February 2011 – Cold and very snowy!

Waiting for a bus in Moncton 28 Feb 11

Snow, snow and more snow… it never seemed to stop in February in Greater Moncton – a trend that began in late December.

Only 7 days during the month recorded no precipitation and what did fall came mainly as snow with the heaviest event of 24.2 cm recorded on the 25th.

The month was also colder than usual with a prolonged below-freezing stretch finally being broken on the 17th.

FEBRUARY 2011 ALMANAC

Average HIGH  -2.9 C

Average LOW  -13.6 C

AVERAGE  -8.3 C (0.3 C below the thirty-year average)

Extreme HIGH  4.3 C (on 17th, breaking 27 day stretch below freezing)

Extreme LOW  -20.6 C (on 27th)

Rainfall  10.0 mm (only one-third the normal amount)

Snowfall  126.4 cm (almost double the normal amount)

Let the great snow melt begin!

Temperature in Greater Moncton climbed to 4.0 C today – the first time above freezing since January 21st or 27 days!

That lengthy period – nearly one month below zero – is quite astounding for a winter rollercoaster ride that normally takes Greater Moncton up and down above freezing several times in only a week!

Moncton sets new snow record

Mother Nature just doesn’t seem to want to give Greater Moncton a break this winter.

An endless series of snowstorms and the lack of a winter thaw has meant that virtually all of the snow that has fallen has remained on the ground.

As of yesterday, Environment Canada says 120 cm was measured on the ground at the Greater Moncton Airport beating the previous February record of 119 cm from 1992.

Moncton nears snow record

Snowbanks are higher than most children in Moncton

The seemingly endless series of winter storms to hit Greater Moncton is putting the city on the verge of breaking its own February snowfall record.

Environment Canada says the current snow record is 119 cm on the ground in February 1992.

As of yesterday, 113 cm was lying on the ground at Greater Moncton Airport.

The snow is causing problems – the weight of the snow has caused roofs to collapse and school officials are asking drivers to use caution as the high snow banks, lack of sidewalks and narrow streets are forcing children to walk on the road.

The large piles of snow have also started to put a strain on Moncton’s snow clearing budget.

Moncton sets out $5 million annually for plowing, salting and moving snow, a sufficient budget in recent years but that figure has been eaten into significantly by the recent storms.

Where will all the snow go?

Snowbanks in NE Moncton, 07 Feb 11

The immense snowbanks in Greater Moncton continue to grow after yet another snowstorm yesterday.

Environment Canada recorded 22 cm at the Moncton Airport, 18 cm in Fredericton and 26 cm in Bathurst.

Along the Funday coast, Saint John received only 3 cm of snow with 20 mm of rain.

Meantime, another system could bring 10-15 cm of fresh snow to SE New Brunswick starting tomorrow.

Cyclone strikes NE Australia

Satellite image of Cyclone Yasi, 02 Feb 11

As if NE Australia hasn’t already been battered enough by recent heavy rains and flooding, along comes Cyclone Yasi.

The cyclone packing winds of up to 300 km an hour near its core, came ashore along hundreds of kilometers of coastline in Queensland.

Major cities in the area including Cairns and Townsville appeared to escape the full brunt of the storm, but officials expected severe damage in smaller communities.

More than 400,000 live in the cyclone’s path and the entire stretch is popular with tourists thanks to the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Groundhog Day Storm!

Snowbanks get higher Moncton, 03 Feb 11

The so-called Groundhog Day Storm has been a massive winter system spreading snow and ice over much of eastern North America from Texas to the Maritimes.

The U.S. Weather Service called this a winter storm of historic proportions which produced heavy snow (Chicago had 50 cm), dangerous ice accumulations and bitter wind chills throughout roughly two-thirds of the continental U.S.

In the Maritimes, mainland Nova Scotia got the brunt of this storm with up to 50 cm reported in some areas.

Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick received between 20 and 25 cm of snow.

Groundhogs predict early spring

Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam, 02 Feb 11

New Brunswick’s groundhog Oromocto Ollie has agreed with his cousins across the country and is predicting an early spring.

Ollie – Canada’s newest furry prognosticator – failed to see its shadow on Groundhog Day this morning at CFB Gagetown.    

Ontario’s Wiarton Willie and Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam are both predicting an early spring.

They are also in agreement with Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, who is also forecasting an early spring for the United States.