Friday, 29 May 2015

Major cool down from Saturday to Sunday in Montreal

It will feel like mid July on Saturday in Montreal and late April on Sunday as a cold front sweeps through Quebec and Ontario. (
A strong cold front will sweep through southern Quebec late on Saturday bringing in an unseasonably cool air mass for Sunday. For Friday, high pressure will be in control of our weather. After a very cool start here on L'Ile Perrot, it is currently (at 6am) 9C (49F), temperatures will rebound rapidly up to 27C (81F) by this afternoon. Skies will turn cloudy overnight but it will remain warm and muggy with a low near 20C (68F). On Saturday clouds along with showers and afternoon thunderstorms will dominate the day. Temperatures will be warm and it will be quite humid with a high near 29C (85F). Some of the thunderstorms may be strong with heavy rain the main threat. Timing is everything with thunderstorms and the focus once again for severe storms may be just to the south and east of Montreal as it was on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The cold front should clear southern Quebec by midday Sunday leaving us with very chilly air to end May. High temperatures will struggle to make it to 16C (60F) on Sunday and overnight lows into Monday will drop into the single digits. The normal high should be 22C (72F). There may even be scattered frost well north of the city and across the Adirondacks, and Townships. Temperatures will slowly warm into next week with above normal readings once again by Wednesday.

On Thursday, May 28, scattered showers and thunderstorms formed once again over southern Quebec, but the bulk of the severe weather was well east of Montreal. A few of the heavier showers had gusty winds in the city through the mid afternoon. Around 7mm of rain fell at Trudeau airport in Dorval, while I measured 3.4mm here on L'Ile Perrot.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Strong thunderstorms possible today in Montreal

A very warm and humid air mass remains in place across eastern Ontario and southern Quebec this morning with temperatures already above 21C (70F) in Montreal. The Montreal area had a very warm Tuesday with highs between 28C and 30C (83-86F). Some thunderstorms are affecting areas south and east of Montreal this morning, but the main threat will come this afternoon.

It will be a muggy day with showers and thunderstorms developing anytime after the noon hour and a high near 29C (85F). Thunderstorm activity will begin along a cold front early this afternoon, first in the Ottawa Valley and then moving into the St. Lawrence Valley, Quebec and New England. Some strong storms are possible with the main threat being dangerous lightning, heavy rainfall and gusty winds possible with any storms. The severe weather threat will taper off after 5pm for Montreal. The rain will bring a brief break in the humid weather with cooler temperatures forecast for Thursday. The heat and humidity will build again Friday into Saturday with another round of thunderstorms forecast late Saturday into Sunday.
Above & Below: Houston was added yesterday to the long list of Texas communities suffering from devastating flooding. (TWC Photos)
Just a brief update on the catastrophic flooding that is taking place in Texas and Oklahoma. Large areas of both states remain under water this morning after days of thunderstorms which dumped up to 2 feet of rainfall. Added to that list was Houston, Texas where severe flash flooding early Tuesday morning claimed at least 5 lives. The death toll has exceeded 18 in the southern plains with at least 13 still missing. The flooding Tuesday in Houston was caused by a series of slow moving thunderstorms that dumped 6 to 12 inches of rain in just a few hours. Highways and large areas of the city were overwhelmed by flood waters form sewers and neighbouring bayous and streams. Across Texas the damage is unimaginable with hundreds of homes destroyed.

Monday, 25 May 2015

From frost to heat & humidity for Montreal

In less than 36 hours many locations in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario went from sub-zero overnight lows with frost to high temperatures near 30C on Sunday. Montreal was no different after an overnight low of 2C (36F) early Saturday morning, we managed a sultry high of 27C (81F) Sunday afternoon.

The forecast for the week looks very summery with high pressure moving off the east coast of the US and pumping warm and humid air northward into New England, Quebec and Ontario. A strong warm front will lift northward across the entire region today with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Cloud cover will keep temperatures in check with perhaps 22C (72F) for a high. I don't expect severe weather but any of the storms that do develop today have the potential to produce very heavy rain. Overnight it will remain mild with lows near 20C (68F). Tuesday promises to be quite warm and humid with high temperatures at or even above 30C (86F) in eastern Ontario and southern Quebec. I expect sunshine on Tuesday. The balance of the week looks partly to mostly cloudy and very warm and humid with a chance of showers and thunderstorms each afternoon. Gusty south winds from 20 to 50km/h most days will continue to pump humid air north from the southern US.

