April 2009 – Spring sputters

Daffodils at Moncton Riverfront Park, Apr.30.09

Daffodils at Moncton Riverfront Park, Apr.30.09

Spring in Greater Moncton often sputters in April as it did this year due to our proximity to the cold waters of the Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Temperatures struggled in the low single digits by day and often fell well below zero by night during the first two-thirds of the month.

Only during the last 10 days or so did temperatures finally rebound with a record breaking 28.2 C on the 28th which was a hair close to breaking the all-time high for the month of April.

Precipitation was slightly below normal for the month with a major dumping of snow from the 11th to the 13th.

APRIL 2009 Almanac

Average HIGH  10.2 C

Average LOW  -0.5 C

Average   4.9 C (1.7 degrees above normal)

Extreme HIGH  28.2 C (new record high for the 28th)

Extreme LOW  -9.4 C

Rainfall  48.2 mm (slightly below normal)

Snowfall  28.4 cm (slightly below normal)

Record Breaking Heat!

A warm southerly flow brought record breaking high temperatures throughout the Maritimes today.

Greater Moncton 28.2 C (old record 21.7 C from 1974) and just 0.1 C shy of April’s all-time record high!

St. Stephen 31.7 C (unofficial record) and Canada’s hot spot!

Greenwood, NS 30.3 C (old record 22.9 from 1979)

Halifax Airport, NS 29.5 C (old record 19.4 from 1974)

Kejumkujik Park, NS 31.5 C (unofficial record)

However, a cold front is moving in which will bring rain and lower temperatures to near freezing overnight.

Oddly enough, in Greater Moncton, we had to wait until July 1st last year to achieve a high of 28.2 C or higher!

St. John River stabilizes

Floodwaters at Fredericton, Apr.23.09

Floodwaters at Fredericton, Apr.23.09

Water levels have stabilized throughout the St. John River basin in New Brunswick.

But New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization says it’s still too soon to pull the plug on the annual spring river watch.

EMO says there’s still snow in the woods and there’s always a chance of a major rainfall.

Flood waters that began rising Friday crested over the weekend and started to decline yesterday. 

High water is expected to persist over the next while as the river continues to absorb any remaining snow in the north.

Signs of spring

Buds at Hopewell Rocks, NB

Buds at Hopewell Rocks, NB

Spring has been sputtering in Greater Moncton since its official arrival more than a month ago but yesterday was a glorious spring day with hints of the season all over the place.

The high yesterday in Greater Moncton was 23.3 C – the warmest temperature since last September!  But no where near the record of 28.3 C set back in 1942.

Record highs were set though in Bathurst at 26.1 C and unofficially in Edmundston at 26.8 C and Kouchibouguac at 25.7 C.

Wildfires in South Carolina

Fire near home in North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

Fire near home in North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

Over the past three days, a wildfire has destroyed more than 70 homes, damaged more than 100 others and caused $16 million in damages nea Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

One man is being blamed for starting the fire after trying to burn yard debris.

The wildfire is the the worst in more than 30 years in South Carolina and estremely dry conditions in the region since last summer have helped the fires spread.

Snow finally melts!

Riverfront Trail, Downtown Moncton

Riverfront Trail, Downtown Moncton

Despite the fact that it has been a cool week in Greater Moncton with daytime highs averaging only 5 to 7 Celsius, the snow from the Easter storm has almost melted away.

With rain on the way for this weekend and warmer temperatures expected next week, soon even the snowbanks will be gone!

Red River flooding in Manitoba

St. Clements, MB home surrounded by ice

St. Clements, MB home surrounded by ice

Winnipeg may have been spared flooding from the Red River thanks to its floodway system but areas north of the city have not been so lucky.

Officials say at least 200 homes have been damaged by floodwaters and ice from the river.

St. Clements near the mouth of the Red at Lake Winnipeg was hardest hit with ice slabs the size of cars engulfing the community.

Easter snow – enough already!

Downtown Moncton Apr.12.09

Downtown Moncton Apr.12.09

Just when we thought the snow was gone for good and spring had finally arrived… well, here we go again!

On Easter Sunday and Monday, Greater Moncton had 28 cm of heavy, wet snow.

Eastern New Brunswick was once again the hardest hit from a storm system that actually began life in the U.S. where it spawned tornadoes that killed three and injured dozens in several southeastern states.

Ice jams cause flooding

Ice jam on St. John River near Perth-Andover, NB

Ice jam on St. John River near Perth-Andover, NB

It’s that time of year again, when residents along the St. John River get nervous about what snow melt and spring run-off will mean for the mighty river.

In the Woodstock area of western New Brunswick, high water levels pushed ice onshore crushing guard rails and pavement forcing the evacuation of more than 200 residents.

Heavy rains, which were forecast for the region and would have potentially worsened the situation, did not materialize.