St. Antoine, north of Moncton, 31 March 2014 (Facebook)
According to folklore, if March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb and vice versa – but that wasn’t the case for the month in Greater Moncton.
Temperatures were well below normal – the extreme March maximum failed to crack 10 C and the extreme minimum fell below -18 C six times during the first week of the month.
Snowfall was well above normal thanks to three major snow events while rainfall was slightly below normal.
MARCH 2014 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -0.8 C
Average LOW -12.3 C
AVERAGE -6.5 C (about 3.6 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 6.8 C (15 Mar)
Extreme LOW -23.7 C (04 Mar)
Snowfall 122.6 cm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
Rainfall 42.2 mm (slightly BELOW normal)
A common sight in Moncton during periods of freezing rain or even snow
Many New Brunswickers were hoping this week’s blizzard was the last winter storm of the season but unfortunately more wintry weather is moving into the region.
Environment Canada has posted a rainfall and freezing rainfall warning for Greater Moncton with 5 cm of snow, extended periods of freezing rain or ice pellets along with up to 40 mm of rain.
The slow moving low pressure system also brought mixed precipitation to the U.S. Northeast from Virginia to Maine where it has already sparked concerns about spring flooding.
Blizzard aftermath in Moncton, 27 March 2014 (Twitter)
Schools were closed for a second straight day in Greater Moncton after a massive blizzard brought heavy snow and strong, gusty winds which created poor visibility and whiteout conditions.
The Confederation Bridge was closed almost all day due to the winds and Cobequid Pass was shut down overnight due to blowing and drifting snow.
The spring blizzard of ’14 delivered some impressive numbers both in terms of snowfall and peak wind gusts:
Charlottetown, PEI. 53 cm/ 93 km/h
Greenwood, NS. 42 cm/ 102 km/h
Greater Moncton Airport. 41 cm/ 98 km/h
Digby, NS. 34 cm/ 111 km/h
Truro, NS. 28 cm/ 102 km/h
Saint John, NB. 28 cm/ 111 km/h
Halifax Stanfield Airport. 21 cm/ 100 km/h
Blizzard conditions in NE Moncton, 26 March 2014 (Dearing)
A powerful blizzard packing heavy snow and hurricane-force winds gusting to more than 100 km/h arrived in Southeast New Brunswick as forecasters predicted today.
In advance of the storm’s arrival, schools were closed and most businesses soon followed in Greater Moncton.
Even Champlain Place – one of the largest shopping malls in the region – shuttered its doors and city transit buses stopped operating by midday.
Environment Canada says the blizzard is moving quickly and conditions should improve by midnight as the storm heads for Newfoundland.
The Arctic chill set more new record lows in New Brunswick this morning as a blizzard barrels up the Eastern Seaboard.
Greater Moncton dropped to -15.0 C today breaking the old record of -13.1 C from 1992.
New lows were also set in Saint John at -19.8 C, Bouctouche at -16.5 C and Alma at -15.2 C.
Environment Canada is now forecasting 30-40 cm snow tomorrow with strong, gusty winds creating poor visibility and whiteout conditions.
Spring is officially here but someone forgot to tell Old Man Winter.
Record lows were set in several New Brunswick communties this morning with -17.4 C at the Greater Moncton Airport breaking the previous low of -14.4 C from 1940.
To add insult to injury, an intense winter storm is brewing along the Eastern Seaboard with heavy snow and strong winds expected Wednesday.
Environment Canada says more than 25 cm of snow could fall in Southeast New Brunswick.
Parlee Beach, NB, 22 March 2012
On this date in 2012, the thermometer soared to 26.1 C in Greater Moncton – the highest temperature ever in March with records dating back to 1871.
The previous two days were also unseasonably warm at 25.3 C and 21.0 C.
Those three days shattered the previous March record high of 18.9 C from 1945.
Fast forward to today, with an expected high of 4 C and a chance of light snow tonight.
Astronomical spring officially begins at 1:57-pm ADT in New Brunswick and many are heralding its arrival after a long, harsh winter.
The sun is now directly over the equator and its most direct rays will gradually start moving north until reaching the Tropic of Cancer in late June for the first day of summer.
The migration is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis and the movement of Earth around the sun.
Photos taken 16 March 2014 (Facebook)
Moncton and Halifax are only 250 kilometres apart but as you can see by the photos above precipitation during winter storms can vary considerably.
Situated on the Atlantic coast, Halifax owes its slightly milder winter temperatures to the sea and just a few degrees Celsius can mean the difference between rain or snow.
Moncton is close to both the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence which puts the city in a snow belt with passing storms often drawing moisture from both bodies of water.
Snow blower at work in NW Moncton, 13 March 2014 (Facebook)
Today may be calm and sunny in Greater Moncton but you haven’t been able to say that for almost two days.
A late winter storm began delivering rain Wednesday night followed by freezing rain then snow and ice pellets by Thursday morning.
The total accumulation in Moncton was about 32 cm of snow and 2 mm of rain but areas further west and north in New Brunswick got even more snow.
Gagetown received 45 cm followed closely by Bathurst at 44 cm and Fredericton with 32 cm.
Saint John only had 7 cm of snow but almost 30 mm of rain while Grand Manan had 40 mm of rain with barely any snow.