The aftermath of strong thunderstorms in Cache Creek, BC. (CBC News)
B.C. Thunderstorms
Meanwhile in the community of Cache Creek, B.C. severe thunderstorms with hail and heavy rain produced major flash flooding early Saturday. Numerous homes were destroyed as a wall of water and mud swept the town north of Merritt. A state of emergency has been declared as the cleanup begins. Many families were trapped in their homes and scores are homeless today.

Unprecedented flooding is occurring in San Marcos, Texas. (City of San Marcos Photo)
Record flooding continues this morning across portions of Texas and Oklahoma. Water levels have reached heights never seen before in many communities along the border between the two states. Major flooding has also been rolling down the Blanco and San Marcos Rivers between San Antonio and Austin, Texas. The flood waters have forced massive evacuations and resulted in a heavy loss of property and at least three fatalities. Strong thunderstorms have drenched the region with more rain in the month of May than in the last year combined. Over 20 inches of rain has fallen across north Texas this month alone.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Widespread frost tonight in southern Quebec

Widespread frost and freezing temperatures are forecast tonight across southern Quebec, eastern Ontario and New England. A cold front is producing sprinkles and clouds today with dropping temperatures. The high in Montreal will remain around 10C (50F), well below the normal of 21C (70F). Unseasonably cold air will settle into the region tonight with lows of plus 2C to -3C (36F to 27F). The coldest readings will be away from Montreal and any bodies of water. Needless to say if you have planted anything, you should cover them up and take precautions to protect your flowers etc. Frost and freeze advisories are in effect across our entire region with the exception of metro Montreal and Grand Island County, Vermont on Lake Champlain.

The good news is that the cold air will be short lived. A much warmer and sunny weekend is forecast with highs of 18C (65F) Saturday and 24C (76F) Sunday. Next week is looking very summer like with a warm and humid air mass enveloping the northeast and southern Quebec and Ontario. Highs will be in the upper 20's with a risk of showers and thunderstorms each day.

Major flooding is occurring in Texas as heavy rain has pushed accumulation to nearly 20 inches in May. The photo above was taken on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas, no injuries were reported. (CBS Dallas)

Southern US Flooding
The warm and humid air expected in Montreal next week will be streaming northeast from the US Gulf Coast. Much of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas is reporting copious amounts of rainfall for May. Some areas are approaching 20 inches of rain for the month. This region, especially Texas, had been in a major drought throughout 2014. Dallas/Forth Worth recorded only 21.32 inches of rain in all of 2014. So far in 2015 they already have had 21.54 inches with much more forest this weekend. Flash flood watches remain in effect.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Possible tornado in Quebec - much colder weather arrives

A spectacular photo of strong thunderstorms near Drummondville taken by the Quebec Vortex team on Tuesday afternoon. (Twitter@QuebecVortex)
There is definitely a change in the air this morning in Montreal. After a muggy high near 27C (81F) on Tuesday, the temperature is a cold and dry 7C (45F) here on L'Ile Perrot this morning. Adding to the nip in the air is a 40km/h northwest wind and persistent clouds. Conditions will improve today with clearing skies and lighter winds, but it will remain quite chilly with a forecast high of only 16C (61F). Expect clear skies tonight with a cold low of only 4C (39F), as well as a chance of frost in areas away from the city. Sunshine on Thursday and warmer with a high of 21C (70F) but more cold air is forecast to arrive Friday with a high of only 12C (54F). There is an even better chance of frost by early Saturday morning. An advisory may be needed.

The unseasonably cold air arrived behind a potent cold front on Tuesday. That front generated a line of strong to severe thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon from just east of Montreal into the Beauce and Townships. There were numerous reports of heavy rainfall, wind damage and hail as well as a confirmed tornado on the ground near Ste-Majorique south of Drummondville. Environment Canada will be investigating the damage today. The tornado prompted an afternoon of tornado warnings across the Beauce as the cells raced east towards the Maine border.

A dusting of snow occurred in Val D'or on Tuesday night. (Meteo Media)
While the summer like weather was occurring here in the south, cold air pouring into central Quebec produced snow in Val D'or and Rouyn-Noranda last evening. The May snow was accompanied by gusty winds and temperatures below freezing.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

More thunderstorms today for Montreal then much cooler

Thunderstorms produced flooding in portions of north end Montreal on Monday night. (Twitter@CJAD800)
It was a very warm and humid holiday Monday across southern Quebec with temperatures soaring to around 30C. I recorded 32.4C (90F) here On L'Ile Perrot, while Trudeau Airport reach 29.3C (85F), and St. Anicet hit 31.8C (89F). Strong thunderstorms fired up late in the afternoon over Eastern Ontario and the upper Ottawa Valley. Widespread watches and warnings were posted including a tornado warning for portions of eastern Ontario. Some rotation was observed in several of the storms including one that ripped trees out of the ground near Maniwaki, Quebec. As the storms pressed into southern Quebec small hail, very heavy rain and lots of lightning was observed. I recorded 6.6mm of rain here on L'Ile Perrot, around 0.25" in one of the storms late last evening. The strongest of the thunderstorms missed Montreal moving north and southeast of the city. However the ones that did occur were enough to drop 10mm of rain at the airport and as much as 30-35mm downtown in less than 1 hour causing some flooding.

