Remarkably, This Isn’t a Painting

Montréal on June 29, 2010

Photo credit: Denis Sobolj to

The weather here in Montréal last Monday was at once a frightening and beautiful sight to behold. This image, submitted to by Denis Sobolj (click on the image to go to the story at CBC News), doesn’t look real in some ways, yet it is. The best comment someone left on the CBC site, although possibly animated by anti-French sentiment, went along the lines that this cloud was looking for Kansas, but since all the signs around here are in French, it got lost.

Several funnel clouds were spotted and at least two touched ground on the West Island as F0 tornadoes — the weakest kind. And Tornwordo, who lives east in HoMa, posted another remarkable photo he took Monday afternoon (though it looks like evening). But here in Snowdon (or Uptown, or Upper Westmount, or whatever you want to call it), it wasn’t quite as dramatic in the afternoon, although it certainly rained heavily at one point.

I was working and did have to turn the light on, but clearly it was nothing like what nearby places in the area witnessed. Shortly after suppertime, however, things did take a rather dramatic turn. I was even compelled to step outside to the front of my building for a better look, and the rapidly moving whispy clouds under the solid dark blue black cloud rendered everything as surreal as on the image above. When it started to rain, I thought it best to get the heck back inside …just in case.

The Montréal area is no stranger to such wild weather we normally associate to the American tornado alley, although thankfully not as destructive. Two years ago, there was this waterspout in the St. Lawrence River, adjacent to the east end. And I remember some pretty nasty storms with tornadoes passing through and touching down in the suburbs early last summer.

After an overall cool and wet month of June here, about which I’m not complaining because we desperately needed the moisture, we’re about to start a typical continental summer hot spell in the coming days. It makes me wonder if it’ll also bring high humidity and the risk of more violent storms.

{4} Thoughts on “Remarkably, This Isn’t a Painting

  1. What a great photo. I love storms. Not necessarily destructive tornadoes or hurricanes, mind you. But I do love the sight of towering clouds that some storm cells can produce and the way sunlight can illuminate them. And I love the winds and rain.

    Las Vegas can be rather dull when it comes to weather. We have mostly sunny blue skies and it’s hot. That’s it. I know, what a dilemma, right? If it actually does rain here it’s a newsworthy sensation.

    On the other hand, we’re pretty lucky. We don’t have to deal with any kind of natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes and the like. So I guess being dull can be good thing in this case.

    In any case…Happy Canada Day! 🙂

  2. I know, I thought that pic was quite dramatic as well. And yeah, isn’t it annoying how on some days at, people seem compelled to comment negatively and off-topic about things that happen in Quebec.

  3. OMG, don’t get me going on that, Mark! But it’s not just about Quebec, though. Sometimes I walk away feeling that the majority of those who comment are certifiable knuckle draggers. It’s all black or all white for some people; no shade of grey. Bizarre!

  4. Really strange how it was so intense for us. There were two storms, the first was really localized on our side of the island and in the west island. The second, later line of storms came through an hour or two after. It got so dark here that all the street lights were triggered on. Very cool. I was in California when that waterspout was recorded so I missed it.

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