Lessons to be learned after derecho tests Canada’s new severe storm alarm | CBC News:

Speaking of his Lakefield home, Ed Palechny is still visibly shocked by the horrific moments he shared with his wife last weekend as they watched the storm tear down a wooden frame house sheltered inside.

“Unless you find yourself in a house with a torn roof and the sound of a train coming out of your door, you will never know how it feels,” Palencin said.

The couple found themselves in a destructive storm. a rare, fast-paced event known as derecho – who sailed around Ontario և Quebec on Saturday. Prior to that, many families enjoyed long weekends.

Earlier in the day, Toronto was alerted to an intrusion after a 132km / h wind gust was reported in Ont. At the airport in the town of Kichener, which sent messages to television and radio stations, as well as to cell phones.

But many in the Peterborough area had no idea what to expect if they did not accidentally pay attention to the weather forecast. The same alarm was not sent to that region.

Palencni’s wife and daughter had just returned to their cottage after a boat ride on Lake Stone. Nearby, the neighbor’s teenage boys were paddling their boats, while another group had just boarded a pontoon boat.

Only moments later did they see the first signs of a hurricane penetrating.

“The sky darkened, then turned green. “And then there was a loud roar, ‘then, in fact, a white wall of rain was falling on us,'” Palezni said.

“I can not believe that with today’s technology, [there was] absolutely no alarm on my phone, my wife’s phone, [or] “Our daughter’s phone.”

After the storm, Palencin discovered that the winds had driven this boat into a tree. (Presented by Ed Palechny)

– This is. We are done

Some people did not make it to safety in time. The storm took the lives of 11 people.

One of them is A. 64-year-old womanHe ran into a falling tree while hiking in Peterborough. Another victim, a 61-year-old man from Lakefield, died after a tree fell on him.

The storm wreaked havoc in southern Ontario և Quebec, knocking down trees, damaging buildings և about 900,000 homes և leaving a powerless enterprise at its peak.

Palezni said his family only had a few minutes to shelter in their cabin.

Palestine says strong winds tore up 50 mature pines in the woods around his cottage, near Lake Stone, near Lakefield, Ont. (Presented by Ed Palechny)

“While I was trying to close the door, we saw that the wooden frame was broken. “The actual wooden frame was blowing in the wind, and the metal roof was torn off,” he said. “The woman was thinking. “This is the end. We are done. ”

Despite extensive damage to their property, Palencin և and his family survived. He is now seeking answers as to why he and his relatives did not receive prior notice.

“A little reprimand would go a long way,” he said.

Why did the severe storm alarm not go off?

Saturday’s deadly storm was the first time Canada has ever issued a broadcast intrusion warning for an extremely strong thunderstorm. Until last year, only tornado warnings triggered emergency broadcasts on cell phone, television and radio programs.

But in June 2021, Environment Canada expanded its weather warning program to include a very specific subset of extreme thunderstorm warnings. According to the changes, the alarm is triggered only for strong thunderstorms, which are predicted to have a wind speed of at least 130 km / h, or in the case of a hail of at least seven centimeters high.

Canadian Environmental Warning Officer Peter Kimbel explained that when Derecho was making progress in southern Ontario, forecasters were not so sure that the winds would reach 130km / h before the storm hit the Peterborough area.

This meant that the alarm was not triggered for the Peterborough area because it did not meet the threshold. “Or it was released for the neighboring Lindsey-North Kavarta Lakes region,” he said.

Lessons learned. Is the threshold too high?

Kimbel said it was worth considering whether the 130km / h speed was the right threshold to move forward, especially given that most of the damage was caused by peak winds of 120 to 130km / h.

“There is a balance between ‘warning people too much about extreme events,'” he said.

Kimbel explained that thunderstorm warnings are always available on various media channels, including Environment Canada’s WeatherCan. website և: Appendix:It will not be practical to launch intrusive alarms for every thunderstorm.

“I think people will get angry with us pretty quickly, so we really limit it to those who are going to be particularly notable,” he said.

George Kurunis, a Toronto-based hurricane spy from the Royal Geographical Society of Canada, says it is difficult to strike the right balance.

“If you make too many alarms, people become complacent,” he said.

Toronto-based hurricane pursuer George Kurunis, who saw a tornado forecast here in Oklahoma, said last weekend’s derecho would be a case study for meteorologists as they assessed the effectiveness of the new extreme thunderstorm. (Peter Rowe)

He believes that warning for extreme storms is a good idea, or that he suggests that the wind speed threshold could probably be lowered.

“They can probably lower it a little bit. “The speed of 120 km / h will still cause enormous damage, especially if it is at a wide distance, like these derecho events,” said Kurunis.

“I think this particular storm will be a really good test bed for meteorologists who sound this kind of alarm to look back and see how effective it is.”

“Thank you to Palestine for overcoming Saturday’s storm,” he said, adding that he hoped Canada’s alarm system would improve by a single blow.

“We definitely need a better alarm system that responds, which separates the ordinary thunderstorm from a powerful, harmful storm that creates a path of destruction,” he said.

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