April 2016 – Cool & Dry

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Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 25 April 2016 (Dearing)

Spring sputtered in Southeast New Brunswick during April with cold overnight lows and daytime highs were all over the chart.

Precipitation was below normal with little snow in Greater Moncton and rainfall was about 20 percent below average.

Although the thermometer climbed into the 20’s on a couple days, lows were so chilly during the last week that records were challenged on several nights.

APRIL 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)

Average HIGH 9.5 C

Average LOW -3.0 C

AVERAGE 3.2 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 21.7 C (21 April)

Extreme LOW -11.5 C (4,6 April)

Rainfall 48 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

Snowfall 2.4 cm (about 90 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Snow! No! Not at the end of April!

Apr28snow

Dusting of snow sticks to cold surfaces in NE Moncton, 28 April 2016 (Dearing)


After receiving less than half a centimetre of snow this April in Greater Moncton, a dusting of snow fell just two days before month end.

Temperatures have been chilly this week in New Brunswick with a few record lows broken – Moncton was close at -5.5 C on 26 April.

The jet stream has taken a southern dip over Eastern Canada allowing cold Arctic air to sink south.

But forecasters say more seasonal weather is coming as we begin the month of May.

Greater Moncton joins 20°C club

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Tree in bud at Riverfront Park, Moncton, 17 April 2013 (Dearing File)

For the first time in 2016, the thermometer has climbed to 20°C or higher in Greater Moncton.

Environment Canada reports we reached 21.7°C yesterday and 20.5°C today.

The last time it was at least 20°C was on 12 October 2015.

Last spring, Greater Moncton surpassed the mark on 04 May and it was earlier in 2014 when it happened on 15 April.

In 2012, the high soared to a record 26.1°C on 22 March which was not only early to be that warm but it also became an all-time maximum for the month.

Spring blizzard buries Newfoundland

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Deep snow in Mount Pearl, NL, 21 April 2016 (TWN)


A powerful storm system missed the Maritimes but nailed Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow.

St. John’s was especially hard hit with 10 hours of blizzard conditions delivering 49 cm of snow and wind gusts of more than 100 km/h.

This was the heaviest snowfall in the provincial capital this season and exceeds an average April snowfall of 25 cm.

New Brunswick under burn ban

NB Burn Ban

Courtesy GNB

The forest fire season officially began this week and the entire province of New Brunswick is already under a burn ban.

The Department of Natural Resources says with little precipitation lately and the snow gone, the landscape has yet to become green and it is a dangerous time for fires.

Dead grass and branches become fast fuel for fires during early spring.

DNR reports about 30 fires have been recorded in New Brunswick so far this month which is near the 10-year average.

Nova Scotia gets more snow

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Snow blankets Bedford, NS, 15 April 2016 (NS Highway Webcams)

The last few snow events to hit Nova Scotia have mostly avoided New Brunswick and the latest low pressure system was no exception.

As much as 13 cm of snow fell at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport today with about 5 cm in downtown Halifax under a cloudy, dreary sky.

Meantime, the sun was prominent in Greater Moncton today with highs as warm as 13 C in western New Brunswick.

But Environment Canada is forecasting periods of snow for parts of New Brunswick on Monday.

NB misses another round of snow

Halifaxsnow10Apr

A wintry scene in Halifax, 10 April 2016 (TWN/Twitter)


A low pressure system passed south of Nova Scotia overnight delivering another round of winter but New Brunswick largely missed the latest snow event.

Parts of northern Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley and the Halifax region received up to 15 cm of heavy, wet snow which knocked out power in some areas.

Greater Moncton only reported a few snow flurries early this morning but otherwise it was a cold and sunny day.

The snow is already melting in Nova Scotia given the long hours of daylight as we approach mid-April.

Latest round of snow to miss NB

Boston0404

Snow covered Boston Common, Boston, MA, USA, 04 Apr 2016 (Reuters)

An early spring snowstorm blanketed Southern Ontario yesterday with Toronto Pearson Airport picking up 13 cm and Hamilton getting 18 cm.

The same Alberta Clipper moved over to the American Northeast today giving Boston a wintry feel again.

The system will brush the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia with about 5 cm of snow and lesser amounts inland.

New Brunswick will be spared this round but we won’t escape the cold with overnight lows dipping to -12 C in Greater Moncton.

Early spring heat in western Prairies

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Map shows temperature contrast with a front on the Prairies, 02 Apr 2016 (Twitter)

Unusually mild Pacific air has drifted into the western Prairie Provinces breaking record highs in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Some parts of southern Alberta reached 25 C yesterday and many cities either broke record highs or were close to breaking them.

Drumheller, AB set a new maximum of 24.4 C and Moose Jaw, SK reached a new record at 24.5 C.

The warm air didn’t reach Manitoba which is feeling the impact of the polar vortex which will sink over Eastern Canada this week.

Almost April Fool’s record high

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Snow cover melts in NE Moncton, 01 April 2016 (Dearing)

It was no joke that Greater Moncton almost reached a record high on the first day of April.

Environment Canada says the record is 18.5 C from 2006 and the official high today was 16.6 C.

The last time it was that warm was last fall –  29 October.

A southerly air flow is a far cry from the colder than normal temperatures in late March.