Chris Scott, meteorologist
Epic rainfall amounts that washed out roads and bridges, and flooded houses. Powerful winds that damaged roofs, downed trees and power lines, and smashed windshields. That is the story of Hurricane Igorís hit on eastern Newfoundland.
Many residents of the Burin, Bonavista and Avalon Peninsulas are calling this one of the worst storms in recent memory and thatís saying a lot in a part of the country which is used to powerful storms.
As a single weather event, Hurricane Igor is easily the biggest storm to affect Canada so far in 2010.
Many locations in the Prairies were hit with round after round of heavy rain this spring and summer, and individual severe storms included a massive hailstorm in Calgary, an F3 tornado near Raymore and widespread flooding in Yorkton. Leamington and Midland in Ontario were hit by tornadoes.
But the scale of damage wrought by Igor is the worst weíve seen this year. Hurricane Igor was actually a combination of two distinct weather systems that combined in just the right way to produce a powerful post-tropical storm, essentially a noríeaster on steroids.
Igor began losing its core of strongest winds that defines a hurricane late Monday.
Normally, a storm like this would weaken moving into Newfoundland. But Igor merged with a dip in the jet stream (what meteorologists call an upper-trough), and with an infusion of cold air around the west side of the storm, became an extremely powerful post-tropical storm with hurricane force wind gusts over a much wider area than is typical for a hurricane.
The cold front that stalled over Newfoundland in advance of Igor provided the perfect focus for heavy rain well in advance of the storm centre. This is what helped to produce the epic rainfall amounts of 200+ mm in one day.
This was not just a hurricane, and it was not just a noríeaster. Igor was a hybrid storm or maybe you could call it a cyborg storm, as it hammered Newfoundland.
Weather is complicated, powerful, and humbling and sometimes a given storm doesnít fit neatly into a textbook definition. But the science doesnít matter a whole lot to people affected by the storm.
To many Newfoundlanders, the name Igor will be forever defined in a very real and personal way.