December 2009 – Winter suddenly arrives

Blue Moon over Moncton - second full moon 31 Dec 09

After a balmy November in Greater Moncton, it was quite a sudden jolt when 15 cm of snow arrived on the 6th.

The snow didn’t completely melt either thanks to two brief cold snaps during the month when temperatures plunged to -18 C.

The month as a whole was fairly close to normal in terms of precipitation while temperatures were slightly above normal.

December 2009 ALMANAC

Average HIGH  -0.6 C

Average LOW  -7.4 C

Average  -4.0 C (1.5 degrees above normal)

Extreme HIGH  13.0 C (on the 3rd)

Extreme LOW  -18.3 C (on the 17th and 31st)

Rainfall  62.1 mm (slightly above normal)

Snowfall  57.4 cm (slightly below normal)

White Christmas

Snow cover across Canada, 25 Dec 09

Most of New Brunswick had a White Christmas with the exception of parts of the Fundy Coast and the Sackville area.

Officially, 4 cm of snow was reported at the Greater Moncton Airport, Christmas morning at 2AM.

A Green Christmas was to be had in much of Northeastern Nova Scotia (including Truro where I spent Christmas), Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, and Eastern Newfoundland.

Otherwise most of Canada had a White Christmas except Southwestern Ontario, Vancouver Island and the BC Lower Mainland.

First Day of Winter

The Winter Solstice officially arrived today at 1:47 PM Atlantic Standard Time although unofficially it has been winter for several weeks now in New Brunswick.

The solstice is when the earth is tilted the furthest away from the sun and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest.

Of course, it also means this is the shortest day or longest night of the year.

The good news is the days get longer from now until the summer solstice next June.

Blizzard of ’09

The White House in winter wonderland, 20 Dec 09

A powerful Nor’easter that roared up the American Eastern Seaboard is being called the Blizzard of ’09 after dumping up to 60 cm of snow from Virginia to Massachusetts.

The storm created travel chaos both on the ground and in the air as holiday travellers tried to make it to their Christmas destinations.

The storm brought the heaviest December snowfalls ever to cities like Washington and Philadelphia and slowed down the busiest shopping weekend before Dec. 25th. 

The brunt of the storm moved out to sea after striking Massachusetts but Southern Nova Scotia will get brushed with about 20-30 cm of snow.

Snow totals…

Philadelphia Int’l Arpt  59 cm

Baltimore Int’l Arpt  52 cm

Washington The Mall  40 cm

New York Central Park  28 cm

Boston Logan Arpt  23 cm

Snow in London

Snow covered taxi in south London, 18 Dec 09

A snowfall of between 5 and 15 cm covered Greater London and much of Southern England today causing two major airports, Gatwick and Luton, to close briefly.

Some schools also closed and ground travel was disrupted as police warned drivers to stay off the roads.

The snow caused bookies to lower the odds of a White Christmas in London.

Snow in Paris

Paris is blanketed with snow, 17 Dec 09

About 7 cm of snow blanketed the French capital of Paris today as a pre-Christmas cold snap enveloped Western Europe.

French authorities closed the Eiffel Tower and the snow disrupted transportation including air, train and road travel.

Snow also fell in Britain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The northern Netherlands experienced the worst snowfalls in four years with snow up to 25 cm deep in places.

Arctic air invades NB

The dome of Arctic air that has been sitting over the Prairies recently has moved east and invaded New Brunswick.

In Greater Moncton, the low this morning was -18.2 C, with a windchill of -31 at times, and although it seems cold it is not even close to the record of -26.1 C on this date.

Incidently, temperatures have rebounded on the Prairies where Calgary was a balmy 6 C today and it was even mild in Iqaluit, Nunavut where it hit -1 C.

Frigid West!

Frigid conditions envelop Edmonton

The kind of cold that is hard to imagine has enveloped the Prairies.

Records have been shattered in many cities including Edmonton with a frigid -46.1 C, or -58.4 with wind chill, set at the Edmonton International Airport early Sunday.

The old record of -36.1 C was set last year and meteorologists say to break a temperature by more than 10 degrees is exceptional.
Temperatures across the Prairies have been colder than the North Pole and almost as cold as frigid Siberia.

Another winter storm hits Moncton

For the second time in less than a week, a winter storm walloped Greater Moncton.

This one, not a Nor’easter but a Colorado Low, brought 14 cm of snow, some freezing rain and then rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

To add insult to injury, the temperature is expected to plummet starting tomorrow which means all of the melting will turn to solid ice.

Snowfall totals around the region…

Edmundston  19 cm

Fredericton  11 cm

Saint John  8 cm

Halifax  Airport  7 cm

Charlottetown  2 cm

Winter storm wallops US, Cen Canada

The first winter storm of the season has invaded Southern Ontario and Quebec with as much as 25 cm’s of snow in some areas along with rain and some freezing precipitation.

The storm began in the American West and spread to the Midwest, Great Lakes and the Northeast dumping as much as a foot of snow and dangerous blizzard conditions in some areas.

And of course, this storm is headed for New Brunswick… stay tuned tomorrow for details.