March 2016-Winter stays longer

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Patches of snow remain in NE Moncton, 31 March 2016 (Dearing)

March in Greater Moncton would normally see progressively warmer temperatures as winter departs and spring begins.

But the last half of the month actually had more snow and was almost as cold as the first half.

The extreme high temperature during March was 10.7 C but the February maximum was actually warmer at 13.9 C.

Snowfall was below normal while rainfall was close to average.

MARCH 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)

Average HIGH  1.9 C

Average LOW  -7.6 C

AVERAGE  -2.9 C  (NORMAL based on the 30-year average 1981-2010)

Extreme HIGH  10.7 C (31 Mar)

Extreme LOW  -16.1 C (04 Mar)

RAINFALL  47.0 mm  (Slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  47.4 cm  (About 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Rain then snow from another storm system

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Precipitation changed from rain to snow, NE Moncton, 29 March 2016 (Dearing)

The latest in a string of low pressure systems is affecting most of New Brunswick.

About 20 cm of snow is expected for northern New Brunswick and while rain had been falling in central and southern areas, precipitation has now turned to snow as temperatures fell to freezing.

Environment Canada says about 16 mm of rain has fallen in Greater Moncton and about 5 cm of snow is expected today and even blowing snow tonight before the system moves out of the province.

Freezing rain coats southern N.B.

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Freezing rain coats a railing in NE Moncton, 25 March 2016 (Dearing)


After several hours of periodic freezing rain in Greater Moncton, Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning late today but Fredericton and western New Brunswick were expected to be hardest hit.

Snowfall warnings are posted in northern New Brunswick where up to 25 cm could fall by tonight.

Forecasters say this Colorado Low will move out of the province overnight and weather conditions will improve for the rest of the Easter weekend.

Good Friday will be bad for travel

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Melting snow in west end Moncton, 24 March 2016 (Dearing)

With a Colorado Low heading to New Brunswick tomorrow bringing a mixed bag of precipitation, travel could be tricky as the Easter long weekend begins.

Environment Canada has issued snowfall and freezing rain warnings for most of the province except the south from an area including Greater Moncton to Saint John and St. Stephen.

The storm originated over the American Rockies in Colorado where more than 30 cm of snow fell before it swept across the Great Plains along with Ontario and Quebec.

NB Power says it is ready for the storm with staff on standby and 60 contractor crews spread over key areas of the province in the event of outages.

Spring has not sprung yet…

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A winter wonderland again after a Nor’easter, NE Moncton, 22 March 2016 (Dearing)

Whatever had started sprouting out of the ground is now covered by 23 cm of snow which fell in Greater Moncton yesterday.

Snow totals of 20 to 30 cm were common across Southern New Brunswick from this spring Nor’easter while the Acadian Peninsula felt the brunt with nearly 50 cm.

Lesser amounts ranging from 5 to 15 cm of snow fell over most of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Meantime, forecasters are watching a Colorado Low which will move into the Maritimes late Thursday/early Friday and bring a mixed bag of wintry precipitation.

Nor’easter marks start of spring

Noreaster21mar16The first full day of spring in Greater Moncton looked more like winter and was much colder than Christmas Day as a Nor’easter delivered snow, ice pellets and gusty winds.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for Southeast New Brunswick with up to 25 cm of snow expected by early tomorrow.

By 10pm, I measured about 15 cm snow in my northeast Moncton neighbourhood.

Winds could gust up to 60 km/h overnight causing blowing and drifting snow which will create poor driving conditions.

Spring arrives but winter not over yet

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Moncton west end at Jones Lake, 17 March 2016 (Dearing)

The spring or vernal equinox officially arrived in New Brunswick at 1:30am ADT and occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal.

The sun will continue moving northward, lengthening the days, until late June when the summer solstice arrives and reverses the trend.

But just because spring is officially here doesn’t mean winter is over with a winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada.

A Nor’easter could dump 20-30 cm of snow on Greater Moncton tomorrow before the storm moves out Monday night.

N.B. launches annual River Watch program

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Irishtown Park pond, 13 March 2016 (Dearing)


Public safety officials in New Brunswick officially launched the annual River Watch program today which monitors and forecasts water flow in the province’s rivers and streams.

The snowpack is much lower this year compared to previous years – especially the record level of 2015.

Officials say the snowpack throughout the St. John River basin is about 57 percent below normal.

The weather is the most crucial factor in rising waters and possible flooding and forecasters say warm days and cold nights would be the most ideal conditions for a slow, steady melt.

Beautiful day for the sugar bush

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Moncton Maple Syrup, 13 March 2015 (Dearing)

Cold nights near -5 C and warm days near +5 C are the perfect ingredients for the sap to flow in the maple trees heralding maple sugar season in New Brunswick.

A trip to the city-owned Moncton Maple Sugar Camp – in the Turtle Creek watershed south of Riverview – proved to be the perfect day to see and taste sap from tree to evaporator to final maple sugar product.

Officials say the season arrived about two weeks earlier than usual and snow cover disappeared in late February which meant today’s maple on a stick was rolled in previously frozen snow instead of a usual snowbank.

Extensive weather system arrives in N.B.

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Radar image of eastern North America, 10 Mar 2016, 10:30 PM AST (Intellicast)

A low pressure system south of the Great Lakes is tracking eastward and will impact New Brunswick overnight.

Some areas of the province such as Saint John and Fredericton are expecting freezing rain and Environment Canada has posted warnings.

Greater Moncton will receive mostly snow with less than 6 cm expected which falls below warning criteria.

This system is connected to an extensive weather front which has brought torrential rain to the American South – up to 300 mm in the Lower Mississippi River Valley – causing flooding, several deaths and thousands being evacuated from their homes.