John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A sluggish and mean horde of storms on Monday evening put cars underwater in Ontario.
Calgary is just starting to dry out from its worst flooding in decades, and now it looks like it's Toronto's turn under nature's all-powerful tap.
What's basically a waterfall pouring out of swollen storm clouds has mired parts of the city in several feet of dirty water. As of 8:03 p.m. EDT, Canada's weather agency had Toronto under a severe-thunderstorm warning for "torrential downpours that have been producing significant flash flooding in the regions." Almost 4 inches of rain is forecast to fall on the city by the time these sluggish storms mosey along tonight, and it's all flowing toward low-lying areas and causing commuter migraines like this:
And to a lesser degree, this:
Dogs seem to be digging it, though:
Flash floods and the resulting power outages have shut down sections of the subway system and caused mass cancellations and delays at airports. A U.S. satellite operated by NASA/NOAA snapped this image of the low-pressure system swirling over the region Monday night:
And a lightning map produced by the Canadian government peers inside those clouds, showing plenty of strikes in the country and a lot around Toronto:
Here's what the locals are saying:
94mm of rain at Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport. That makes it the 4th wettest day in history! #onstorm— Rob Davis (@RobDavis_Wx) July 8, 2013