The wild weather in Canada is showing absolutely no signs of coming to an end this week, as Ontario experienced extremely strong winds and heavy rain and Quebec was hit with significant thunderstorms on Thursday night. In fact, in parts of Quebec, the weather was so severe that Environment Canada has confirmed it was likely an EF-1 tornado that hit the Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan area during the awful Thursday night storms in the province.
After surveying the aftermath of the storm on Friday morning, Environment Canada has confirmed that the considerable damage seen in the north of Montréal was not due to a thunderstorm alone, but due to an EF-1 tornado. In particular, Environment Canada studied a heavily-affected campground in Saint-Roch-de-l'Achigan, approximately 50 kilometres north of Montréal, where they believed winds of up to 175km/h touched down during the night.
It will be a busy afternoon for residents of southern Quebec on Friday, as local people attempt to clean up the aftermath of Thursday night’s stormy weather.
The thunderstorm is believed to have knocked out power for a number of hours, as Hydro-Québec reported over 105,000 customers were without power, with more than 17,000 of those in the city of Montreal alone. There were also reports of disrupted flights, as well as significant damage to property and trees, as the storm ripped through parts of the province.
According to the Weather Network, it was the combination of high heat and humidity, building during the week, that caused the strong thunderstorms to develop on Thursday night in southern Quebec. Environment Canada alerted the province to the likelihood of bad weather from as early as Thursday morning, and storm warnings increased in severity as the day went on.
Unfortunately for people in Quebec, this is not the end of the terrible weather, as Saturday is expected to bring in further thunderstorms to the region, with heavy rain and strong winds looking likely for the already-impacted areas.
The Weather Network reports that “a cold front tracking across the province through Friday will trigger some isolated thunderstorms along the St. Lawrence and towards the Eastern Townships through the mid afternoon hours.” By Saturday, the active weather is expected to shift across to the western part of the province.
Weather Network meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg believes that "Thunderstorms will initiate through the afternoon hours from Mont-Laurier to Gatineau and westward."
Sonnenburg also notes that while most storms in the province are expected to be non-severe, isolated pockets of stronger storm dynamics could create severe storms with strong winds, hail and heavy rain.
Hold tight, Quebec! It's going to be a wild, windy weekend!
Disclaimer: Cover photo is used for illustrative purposes only.