Strong thunderstorms today
Today a sharp cold front will bring an end to this most recent warm spell as it moves across the St. Lawrence Valley later this afternoon. In advance of the front, gusty southwest winds will reach 60km/h in Montreal with a warm, muggy high of 25C (77F). Thunderstorms will develop by 1pm in southern Quebec as well as New York and Vermont and move northeast across the region. Some of the storms may produce small hail and strong winds up to 100km/h. The weather should clear late tonight or early Wednesday followed by dry but much colder weather for the balance of the week. High temperatures will only be around 15C (59F), with lows of 5C (41F). We may even see a little frost by Friday night in areas away from the city.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Wild Victoria Day weather across the country

Strong winds, rain and snow have made for a miserable holiday weekend in Manitoba. (CTV NEWS Manitoba)
May is often one of the most active weather months of the year as what is left of the winter cold in the Northern Hemisphere battles it out with the advancing warm and humid weather from the deep south. This weekend is a perfect example of that battle and the weather is distributes over North America as the atmosphere tries to balance itself. While southern Quebec is enjoying a peaceful, sun filled long holiday weekend with warm highs over 27C (80F) other portions of the country are not so lucky with wind, frost and even snow.

A strong low pressure area has been splitting the country in half as it moves from Colorado towards James Bay. To the west strong winds and heavy rain and wet snow have been reported from eastern Saskatchewan into northwest Ontario. Winnipeg is reporting snow this morning and a temperature of -1C (30F). Widespread frost was reported in Saskatchewan. Winds have been very strong across Manitoba, in excess of 80km/h with numerous reports of trees and power lines down. The same storm has a cold front trailing from it that will eventually cut through Montreal and the St. Lawrence Valley over the next 36 hours. That front produced lots of severe weather from Texas to the Dakotas on Saturday and again Sunday. Numerous tornadoes and large hail were reported with widespread damage. More strong thunderstorms  are forecast from the Great Lakes to the Midwest today.

A spectacular shot of a tornado near Elmer, Oklahoma on Saturday. Storm chasers caught the storm as it came dangerously close to a field of cows. No injuries were reported despite major damage in Oklahoma. (TVN
Montreal will remain between the Colorado low and a cool marine air mass just to our east on this Victoria Day Monday. We can expect a sunny and warm day with temperatures as warm as 30C (86F) in the southwest St. Lawrence Valley. Highs will be much cooler as you head east and southeast. Tonight the first of two cold fronts will produce showers and thunderstorms with a mild, humid low around 18C (65F). On Tuesday more showers and thunderstorms are forecast as a second cold front moves across Ontario and Quebec. The high Tuesday will be 24C (76F). The balance of the week will see clearing skies but much cooler with daytime highs below normal, only near 17C (63F). Temperatures will begin to warm once again by next weekend.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

A mixed bag of weather for Victoria Day weekend

Gusty thunderstorms on Tuesday produced localized heavy rain (10-20mm) and even small hail as they swept across southern Quebec around 1pm. Winds gusted over 75km/h in Montreal. This storm was moving through St.Laurent (ValeyWX Photo)
After a windy and chilly Wednesday that saw below normal high temperatures of only 15 to 17C (59 to 63F) in southern Quebec, we can expect a much warmer Thursday. High pressure will dominate the weather in southern Quebec through late Friday. It was a chilly start to the day this morning with lows down to 3.8C (38F) here on L'Ile Perrot. A frost advisory was in effect for the St. Lawrence Valley of New York, as well as portions of the Adirondacks, Green Mountains and also eastern Ontario, but there was no frost here at my home on L'Ile Perrot.

The upcoming Victoria Day long weekend is looking just ok. A warm front will produce some showers late Friday into Saturday. Most of Saturday will turn out dry but with plenty of cloud cover. By Sunday warmer and dryer air will be in place. High temperatures will range from 19 to 23C  (66 to 73F) through the remainder of the week. By Sunday we may nudge the temperature up to 24 or 25C (76 to 77F). At this time holiday Monday looks decent, but a rather vigorous cold front will produce showers and perhaps a thunderstorm by late in the day and into the overnight period.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Thunderstorms, snowstorms & tropical storms

Thunderstorms develop over L'Ile Perrot on Saturday, May 9, in the first warm and humid air of the season. 
(ValleyWX Photo)
Update: Monday, May 11 : Cooler weather with much needed rainfall is occurring over southern Quebec this morning. As a result the open fire burn ban has been lifted for now. The temperature has dropped from 26C Sunday around noon to 8C this morning. What a difference a day makes. The previous blog entry is below.

