A tornado Touched Down in Stayner

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado touched down in Stayner on Monday afternoon.

 

“A tornado touched down near Stayner, Ontario on Monday afternoon at around 4 p.m., resulting in damage that included uprooted trees and an overturned trailer,” the weather agency said in a statement.

 

Investigators with the national weather service say a tornado ranging in strength between EF-0 and EF-1 touched down. A number of trees were uprooted and a trailer was flipped over due to strong winds. Investigators are still tallying the data and are still trying to narrow down on the exact strength of the tornado.

 

A downburst is believed to be the cause of storm damage in the Collingwood area. The roof of Mr. Transmission was torn off. The roof landed on several parked vehicles, but no injuries are reported. A number of other buildings, trees and power lines were also damaged.

 

 

In addition to the powerful winds, which gusted over 100 km/h in some places, large hail and heavy rain accompanied the storms. Flash flooding hit the Barrie area forced some drivers to abandon their cars and head for higher ground as water levels rose and windshield wipers struggled to keep up.

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Spectacular Supermoon This Weekend

sky-clouds-moon-horizon

 

Don’t forget to look up this weekend.

 

Two lunar events, a supermoon and a hunter’s moon, will occur simultaneously Oct. 15 and 16, making for a particularly bright and beautiful night sky.

 

A supermoon is a colloquial term for when a full moon makes its closest approach to the Earth and appears slightly larger and brighter than normal.

 

This weekend’s supermoon will coincide with a hunter’s moon, or October’s full moon, which rises earlier in the evening.

 

The best time to see the large moon will be at sunset, when the moon first appears over the horizon. Looking out to the east, you should see a beautiful moon reddish in colour because you’re looking at it through a lot of the Earth’s atmosphere.

 

This is the first of three “Super Full Moons” that we will see this season. The next two super full moons will be November 14 and December 14.

Get more info at cbc.ca.

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The Niagara Escarpment – A Biosphere Reserve

niagara escarpment

 

The Niagara Escarpment is the prominent topographical feature of South Georgian Bay. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) named Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment a biosphere reserve in February, 1990. The Niagara Escarpment is one of only 16 biosphere reserves in Canada, and is part of a network of 610 reserves in 117 countries.

 

The Niagara Escarpment, in its Ontario portion, is 725 km long, covering 1923 km2, with a maximum height of 335 m. An escarpment may be defined as a steep rock face of great length formed by an abrupt termination of strata. The Niagara Escarpment adds a unique visual quality to Ontario’s landscape as it crosses the province from Queenston, on the Niagara River, through Hamilton, Milton, Orangeville, Collingwood, Owen Sound and Tobermory to Manitoulin Island and St Joseph Island. It reaches its highest point in South Georgian Bay at Osler Bluffs. The UNESCO designation recognizes the Niagara Escarpment as an internationally significant ecosystem for its special environment and unique environmental plan.

 

To obtain UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation, regions must actively foster economic and human development that are socioculturally and ecologically sustainable, contribute to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity, and provide support for research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global conservation and land management. They are also beginning to focus on social enterprise, and strengthening their collaborations with indigenous peoples.

 

UNESCO biosphere reserves are dedicated to balancing economic growth with conservation. They are learning sites that offer leadership in their regions by striving to balance the health of natural systems with the needs of growing communities. Biosphere reserves strive to conserve the diversity of plants, animals and micro-organisms which make up our living “biosphere” and maintain healthy natural systems while, at the same time, meeting the material needs and aspirations of an increasing number of people.

 

Far more than just sustainably managed places to live, biosphere reserves serve to support deliberation, dialogue, learning through reflection, knowledge sharing, evaluation and feedback among multiple participants on numerous levels: not only within the biosphere reserves themselves, but across Canada and internationally. In this sense, the biosphere reserve network is a community of practice across a multi-level, multi-partner, international network.

 

Canada’s 16 biosphere reserves share resources and best practices through the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA).

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Potential Amped Up Auroras This Week in our Skies

aurora

 

As it stands now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center is forecasting a possible G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm for Oct 13 and 14.

 

A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas, and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere. The solar wind conditions that are effective for creating geomagnetic storms are sustained (for several to many hours) periods of high-speed solar wind, and most importantly, a southward directed solar wind magnetic field (opposite the direction of Earth’s field) at the dayside of the magnetosphere. This condition is effective for transferring energy from the solar wind into Earth’s magnetosphere.

