August 2017 – Dry summer persists

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Extremely dry ground and brown grass in NE Moncton, 30 Aug 2017 (Dearing)

The dry summer in Southeast New Brunswick continued in August with a dangerous forest fire hazard and little precipitation to soak the parched ground.

A dry trend which began in late June continued during the month with less than 50 mm of rain falling in Greater Moncton.

Temperatures were above normal with daytime highs consistently in the high 20’s Celsius but a string of single digit overnight lows during the final week brought down the overall monthly average.

AUGUST 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 25.6 C

Average LOW 11.9 C

AVERAGE 18.9 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.6 C (04 Aug)

Extreme LOW 7.2 C (28 Aug)

RAINFALL 46.8 mm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Harvey finally downgraded

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Floodwaters surround homes and vehicles in east Houston, Texas, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Reuters)

Tropical Storm Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression but not before creating a new weather record in the United States.

Climatologists say Harvey is the worst rainfall event ever with 1318 mm (51.88 inches) of rain recorded at Cedar Bayou, Texas beating the previous mark of 1219 mm (48 inches) in Medina, Texas from Tropical Storm Amelia in 1978.

Thousands of residents could still be stranded and an estimated 40,000 homes have been destroyed by the storm in the Houston area.

Heavy rain is now moving over Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee with some areas expecting more than 200 mm.

Catastrophic flooding in Houston

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Floodwaters inundate a neighbourhood in Houston, TX, USA, 28 Aug 2017 (Getty Images)

More than 3,500 residents of Houston have been rescued since Tropical Storm Harvey began pounding southeastern Texas with more than 750 mm of rain and counting.

Tens of thousands displaced from their homes are being housed at evacuation centres which are now overcapacity forcing many to sleep in chairs or on the floor.

Officials began releasing water from two Houston reservoirs on Monday in order to prevent uncontrollable flooding in the downtown area.

Houston’s two main airports have been closed since their runways are completely underwater.

The Texas Gulf Coast is a key centre of the American oil and gas industry with some of the largest refineries in the United States halting operations.

Early frost advisory in N.B.

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)


Environment Canada issued a frost advisory late Sunday afternoon for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick – almost a month before the average date of the first fall frost.

Clearing skies and light winds with temperatures falling into the lower single digits could have resulted in scattered frost.

However, the frost advisory ended early this morning when the threat was no longer expected.

The low at the Greater Moncton International Airport was 7.2 C which is several degrees away from any threat of frost.

However, the morning low in Edmundston was a chilly 1.1 C.

Harvey hammers Houston

Flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, TX, USA, 27 Aug 2017 (Twitter)


Harvey may have been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland over Texas but the U.S. National Weather Service stated “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”

Forecasters say the Houston metropolitan area could receive more than 1000 mm of rain from the storm over the next few days which has claimed at least five lives. 

By early today, more than 600 mm had fallen in America’s fourth largest city overwhelming lakes and rivers forcing thousands of residents scrambling into boats or onto rooftops to safety.

Tornado warnings have been lifted but a flash flood warning remains in place for much of southeastern Texas.

Hurricane Harvey threatens Texas

South Padre Island, Texas, USA, 24 Aug 2017 (Twitter)

The worst storm to hit Texas in 20 years is expected to reach the state’s Gulf of Mexico coastline by early Saturday. 

The U.S. National Weather Service warned Harvey could bring a potentially devastating storm surge, up to 900 mm of rain and powerful winds to portions of the state. 

Harvey will be the first Category 3 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2004.

A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for the coastal city of Corpus Christi with a population of more than 500,000 people.

Microburst in Montreal

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Damage from microburst in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal, QC, 22 Aug 2017 (Instagram)


A sudden and powerful storm which meteorologists call a microburst created a path of damage in Montreal which included the Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough.

Strong, gusty linear winds up to 120 km/h brought down trees and power lines leaving thousands without electricity on Tuesday.

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado struck Lachute, northwest of Montreal, where winds reached up to 180 km/h.

No one was hurt but hundreds of homes were damaged and some residents have been displaced.

Gert churns up the Atlantic

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Hurricane Gert is not going to pose any threat to land in Atlantic Canada according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre but it will be felt in the sea.

The swell from the Category 1 storm will move into the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia on Wednesday (16 August) and will persist into Thursday.

The swell will produce waves breaking up to three metres along parts of the coast and rip currents are likely.

Forecasters say Gert will not produce any rainfall for the region but the tropical moisture could feed into another low pressure system arriving later this week.

Much needed rain arrives

Heavy downpour during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 11 Aug 2017 (Dearing)

A thunderstorm rolled through Greater Moncton on Friday afternoon and it was a welcome sight when two periods of downpours brought much needed rain.

A fire ban had been in place across Southern New Brunswick but more rain today lowered the fire hazard and burning is now allowed from 8pm to 8am.

The last significant rainfall in Greater Moncton was 8.2 mm on 21 July and prior to that it was 21.2 mm on 24 June.

Agriculture Canada has declared that much of Prince Edward Island is experiencing a drought with little rain since early June.

A heat wave named Lucifer

hoteuropeTemperatures across southern Europe have been so hot in recent days – climbing to more than 40 C in some areas – the heat wave has been called “Lucifer”.

Several deaths have been reported and severe weather warnings have been issued in Spain, France, Italy and the Balkan States.

Serbia’s capital Belgrade reached a scorching 39 C and train service in the southern part of the country was halted after rail tracks buckled in the extreme heat.

By contrast, northern Europe has been much cooler and wetter with the thermometer dropping as low as 4 C in the Scottish Highlands.