We had a very active weather day across North America Sunday as a strong spring storm moved across the central plains of the US. To the east, warm and humid air fired up thunderstorms from Texas to the Great Lakes, Ontario and southern Quebec. A dangerous outbreak of severe weather with many tornadoes is occurring from Texas into parts of Iowa and South Dakota. Meanwhile to the west, heavy wet snow (over 1 foot) and strong winds with blizzard conditions affected the western Dakotas. Travel was not advised in western South Dakota on Sunday.

Montreal remains on the northern edge of the warm and humid air. We managed to reach 28C (83F) on Saturday before scattered thunderstorms swept the region. As is the fickle nature of thunderstorms, I measured only 0.4mm of rain Saturday on L'Ile Perrot, while Trudeau Airport had 9.8mm. Some areas of the city and Laval has even more as the storms were much stronger in those locations. More storms were expected Sunday as a frontal system sags south into southern Quebec. Sunday was the last really warm day for a week or so as we hit 25C (77F). Cooler air and rain moved in overnight with a raw, chilly and rainy Monday expected with highs only near 10C (50F). On Tuesday more showers and thunderstorms are forecast along a warm front with a high of 23C (73F). Things should clear out by Wednesday.

MAY? A South Dakota DOT camera shows the heavy snow and strong winds over the western Dakotas this morning. Travel is not advised in heavy snow and 50mph winds.
The warmth this week was very sudden and confined mostly to eastern Ontario and southern Quebec as we had some of the warmest temperatures in Canada. On Friday, Montreal recorded a record high of  28.8C (the previous record was 28.7 in 2013), Sherbrooke 28.4C (27.2 in 2007), and St Anicet a scorching 31.2C (29.8 in 2013).

As if all this weather was not enough, an early season tropical storm developed off the South Carolina coast this week and moved into Myrtle Beach early Sunday morning. Tropical storm Ana has 60mph winds as well as 2-4 inches of rainfall to the east of her track. Heavy surf is pounding the North and South Carolina coast this morning as the storm slowly weakens and drifts inland today.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Crazy spring with hot weather for some & snow for others

Another May snowstorm for Edmonton. (Edmonton Journal)
While Montreal and most of eastern Canada finally bask in some spring and summer warmth, it was a far different story across central and northern Alberta. Heavy wet snow fell in Edmonton with as much as 20cm reported. The snow will not last very long as warmer weather is forecast by this weekend. Meanwhile the warm weather continues in Quebec. Strong high pressure will produce sunshine through Friday as it slides southeast of the region. Temperatures are forecast to reach 28 to 30C today and Friday. By the weekend more humid air will arrive as a frontal system moves east from the Great Lakes. It will remain warm and become increasingly muggy with showers and thunderstorms expected through the weekend. Cooler air will arrive next week along with showers. Conditions remain very dry across the entire area with burn bans in effect for Quebec, New York and Vermont. No outdoor burning should be done anywhere in the region as the fire risk remains extreme. Several active fires are burning in Quebec and New York.

The amazing WC-130J Hurricane Hunter aircraft on display in Halifax last weekend. (Kalin Mitchell/CBC)
 Tropical Update
The first tropical system of the season is becoming better organized off the southeast US coast. A United States Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to fly into the system later today, so we should know more on the strength of the low pressure soon. If this storm develops further (winds in excess of 39mph) it would be named Ana. Right now it looks like a rainy and windy weekend for the North and South Carolina coastlines.

Speaking of the Hurricane Hunters they are in the middle of their east coast tour visiting several communities which this year included Halifax, Nova Scotia. The goal is to show the public exactly what they do to help with the all important hurricane forecasts as well as to raise awareness of the risks from these storms. On Saturday, May 2, two aircraft including the mighty WC-130J Hurricane Hunter were at Stanfield International Airport in Halifax. Also on hand were officials from both The US National Hurricane Center and The Canadian Hurricane Center. Over 1100 people stopped by for the open house. I wished so much that I could have attended, but sadly it was not a possibility.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Dry weather leads to a surge in Quebec forest fires

A dry spring in many portions of central and western Quebec has lead to a rapid increase in forest fires. A burn ban remains in effect across all provincial forests. (CBC)

A cold and very dry winter in southwestern Quebec and the rapid onset of warm weather has lead to an increase in forest and brush fires across the entire region. On Monday strong southwest winds gusted close to 80km/h in The St. Lawrence and Richelieu Valley's. The winds combined with very low relative humidity readings, and in many cases human error,  helped produce dozens of brush fires from eastern Ontario into upstate New York and Vermont. Most of the fires were contained thanks to the great work by local firefighters, and damage was limited. The strong winds also toppled some trees in and around Montreal.

