September 2014 – Warm and dry start to fall

Fall colours near Hampton, NB, 28 Sept 2014 (TWN)

Fall colours near Hampton, NB, 28 Sept 2014 (TWN)

A burst of autumn colours have appeared in Southeast New Brunswick over the past week and judging by the show so far we could be in for a beautiful fall season.

The average monthly temperature in September for Greater Moncton was almost 1°C above the 30-year average thanks to warm, daytime highs and comfortable overnight lows.

The maximum temperature exceeded 25°C on eight days during the month.

Although it dipped close to freezing on 19 September, frost was not recorded during the month and many flowers and plants continue to flourish.

Rainfall was below normal with the only noteworthy rain event on 21-22 September which turned out to be an almost hurricane-like storm.

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

Average HIGH 20.7°C

Average LOW 8.2°C

AVERAGE 14.4°C (about 0.8°C ABOVE average)

Extreme HIGH 28.9°C (06 Sept)

Extreme LOW 0.4°C (19 Sept)

Rainfall 65.3 mm (about 30 percent BELOW average)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Summer-like heat across New Brunswick

Sunny, warm fall day at Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 29 Sept 2014 (Dearing)

Sunny, warm fall day at Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 28 Sept 2014 (Dearing)

The first weekend of autumn felt more like summer across New Brunswick with record breaking heat in many communities.

Greater Moncton reached 28.0 C today which broke the previous record high of 25.0 C set in 1959.

Fredericton also broke a record from the same year with a high of 28.8 C.

Environment Canada says other records were broken at Bathurst reaching 28.7 C and Kouchibouguac at 28.8 C.

Miramichi and St.Stephen were the hot spots in Canada at 29.2 C.

I like many others headed to Aboiteau Beach today where even the water was warm.

But change is on the way with a cold front and showers for Monday lowering temperatures to normal and even slightly below normal before recovering on Tuesday.

First day of autumn

Autumn leaves in Albert County (taken October 2007)

Autumn leaves in Albert County (taken October 2007)

The autumnal equinox actually arrived in New Brunswick at 11:29-pm Atlantic time last night so this is the first full day of fall.

The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night.”

The Sun begins crossing the celestial equator heading southward.

From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights.

Atlantic storm slams Nova Scotia

Flooding in Great Village, NS, 22 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

Flooding in Great Village, NS, 22 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

A strong Atlantic storm which moved across the Maritimes yesterday hit Nova Scotia the hardest with hurricane-force winds and heavy rain causing localized flooding.

In Great Village near Truro, a river spilled its banks after 50 mm of rain fell in just a few hours flooding homes and businesses.

Many trees and branches came down on Cape Breton Island after winds exceeded 120 km/h.

Greater Moncton felt the storm too with almost 40 mm of rain and a peak wind gust of 63 km/h.

Strong storm moving into Maritimes

Calm before the storm, Belliveau Orchard, Memramcook, NB, 21 Sept 2014 (Dearing)

Calm before the storm, Belliveau Orchard, Memramcook, NB, 21 Sept 2014 (Dearing)

Environment Canada has issued special weather statements for New Brunswick and rainfall/wind warnings for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland ahead of a strong low pressure system moving up the Eastern Seaboard.

The late summer/early fall storm is not a hurricane or tropical storm but will bring lots of rain and strong winds to the region overnight and tomorrow.

Greater Moncton can expect anywhere from 25-40 mm of rain and wind gusts from 60-80 km/h.

Parts of mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton could see 50-70 mm of rain and winds gusting up to 90 km/h while Newfoundland could see gusts up to 120 km/h.

Last weekend of summer

Parlee Beach, NB, 19 Sept 2014 (TWN)

Parlee Beach, NB, 19 Sept 2014 (TWN)

The last couple nights have been chilly in Southeast New Brunswick, giving us a hint of what may come as we mark the final weekend of astronomical summer 2014 in the Northern Hemisphere.

In Greater Moncton, the low yesterday morning (19 Sept) was 0.4°C while this morning (20 Sept) the thermometer dipped to 2.4°C.

While a frost advisory was posted both nights, Moncton itself escaped frost thanks to cloud cover.

Other regions were frosty with the cold spot in New Brunswick at Edmundston yesterday at -5.6°C and even -2.1°C at the Saint John Airport.

Widespread frost expected tonight

650x366_09181655_hd30Environment Canada has issued a frost advisory for a wide swath from Southern Ontario and Quebec to all of New Brunswick.

Temperatures are expected to fall to near freezing overnight in the south of the province to slightly below in the north thanks to an Arctic high pressure system.

To be on the safe side, I brought my plants inside from my patio tonight for the first time this season.

The forecast calls for a warming trend this weekend with highs in the low 20s C.

Odile hits Mexico’s Baja California

Destruction from Odile in Los Cabos, Mexico, 15 Sept 2014 (AP)

Destruction from Odile in Los Cabos, Mexico, 15 Sept 2014 (AP)

Hurricane Odile slammed into the popular Mexican tourist city of Cabo San Lucas last night packing winds up to 200 km/h.

The Category 3 storm heavily damaged or destroyed numerous homes and businesses, knocked out power to thousands after trees toppled utility lines and wiped out portions of luxury hotels.

Forecasters say the storm will bring heavy rain to Baja California with up to 450 mm possible in some areas which could trigger flooding.

So far no casualties have been reported.

More snow in Alberta!

Heavy, wet snow snaps tree branches in Calgary, AB, 10 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

Heavy, wet snow snaps tree branches in Calgary, AB, 10 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

Snow can fall in virtually any month of the year in Alberta – especially in the Rockies and the foothills – but even this seems a little unusual for Calgary.

Temperatures hovered near freezing as Calgary had its second dose of snow this week which brought down tree branches still laden with leaves and power lines.

Thousands lost power and many residents were calling city crews to help clean up fallen trees which had blocked streets, sidewalks and toppled onto vehicles.

Farmers are concerned about losses during the harvest season with the heavy, wet snow virtually flattening many crops.

Harvest moon 2014

Harvest moon over Greater Moncton, 23 Sept 10

Harvest moon over Greater Moncton, 23 Sept 10

The harvest moon – the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox – was actually last night but it is noteworthy since it is the third and final of the so-called supermoons this year.

The clear sky also brought cool conditions across New Brunswick early this morning.

Greater Moncton fell to 3.6 C and although there was a frost scare my tomatoes and strawberries were fine.

Perhaps that wasn’t the case at the Saint John Airport where it fell to 1.0 C.