 

The largest storms that result from these conditions are associated with solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) where a billion tons or so of plasma from the sun, with its embedded magnetic field, arrives at Earth.

 

This string of space weather occurrences this week may lead to some beautiful aurora displays.

 

g1_watch-13-14oct16

 

Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/phenomena/geomagnetic-storms

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Old Farmer’s Almanac Predictions for 2017

farmers-almanac

 

The famous Old Farmer’s Almanac weather predictions (traditionally 80% accurate) are made 18 months in advance, and meant to help you make more informed decisions for long-term planning.

 

Weather Predictions for Southern Ontario

 

October 2016: temperature 13°C (4°C above avg.); precipitation 65mm (avg.)
Oct 1-6: A few showers, cool
Oct 7-19: Several showers, warm
Oct 20-24: Sunny, warm
Oct 25-31: Showers, then flurries, turning cold

 

Annual Weather Summary: November 2016 to October 2017

 

Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will be in early to mid-January, late January, and late February, with the snowiest periods in mid- and late December, early January, and mid-February. April and May will be drier than normal, with near-normal temperatures.

 

Summer 2017 will be cooler than normal, with rainfall above normal, except in eastern Ontario. The hottest periods will be in mid-July and mid-August.

 

September and October 2017 will be cooler than normal, with near-normal precipitation.

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Labour Day Weekend Excursions

 

End Your Summer with a Visit to One of Collingwood and Blue Mountain Area Attractions

 
It’s not too late to get out and enjoy the fabulous sunshine and warm temperatures this weekend. Whether you’re interested in food, culture, wildlife or history, the area’s parks, trails and other tourist attractions have something for everyone this long weekend.

 

Plan a Labour Day picnic or barbecue using fresh, local ingredients purchased from the Farm to Table Market, Collingwood’s local and organic grocery store.

 

Encounter hundreds of species of plants and explore the caves and crevasses at Scenic Caves Nature Adventures.

 

Bid the season farewell as the hottest summer entertainment returns for encore performances at Blue Mountain Village for the Summer Sundown Celebrations.

 

Enjoy the sights and smells at Collingwood Downtown Moonlight Market, a special night time market on Saturday 6 to 10 pm.

 

Check out all the activities at Cranberry Village, like golf, stand up paddle boarding, cruises, BBQ, patio and a bonfire on Saturday night.

 

Get out on Georgian Bay for a harbour tour or sunset cruise with Collingwood Charters or Collingwood Adventure Voyages.

 

Get a bird’s eye view of the region on a helicopter tour with Big Blue Air.

 

Enjoy nature by running, walking or cycling Collingwod and Blue Mountain’s beautiful trails.

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What Causes the Leaves to Change Colour in Fall?

Fall colours in Collingwood and Blue Mountain
The gradual decrease in sunlight in the Fall is what causes the leaves to change colour. In the Summer, the tree benefit from longer days and longer periods of sunlight. The green chlorophyll in the leaves produces sugar and exchanges carbon dioxide for oxygen. Carotene and xanthophylls, whcih eventually show up as orange and yellow, are always there, but they remain idle whle the chlorophyll is working. As the amount of sunlight wanes in mid to late August, the tree’s natural programming tells it to prepare for winter. A layer of cells grows over the intake in the root structure and forces the tree to slow its consumption of water. The lack of water sends the chlorophyll into hibernation, and as the green goes dormant, the carotene and xanthophylls become visible.

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Local Farmers’ Markets

farmers-markets

 

Nothing says the beginning of summer better than the pop up of local farmers’s markets in the area. The Collingwood Farmers’ Market is now open every Saturday morning from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, located in the Second and Pine Street Municipal parking lot. The Collingwood farmers’ market is a place to purchase quality produce and other foods from 100 miles around the market location. In addition to approximately 40 vendor stalls, special events will be held at the market such as children’s activities, musicians and demonstrations.

 

The Thornbury Farmers’ Market features fresh veggies and fruit in season (including. organics), baked goods, deli meats, frozen entrees & desserts, maple syrup, local honey, gourmet cookies, jellies, cut flowers, local crafts and more. Sundays 11 am to 2 pm, Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, across from The Blue Mountains Town Hall.

