal has had measurable precipitation, on 6 of the 10 days this month, with 37.8mm of rain so far. In Ottawa 98.4mm of rain had fallen through Sunday. The July average for the entire month is 91.9mm.

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