Updates from February, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:46 on 2013/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal said at noon Sunday that 20% of the snow from the recent storm had been cleared away. Is it possible the city was hit very unevenly by that snowfall? My neighbourhood didn’t see that much snow – I was able to clear my steps with a broom – but Sunday I had errands in several other parts of town and there seemed to be a lot more snow in some spots, not even too far away.

    Monday could see more snow and, as the temperature rises, freezing rain later in the day.

    • Kevin 07:41 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Welcome to the wonderful world of microclimates!
      The mountain — slight as it is — can have a significant effect on precipitation. I think it’s more noticeable in the summer, when it can be nice throughout the day in St. Laurent/NDG – but go downtown or toward Old Montreal and it’s raining so hard the sewers are exploding.

    • Ian 08:40 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      The mountain actually affects weather quite a bit – as storms move in across the water (we’re on an island remember) the air is cooler, but as they hit the warmer updraft of the mountain, storms cleave apart. This is why Laval and the South Shore get way more lightning storms in the summer than the Island of Montreal. I actually saw one storm this summer from my office building near Vendome, coming in from the west. The sky was turning green and starting to swirl but as soon as the cloud hit the mountain the storm visibly broke up into loose pockets of heavy rain instead.

      FWIW the temperatures shift a fair bit depending on what side of the mountain you’re on, leeward is always a bit warmer, sometimes significantly. I like to use more specific weathersites like weatherspark or wunderground that let you choose your reporting station – I find the readings from McTavish station are often significantly different than the CYUL station the Weather Network & CBC use.

    • carswell 13:06 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      There’s a reason why the northwest side of the mountain is called Côte-des-Neiges.

      I live near the UdeM metro station and have lost count of the number of times I’ve entered the metro in a drizzly grey downtown only to emerge 20 minutes later to a snow-covered winterscape. Elevation probably has something to do with it. If I remember correctly from my mountaineering days, surface air temperature drops around 6ºC per 1000-m gain in altitude. The Old Port is at sea level while Mount Royal tops out at 233 m. (Of course, there are plenty of other factors at play.)

      The mountain also casts a significant weather shadow. On the afternoon of July 14, 1987, I was preparing to join a colleague in his office downtown to work on big job with a looming deadline when the infamous thunderstorm hit, knocking out power, flooding the Décarie, stopping bus and metro service. An hour or so later, I got a call from my perturbed colleague: Where the hell was I? I explained about the storm. He was incredulous and insisted I come down. I hopped on my bike and pedaled through upper Outremont, marveling at the roofs ripped off mansions and dismounting from time to time to portage my bike over the downed trees blocking Mont-Royal Ave. or ford the torrents of water, mud and rocks streaming down the northeast side of the mountain. Yet once I got to the Cartier monument, it was as though nothing worse than a summer shower had happened.

    • Kate 19:53 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      Carswell, that’s wacky. I posted this to Facebook recently after the McTavish flood reminded me of that day: “I had to get from the Plateau to my job on Ste-Catherine at Mackay at 4, and the metro had been shut down so I took the 144 bus. Torrents of runoff were rushing out of Mount Royal park, leaving great gouges in the ground that were there for years afterwards. Then I had to get off the bus and walk down Côte-des-Neiges with water swirling around above my knees. It was summertime though, I was wearing sandals and didn’t care. Got to work totally soaked to the skin. A few hours later the city looked cleaner than I’ve ever seen it.” But I remember everything being affected that day – the very fact the metro had to shut down was evidence the storm was ferocious.

    • carswell 21:36 on 2013/02/11 Permalink

      The fact that the 144 was still in operation may support the rain shadow thesis, Kate. The 51 (Édouard-Montpetit) and 165 (Côte-des-Neiges), both of which run north of the mountain, were out of commission. I tried taking both, decided the city had ground to a halt and returned home. (As I recall, the main problem with the 165 was the flooding of the underpass on CDN just south of Jean-Talon, which took the better part of 24 hours to sort out.) My colleague’s office was located fairly high up in a tower at Sherbrooke and University, with a view over the mountain. His impression was that it had been a typical thunderstorm and basically accused me of an inventing an excuse not to come in to work. In his defence, there was no visible damage on the ride from the Cartier monument down Hutchison and west on Sherbrooke — again maybe due to the rain shadow. Still, a few days later, after the newspapers were full of pictures and reports and it was clear that Jean Doré had put his foot in it, he called to apologize.

  • Kate 21:40 on 2013/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    A group supporting Idle No More did a peaceable walk through downtown Sunday, pondering various spots important to the history of the interaction between white and first nations people

  • Kate 21:34 on 2013/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Some amusing thoughts on Joe Borsellino’s everything is truqué remark (and get a load of that Gazette URL, do you think they have a problem with accented characters?).

    The CBC had a more sober look back at Borsellino’s testimony, with some samples of his roundabout style of explanation. “If I said bateau, I said bateau. Does it mean it’s a bateau?” (The Gazette item says the bateau belonged to Tony Tomassi, but I’m pretty sure the boat in this story is bound to be Tony Accurso’s famous yacht.) More severely, Brian Myles dissects the man who memorably said je ne m’en remember pas.

  • Kate 17:31 on 2013/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Tickets to Canadiens games have been one of the things repeatedly mentioned as bribes at the Charbonneau commission; the team says it knows tickets are highly valued here but that it can’t possibly control how every ticket is circulated after it’s bought.

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