December 2008 – A wild rollercoaster ride!

December had more ups and downs than in any month in recent memory.

For example, a seven day stretch saw the temperature fall to -15.8 C and then rise to 13.5 C in less than 24 hours – with a similar temperature swing recorded twice more in the same week.

Precipitation was above normal overall with most of it falling as rain rather than snow.

December 2008 ALMANAC

Average HIGH  2.3 C

Average LOW  -9.6 C

Average    -3.7 C (1.8 degrees above normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.1 C (on the 12th, a new record for the date)

Extreme LOW  -23.0 C (on the 21st)

Rainfall  97.9 mm (almost 50% above normal)

Snowfall  63.2 cm (near normal)

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Top 10 of 2008

Environment Canada has unveiled its Top 10 list of weather stories for 2008

1. Rain makes for a soggy summer from Newfoundland to Ontario

2. Ice loss in Arctic continues at unprecedented rates

3. Ontario, Quebec endure one of the longest, snowiest winters in
years

4. New Brunswick sees worst spring floods in 35 years along Saint
John River

5. Extreme cold grips Canada in second week of December

6. Summer hail storms mash crops in British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario and Quebec

7. Massive March snow storm dumps up to 50 centimetres of snow across eastern Canada

8. Hurricane season leaves Atlantic and eastern Canada wind-whipped and wet

9. January temperatures dip to -40s across Prairies and the North

10. Ice storms in January and February cripple Prince Edward Island

White Christmas

Snow covers Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge Dec.24.08

Snow covers Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge Dec.24.08

Environment Canada claimed it was the first coast to coast White Christmas since 1971 (at least in the major cities).

Indeed it was white here in Greater Moncton and even in places where it is rare such as Vancouver which had 41 cms on the ground.

But where I spent Christmas in Truro, NS, there were more green patches than white patches.

Near the Atlantic coast at Halifax there was virtually nothing so essentially it was a Green Christmas there.

First Day of Winter

Winter officially arrived at 8:04 this morning in Greater Moncton.

Judging by the overnight lows, it certainly felt like it with -22.7 C in Moncton, -26.8 C in Bathurst and incredibly -37.6 C in Edmundston which may have set a new record.

But in reality, winter unofficially arrived about a month ago with the first major snowfall of the season.

Snow in Las Vegas

Snow in Las Vegas, Nevada

Snow in Las Vegas, Nevada

A rare blanket of snow covered Las Vegas disrupting air travel, schools and highways.

About 3.6 inches (9 cm) fell making it the biggest snowfall in almost 30 years.

Las Vegas normally gets a dusting of snow about once per winter.

Ice storm hits US Northeast

Ice fells trees in Derry, NH

Ice fells trees in Derry, NH

Emergency crews are scrambling in the Northeastern US after an ice storm felled ice-coated trees onto power lines knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses.

States of emergency were declared in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York.

The Red Cross opened shelters for those who won’t be able to return home until power is restored over the next few days.

NB Power crews were called in to help restore power in Maine.

Wacky weather

This has been one of the wackiest weeks of weather I can ever remember in Greater Moncton.

From a low of -15.8 C on Tuesday to +13.5 C on Wednesday to below freezing to today’s record high of +16.1 C, this has been a week to remember.

Saint John at +16.4 C was the warmest place in New Brunswick today.

Not to mention the various forms of precipitation that have fallen: rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow – can anything else fall from the sky?

Incidently, the warmest spot in Canada today was Greenwood, NS at a summer-like +19.5 C.

Snow in New Orleans

Snow in New Orleans French Quarter

Snow in New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans, Louisiana saw its first measurable snow in almost four years today.

The city had about one inch of snow and it was the earliest accumulation ever in the so-called The Big Easy.

Up to 20 cms was reported in some parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.