May 2012 – Sensational Spring!

Butterfly lands on white lilac, 21 May 2012 (TWN)

Spring is always the most unpredictable season in Southeast New Brunswick and this year is no exception.

But instead of sharp swings from cold to warm, temperatures have been more consistently on the mild side and precipitation has been well below normal.

Daytime highs in Greater Moncton were above average throughout May with the exception of a few days at month’s end oddly enough.

Overnight lows were chilly during the first half of the month but frost was rare due to cloud cover.

MAY 2012 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)

Average HIGH  18.0 C

Average LOW  4.9 C

AVERAGE  11.5 C (about 1.6 C above the 30-year average of 1971-2000) 

Extreme HIGH  28.2 C (on the 21st)

Extreme LOW  -1.6 C  (on the 1st)

Rainfall  64.8 mm (about 30% below the 30-year average)

(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)

Beryl bears down on Southeast USA

Image courtesy Weather Underground

Tropical Storm Beryl closed in on the southeastern U.S. coast on Sunday, dumping rain and whipping up heavy surf from northern Florida to South Carolina.

The second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to make landfall with possible wind gusts to hurricane force, according to the U.S. Hurricane Centre.

Computer forecast models show Beryl moving on an eventual path back out over the Atlantic after coming ashore, posing no threat to U.S. oil and gas installations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters say it is expected to weaken to a depression by Monday night.

Average hurricane season predicted

Comparing hurricane predictions

Weather forecasters say the early emergence of a tropical storm this year does not mean Eastern Canada should brace for a particularly active hurricane season.

Bob Robichaud of the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax says forecasters are expecting an average number of hurricanes this year, despite the formation of tropical storm Alberto last weekend.

Hurricane season generally runs from 01 June to 30 November.

U.S. forecasters are predicting between nine to 15 named storms this year, with one to three expected to become major hurricanes.

Lilacs in bloom

Lilacs coming into bloom (file photo)

It is my most favourite time of year – lilac season!

Lilacs are now coming into full bloom.

Typically blossoming in early to mid-June in Southeast New Brunswick, lilacs are blooming about two weeks earlier than usual due to a warm spring in the region.

Unfortunately the blossom is short-lived, lasting only two or three weeks.

Alberto loses strength

Alberto is downgraded to post-tropical (Image courtesy Stormpulse)

The first tropical depression of the 2012 season may have arrived early but Alberto has already lost strength.

The U.S. Hurricane Centre has already issued its final advisory on Alberto which has become a post-tropical storm.

It is not too unusual to see tropical storms before hurricane season officially begins. 
Within the past five years, three storms have developed during the month of May.The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is 01 June.

The heat is on Victoria Day

Moncton skyline at sunset, 20 May 2012 (courtesy News 91.9/Lebreton photo)

Summer-like weather was enjoyed in New Brunswick on this Victoria Day, the unofficial kickoff of summer across Canada.

The long weekend has been mostly sunny but today was remarkable with brilliant sunshine and a high of 28.2 C in Greater Moncton – the warmest high temperature so far in 2012 but just shy of the record of 29.6 C from 2009.

But numerous communities in northern New Brunswick exceeded 30 C today including Charlo at 33.5 C and Bathurst at 32.9 C (new record).

Warm, humid summer expected for NB


In its summer 2012 forecast unveiled today, Accuweather is predicting a warm, humid summer with near normal temperatures expected for New Brunswick.

Precipitation is also expected to be near normal with above-normal rainfall for the eastern tips of Atlantic Canada.

Meanwhile, there is an increased tropical storm threat for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland later this summer, since steering currents in the tropics may be directed toward Atlantic Canada.

For the complete Accuweather predictions:

Forest fire near Salisbury

Location of forest fire, 08 May 2012 (Google maps)

A forest fire near Salisbury was contained by air and ground crews on Tuesday. 

The Department of Natural Resources says the fire began around 2pm and spread in a wooded area off River Glade Road. 

DNR crews and local fire crews from Salisbury and Petitcodiac fought the blaze which grew to about 10 hectares in size. 

Although the blaze did not threaten any homes, some reports say it did destroy a barn. 

No word yet on a cause but this spring has been dry and all of New Brunswick is currently under a “no burn” order.

Moncton in bloom

Magnolia trees bloom in Moncton, 08 May 2012 (Dearing photo)

What a beautiful time of year in Greater Moncton!

Trees are sprouting leaves, flowers are in full bloom and the aroma of freshly cut grass is everywhere.

During a walk yesterday, I captured several magnolia trees blooming in Riverfront Park.

A horticulturist friend of mine mentioned the trees, which are native to the American South, have suffered some damage in recent days given that overnight lows have dropped below freezing.