Heavy rainfall to kick off summer
A couple look at the horizon standing on a rocky crest filled with astronomical markers at the megalithic observatory Kokino, soon after sunrise, early morning on June 21, 2011 - the day of the Summer solstice. Getty images
Sunny skies and warm temperatures ushered in the official start to summer — at 1:16 p.m. Tuesday, to be exact — but it won’t be long before the weather belies the seasonal stereotype.
Solstice parties, picnics and any other outdoorsy sort of revelling should wrap up by Tuesday night to avoid being rudely interrupted by significant amounts of rainfall.
Environment Canada meteorologist Mark Schuster said that a strong low pressure system and warm front over the upper Midwestern United States will approach the GTA tonight.
“This could be bringing some pretty good showers and thunderstorms beginning late overnight and into tomorrow morning,” said Schuster.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for a large portion of southern Ontario, including the GTA.
Significant amounts of rain, to the tune of 20 to 40 mm, are expected to dampen summer spirits.
Schuster said that the 40 mm range will probably be the exception rather than the rule, but “It is a very juicy air mass, so if any one place in southern Ontario gets a number of thunderstorms, it is possible that they could get more than 50mm.”
The wet weather is expected to last for the next few days and possibly into the beginning of the weekend.
Additional showers and thunderstorms are “likely” beginning Wednesday afternoon, according to Environment Canada.
But, assured Schuster, “It doesn’t look like any one day will be a complete washout. It looks like tomorrow will be the wettest day at this point.”
Schuster said that temperatures will be in the low 20s — a few degrees below normal — for the next few days. Overnight lows are expected to be in the upper teens.
Schuster said that despite the expectation of sun, rain is typical at this time of year.
“It would be more abnormal if it didn’t happen,” he said.
The (slightly tarnished) silver lining is that the severity of these storms is nothing compared to what Ontarians dealt with nearly two weeks ago when over 160,000 households were left without power.
“At this point it looks like the main threat will be the rainfall,” said Schuster.
Galit Rodan, Staff Reporter