Add a location
Edit your saved locations

Fall storm blasts Ontario, Quebec

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer
October 20, 2011 — A large fall storm brought record rainfall to parts of Ontario. Damaging winds were also reported.

The storm broke rainfall records in parts of Ontario
The storm broke rainfall records in parts of Ontario

A large system that pushed in from the U.S. drenched parts of Ontario Wednesday night, causing power outages, downed trees and localized flooding.

On Toronto Island, winds reached up to 80 km/h. Lightning strikes were also reported throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Hydro One was busy restoring service to almost 15,000 customers across southern and central Ontario. Hamilton had reported 59.8 mm of rain on Wednesday, smashing the previous daily record of 13.8 mm set in 1994.

Through the overnight hours the rain continued to fall, bringing Hamilton's two-day total up to 79 mm. Toronto's Pearson International Airport also set a new record on Wednesday with 34.2 mm of rainfall in one day - doubling the old record of 16.2 mm. More than 50 mm has now fallen in total.

Meteorologist Mark Robinson was in the thick of the storm on Wednesday. He reported high waves along Lake Ontario's shores in Burlington.

“This does represent what a hurricane would look like in southern Ontario,” Robinson told The Weather Network. “But a hurricane is a different beast than this. This is a very strong, low pressure system. We don't get the extremely fast winds you'd see in a hurricane, but we do end up with lots of rain, water and flooding.”

Some light drizzle continued throughout the day in Ontario Thursday, but in most cases the worst had already passed. Heavy rain also soaked parts of Quebec. On Thursday, a wind gust near 100 km/h was recorded in Quebec City.

The storm also lashed parts of Atlantic Canada.

Winds kicked up waves on the shores of Lake Ontario Wednesday
Winds kicked up waves on the shores of Lake Ontario Wednesday

Intense wind and rain events lasting several days are common at this time of year, says Diar Hassan, another meteorologist at The Weather Network.

“It's because the contrast in temperature between the two air masses, north and south, is quite prominent,” he explained. “When those two air masses collide with each other, we can see intensification of the systems. This is typical fall weather,” he added.

Another common phenomenon at this time of year, especially in Ontario, is lake-effect showers. As cold winds pass over the warm waters of the Great Lakes, they can produce heavy showers along the shorelines.

Driving can be difficult in this kind of weather. The right tires on your vehicle can help you avoid hydroplaning.

It's also a good idea to take the necessary steps to avoid basement flooding.

For a closer look at the weather forecast, be sure to check our Canadian Cities Index.

With files from Cheryl Santa Maria

Sign in or Sign up to submit a comment.


Take your weather with you, no matter where you go.

Get instant forecasts and alerts, right on your computer.

  • RSS & Data
Add weather updates to your website or RSS reader.