Wednesday, January 17, 2018

#0635 "Flash Flood"

From Thursday August 7th, 2003 in plein air ...

This is a pair of severe thunderstorms that were on the west side of a huge cold-low trough that was parked over Southern Ontario for the last week of July and most of the first couple of weeks of August, 2003. The low was part of a "Rex" upper block which is the King of all blocks. The cell motion for the storm on the right was slowly from the north following along the extension of the lake breeze from the southeastern shore of Georgian Bay. It was just one of several thunderstorms along this line. The cell to the left was along the Lake Ontario lake breeze and was moving slowly toward the west. They were on a collision course over Mississauga. They were focused by and energized by the lake breezes. This also made them very slow moving and though the precipitable water in the air mass was only about 35 mm, this was enough to make them severe. The outflows from these two thunderstorms collided and caused the new cell to explode in between them.

These storms were heavy rain producers that dropped 100 to 125 mm of rain on Mississauga and neighbouring areas. The result of this amount of rain falling on the paved over landscape was a flash flood. I use the "flash" term loosely to also describe the thunderous nature of these storms which had enough energy to produce almost continuous thunder. They were not predicted.. but the Weather Centre gets really busy with summer convection and it is a huge province with maybe 15 radars in both conventional and Doppler formats. The workload on the severe weather desk gets crazy and that is also when equipment and software gets overloaded and fails. I have seen this first hand...

I viewed these thunderstorms from the paddock behind the barn of Watershed Farm. I had my easel set up and was looking southwest across Brampton to Mississauga at around 6 pm. The anvil of the northern thunderstorm is over the right side of the image while the updraft of the leading Lake Ontario thunderstorm is on the left side. I included a wet microburst for good measure on the thunderstorm to the east. The oils flowed just like the heavy rain. I had fun!.

I had to transform this into a larger format... #636 "Hear the Thunder". I tired very hard to keep the high energy level in the 3x4 foot canvas!
 Click to go to Chadwick Art... Thank you!

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