Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Epic flooding in the Carolinas - rain on the way for Montreal

The weather has been rather quiet in Montreal with partly cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures. A large area of high pressure over central Quebec has deflected any storm activity well to our south and east including hurricane Joaquin. Sunshine will prevail again on Thursday with temperatures a little cooler than they have been of late. There is even a risk of frost away from the St. Lawrence Valley, particularly across the lower Laurentians. The low is expected to be near 2C (36F) with highs around 13C (55F). Our extended period of dry weather will end Friday as low pressure moves into the region with widespread rain. At this time it looks like 15-25mm of rain will fall through Friday evening. Skies will clear out for the weekend with temperatures near normal.

Historic flooding from last weekend in South Carolina. (Charleston Post Courier Photo)
The clean up continues in South Carolina after epic rainfall last weekend. Some locations recorded 1000 year rain events with as much as 27 inches (over 685mm) of rain in less than 5 days. That amounts to nearly an entire years worth of rainfall here in Montreal where the annual average is 784mm. The rain destroyed homes and washed away roads including a portion of Interstate 95 as well as infrastructure, claiming at least 17 lives. Flooding was also reported in North Carolina and in coastal communities from Georgia to Maine. The heavy surf and coastal flooding was caused in part by hurricane Joaquin passing well offshore. The heavy rain was the result of an upper level low over the southeast US and a persistent ribbon of moisture moving inland from the tropical Atlantic. Many rivers remain above flood stage with more damage expected in the coming days. Evacuations have been ordered in many areas with as many as 13 dams failing so far in South Carolina. Damage is expected to be in the billions of dollars.

While Montreal has had no rain so far in October, portions of the east coast were inundated.

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