Jun 9, 2022
I was on an island in cottage country on Saturday May 21st, 2022 when Canada’s first Derecho since 1999 passed over me like a freight train. Fortunately, there were no tornados or downbursts in my immediate vicinity, or in the vicinity of my house in Ottawa.
It was not forecast in advance; there was no inkling that it was coming.
The derecho (straight line winds reaching hurricane strength) toppled trees and caused much damage in a swath extending from the U.S. border near Windsor all the way through the most heavily populated parts of Canada (in southern Ontario and Quebec) to the New England state of Maine.
It hit Sarnia, Ontario at 9:30 am and passed through most major cities in southern Ontario and Quebec before reaching Quebec City at 6:30 pm, traversing a distance of nearly 1000 km (620 miles) in 9 hours, giving an average forward speed of 110 kph (basically Category 1 hurricane wind speeds).
An EF-2 tornado was spun off the derecho in the town of Uxbridge, ON damaging many houses and trees. Downbursts were generated in numerous locations along the derecho path, and one that hit west Ottawa toppled four steel transmission line towers. To topple these towers, the downburst winds reached an estimated speed of 180 to 190 kph.
In this video I examine in detail this Canadian extreme weather event that impacted millions of people on Saturday May 21st (about 900,000 homes lost power, 150,000 in Ottawa alone). Power was out for several weeks for many people in Ottawa, and in rural regions.
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