The fire threat has been lowered in Quebec today from extreme to very high by SOPFEU. It is expected to remain that way for the balance of this week. An outdoor burning ban remains in effect in all Quebec forests province wide. As of this morning 36 active fires were reported in the province, with a total of 114 so far in 2015. The total land area affected is in excess of 140 hectares (350 acres). Those numbers represent a significant increase from the 10 year average of 84 fires and 72 hectares. A burn ban is also in effect in the entire City of Ottawa.

WARM Weather
On Monday, temperatures soared to 28C (83F) in Montreal, well above the normal of 17C (63F) but short of the record set in 1944 of 30C (86F). Record high temperatures were set in St Anicet at 28C as well as St Hubert. A weak cold front produced about 2mm of rain overnight in Montreal but sunshine has returned today. It will remain sunny for the balance of the work week, with warm highs in the 20's and lows near 12C. By Friday we may even flirt with 30C in Montreal. This means the fire risk will remain very high and no outdoor burning is advised anywhere in the region, including Quebec, Ontario and New England.

Meanwhile the tropics are showing some signs of life with perhaps a system developing off the Florida coast by the end of the week. It is early in the season, but not unheard of for such a storm to develop. If it does it would be Ana, but at this time it has a less than 40% chance of happening.

Monday, 4 May 2015

From winter to summer in one weekend in southern Quebec

(Video from Steve Goyet, TWN & Youtube)

Forget about spring, summer is here. The warmest weather so far in 2015 will surge into Montreal today on gusty southwest winds. Sunshine with a high near 27C (81F) is forecast. Clouds will increase tonight as a cold front approaches the region. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible tonight with a low of 15C (59F). The balance of the week looks fair and warm.

It was a spectacular sunny and warm weekend in Montreal with highs around 26C (79F) both days. The warm and dry weather over the weekend produced numerous dust devils especially Saturday. I witnessed a small one on L'Ile Perrot on Sunday. These tight, rotating columns of air are short lived but can generate winds in excess of 80km/h picking up dust and debris. One whipped up near Lanoraie, northeast of Montreal on Saturday and was captured by Steve Goyet (above).

Today's sunshine and low relative humidity along with southwest winds up to 60km/h will produce ideal weather for brush fires. There are lots of dead leaves and other dry vegetation available as fuels and therefore a special weather statement for an elevated fire risk has been posted. It is in effect for most of the northeast US and New England. While we have no such weather warnings in eastern Ontario or southern Quebec, the exact same conditions prevail. SOPFEU, who monitors forest fires in Quebec has posted a moderate to extreme fire risk for southern Quebec. All outdoor burning should be avoided today.

For more info on dust devils click HERE.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Risk of dust devils today for southern Quebec


SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT has been issued from Environment Canada for the possibility of dust devils in southern Quebec today.

What? Yes you read it right, dust devils. It sounds more like a minor league baseball team as opposed to a weather term, but it is. Late last April I was working outside raking leaves when a rapidly rotating column of dirt and debris went down the street adjacent to my home. It was very visible and  moved quickly with a swoosh, swaying the trees and blasting the street surface with dust and dirt left over from the winter. This was basically a dust devil or thermal. They are rather harmless, but can, in the right conditions, blow over items such as awnings, umbrellas or tents. These rotating columns of air are typically small in nature, no more than 10 to 50 feet wide. They occur just about anywhere but are very common in the southwestern US and desert locations.

They do occur in Montreal, particularly during the spring months. Typically they occur on days like today, strong sunshine, warm and dry. The sun rapidly warms the surface of the earth which causes rolls of air to be displaced. These parcels often get tilted and rotate away. At this time of year there is so much dust and dirt lying around from the winter that is is picked up by the column of air making it visible. They typically last seconds, blowing themselves out. The can reach up to 30 metres (100 feet) in the air and produce winds in excess of 80km/h.

You can read the official statement from Environment Canada HERE.

Other than that, enjoy the sunny, warm weekend as temperatures finally act like May. Highs in southern Quebec will be 22 to 24C (72 to 76F) this weekend with lows of 8 to 10C (48 to 50F). Enjoy!