Ontario Weather Review - October 2006
October may be the first full month of fall, but Old Man Winter struck hard and early. Some Ontario communities are still reeling from the one-two punch they experienced that month.
On October 12, the snow started falling in Fort Erie and didn't stop until 30 centimetres had been dumped in that one day. Not only was this a single-day record for snowfall for October for Fort Erie, it was also a monthly record there for October. The other noteworthy snowfall was in North Bay. Their snowfall season also started on October 12, but it continued for two more days, resulting in a total accumulation of 38.3 centimetres. This was the earliest a snowfall of this magnitude had ever been recorded there, but to top it off the snow continued to pummel North Bay. The last weekend of the month, another 33 centimetres was recorded. The first snowfall alone almost broke the previous monthly record amount for North Bay, but with all the additional snow the records have been rewritten a few times over. As well, during the last two days of the month, a disturbance over Northwestern Ontario dumped enough snow on Red Lake to surpass its previous snowfall record for October, set in 2001.
Rainfall also was noteworthy in October. Locations in southern and eastern Ontario received so much rain that the previous rainfall records set back in 1954, with Hurricane Hazel, and in 1955, with Hurricane Katie, were threatened. October 2006 was the second wettest October ever for Trenton, North Bay and Wiarton, the third wettest ever in London and the fourth wettest historically in Toronto.
Despite perceptions that October was a cold month, temperatures were generally near normal or slightly below normal across the province. The month felt colder due to the fact that gusty winds often accompanied the below-normal temperatures.
In many locations, it felt like Mother Nature decided to skip a month and head right into November. As was mentioned above, unprecedented amounts of lake-effect snow caused major disruptions to communities along the southern tier of the Niagara Peninsula from the afternoon hours of October 12 into midday on October 13. The unseasonably cold air that moved over Lake Erie and caused the historic snowfall amounts to portions of the Niagara Peninsula was driven southward by a large low pressure system north of Lake Superior. This large low pressure system entered the province from Manitoba on October 10 and continued to spin over areas to the north of Lake Nipigon until October 14, when it finally moved off to the northeast. Snow fell fairly steadily from October 10-14 over communities to the north of Lake Nipigon in association with this low.
Another intense low pressure system moved through Southern and Central Ontario on October 28, bringing with it heavy, wet snow to locations in the Parry Sound district, portions of Algonquin Park and northward into the Sudbury and North Bay areas. Gusty west-to-northwest winds followed on the heels of this low pressure system for a good portion of October 29, causing downed trees and some power disruptions to portions of Southern Ontario. A number of locations experienced wind gusts in the 70-90 kilometres-per-hour range.
Work has also been continuing in the studies of the two major summer severe weather events in Ontario this past summer, the storms of July 17 and August 2. Further review of eyewitness accounts, damage photographs and radar imagery has led to the confirmation of a 10th tornado on August 2 in the Myers Cave area, to the east of Cloyne, in Eastern Ontario. This brings the total number of tornadoes this season in Ontario to 19. During an average season, Ontario experiences 14 tornadoes.
Unusual precipitation readings (in millimetres):
Record snowfall readings (in centimetres):