March 2011 – Snow finally slows down!

Crocuses in bloom, Moncton 31 March 11 (TWN)

After two months with snowfall after snowfall, little melting and virtually no rain, the snow machine finally slowed down in Greater Moncton during March.

With little new snow, lengthening days and above freezing temperatures, the mountains of snow accumulated over the winter finally had a chance to melt.

For example, March 1st recorded 120 cm of snow on the ground (121 cm was the maximum for the winter of 2010-11) while on March 31st, a mere 8 cm of snow was on the ground – what a difference in a few weeks!

MARCH 2011 Almanac

Average HIGH  2.6 C

Average LOW  -7.3 C

AVERAGE  -2.4 C (0.5 degrees above normal based on 30 year average from 1971-2000)

Extreme HIGH  10.2 C (on the 6th)

Extreme LOW  -21.7 C (on the 4th)

Rainfall  50.0 mm (slightly above normal)

Snowfall  13.7 cm (only 20% of the normal)

Suprising snow totals…

Courtesy TWN

With huge snowbanks in Greater Moncton this winter, you would have thought that total snowfall to date (as of 30 March) for the winter of 2010-11 would have been well above normal.

As shown above, that is not the case with Greater Moncton checking in just shy of its normal snowfall total of 349.9 cm.

Halifax, Charlottetown and St. John’s are also reporting below normal snowfall totals for the winter.

Snow FINALLY comes to a halt

Clouds over Greater Moncton 28 Mar 11 (TWN)

March is not quite over yet… but so far this month very little snow has fallen over southern New Brunswick.

A lack of new snow combined with melting has made the snow cover disappear.

At the beginning of this month, Moncton had 120 cm of snow on the ground while Saint John had 53 cm.

But Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby notes the snow has disappeared quickly over the past few weeks.

“If the skies were clear and the sun was shining and the snow was dirty… it absorbs  more energy…. evaporation or sublimation and some melting are going on,” says Libby.

What is noteworthy is the lack of new snow this month – Moncton has only had about 10 cm while Saint John has received 5 cm.

Spring – finally!

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Spring officially arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 8:21 pm ADT – not a second too soon for many!

The winter of 2010-11 in Greater Moncton can be best described as VERY snowy with a long stretch of below freezing temperatures – thankfully it is over – at least by the calendar anyway.

Robins return!

A robin returns after wintering in the south (TWN)

A sure sign of spring in New Brunswick is the return of the robin.

Today for the first time in months, I heard the sweet sounds of a robin outside my home.

Robins typically migrate in the winter to the American South and Mexico.

Cold, snow add to tragedy in Japan

Snow covers devastation, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan 17 Mar 11

Cold and snow has been adding to misery in northern Japan in the wake of the devastating earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks.

A dip in the jet stream this week has been producing colder than normal weather than what is typical for mid-March.

The area around Sendai received several centimetres of snow spanning Tuesday night into Wednesday this week.

The rough weather added further misery to desperate rescue attempts as the hope for finding survivors in the rubble across the region dwindled.

Incredible shrinking snowbanks!

Snow cover Atlantic Canada 17 Mar 11 (TWN)

The great mounds of snow in Greater Moncton have been disappearing lately at an alarming rate.

As of today, 17 March, only 21 cm of snow remains on the ground in the region compared to 73 cm just a week ago and a whopping 120 cm on 01 March.

From the map above, you can see Nova Scotia is now almost completely snow-free except for the Cobequid Mountains region.

Prince Edward Island is still lightly snow-covered and much of southern New Brunswick is either snow-free or lightly snow-covered while northern areas still have a large amount of snow.

Record warmth in NB

Crocuses growing in Riverview, NB 06 Mar 11

New Brunswick has been having a tough winter so when the temperature climbs above 10 C before the official start of spring, it is a time for celebration.

Greater Moncton reached 10.2 C today – the record for the date is 15.5 C from 1961.

This is the first time since 15 December (2010) that the temperature has climbed above 10 C.

Record highs were set today at Bouctouche 11.4 C, Alma 10.0 C and Bas Caraquet 8.2 C.

Snow cover slowly melts

Image courtesy NOAA, 03 Mar 11

A fairly consistent snow cover (depicted in white) is evident across most of Canada (including New Brunswick) except for small pockets along the West Coast and Lake Ontario.

Much of the northern United States is white too although snow appears to be melting along the southern Great Lakes and the Northeast.

A southern band of snow cover still reaches into the higher elevations of Northern Arizona.

Ice cover (depicted in yellow) is evident over the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence and Northumberland Strait, the Strait of Belle Isle and the Labrador coast.

Pockets of the Great Lakes including Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie still have ice but Lake Ontario is now mostly ice-free.

Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and James Bay all remain ice-covered.