Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Record breaking Prairie windstorm - more warm weather for Montreal

The first frost of the season occurred on L'Ile Perrot early Tuesday morning. Our weather will turn unseasonably warm once again as we head into the upcoming weekend. (ValleyWeather Photo)
Another period of warm and dry weather is expected across much of southern Ontario and Quebec this week. Temperatures will go above normal in Montreal on Wednesday and remain that way right through the upcoming weekend. The average high/low for mid-October in Montreal is 3C/12C. Temperatures will be well above this, with daytime highs approaching 21C (70F) by Saturday. Overnight lows during this period will be between 7C and 13C (45 to 55F). Coming after our first official frost, which occurred on Tuesday morning, this could be considered our Indian Summer. Big changes are on the horizon for Montreal, as a potent cold front and upper level low pressure area will begin impacting our weather early next week. Showers, strong winds and much colder temperatures are expected by the end of next week, into Halloween.

Above and below: Wind speeds of up to 131km/h in Moose Jaw, 119km/h in Regina and 113km/h in Saskatoon, generated widespread damage on the prairies. (CBC Photo)
Prairie Windstorm
A fast moving low pressure and cold front swept across Alberta and Saskatchewan on Tuesday creating hurricane force wind gusts. Winds in excess of 100km/h knocked down trees and power lines, fanned grass and brush fires and took down hundreds of trees. In Alberta, the highest wind reported was at Acadia Valley at 126km/h. Meanwhile a gust to 131km/h occurred at 10pm in Moose Jaw. This was the strongest wind ever recorded in that city, the previous record was 119km/h set on October 16, 1991. The wind caused widespread damage to several homes and businesses. SaskPower reported multiple outages across the province, impacting thousands of customers.

In southwest Saskatchewan, a rapidly moving grass fire forced the evacuation of Leader, Burstall and the RM of Deerfork. Residents were allowed to return home Tuesday evening. The windy weather was being blamed for the derailment of 28 rail cars, blown off the tracks near Huxley, Alberta. The wind also blew dust and debris across the Trans-Canada Highway, making travel extremely dangerous from Calgary to Regina. In addition to the wind, 13 new record high temperatures were established in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. The strong winds have now moved east into Manitoba.

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