March 2009 – Winter lingers

March in Greater Moncton proved as cold as February especially the first half of the month.  Many overnight lows continued to fall into minus double digit territory.

Snow was relatively light except for the season’s biggest storm at month’s end.  But it continued to pile up because the cold prevented a great deal of melting.  Rain was also noticeably scant during the month.

Oddly enough, March not only came in like a lion in went out like one as well.

MARCH 2009

Average HIGH   1.4 C

Average LOW   -8.6 C

Average   -3.6 C  (0.7 degrees below normal)

Extreme HIGH  10.8 C

Extreme LOW   -16.4 C

Snow  76.0 cm  (slightly above normal)

Rain  8.6 mm  (well below normal)

Spring wallop hits Moncton

Snowy Downtown Moncton

Snowy Downtown Moncton

A severe snowstorm walloped Greater Moncton over the past 24 hours dumping 35 cm of snow – a record breaker for this date.  In fact, this was the heaviest single snowfall of the season.

Moncton was by far the hardest hit area of the region with much more rain than snow in Saint John, Fredericton and Halifax.  Charlottetown had 28 cm of snow.

Schools closed yesterday during the brunt of the storm but did reopen today.

Thousands lost power for up to 6 hours yesterday.

Red River flood breaks record

Ice and floodwaters surround a home near Fargo, ND

Ice, floodwaters surround a home near Fargo, ND

Floodwaters receded somewhat today along the Red River at Fargo, North Dakota.

The waters here peaked early Saturday, breaking a century old record, but by this afternoon, had dropped more than half a foot.

However, officials cautioned residents to leave sandbags in place since an upcoming blizzard and warmer weather could change the situation.

Meantime, Manitobans are watching this situation closely since the Red River flows north into the province and the crest near Winnipeg could happen in the next couple of weeks.

Blizzard hits US Plains

Snow clearing in Wichita, Kansas

Snow clearing in Wichita, Kansas

A major spring blizzard – called unprecedented – dumped almost a foot of snow on parts of the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Schools and government offices were shut down Friday and major highways were also closed.

Power was also knocked out to thousands thanks to wind and freezing rain which accompanied the storm.

First storm of spring

It wouldn’t be spring in the Maritimes without a snowstorm or two.  Some say the traditional St. Patrick’s Day storm was a week late.

About 14 cm of snow fell in Greater Moncton yesterday with winds creating blowing snow and whiteout conditions. 

More snow fell in Nova Scotia, in some areas 20 cm or more, with the storm system offshore in the Atlantic. 

More problems occurred along the Cobequid Pass with trucks jacknifing creating traffic backups for several kilometres.

Spring at last!

Downtown Moncton March 18, 2009

Downtown Moncton March 18, 2009

Spring officially arrived in New Brunswick at 8:44 this morning and not a moment too soon for most.

The winter of 08-09 will go down as a cold, although less snowy one, than the previous winter.

It seemed like there was a lot of snow but what fell starting in December didn’t melt due to the frigid weather in January and the first half of February. 

Snow depth peaked at 60 cm in mid-February and today stands at about 12 cm.

Forecasters are suggesting spring ’09 will be warmer and drier than normal.

Amazing cold in Alberta

All-time cold temperature records for March were shattered in Alberta yesterday.

At Edmonton International Airport, the thermometer dropped to -41.5 C, breaking the previous March low of -29.4 C set in 1975.  That is amazing considering new records are usually set by only a degree or two.

Lloydminster hit -35.2 C, breaking its old March record of -29.2 C. Fort McMurray broke a record set in 1950 with a reading of -39.9 C.

And Cold Lake, Slave Lake, Whitecourt, Peace River, High Level, Jasper and Banff, and a handful of other communities obliterated old cold values, most from the 1950s or 1970s, two of the coldest decades on record in the province.

A taste of spring

Southern Ontario had a spring preview yesterday when the temperature soared to 19 C in Toronto setting a new record high (beating the old one of 15 C set in 1961).

Sarnia was the hotspot at 19.9 C and while Ottawa could only muster a high of 10 C it still set a new record for the date.

Greater Moncton had a taste of mild weather following a mix of snow and rain with a high today of 5.2 C.

Storm batters East Coast

New York's Central Park under new snow

New York's Central Park under new snow

A classic Nor’easter moved up the American Eastern Seaboard on Monday bringing snow and freezing rain to a wide swath from South Carolina to Maine creating highway chaos, train delays and flight cancellations.

New York’s Central Park recorded 18 cm of snow, DC 20 cm, Philadelphia 21 cm and Boston had 19 cm.

By the time the storm hit Greater Moncton, it dumped as much freezing rain and ice pellets as snow but 15 cm did fall.

The hardest hit area by the ice storm was Nova Scotia’s Cumberland County where thousands lost power for more 24 hours and emergency shelters had to be set up.