Tornadoes tear through Ottawa

Damage from a tornado in west end Ottawa, ON, 22 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Environment Canada has confirmed two powerful tornadoes ripped through west end Ottawa before touching down again in Gatineau across the Ottawa River.

Officials say dozens were hurt and at least two residents are in hospital with critical injuries.

Tens of thousands were left without power after at least 80 utility poles either snapped or were damaged.

Meteorologists say severe thunderstorms spawned one twister classified as an EF-3 with winds up to 265 km/h while another tornado was an EF-2 with winds up to 220 km/h.

Tornadoes are not uncommon in Southern Ontario but storms of this strength are rare.

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Strong winds cause destruction in Eastern Canada

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Tree falls near school bus in Mississauga, Ontario, 04 May 2018 (Twitter/Peel Regional Police)

A rapidly deepening low pressure system created strong winds gusting to hurricane-strength across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec on Friday knocking down trees and power lines causing massive outages.

Three people were killed by fallen trees and a school bus filled with children in Mississauga had a near miss.

Toronto Pearson Airport had a maximum wind gust of 119 km/h while Montreal Trudeau Airport recorded 117 km/h – both are the windiest days ever in May.

Winds were also powerful on Saturday in Greater Moncton with a wind gust of 100 km/h – the strongest since January.

Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Active weather across Eastern Canada

WxWarnings

Courtesy Environment Canada, 04 April 2018

Weather warnings are covering Southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada as a strong low pressure system brings strong winds, heavy rain, snow and freezing rain.

Sudbury picked up 29 cm of snow, four hours of freezing rain fell in Ottawa and Toronto Billy Bishop Airport had a peak wind gust of 98 km/h.

Southeast New Brunswick is the only part of the province not under a weather warning.

Northern New Brunswick could receive 30 cm of snow from this system while central and southwestern portions are under a rainfall warning with up to 35 mm possible.

Ontario heat!

It felt more like mid-spring than late winter across Southern Ontario today.

A mild air mass combined with strengthening February sunshine to set new record highs in the region.

Environment Canada reports April-like maximums for 28 February:

  • Sarnia,  16.8 C, old record 15.1 C from 2016
  • Toronto Pearson Airport,  16.2 C, old record 14.0 C from 2016
  • Windsor,  16.1 C, old record 13.6 C from 2017
  • London,  15.1 C, old record 14.2 C from 2016
  • Kitchener-Waterloo,  15.0 C, old record 12.4 C from 2016

Winter solstice marks shortest day

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Map courtesy Brian Brettschneider (Twitter)


Greater Moncton experienced its shortest day of the year with 8 hours and 37 minutes of daylight.

The winter solstice occurred at 12:28pm in New Brunswick marking the point where the direct rays of the sun begin moving north from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Equator.

As the above map shows, most of the Maritimes, Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario have between 8.5 and 9 hours of daylight on this date.

North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise at all today.

Nate makes U.S. landfall twice

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Canadian Hurricane Centre image, 12PM ADT, 08 Oct 2017 (EC)


After striking land in Louisiana and later in Mississippi early today, Hurricane Nate has weakened to a tropical storm as it heads inland over the Southeastern United States.

Sustained winds of 140 km/h had dropped to 70 km/h after landfall but storm surges caused flooding along the Gulf coast and more than 200 mm of rain could fall in some areas.

Nate originated in the southwestern Caribbean Sea and claimed more than 30 lives in Central America before moving northward.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued a tropical cyclone statement for Southern Ontario with remnants of the storm expected to bring up to 40 mm of rain on Thanksgiving Day.

Record highs in Eastern Canada

What a difference in one week in downtown Fredericton, 23 Feb 2017 (Facebook)

The weather has been relatively calm lately in New Brunswick and the Maritimes which has been a welcome relief after a string of winter storms earlier this month.

Mild air has pushed into the region which set several record highs yesterday both here and in Southern Ontario.

The Greater Moncton International Airport reached 10 C and it was the warmest temperature since 18 December – just shy of the record of 13.2 from 1981.

But some weather stations in the Moncton area climbed as high as 13 C.

New record highs for 23 February:

Kouchibouguac Nat’l Park 12.4 C

Woodstock, NB 11.9 C

Bathurst 10.5 C

Windsor, ON 19.3 C

London, ON 18.3 C

Toronto Pearson Airport 17.7 C

Consistent snow totals across Maritimes

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Halifax Transit bus during a snowstorm, Halifax, NS, 12 Dec 2016 (Twitter)

The cleanup was underway across the Maritimes today after a Colorado Low dropped about 15-25 cm of snow – the same storm delivered similar amounts across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec yesterday.

The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia also saw a changeover to rain where temperatures climbed above freezing.

Here are some snow totals in the region:

Saint John  26 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport  22

Greater Moncton Airport  19

Sydney  18

Charlottetown  14

Yarmouth  13

Fredericton 11

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Second major snowstorm of season

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A low pressure system passed over the Bay of Fundy today bringing the second major snowstorm of the season with at least 20 cm for Southeast New Brunswick.

Schools closed, flights were cancelled at the Greater Moncton International Airport and several car crashes reported as road conditions worsened throughout the day.

Precipitation started as snow in Nova Scotia but later changed to freezing rain and then to rain as temperatures climbed above freezing.

The same Colorado Low impacted Southern Ontario earlier today delivering 15-30 cm snow from Windsor to Ottawa including the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Quebec including Montreal and Quebec City.