May 2014 – Spring continues sputtering

A bed of tulips in Moncton, 30 May 2014 (Dearing)

A bed of tulips in Moncton, 30 May 2014 (Dearing)

We kept waiting for spring weather to arrive and stay in Southeast New Brunswick during May but it just never seemed to happen.

While we did have a stretch of warm temperatures mid-month, it was soon followed by a period of cloudy, wet and downright dismal days which struggled to reach daytime highs of 10 C.

Overnight lows were also cold with a low of -2.9 C recorded late in the month (26 May) and heavy frost occurred on 29 May.

Although it seemed wet, precipitation was actually well below normal with only half of the normal rainfall and not a single snowflake reported.

MAY 2014 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  15.8 C

Average LOW  3.0 C

AVERAGE  9.4 C (about 0.6 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  26.5 C (16 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.9 C (26 May)

Rainfall  47.2 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

Snowfall  0.0 cm  (slightly BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Record cold in N.B.

A frosty car window in Moncton, 29 May 2014 (Facebook)

A frosty car window in Moncton, 29 May 2014 (Facebook)

We just can’t seem to catch a warm break in New Brunswick this spring – some have even dubbed this month as Mayvember given that May has often felt like a typical November.

Heavy frost covered the province this morning as temperatures dipped below freezing in many areas.

Environment Canada reports Greater Moncton set a new record low today of -1.4 C beating the previous low of -1.1 C from 1974.

Saint John also set a new low of -2.3 C which was colder than the old record of -1.0 C from 2000.

Frost advisory for Maritime Provinces

Lilacs in bloom (file)

Lilacs are finally showing blossoms in Greater Moncton (file)

A frost advisory is not too unusual for late May in New Brunswick but it is rare for the alert to be spread across all of the Maritime Provinces.

Environment Canada says even areas near the coast, which are typically milder overnight, will likely have frost tomorrow morning.

Farmers in the region are not too concerned since many are just now planting crops due to the cold, wet spring.

Garden and greenhouse centres are reporting a slow start thanks to the inclement weather.

Why so cold and damp in eastern N.B.?

A persistent low pressure system parked off Newfoundland, 26 May 2014 (Courtesy Weather-Forecast.com)

A persistent low pressure system off Newfoundland, 26 May 2014 (Courtesy Weather-Forecast.com)

For the fourth day in a row, it has felt more like March than May in Greater Moncton as temperatures struggle to reach 10°C and tomorrow may be no different.

The big question is why are we so cold and damp in Atlantic Canada while most of the rest of the country is enjoying more spring like conditions?

A low pressure system, which was swirling off the Maritimes and is now stalled south of Newfoundland, keeps pulling winds from the north which continues to bring chilly conditions.

Environment Canada says temperatures should return to normal values by later this week.

Frost advisory in Southeast N.B.

Courtesy The Weather Network

Courtesy The Weather Network

Environment Canada has issued the first frost advisory of the current growing season for Southeast New Brunswick.

Persistent troughs setting up over Atlantic Canada are keeping the region cool through this weekend with showers from time to time.

As a result of a partial clearing overnight, Greater Moncton will likely see patchy frost as temperatures lower to near the freezing mark.

UPDATE – Scattered frost was reported this morning (26 May) in Greater Moncton as temperature fell to -2.0 C.

Record scorcher in Manitoba

Courtesy The Weather Network

Courtesy The Weather Network

An unstable air mass brought excessive heat to Manitoba yesterday where it climbed to a record 35.4 C in Swan River – the hotspot in Canada.

Winnipeg was toasty at a record 33.3 C and even Thompson in the province’s far north was very warm at 30.2 C.

But the heat was short-lived when severe thunderstorms rolled across the province and into Ontario.

Temperatures ranged from the high 20’s in Northern Ontario to the low 20’s in Southern Ontario.

Historic flooding sweeps Southeast Europe

Flooding in the city of Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 16 May 2014 (Getty Images)

Flooding in the city of Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 16 May 2014 (Getty Images)

More than 200 mm of rain has fallen over parts of the Balkan Peninsula, the Balkans, over the past several days which has led to flooding not seen in 120 years of weather records.

The heavy rain has caused rivers to spill their banks in Serbia and Bosnia and has created landslides which have swept away homes and unearthed land mines from the 1990s Bosnian War.

A coal-fired power plant on the Sava River near Belgrade, which supplies half of Serbia’s electricity, is also in danger of being inundated by floodwaters.

More than 50 people have died in the Balkans and thousands more have been forced to evacuate their homes.

Wildfires rage in drought-plagued California

Wildfires in the hills of San Marcos, CA, USA, 16 May 2014 (Stuart Palley/EPA)

Wildfires in the hills of San Marcos, CA, USA, 16 May 2014 (Stuart Palley/EPA)

Firefighters in Southern California are gaining the upper hand on dozens of wildfires which have been burning mostly in San Diego County over the past several days thanks to cooler temperatures and lighter winds.

The American Southwest is tinder-dry thanks to little rain over the winter – which is traditionally the rainy season – and skyrocketing spring temperatures which have soared into the 40s Celsius.

California fire officials say dozens of homes and other buildings have been damaged or destroyed in the fires with numerous injuries but only one death reported so far.

The cause of the fires is being investigated but at least one was related to a spark from outdoor power equipment.

More sunshine please!

Hardy daffodils growing in downtown Moncton, 09 May 2014 (Dearing)

Hardy daffodils growing in downtown Moncton, 09 May 2014 (Dearing)

Southeast New Brunswick has been suffering from a lack of sunshine this spring and we can’t seem to get two warm, sunny days in a row.

For example, the temperature in Greater Moncton climbed to a balmy high of 20.3°C on Sunday (with little sun I might add) but yesterday we only managed to reach a bone-chilling 7.0°C.

The sun did shine today and my postman greeted me by saying “I think this is the second sunny day this year!”.

Sadly, he’s not exaggerating that much.

As for tomorrow… more cloud than sun is in the forecast but at least it will be mild.