Weather Wednesday – July 21st 2011

Hello and welcome to another Weather Wednesday. This week I’m going to talk about July 21st 2011, from my perspective. This is because of the 2011 heatwave and the resulting very hot temperatures which occurred that day here in southern Ontario. To start with, the proceeding days before this very hot day were also hot and humid. There were advisories for high humidity and smog in effect from the beginning of the week up to that point. This was foretold in the extended forecasts that it would be very hot with temperatures around 39 Celsius and 102 °F.
Warning Preparedness Meteorologist for Environment Canada Geoff Coulson puts it this way in my Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter in the 4th issue from August 2012.
“The special heat “warning” issued last year was due to a number of factors…concerns of very high humidex readings, the fact that the event had been going on for a few days and also that Quebec (which has a different system for dealing with heat alerts) had a “high heat warning” in effect…so there was a desire for some form of consistency between Ontario and Quebec. However, the differences between the way Quebec handles these episodes and how we do continues…more work needs to be done on the national stage to develop a more consistent system…as well as developing meaningful criteria that are regionally specific (i.e. different criteria for Windsor than for Winnipeg when it comes to heat / humidity like we currently do for wind chill). This work is ongoing but we are not likely going to see much change for the next few years.” I will have more on this later in this post.
On Thursday July 21st it was indeed very hot but even I wasn’t prepared for the weather warning that was issued around 11 AM. My Weather Radios all went off with a SAME alarm and the sound was as if there was a problem. I actually thought that we were in for another watchdog event. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out previous posts on Weather Wednesday topics. I didn’t clew in to what had happened untill I heard the canned message that a severe weather bulletin was issued. The text said that it was a “weather warning” and this was dew to the high heat and that it had been going on for a few days, prior to this date, with the same warning issued throughout most, if not all of Ontario. There were also severe thunderstoorms which had developed in parts of the province and combined with this weather warning it was a very interesting day.
I had decided to take a short trip up north to Barrie because i could. The only upset I had was that my bus was a half an hour late but everything else went off without a hitch. I even stopped in at my local convenience store and they even had to keep all the chocolate bars refrigerated because of the high heat from outside.
It also resulted in meeting someone on my Ham Radio, who is just as passionate about Weather Radio as I am and we actually met in person the following Wednesday in Barrie. All and all it was a typical day, despite how hot it actually felt outside. I actually didn’t mind it outside; it’s when you are indoors it becomes a real nuisance, if you don’t have air conditioning. Unfortunately, I do not have air conditioning at this time.
As of April 8th 2014 some of the warnings have been changed to advisories and some advisories have been changed in favour of warnings. The new heat and cold warnings are an example of this and I have a feeling that the 2011 heatwave and that generic weather warning for Ontario must have played a part in making the change. I don’t know but that is my theory.
Well, that’s it for this weeks post. If you have any comments you can reply here or email me at and I will get back to you.
Also, for more weather stuff you can subscribe to my Weather Radio Listeners Newsletter mailing list by emailing me at the address above. I will send you all the issues so far and you will receive the next issue, when it comes out.
Another blog you may want to follow alongside this one is from Phil Chadwick. He is a retired meteorologist from Environment Canada and his specialty was severe weather. Here is the url.
Check it out if you are a weather nut. He has stuff in there that I didn’t even know. Well, after all, he did work for Environment Canada for many years and he retired in 2011.


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