December 2015 – Mild and wet

Ice Storm

Downtown Moncton during an ice storm, 15 Dec 2015 (Duguay/Facebook)

Greater Moncton had mild daytime highs in December and despite a few big temperature swings the monthly average was more than four degrees higher than normal.

Precipitation was heavy with well above normal snowfall during five weather events in Southeast New Brunswick.

DECEMBER 2015 at Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH 2.6

Average LOW -3.3

AVERAGE -0.4 (4.4 degrees ABOVE NORMAL)

Extreme HIGH 10.6 C (11 Dec)

Extreme LOW -16.7C (28 Dec)

Snowfall. 96.4 cm

Rainfall. 56.3 mm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Extreme weather closes out 2015

north pole

Image Courtesy CNN

The North Pole climbs above freezing, deadly tornadoes strike Texas, extreme heat bakes Australia and historic floods hit Britain and the American Midwest – the world is filled with extreme weather as it welcomes 2016.

A powerful and destructive North Atlantic low-pressure system brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, climbing to a spring-like 16°C in Montreal on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by heavy snow from Ontario to the Maritimes.

In the United States, tornadoes and floods left almost 50 dead.

The mighty Mississippi River has already exceeded overflow levels by four metres in some areas.

Scientists say the common cause of these events is a strong El Nino, a weather phenomenon which emerges every few years on average.

Record rainfall has brought unprecedented flooding to England and Scotland and Britain’s mean December temperature was a record-breaking 8°C, smashing the previous high of 6.9°C set in 1934.

With El Nino showing little sign of running out of steam, many scientists say 2016 could be even warmer than 2015.

More snow, now rain coming


A fast melting icicle in west end Moncton, 30 Dec 2015 (Dearing)

The fifth round of snow this month delivered almost 20 cm of light, fluffy snow in Greater Moncton.

Higher snow amounts were recorded near the Bay of Fundy and over western Nova Scotia.

Environment Canada is calling for a brief spell of milder weather for New Year’s Eve with rain but turning colder again on New Year’s Day.

Snow brings severe cold to N.B.


Snowman in uptown Saint John, NB, 27 Dec 2015 (TWN)

The coldest weather so far this season has enveloped Greater Moncton with a frigid low of -15 C expected tonight.

Southeast New Brunswick hasn’t been this cold since 30 November when the thermometer dipped to -10.6 C.

The cold shot comes after 22 cm of snow fell yesterday – the fourth snow event this month.

Meantime, the province is poised to get a fifth round before year’s end with more snow coming tomorrow.

Green Christmas for Greater Moncton

Xmas Day 2015
For the second year in a row, it was a green Christmas in Greater Moncton with a mild high of 10 C on Christmas Day under a sunny sky.

The latest data shows that southern parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes are snow-free along with the Eastern United States.

Boxing Day also proved to be mild and dry in New Brunswick.

However, Environment Canada reports a change is coming with below freezing temperatures and low pressure bringing up to 20 cm of snow by Monday.

Chances of a White Christmas


What are the percentage odds of having a White Christmas in cities across Canada?

Calgary 55%

Charlottetown 60%

Edmonton 80%

Fredericton 55%

Halifax 45%

Iqaluit 100%

Kelowna 50%

London 55%


Montreal 70%

Ottawa 75%

Quebec City 95%

Regina 90%

Saint John 45%

St. John’s 65%

Thunder Bay 90%

Toronto 40%

Vancouver 5%

Victoria 5%

Whitehorse 100%

Winnipeg 95%

Yellowknife 100%

Winter ushers in third snowfall this month

Screenshot (1)

Radar image, 22:15 hrs, 22 Dec 2015 (Bing/Microsoft)

The weather office had forecast up to 4 cm of snow could fall overnight in Greater Moncton.

In fact, 12 cm of heavy, wet snow fell and it didn’t taper off until late morning.

As the temperature rose above freezing tonight, snow changed to freezing rain and then to heavy rain with 15 mm expected by tomorrow.

First day of winter 2015-16

seasonal variations

Image courtesy

Winter officially begins at 12:48 am ADT but in Greater Moncton, winter unofficially arrived early this month with the first major storm of the season.

Since then, another storm rolled through New Brunswick with an icy and snowy mix that still lies partially on the ground.

The winter solstice is the “shortest day” of the year, meaning the least amount of sunlight; the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon.

After this date, the days start getting “longer,” i.e., the amount of daylight begins to increase.

Greater Moncton wakes up with icy conditions


Partly sunny after the wintry mix in Moncton’s west end, 16 Dec 2015 (Dearing)

The second winter storm of the season pounded Greater Moncton yesterday with a mixture of ice pellets, freezing rain and snow.

Environment Canada reports 34 mm of precipitation fell with 21 cm of snow and melted water from freezing rain and ice pellets.

Thousands lost power in western New Brunswick, mainly Greater Fredericton, after lines fell under the heavy, icy mix.

Messy mix for Greater Moncton

Ice Storm

Downtown Moncton during an ice storm, 15 Dec 2015 (Duguay/Facebook)

Environment Canada issued a rare weather warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with a prolonged period of ice pellets in the forecast.

The weather office says moderate to heavy ice pellets mixed with freezing rain will persist today before changing to snow tonight.

Ice pellet amounts near 10 cm are expected and will be followed by snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 cm.

Elsewhere in New Brunswick, 45 mm of rain could fall in Saint John and along the Fundy coast, Fredericton can expect 20 cm of snow while Miramichi could get 25-50 cm before the storm moves away on Wednesday.