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Hurricane Ike

Ike hits Texas. Heavy rain on the way for Southern Ontario.

The 3D radar image above shows the large eye of Hurricane Ike prior to making landfall in Galveston, Texas early Saturday morning. Hurricane force wind gusts have been common across the Houston metropolitan area leaving millions of people without power.

Although Ike made landfall as a category 2 hurricane and did not intensify into a major hurricane (category 3 or above on a scale of 1 to 5), its unusually large size caused a significant storm surge from Galveston Bay through Port Arthur, Texas and into southwest Louisiana. As Ike moves inland today, its winds will slowly decrease and heavy rain will become the primary threat, especially by Sunday.

Ike will begin to bend to the northeast later today, and eventually be picked up by the fast moving jet stream winds dropping down through the western U.S. The key to the forecast for Central and Eastern Canada lies in a vigorous jet stream disturbance which tracked through Southern Alberta on Friday. This disturbance will capture Ike's moisture later today and direct a swath of heavy rain into Southern Ontario and Quebec later Sunday. In advance of Ike's rainfall, a separate area of low pressure will bring rain across Southern Ontario Saturday through Saturday night, meaning that rainfall totals by Monday morning could be 50 to 100 mm in the hardest hit areas. Localized flooding is possible, especially if rainfall totals exceed 75 mm. The exact amounts will be refined by The Weather Network's forecast team throughout the weekend as Ike's remnants move northeast.

Atlantic Canada may see rainfall from the remnants of Ike, but the threat for heavy rain is highest for areas farther west across the Great Lakes basin. Ike will not be a hurricane by the time it affects Canada, but will bring a significant amount of moisture. Wind does not appear to be a great threat at this point, but relatively stormy conditions for mid-September are expected, especially Sunday night. Check your local forecast for expected rainfall amounts in your neighbourhood.

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