Heavy rain, wind buffet Ontario and Atlantic Canada

Torrential rain and gusty winds are forecast to continue lashing communities from southern Ontario to the Maritimes Thursday night, with the worst expected to come later for Atlantic Canada.

Rainfall records broken in several communities

Blustery weather downed a tree in Toronto's upper Beach area. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Torrential rain and gusty winds are forecast to continue lashing communities from southern Ontario to the Maritimes Thursday, though the worst is expected to come later for Atlantic Canada. 

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said the storm is weakening over southern Ontario, but warned that the system will soon be bearing down on Atlantic Canada as it churns eastward.

Heavy rain flooded some underpasses including this one on Scarlett Road at St Clair Avenue. ((Tony Smyth/CBC) )

The system has brought heavy rain to southern Ontario in recent days, breaking daily rainfall records in several communities. Severe weather warnings have been issued as far east as Newfoundland.

More than 80 millimetres of rain poured over Halifax by 3 p.m. AT Thursday, with the biggest dump happening in a six-hour window between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. AT — another daily record as well as a daily maximum for the month of October.

In that six hours alone, Halifax saw half its monthly average.

In Ontario, more than 60 millimetres of rain has fallen in Windsor and Hamilton since the rain began as showers more than 35 hours ago, Environment Canada said, setting an unofficial daily record.

The wild weather brought down trees overnight and caused power outages in Toronto. More than 40 millimetres of rain fell overnight Wednesday, causing streets to flood.

Winds knocked out power to 15,000 customers across southern and central Ontario.

The inclement weather in Windsor forced the unprecedented cancellation of a cross-country championship, as athletes compared the damage to a mudslide.

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Jeremy Wychreschuk of the local conservation authority, said winds from the northeast could cause damage and flooding in the northeast corner of Pelee Island, the east shore of Leamington and the west side of the Windsor and Tecumseh shore.

The storms also tore through the Ottawa-Gatineau region overnight, and strong winds and drizzle continued Thursday morning. Thousands of homes are still without power and some traffic lights are on a flash cycle.

A storm drain overflows on Barrington Street in Halifax. ((Craig Paisley/CBC))

Wagstaffe said Quebec residents were in for a windy Thursday.

"The worst of the rain for them is going to be in central Quebec," she said, noting that the heaviest rainfall is expected to miss Montreal and Quebec City.

In the afternoon, Montreal transport authorities temporarily closed some low-lying roads due to dangers that could be caused by the heavy showers and hail flooding some areas.

The storms have already hit Halifax, where heavy rain washed out some roads and soaked Occupy Halifax protesters. 

Residents of Atlantic Canada can brace themselves as the weather is set to worsen in the region.

"There's a chance of power outages and localized flooding in some areas," Wagstaffe forecast, though sunshine and much calmer weather is expected Friday morning in the Maritimes.

The two systems presently affecting eastern Canada. ((CBC weather centre))