Radar image showing thunderstorms across NB, 02 July 2020 (Environment Canada)
A cold front moved across New Brunswick on Thursday bringing thunderstorms with much needed rain and ushering out the heat and high humidity.
The temperature climbed to 30°C in Greater Moncton during the noon hour but dropped to 22°C by 2pm and 17°C by 6pm.
A severe thunderstorm watch was posted for a couple hours and 16 mm of rain fell which was good news considering the current drought conditions.
The last decent rainfall was on 12 June when 21 mm fell.
Environment Canada is forecasting possible showers or thundershowers this weekend.
Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 16 June 2020 (Dearing)
The first half of June was cold and dry similar to May and April.
But by mid-month, after struggling to reach the 20s, temperatures suddenly began climbing into the 30s.
On 19 June, Greater Moncton hit a sizzling
35.6°C (humidex 40) which is the hottest June temperature in recorded history.
The thermometer climbed above 30°C six times and the average is only once.
Before the heat arrived, a light frost occurred on 10 June which damaged some sensitive crops like strawberries.
Farmers and gardeners also lamented a lack of rain with only one-third of the normal monthly amount recorded.
JUNE 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 23.8°C
Average LOW 10.0°C
AVERAGE 16.9°C (about 1.7 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 35.6°C (19 June, new monthly record)
Extreme LOW -0.6°C (10 June)
RAINFALL 34.3 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Yellow/brown areas show dry to moderate drought conditions, 01 June 2020 (Agriculture Canada)
Most of New Brunswick is extremely dry and has been for months which is a big concern for agriculture.
Environment Canada data shows winter snowfall was about 20 percent below normal in Greater Moncton and precipitation has been below average every month since March.
June rainfall was only one-third of normal and the last major amount – 21.3 mm – fell on 12 June which was just prior to a prolonged heat wave.
Prior to that, 09 May is the previous date with appreciable precipitation – 14.1 mm – which also included some snow!
Farmers in Southeast New Brunswick – already coping with a pandemic – say the drought has put many crops including potatoes in danger and without irrigation total losses can be expected.
In addition, a strawberry farmer notes how a light frost earlier this month (10 June) caused some damage with many berries in bloom at the time.
Summer officially arrived in New Brunswick at 6:43pm ADT last night.
The summer solstice marks the day with the most daylight of the year at 15 hours and 46 minutes in Greater Moncton.
The Sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer and it will now begin moving south toward the equator which means days will start getting shorter.
The Weather Network predicts temperatures will be near to slightly above normal this summer while precipitation will be near normal except in northern New Brunswick where it could be drier than average.
Environment Canada believes temperatures will be above normal (50-60 percent chance) with below normal precipitation (40-50 percent chance).
Several New Brunswick communities recorded all-time monthly highs on 19 June 2020 including Greater Moncton which reached
The previous June maximum was
34.4°C on 29 June 1944.
36.4°C, Miramichi at 37.2°C and Bouctouche at 36.0°C also set new monthly highs.
Kouchibouguac set an all-time high of
Numerous other daily record highs were broken throughout the Maritimes and Quebec.
Record highs were smashed in many communities across New Brunswick on Thursday (18 June) with temperatures soaring to 37°C – rare for June.
Many of the old records which were broken date back to 1949.
Environment Canada says the above average warmth is expected to continue – with a brief respite on Saturday – well into next week.
Meteorologists say the excessive heat is surging northward into Eastern Canada thanks to locked-in low pressure over the Southeastern United States which is bringing rain and cooler than normal temperatures to that region.
Selected new record highs for 18 June 2020:
Bathurst 37.2C, old record 34.4C set in 1949
Charlo 36.7C, old 31.1C set in 1971
Miramichi 36.2C, old 35.0C set in 1949
Kouchibouguac 35.8C, old 35.6C set in 1949
Bas Caraquet 35.8C, old 30.0C set in 1971
Edmundston 34.8C, old 32.8C set in 1949
Fredericton 34.1C, old 32.8C set in 1949
Greater Moncton Airport 33.8C, old 32.8C set in 1949
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A fine day at Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)
A heat warning has been issued for most of New Brunswick with Environment Canada forecasting highs in the mid-30s Celsius over the next few days.
Humidex values could reach 40 and overnight lows near 20°C won’t provide much relief.
Extreme heat like this is more typical of July and August.
It’s possible new record highs will be set as current maximums range from 31-33°C in Greater Moncton this week.
If you’re seeking an escape from the heat, the Fundy coast will be about 10 degrees cooler than inland areas.
Severe weather damaged homes in Calgary, AB, 14 June 2020 (Twitter/CityofCalgary)
Severe thunderstorms moved across Alberta over the weekend producing heavy downpours, strong winds and hail as large as grapefruit.
Calgary was hard hit as flash flooding inundated major highways stranding drivers in their vehicles.
Hail of various sizes damaged the siding on homes, smashed windows, dented vehicles and it looked like snow as it piled up.
Some tornadoes were also reported but Environment Canada could not provide confirmation of any touching down.
Wind gusts as high as 128 km/h were clocked just west of Calgary and as much as 75 mm of rain fell in just a few hours.
UPDATE – Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado did touch down in Barnwell, east of Lethbridge, on 13 June.
Although the storm never reached hurricane status, Cristobal has made an incredible trek from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.
Meteorologists have noted the unique formation of Cristobal which developed from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda that ravaged the Pacific coast of Central America during the last week of May.
The tropical storm made landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast with strong winds and heavy rain all the way up the Mississippi River Valley causing widespread flooding and even spawning some tornadoes.
The remnants of Cristobal moved into Ontario on Wednesday where an associated cold front brought severe thunderstorms.
Frost damage on a geranium, 19 Sept 2019 (Dearing)
A clear sky and a cool air mass overnight brought scattered frost to parts of the Maritimes.
The average last spring frost (0°C) in Moncton is 22 May.
The temperature dropped to -0.6°C at the Greater Moncton Airport in Dieppe and it remained near freezing for about two hours.
Further north in Kouchibouguac, the thermometer fell to -2.0°C and stayed below freezing for several hours.
Farmers are reporting minor damage to sensitive crops such as strawberries and blueberries but nothing to the extent of a killing frost in June 2018.
Environment Canada data shows a 10% chance of falling to 0°C or lower after 08 June – so it looks like we beat the odds.