January 2009 – Frigid!

The one consistent word to describe January 2009 in Greater Moncton would be cold – very cold in fact – the average temperature was about 3 degrees colder than normal and the coldest January since 2004. 

On the morning of the 16th, the temperature dipped to -30.7 C, which is less than two degrees away from the coldest record low ever in Moncton which was -32.2 C set in 1957.

Nine overnight lows were -20 C or lower during the month with the daytime high on the 17th only reaching -19 C.

Precipitation was below normal with less snow and much less rain than normal but since it was so cold, the snow that fell didn’t melt.

January 2009 ALMANAC

Average HIGH  -6.5 C

Average LOW  -17.4 C

Average  -12.0 C  (3 degrees below normal)

Extreme LOW  -30.7 C (on the 16th, new record set)

Extreme HIGH  3.1 C (on the 29th)

Rainfall  14.1 mm (65% below normal)

Snowfall  58.1 cm (27% below normal)

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Heat wave sizzles Australia

As we shiver here in the Great White North, many are sweating Down Under in a relentless heat wave.

The Australian states of Victoria and South Australia have endured days of sizzling heat with temperatures at or slightly above 40 Celsius.

More than 20 deaths are blamed on the heat with the elderly being especially affected and raging wildfires have erupted burning thousands of hectares of bush.

Heavy air conditioner use caused a breakdown in Melbourne’s power grid knocking out electricity to half a million homes.

Ice storm cometh

A massive storm began building in Texas on Monday and dumped snow and freezing rain across southern states including Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma on its way to the U.S. Northeast.

More than 20 deaths are blamed on the storm in the U.S. which led to widespread power outages and icy highways.

By the time the storm reached the Maritimes, it dumped 12 cm’s of snow on Greater Moncton as well as several hours worth of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Warm north, cold south

It’s as if cold Arctic air and warm southern air traded places today.

Communities in the Northwest Territories were experiencing a heat wave today when Yohin Lake in Nahanni National Park reached 14.1 C, Norman Wells was 12.4 C and Fort Simpson was 12.0 C.  This is unbelievable and record breaking warmth for January.

Greater Moncton recorded another frosty low this morning of -28.6 C, close but not quite a new record.  More cold records were set in Fredericton at -30.4 C, Bathurst at -33.5 C and St. Leonard at -36.2 C.

Arctic air invades NB

An extremely cold Arctic air mass has pushed southward enveloping much of Eastern Canada and it is expected to remain in the region over the next few days.

A new record low was set this morning at the Greater Moncton Airport at -30.7 C, breaking the old record of -29.4 C, set in 1957.

New records were also set in Saint John at -32.5 C, Bathurst at -32.8 C, Fredericton at -34.3 C and St. Leonard at -38.2 C.

The coldest was Edmundston at -43.3 C!

Record heat in California

Santa Ana winds have sent temperatures soaring in much of California.

Record highs were set yesterday in Los Angeles at 31 C and San Diego at 28 C, more than 10 degrees above normal for the date.

Beaches were reportedly busier than normal for January.

Even Northern California was balmy with a record high of 25 C set in Oakland.

Flooding in BC

Flooding in Chilliwack, BC

Flooding in Chilliwack, BC

Up to 200 mm’s of rain fell in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley this week creating mudslides and floods made worse by record amounts of melting snow.

The City of Chilliwack and surrounding area was under a state of emergency for several days.

Homes have been damaged, roads made impassable and floodwaters have killed livestock on farms.

New Year, new storm

Snowbound car in Halifax, NS

Snowbound car in Halifax, NS

2009 started off with a winter blast in the Maritimes.

Greater Moncton got off relatively easy with 14 cm of snow when you compare to Charlottetown, PEI which was buried by more than 50 cm of the white stuff.

Southwestern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton were also pounded by between 40 and 60 cm of snow with blizzard-like conditions.