Messy mix falls over Maritimes

Icy slush in NE Moncton, 03 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

After exiting Ontario, a Colorado Low moved into the Maritimes bringing freezing rain and rain to Nova Scotia along with mixed precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.

The system shut down schools in many parts of the region on Tuesday with icy roads being a major factor.

Greater Moncton had several hours of freezing rain and ice pellets mixing with snow (3 cm) and later rain (15 mm) as the temperature climbed slightly above freezing.

Northern and western New Brunswick received mostly snow with 10 cm in Fredericton, 18 cm in Miramichi and 27 cm in Woodstock.

Stormy American Thanksgiving weekend

US storm

Snow clearing for NFL game at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA, 01 Dec 2019 (R. Deutsch/USA Today)

A major winter storm made its way across the United States during the American Thanksgiving weekend disrupting travel plans for millions.

The massive system began on the West Coast as a bomb cyclone bringing wind gusts up to 160 km/h and heavy amounts of snow in the mountains.

Strong winds accompanied by a mixture of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow fell from the Great Plains to the Midwest and into the Northeastern U.S.

Boston recorded 20 cm of snow with more than 60 cm falling in other parts of New England before the system headed to the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland.

December starts icy in Ontario

OPP Hwy 401 crash

Highway 401 multi-vehicle crash near Kingston, ON, 01 Dec 2019 (OPP/Twitter)

A low pressure system delivered an icy mix of precipitation to Southern Ontario on Sunday with freezing rain and ice pellets turning highways and walkways into ice rinks.

Ontario Provincial Police say heavy snow shut down a section of Highway 401 near Kingston after a 30 to 40 vehicle pileup with more than a dozen injured and one fatality.

At least 500 road crashes were reported in the Greater Toronto Area and numerous flights were either cancelled or delayed at Pearson Airport.

Tens of thousands lost electricity after ice-laden tree branches fell onto power lines,

Several towns and cities were forced to cancel their Santa Claus Parades due to the extreme weather.

November 2019 – Colder and snowier

Ice forms on Irishtown Reservoir after cold night, 13 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

November got off to a mild start in Greater Moncton – the monthly high 19.4 C was actually 0.1 degrees warmer than October’s maximum – but temperatures quickly tumbled especially overnight.

Only two nights were actually above freezing with the coldest weather around the middle of the month.

The first measurable snow was recorded on 07-8 (18.8 cm) which was more than half of the November total and rainfall was lighter than usual.

Daytime highs struggled to climb above freezing especially during the last two weeks which led to a below normal monthly average.

NOVEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 4.6°C

Average LOW -3.7°C

AVERAGE 0.5°C (about 1.4 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.4°C (01 Nov)

Extreme LOW -10.9°C (17 Nov)

RAINFALL 66.7 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 32.5 cm (almost double, well ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

First -10°C low in the fall

First -10
Although it seems like really cold weather arrived earlier than usual, the chart above shows a drop of -10°C occurred on the same date last year in Greater Moncton – 14 November.

Over the last seven years, the temperature has gotten that cold between mid-November and early December.

The thermometer will likely sink to -15°C sometime later next month.

The last time it dropped that low in Southeast New Brunswick was 10 March.

Colorado Low impacts Maritimes

Snowy Highway 102 in Bedford, NS (NS Highway Cameras)

A Colorado Low tracked through the Maritimes today bringing mixed precipitation and strong winds.

The system brought the first major snowfall to Nova Scotia with 23 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and lesser amounts in the city but it caught drivers and plow operators off guard creating gridlock.

About 10 to 20 cm of snow also fell in central and southwestern New Brunswick where some schools closed with slippery road conditions.

Greater Moncton had a rain/snow mix this morning with 2 cm before it changed to rain.

As this system moves off to Newfoundland, brisk winds behind it will produce gusts up to 90 km/h with snow squalls expected along coastal areas.

First Below 0°C Daytime High

First Below 0
Cold, wintry weather seems to have arrived earlier this season in New Brunswick and Greater Moncton is no exception.

As shown above, the first below freezing daytime high was recorded on 09 November which makes it the earliest date in recent years.

In addition, the thermometer has already dropped to -10°C this month which I will outline in an upcoming post.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Early blast of Arctic air

The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.

New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.

The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.

The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.

Sharp drop in temperature!

Temperature contrast 8pm, 12 Nov 2019 (earth nullschool.net)

Snow began falling in Southeast New Brunswick Monday night and later changed to freezing rain and then rain by Tuesday afternoon.

The temperature climbed to a balmy 14°C in Greater Moncton and 18°C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

But as the low pressure system moved out of the Maritimes toward Newfoundland, winds shifted to the northwest causing the thermometer to drop rapidly Tuesday night with a return to snow when it fell to freezing again.

Overnight low records could be challenged in the region by early Thursday as cold Arctic air takes hold.

Early snow for southern Ontario & Quebec

A snowy Gore Park, Hamilton, ON, 11 Nov 2019 (City of Hamilton)

An early winter storm tracked south of the Great Lakes on Monday and brought snow to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec.

Snowfall amounts generally ranged between 10 and 30 cm.

Environment Canada says Toronto marked its earliest major snowfall on record with about 15 cm.

Arctic air has filtered in behind the storm prompting the city to issue an extreme cold weather alert with a possible overnight low of -15°C.

Snowfall amounts (cm), Tuesday 5pm EST:

  • Montreal 20
  • Quebec City 20
  • Windsor 19
  • Hamilton 17
  • Toronto (downtown) 15
  • Ottawa 13