August 2011 – Warm and wet cont’d

Pollett River at Elgin, NB, 01 Aug 2011         (Dearing photo)

Remember last month in Southeast New Brunswick when warm and wet weather was the rule?

August 2011 had remarkedly similar weather and although it was wetter than normal, it was not quite as wet as July.

Temperatures were not extreme in either direction – the elusive maximum of 30 C was never reached while low temperatures seldom fell below 13 C.

Although August is typically the driest month of summer, this month proved the opposite with rainfall exceeding 13 mm on five separate days.

AUGUST 2011 ALMANAC, Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  23.7 C

Average LOW  13.5 C

AVERAGE  18.6 C (0.7 degrees ABOVE the 30-year average) 

Extreme HIGH  28.2 C  (on the 21st)

Extreme LOW  7.9 C  (on the 24th)

Rainfall  126.8 mm (about 63 percent ABOVE the 30-year average)

(courtesy Environment Canada)

Katia eyeing the Maritimes?

(Courtesy Accuweather.com)

Katia – the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season – is poised to become the next  hurricane to threaten the American East Coast and possibly Atlantic Canada.

After brushing Bermuda during the upcoming Labour Day weekend, current scenarios bring the storm up the Atlantic later next week with a possible eye on the Maritimes.

September and October are typically the busiest months for these types of storms in the North Atlantic.

Irene downgraded entering NB

Tree down, Sackville, NB, 29 Aug 2011 (Dearing photo)

By the time Irene arrived in New Brunswick early this morning, the former hurricane had been downgraded to a post-tropical storm.

The eye of the storm had gotten as close as 70 km northwest of Edmundston as it made its way north from New England to the Gaspe Peninsula and onward to Labrador.

At the storm’s peak, more than 50,000 New Brunswick households had lost power as winds gusting as high as 93 km/h (recorded at Greater Moncton Airport) uprooted trees which brought down power lines around the province.

Most of the rain associated with Irene fell yesterday, with about 20-30 mm in Southeast New Brunswick, and the highest totals at Doaktown and Fredericton with 89 mm reported.

Quebec’s Eastern Townships (left side of storm track which gets mostly rain; right side mostly wind) received the most rain with almost 110 mm at Sherbrooke.

Irene moves north after lashing New York

Bay Shore, NY, USA, 27 Aug 2011 (AP)

New York City appears to have avoided an urban disaster from Hurricane Irene although the storm made landfall early today (630-am AT along the New Jersey coastline) and brought America’s largest city to a halt.

At least 45 deaths are being blamed on Irene along the American East Coast, thousands more have been evacuated from low-lying areas and millions have been left without electricity.

A powerful storm surge flooded streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn including the Coney Island amusement area.

By late morning, Irene had been downgraded to a tropical storm as it headed north over New England on its way to eastern Quebec and northern New Brunswick.

Irene is on her way

Outer Banks North Carolina, USA, 25 Aug 2011 (AP)

Hurricane Irene’s rains began reaching the U.S. East Coast on Friday ahead of a weekend of punishing weather from the Carolinas to as far north as Massachusetts, with at least 65 million people in the storm’s track.

Rain began falling along the coasts of North and South Carolina as Irene trudged toward the coast from the Bahamas.

Swells from the hurricane and 6 to 9-foot waves were showing up in North Carolina’s Outer Banks early Friday and winds were expected to begin picking up later in the day according to the U.S. Weather Service.

Meanwhile, the hurricane warning area now covers an area from North Carolina to just south of New York City.

A hurricane watch extended even farther north and included Long Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, Massachusetts.

The storm is expected to impact New Brunswick early Monday.

Irene pummels Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irene, 22 Aug 2011 (courtesy NOAA)

The first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season has battered the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and has the Dominican Republic next on its list.

Irene, with maximum winds of about 130 km/h, knocked out power to almost half of the island’s residents.

The storm is moving toward the Bahamas on a path that could take it to the U.S. mainland and Florida by week’s end.

The ninth named storm so far this year, Irene is bringing drenching rains with up to 300 mm expected in some areas.

Tornado tears apart Goderich, ON

Devastation Goderich, ON, 22 Aug 2011 (CP photo)

A powerful tornado devastated the Lake Huron town of Goderich, Ontario yesterday – killing one and injuring at least 37 others.

Environment Canada says residents were warned about the twister about 12 minutes before it hit.

A state of emergency has been declared in the community and there is so much destruction in the downtown area, it has been deemed a “no-go” zone.

As a result of winds up to 300 km/h, roofs were ripped off historic buildings, trees were turned into match sticks, cars were tossed around like toys and power lines were pummelled.

This was Ontario’s most powerful tornado in at least 15 years.

Hint of fall – say it isn’t so!

Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, NB, 17 Aug 2011

It seems hard to believe but some trees are already sporting a hint of fall colours.

I spotted the tree above at Fairview Knoll Park in NE Moncton yesterday and I’ve noticed other hints of colour in Lakeville, north of Moncton as well.

After the summer of our discontent, we can only hope that autumn will be a sunny and warm season (which it often is).

Tornado touches down in NW Ontario

Funnel cloud at airport Dryden, ON, 16 Aug 2011 (courtesy Facebook)

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in Northwestern Ontario yesterday after reports of funnel clouds in several communities.

A tornado was spotted near Dryden Airport at 4:30 p.m. (pictured above) and northwest of the Sioux Lookout Airport at 5:40 p.m.

The tornado track was reportedly about 80 kilometres long over a remote area.

No structural damage or injuries have been reported.

Tornado warnings were issued across Northwestern Ontario yesterday as severe weather swept through the region.

Deluge in US Northeast

Flash flooding Staten Island, NY, USA, 14 Aug 2011 (courtesy Accuweather.com)

Rain came down in buckets over the American Northeast on Sunday.

New York’s JFK airport recorded almost 200 mm of rain (7.8 inches) yesterday which is an all-time single day rainfall record.

In other words, forecasters say nearly twice the normal monthly rainfall was delivered in one day.

Just east on the Atlantic Ocean at Lido Beach, New York, more than 275 mm of rain was recorded.

The so-called conveyor belt of wet weather caused flash flooding in New York City, disrupting traffic, buses, flights and even the subway when transit workers were forced to pump water out of the system.

Southern New Jersey was drenched with almost 300 mm of rain and flood watches were posted from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.