doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Whatever happened to …

… 100 year storms?

I’ll be honest; I could do with a storm like we’ve had recently every 100 years! But, that’s not the way it works – here’s a good description.

Around here, we’ve had three or four weather broadcasts where the forecaster has declared that we’ve had a 100 year storm. We’ve certainly had some big storms this summer. I guess they get classified that way.

Cleanup on the soy bean field

The one this week caught my eye this morning while out for a dog walk. About a week ago, this was a soy bean field ready for harvest. The harvest happened and the beans stay in the harvester and the dried stems and branches come out the back. Normally, they would just sit there and get ploughed under. Not when a 100 year storm comes along though. During the rain, this would have been a stream of water going across the field to drain into the culvert in the bottom right corner of the picture. Now, we’re looking at the aftermath and all the fluff from the soy beans is at the bottom of what would have been the stream of water.

There are advantages to a heavy rainfall. Over the summer, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of bugs on the front of my car and the windshield. Most of them are gone now! For the most part, we’re safe from big storms but not completely immune. Here are some top storms from Ontario.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • did your part of the province get hit with part of the 100 year storm this week?
  • was it defined as a 100 year storm by your local weather expert?
  • we don’t normally think of Ontario as being hit by violent storms but a really strong hurricane hit Toronto and places north in the mid 1950s. Do you know what hurricane it was?
  • this summer, the west coast of Ontario, particularly Huron, Bruce, and Grey counties got hit hard with rain – but not as hard as Goderich a few years ago? What happened then?
  • what was the biggest storm to ever hit your community?
  • it’s a necessary evil, but as a secondary school teacher, I always hated fire and tornado drills. Have you done yours yet? Has anything changed in the days of COVID?

I’d be interested in your stormy thoughts on this post. Please share in the comments below.

This is part of a regular Sunday morning series. They’re all collected here and I’m always looking for new ideas. Please reach out and let me know if you have an idea.


4 responses to “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Good morning Doug!

    I like your photograph. It’s fascinating to see the after effects of the storm in evidence in such a way.

    It sounds like they need to redefined the name for these things. Given that you can have more than one of them within a year, and that they are not actually representative of a storm that comes “once in 100 years,“ perhaps they should be renamed “1% storms.“

    Yes, I know the name of the storm that hit Toronto and areas north in the 1950s. When I was going to school in Toronto, I would sometimes travel home via Barrie, and became very aware of the storm that flooded the Holland Marsh during that event.

    I know we had rain this week, but I don’t believe we were hit with anything that would have approached a “100 year storm.“ There are instances when there is flooding along the Moira (Belleville) or Trent Rivers (Trenton) in the spring, but without ice to jam up the snowmelt, the rivers otherwise seem to handle whatever rainfall hit the area, and thereby, them. I remember reading a YA historical novel with my class years ago that was written by a local author that featured a teen travelling back in time to encounter a big flood that actually took place in Belleville.

    In terms of big rain storms, I remember one when I was in high school. A number of us on the student council had to drive to visit the teacher accountant to get a cheque for a deposit for a band that we were booking for a school dance, and we had to drive through some very very deep water on the way to his house. I think we were driving in someone’s parents’ land yacht, and the irony was not lost on us as we braved the depths.

    As for fire or tornado drills, I don’t recall us ever doing tornado drills in this part of the province, but I eventually made my peace with fire drills. The lockdown drills, on the other hand, were a different story, and I hope they have been deferred during this time of social distancing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leave it to me to go in a slightly different direction with your post. I didn’t hear the weather forecaster call it a 100 yr storm, but I do know that two hours outside in the rain this week had me soaking wet.

    I figured out that I needed a rain poncho (I have one now) and a change of clothes (just as our kids bring). All of the rain though brought some fantastic outdoor play this past week with theorizing around our overflowing drains, the greatest natural sensory bin (a big mud puddle) that connected kids in some ways that I’ve never seen before, and more worm habitats than you can count. A few made it inside (worms can be great class pets even in the time of COVID), and one “two worm habitat” even took a school bus ride home. #OurFamiliesAreTheBest (features just a little of what came out from the storm)

    So if all of this rain can come without thunder and flooding, it makes for some incredible inquiry and really happy kids and kindergarten educators. 🙂 I wonder if others feel the same.



  3. […] Whatever happened to … – doug — off the record […]


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: