January 2010 – Balmy start to winter

A late January sunset in Greater Moncton

Greater Moncton enjoyed a rather balmy start to winter with milder than normal temperatures in January – actually 3.6 C above average for the month.

Daytime highs and overnight lows were especially mild during the first part and last part of the month.

Snowfall was close to normal thanks to just two storms and at one point near month end, the ground was virtually bare.

Rainfall was below normal for the month with most of it falling during a single rain event on the 26th.

JANUARY 2010 ALMANAC

Average HIGH  -1.8 C

Average LOW  -8.8 C

AVERAGE  -5.3 C (3.6 degrees above normal)

Extreme HIGH  +8.6 C (on the 26th)

Extreme LOW  -20.3 C (on the 31st)

Snowfall  72.6 cm (slightly below normal)

Rainfall  24.6 cm (40 percent below normal)

Record warmth in Vancouver

Daffodils bloom early in Vancouver 27 Jan 10

As Vancouver gets set to host the Winter Olympics in less than two weeks, the city has had little winter in the month of January.

A record average January temperature of 7.1 C is about to be set at the Vancouver Airport – the highest since records began in 1937.

The previous record average was 6.3 C set several times with the average for the month being 3.3 C.

A strong El Nino has caused daytime highs to soar above 10 C on 15 occassions with only two overnight lows below freezing and not even a trace of snow reported.

Winter returns with vengeance

Clearing drifting snow in Moncton 29 Jan 10

After several days of spring-like temperatures in Greater Moncton, winter returned to the region today with snow and strong winds creating zero visibility at times.

The storm system lingered over the region for almost 24 hours picking up moisture from the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence.

About 23 cm of snow fell in Greater Moncton with lesser amounts in the rest of the province although Charlottetown, PEI recorded 27 cm and Greenwood, NS had 28 cm.

Colorado Low brings bluster

Rain takes away snow in Moncton, 27 Jan 10

A classic Colorado Low brought heavy rain and high winds (such a low can also bring heavy snow) to much of New Brunswick yesterday.

A light coating of freezing rain also fell in Greater Moncton ahead of the rain.

The winds knocked out power to thousands and restricted crossing of the Confederation Bridge to PEI.

Mild temperatures were also reported with 8.6 C at Moncton Airport to 10.0 C in Fredericton and Point Lepreau.

Storm stats…

Moncton  20 mm rain/76 kmh wind gusts

Saint John 29 mm rain/61 kmh wind gusts

Fredericton  11 mm rain/ 66 kmh wind gusts

Manitoba blizzard

Poor visibility on Manitoba highways, 25 Jan 10

A good old fashioned prairie blizzard wreaked havoc across Manitoba yesterday.

Blowing snow lowered visibilty so much that major highways such as the Trans-Canada had to be closed for a time.

Winds gusted as high as 80 km/h creating wind chills as cold as -38 C.

Schools were closed and travel was not recommended.

Moncton dodges a bullet

A winter storm that roared up the East Coast impacting New England this week actually had more of an impact on Southwestern New Brunswick than it did in Greater Moncton.

For once, Moncton dodged a bullet with a mere 9 cm of snow yesterday (small by local standards). 

Other snow totals were more impressive:

Grand Manan  26 cm

Saint John  20 cm

Fredericton  14 cm

Flooding in California

Flooding in Long Beach, CA, 19 Jan 2010

It seldom rains in Southern California but when it does it often pours.

Hundreds of hillside residents in Greater Los Angeles were ordered to evacuate their homes today after heavy rains brought the threat of mudslides to the region.

More than 200 mm of rain has fallen in some areas over the past few days and there were even reports of a tornado in Orange County.

In neighbouring Arizona, flash flood warnings have been posted for Greater Phoenix with heavy snow falling in the mountains.

Weather worries for Olympics

Rain on Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, 12 Jan 2010

With the Winter Olympics in Vancouver just one month away, rain and warm temperatures are creating headaches for organizers.

Cypress Mountain, which will host freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, has been closed to the public after the temperature reached 4 C with rain and fog eating away snow.

A record high of 13.1 C was even set yesterday at Vancouver Airport and Whistler has recorded more than 100 mm of rain so far this month.

But organizers have been stockpiling snow and are confident they will have enough when the Games begin Feb.12th.

Frosty Florida sets record lows

Keeping warm on Miami Beach, 11 Jan 2010

The Arctic chill continues in Florida endangering fruit and vegetable crops as new record lows are set throughout the state.

Miami set a new record low this morning of +2 C, breaking the old record which was more than 80 years old and even Key West dipped to +5 C, its second coldest reading ever.

Orlando dipped to -2 C and Tampa fell to -4 C, tying record lows while Tallahassee set a new record of -10 C.

Florida is used to the occassional cold snap but they seldom last as long as this one with 10 consecutive days of lows below 10 C in Miami.

Cold snap strikes Florida

Cold weather has threatened Florida citrus crop

Florida is experiencing its longest cold snap in 20 years with northern and central parts of the state dipping to as low as -6 C.

But so far citrus farmers say they have avoided potentially dangerous losses from the cold.

Wildlife is being affected too… iguanas have been falling off trees being unable to maintain their grip in the cold and officials are monitoring manatees and sea turtles which can’t survive very long in cold temperatures.

The cold snap is expected to worsen in some areas this weekend.