December 2012 – Mild with a snowy end

Temperatures were about 2 C above average during December in Greater Moncton which continued a trend from autumn and from the entire year really with a couple exceptions.

The first snow of the season fell on the 10th (8 cm) which was late if you compare to previous years but it was just a taste of white to come.

Three major snowstorms each dumped 20 cm or more of snow during the last half of the month pushing the snowfall total above normal.

DECEMBER 2012 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)

Average HIGH  0.6 C

Average LOW  -7.3 C

AVERAGE  -3.4 C  (about 2.1 degrees above the 30-year average 1971-2000)

Extreme HIGH  10.3 C (05 Dec)

Extreme LOW  -16.5 C (16 Dec)

Rainfall  41.0 mm (approximately; 25% below normal)

Snowfall  85.0 cm (approximately; 22% above normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada and Wunderground)

Nasty Nor’easter

Post-Nor'easter in NE Moncton, 31 Dec 2012 (Dearing photo)

Post-Nor’easter in NE Moncton, 31 Dec 2012 (Dearing photo)

A classic Nor’easter – the third winter storm in ten days – barrelled up the Atlantic coast yesterday bringing with it lots of snow and strong winds creating blizzard conditions.

Greater Moncton was hit with 24 cm of snow (at the airport) and as much 30 cm or more outside the city with winds gusting up to 80 km/h creating whiteouts.

Saint John actually set a new one-day snow record of 25.3 cm breaking the old record from 1962.

In the Kennebecasis Valley, there were unofficial reports of 46 cm of snow having fallen.

Another winter storm on the way



The third snowstorm in just ten days is poised to hit Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick starting early Sunday morning.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning with 20 to 30 cm of snow in the forecast along with strong winds creating blowing and drifting snow.

A storm surge warning has also been issued along the shoreline of the Gulf of St. Lawrence from Miramichi to Shediac with higher than normal water levels and rough, pounding surf.

Second major storm of the season

A wintry downtown Moncton, 27 Dec 2012 (TWN)

A wintry downtown Moncton, 27 Dec 2012 (TWN)

Greater Moncton was walloped with 29.2 cm of heavy,wet snow overnight along with freezing rain and rain.

The storm also dropped 38 cm on Gagetown, 25 cm in Kouchibouguac and 22 cm in Fredericton.

Rain fell mainly along the Fundy and Atlantic coasts with 34 mm  reported on Grand Manan Island.

The same storm system buried Montreal under 45 cm of snow – a single day snow record.

Meantime, Environment Canada is tracking another system which could bring more snow and high winds to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on Sunday.

Winter storm wallops Eastern Canada

27-28 Dec 2012 (courtesy

27-28 Dec 2012 (courtesy

For many in Southern Ontario, this wintry wallop was the first major snowstorm of the season dumping about 15 cm of snow on Windsor, Toronto and Hamilton with 20 cm in Ottawa and 30 cm in Kingston.

Montreal could receive as much as 40 cm of snow while Quebec City can expect about 20 cm.

The storm actually originated in the American South dropping rare post-Christmas snow on cities like Dallas, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas.

After hammering the U.S. Northeast with snow and rain, the storm is now moving into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with snow, strong gusty winds and rain along the Atlantic coast.

White Christmas


25 Dec 2012 (Courtesy NOAA)

25 Dec 2012 (Courtesy NOAA)

With a few centimetres of old snow on the ground, Environment Canada would technically consider that Greater Moncton had a White Christmas.

But that wasn’t the case throughout the rest of the Maritimes with virtually no snow over much of Nova Scotia.

The only other areas of the country which had a Green Christmas were Southern Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula and SW British Columbia.

In the United States, a large part of the West was snow covered today along with the Great Lakes region and the Northeast.

First day of winter




Winter officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere at 7:12am ADT.

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year when the direct rays of the sun are at their farthest point south over the Tropic of Capricorn.

The word solstice is from Latin and means “sun stands still”.

From this point on, the days will gradually get longer.

Interestingly enough, this is the earliest winter solstice since 1896.

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories for 2012

Flooding on Robie Street, Truro, NS, 10 September 2012 (Courtesy Facebook)

Flooding on Robie Street, Truro, NS, 10 September 2012 (Courtesy Facebook)

In its annual list, Environment Canada has chosen the top weather stories of the year – from super storms to super heat, and from immense flooding to immense fires.

Temperatures were above normal across Canada during winter, spring and summer from coast to coast to coast.

By the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, 19 named storms were recorded with Chris, Leslie, Rafael and Sandy impacting Canada.

High levels of early spring flooding in British Columbia caused washouts, and slides, evacuations and fatalities.

The March heat wave was off the scale in every way: intense, huge and long-lasting. In Moncton, a new record monthly high of 26 C was recorded.

Summer on the Prairies started out with short-lived cool temperatures and ended as one of the top ten warmest on record.

The year will go down as one of extraordinary change across the Arctic Ocean, with sea ice becoming dramatically thinner, weaker and younger and melting more easily.

Higher than normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall in Eastern Canada meant a great summer for most outdoor enthusiasts but trouble for some crops and water systems.

Thunder Bay experienced record breaking flooding in May while Montreal and Toronto also found themselves with expensive floods weeks later.

A monstrous hailstorm pelted Calgary with hailstones larger than golf balls on August 12th and in a matter of 10 minutes, pounding hail dimpled vehicles and riddled house siding with millions of dents.

The first days of spring were marked by a mandatory evacuation for residents of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation when the Saint John River and several tributaries spilled onto nearby fields and roads.

First major snowfall of the season

Driving in Cocagne, NB, 19 Dec 2012 (TWN)

Driving in Cocagne, NB, 19 Dec 2012 (TWN)

Winter may be just a couple days away but the first major snowfall of the season has dumped about 20 cm of heavy, wet snow on Greater Moncton in the last 24 hours.

Schools were closed today in Southeast New Brunswick and crews were doing their best to clear streets and sidewalks.

NB Power was also kept busy with thousands of power outages mostly in the Fredericton area where between 15 and 30 cm of snow fell depending on elevation.

Saint John had mostly rain from the storm system but did receive about 7 cm of snow.

Snowstorm on the way

Courtesy The Weather Network

Courtesy The Weather Network

Much of New Brunswick is expected to get its first real blast of snow tonight and tomorrow although Greater Moncton could also see rain mixed in at times.

Environment Canada says low pressure over New England will move south of Nova Scotia on Wednesday bringing snow over southern and northwestern New Brunswick with mainly rain over the extreme southwestern region.

Snowfall amounts could range from 15 to 35 cm with anywhere from 30 to 60 mm of rain for Southwestern New Brunswick and Western Nova Scotia.