 

A visit to the Farmer’s Pantry is an experience that the whole family will enjoy. Acre upon acre of apple orchards offering over 15 varieties of local apples with many pick your own options including raspberries and cherries in season. Open from July 1st through to Halloween weekend and host many events including our Raspberry Festival, Adventure Day, Candy Apple Clinics and Family Day attractions. Many of our events include food and wine pairings and the kids will delight in the many activities we offer including our petting farm where they can interact with the animals. The pony rides, mini putt, rope maze and cedar maze are some other activities offered that will keep the kids busy while you shop for in our Farm Market offering fresh fruits and vegetables, prepared meals to go and locally sourced gifts.

 

For over 50 years Grandma Lambe’s has been serving the region with friendly old-fashioned hospitality and the best home baking anywhere. Fresh baked pies. Fresh local foods. Crafts. A true experience! Open year round on Highway 26 East of Meaford.

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Nature’s Fireworks

 

When you see large, dark flat clouds beginning to cover the skies, get set to watch the show – celestial fireworks.

 

The best time to watch a lightning show is at dusk, when it is light enough to see the contours of the clouds yet dark enough to appreciate the light sparks and flickers. Look for the earliest flashes near the top of the thunderclouds; then observe as the flashes move deeper and deeper into the cloud.

 

As you watch the storm (hopefully from inside the comforts of your house), you will witness the most powerful light source in nature, carrying enough energy to power 20,000 toaster ovens. Following the light, you hear the crack and rumble of thunder – the shock wave of air exploding in the 27,000 degree Celsius heat of the flash.

 

How Lightning Forms

 

Lightning forms when positive and negative charges become separated. The positive charges stay near the top of the large, flat-topped cloud, while the negative charges accumulate near the bottom. When the cloud’s bottom charge becomes strong enough, a flow of electricity zigzags down toward the ground. This flow of energy is not the lightning stroke, however. Barely visible and lasting only a microsecond, this is called a stepped leader. Because opposites attract, positive charges from the ground come racing towards the negatively charged stepped leader. The region of positive charge moves up through any conducting objects in the area, including trees, electrical wires and people. It is this brilliant return stroke, coming from the Earth to the sky, that closes the electrical circuit, causing the celestial fireworks of lightning.  The flash appears to be going down because it retraces the downward-forking path of the stepped leader. What seems to be a single flickering flash is actually often a dozen or more strokes, each one only ten-thousandths of a second long, in the same path.

 

The sounds of lightning come a few seconds after the light because sound travels slower. The closer the lightning, the more rapid the report of the thunder. Light travels at 300,000 km/sec whereas sound travels at 0.3 km/sec.  You can calculate the distance of the lightning strike.  After the flash of lightning, begin counting off the seconds until the thunder is heard. Divide the seconds by three to arrive at the distance in km.

 

Canada averages over 2 million lightning strikes are each year.  And, despite our relatively short lightning season, 9 to 10 people are killed and between 100 and 150 people are injured each year by lightning in Canada.   This compares to an average of 57 deaths per year in the United States.  To stay safe, the best place to be is Inside a house which has plumbing and wiring or an all-metal vehicle (not a convertible).  Stay away from electrical appliances and equipment, doors, windows, fireplaces, and anything else that will conduct electricity, such as sinks, tubs and showers.   Picnic shelters, dugouts, small buildings without plumbing or electricity are NOT safe.

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Collingwood and the Weather

 

For all Canadians, talking about the weather is one of our great pastimes.  Weather discussions are often at the start of every conversation.  Over the back fence, on the train to work, at the hockey rink, weather is always part of regular banter among friends and strangers alike.  “How long did it take you to get home last night?”  “Cold enough for ya?”  “My heating bill is really creeping up this year.”  “What’s it’s suppose to be like this weekend?”

 

In the Collingwood area, weather impacts greatly how we conduct our lives.  It influences how we spend our time and what activities we take part in.  The right weather conditions bring more visitors to the area to enjoy all the outdoor recreation available and the beautiful nature attractions.

 

Weather also greatly influences the local economy.  It is difficult to over estimate the  importance of weather to businesses so highly dependant on tourism and the recreational market.

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