July 2013 – Warm and wet

Petitcodiac River in downtown Moncton, 24 July 2013 (Dearing)

Petitcodiac River in downtown Moncton, 24 July 2013 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton had more rain than usual during July with 17 days recording at least a trace amount but other communities such as Fredericton and St. Stephen were much wetter.

When the rain came down it poured with major events on July 23 and 26 with about 40 mm recorded each day.

Daytime highs were quite warm with an unofficial heat wave from July 4-7 and eight days reaching 30°C or higher – the normal for Moncton is about three.

JULY 2013 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)

Average HIGH 26.0°C

Average LOW 14.6°C

AVERAGE 20.3°C (1.7 degrees above the 30-year average 1971-2000)

Extreme HIGH 34.3°C (15 July)

Extreme LOW 8.9°C (09 July)

Rainfall 122.0 mm (20 percent above the 30-year average 1971-2000)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Torrential downpours across NB


Flooding in St. Stephen, 26 July 2013 (St. Croix Courier/Facebook)

Flooding in St. Stephen, 26 July 2013 (St. Croix Courier/Facebook)

When rain has fallen in New Brunswick this summer, it seems to fall fast and furious like it did yesterday.

The hardest hit community was St. Stephen where a whopping 165 mm of rain came down in less than 24 hours – which is roughly two months worth!

Town officials say the amount of rain was close to being as disastrous as a flood in December 2010 but this time the downtown area was spared.

Heavy rainfall amounts were recorded right across the province.

Some totals from Environment Canada:

St. Stephen 165 mm

Fredericton 119 mm

Kouchibouguac 97 mm

Bathurst 84 mm

Saint John 78 mm

Moncton 41 mm

NB tornado had winds from 135-175 km/h

Damage from the Grand Lake area tornado, 21 July 2013 (Courtesy CTV)

Damage from the Grand Lake area tornado, 21 July 2013 (Courtesy CTV)

Environment Canada says winds in a tornado that touched down in the Grand Lake area on Saturday moved at speeds of between 135 to 175 kilometres per hour.

The wind speed calculated by meteorologists means the storm is officially designated as an Enhanced Fujita 1 (EF-1) – the scale runs from zero to five.

Two meteorologists examined the tornado’s destruction over a pathway of about 15 kilometres and found the storm touched down near Jemseg and started ripping up trees.

As it moved east, three barns were destroyed and three more structures were damaged or destroyed including another barn in the Cambridge-Narrows area.

The researchers found the debris from the barn in Cambridge-Narrows was picked up and carried more 300 metres.

The last EF-1 tornado hit the province on Aug. 3, 2007, in the Mount Carleton area.

(With files from Canadian Press)

Surprise deluge!

Environment Canada was only forecasting 15 mm of rain for Moncton on Tuesday but a whopping 40 mm was recorded – almost half a month’s worth of rain in one day!

Gagetown had even more rain yesterday with 70 mm being reported.

Temperatures were also cool throughout New Brunswick with a daytime high of only 18.3°C in Fredericton – almost 10 degrees below normal for late July.

Tornado strikes central NB

Funnel cloud over Grand Lake, 21 July 2013 (Screen capture courtesy Alex Hache/ Global News)

Funnel cloud over Grand Lake, 21 July 2013 (Screen capture courtesy Alex Hache/ Global News)

A number of communities in central New Brunswick are cleaning up today after a tornado touched down last night.

Damage from strong winds was reported in the Grand Lake area including Cambridge-Narrows, Jemseg and Whites Cove.

Witnesses say a funnel cloud took shape and appears to have lifted the roof off a barn, uprooted trees and tossed around vehicles.

Environment Canada sent a team to assess the damage on 22 July and confirmed the storm was a tornado.

Great day for whale watching!

Fin Whale in Passamaquoddy Bay, 17 July 2013 (Robert Miller photo)

Fin Whale in Passamaquoddy Bay, 17 July 2013 (Robert Miller photo)

Although I grew up in the Maritimes surrounded by the ocean and its creatures, I’ve never gone whale watching before – until yesterday.

With friends, I boarded the Island Quest in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, one of many whale watching tours available in the community.

We left the dock and headed out toward Passamaquoddy Bay with Deer Island on one side and the United States on the other – Eastport, Maine.

We cruised past several tiny islands – one of which we were told was owned by Hollywood actor Tom Selleck – and passed numerous porpoises leaping in and out of the water.

We finally saw whales near Campobello Island – both the Fin Whale and the Minke Whale which are common in the area.

They were an amazing sight as they breached the water – something our tour guide told us was extremely rare.

On the way back, we passed cultivated salmon farms and a small island filled with seals!

A great day on Passamaquoddy Bay and the weather cooperated too – mostly cloudy and temperatures in the low 20’s C.

Smoke drifts into NB

Environment Canada has issued an air quality advisory for Southeast New Brunswick.

Smoke from fires in Southeastern Quebec have penetrated into New Brunswick with the highest levels observed in the Southeast.

Poor air quality levels may persist until late on Wednesday when an approaching trough will give a southwest flow.

This should flush the smoke and improve conditions by Wednesday evening.

New Brunswick sizzles in heat wave

Courtesy Atlantic Canada Weather/Facebook

Courtesy Atlantic Canada Weather/Facebook

A warm air mass is bringing record-breaking heat to much of New Brunswick with the entire province under a humidex advisory with values reaching 40.

In Greater Moncton a new record of 32.2°C was set yesterday eclipsing the old record from 1942 while today it was 34.3°C breaking a record from 1952.

The provincial hotspot was Kouchibouguac yesterday at a sizzling 35.2°C also setting a new record while today it was even warmer at 37.3°C!

Environment Canada says temperatures will be a bit cooler tomorrow with a high of 28°C expected in Greater Moncton.

Soaking in Southern Ontario

Flooded Don Valley Parkway in Toronto (Reuters)

Flooded Don Valley Parkway in Toronto (Reuters)

A month’s worth of rain fell in Toronto in just a few hours yesterday with a whopping 126 mm recorded at Pearson Airport.

A rush hour train became stranded on its tracks with water up to its windows prompting an emergency rescue of more than 1400 passengers.

Some motorists also became stranded in their vehicles by rushing floodwaters.

Almost 500,000 lost power during the torrential downpour.

Record heat in NB

The warmest weather so far in 2013 has enveloped New Brunswick.

Due to the heat, Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for the province warning of high humidex values reaching or exceeding 40 in some areas.

In Greater Moncton yesterday, a new record of 31.6°C was set breaking the old one of 31.4°C from 1983.

The hotspot yesterday in New Brunswick was Kouchibouguac at 33.2°C which was also a new record and today it was also a record-setting 33.8°C.

Today, Greater Moncton has broken another record at 32.7°C beating the 1983 record of 30.6°C and the humidex reached a scorching 41.