March 2018 – Stormy!

Winter storm

Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.

The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.

By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.

Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.

MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  1.3 C

Average LOW  -4.7 C

AVERAGE  -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  9.1 C (29 Mar)

Extreme LOW  -15.4 C (26 Mar)

RAINFALL  11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Freezing fog!

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Freezing fog in Summerside, PEI, 27 March 2018 (Twitter)

Residents of Southeast New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island woke up to freezing fog this morning.

This occurs when water droplets develop during fog and freeze instantly when temperatures are below freezing.

The last three early mornings in Greater Moncton have been below -10°C and have dropped to a near record low of -15.4°C.

With nearly 40 cm of snow on the ground, this is the heaviest cover of white this winter season – keeping in mind this is now early spring.

Nor’easter number four!

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Moncton’s west end after the latest Nor’easter, 23 March 2018 (Dearing)

It seems a bit strange the largest single snowfall this winter in Greater Moncton actually occurred on the second full day of spring.

Environment Canada says Southeast New Brunswick hit the snow jackpot from the fourth Nor’easter this month with more than 30 cm recorded.

A storm on 30 January was the previous snowfall event winner with almost 25 cm.

Strong winds were also a factor in this storm gusting at times to 82 km/h.

Here are some other snowfall totals:

  • Kentville, NS  24 cm
  • Alma, NB  20 cm
  • Yarmouth, NS  18 cm
  • Sussex, NB  17 cm
  • Charlottetown, PEI  12 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  11 cm
  • Bathurst, NB  8 cm
  • Saint John, NB  6 cm

Another Nor’easter nails U.S. Northeast

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A snowbound U.S. Capitol building, Washington DC, 21 March 2018 (Twitter)

The fourth snowstorm this March struck the American Northeast during the first full day of spring with its biggest fury in a stretch from Washington, DC to New York City.

About 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell in the American capital which was the heaviest this winter and the latest March storm since 1964.

New York City’s Central Park recorded almost 20 cm which pushed the seasonal total above 75 cm for the fifth straight winter.

The Nor’easter didn’t pack much of a punch for Boston – less than 5 cm – but it is heading toward the Maritimes.

Spring arrives in New Brunswick!

Spring equinox

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Another long and dark winter is finally over – at least astronomically speaking anyway!

The vernal equinox officially arrived at 1:15pm ADT in New Brunswick marking spring as the length of day equals the length of night.

But forecasters say winter weather is not over yet with the fourth Nor’easter in two weeks expected to hit the Maritimes on Thursday.

Environment Canada says spring-like weather may not arrive until month’s end or early April.

So much for Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction of an early spring!

Beast from the East 2.0

UK snowy

Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)


A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.

More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.

Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.

Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.

Strike number 3!

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Wet, heavy snow in NE Moncton, 14 March 2018 (Dearing)

The third Nor’easter in a week to strike Southeast New Brunswick packed less punch than the other two despite predictions it would be the strongest.

Temperatures remained near freezing in Greater Moncton during the snowfall which made it extremely heavy and wet and strong winds gusted to 85 km/h.

The western and northeastern parts of the province were hardest hit from this storm.

Snowfall totals as of 9pm ADT, 14 March:

  • Miramichi  46 cm
  • Bathurst  40 cm
  • Fredericton  38 cm
  • Saint John  27 cm
  • Greater Moncton  16 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  12 cm
  • Charlottetown  5 cm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Grand Etang  146 km/h
  • Lunenburg  104 km/h
  • Sydney  85 km/h
  • Halifax Stanfield  83 km/h

Winter storm 2 of 3

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Traffic on a snowy West Main Street, Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The second of three winter storms in less than a week has delivered another dumping of snow but this time it was more evenly distributed throughout the Maritimes.

The snow was heavy and wet especially in Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow totals courtesy of Environment Canada as of 8:30am Saturday, 10 March:

  • Caraquet, 29 cm
  • Shediac, 27 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, 23 cm
  • Bathurst, 20 cm
  • Miramichi, 17 cm
  • Saint John, 17 cm
  • Truro, 17 cm
  • Greater Moncton, 16 cm
  • Summerside, 16 cm
  • Greenwood, 15 cm
  • Charlottetown, 12 cm
  • Halifax Downtown, 9 cm
  • CFB Gagetown, 7 cm

Strong winds were also a factor with peak gusts in km/h:

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, 154
  • East Point, PEI, 82
  • Caraquet, 78

Winter storms target N.B.

Winter storm

Whiteout conditions in the first of three winter storms, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The first of three successive snow events dropped 15.3 cm and slight amounts of rain on Greater Moncton yesterday.

However, the intermission is a short one with Environment Canada issuing another snowfall warning for most of New Brunswick.

The next low pressure system arrives tonight and will persist into Saturday with flurries still possible on Sunday as the storm stalls in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Up to 25 cm could fall by the time it finally leaves the province and even more is expected in northern New Brunswick.

Monday is expected to be partly sunny before another system with more snow arrives on Tuesday.

1-2-3 Winter Punch Coming

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An early sign of spring in downtown Moncton, 03 March 2018 (Dearing)

After days of cloudy skies and mostly dry conditions, it seems Old Man Winter is returning.

While no weather warnings are currently in place for Southeast New Brunswick, snowfall advisories have been issued for areas to the north and west.

Environment Canada says a low pressure system approaching from the U.S. Northeast could bring 10-15 cm of snow Thursday with a changeover to rain by evening as temperatures climb above freezing.

But another storm system will move into the region late Friday and into Saturday with rain changing over to snow.

And early next week could bring yet another storm system.