April 2018 – Spring sputters

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Tree is budding at Fairview Knoll Park, NE Moncton, 28 April 2018 (Dearing)

Spring was mostly absent during the first two-thirds of April in Greater Moncton with daytime highs often barely above freezing and overnight lows which were much colder than normal.

Suddenly spring arrived during the last third of the month when temperatures jumped to 20 C and higher by day and above freezing by night.

While more rain fell during April compared to average, snowfall was scant which led to below normal precipitation overall.

The seasonal snow cover finally melted by mid-month but it had disappeared twice (late January and early March) since mid-December.

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

Average HIGH  8.1 C

Average LOW  -1.8 C

AVERAGE  3.2 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  21.2 C (24 April)

Extreme LOW  -9.6 C (16 April)

RAINFALL  73.4 mm (slightly ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  8.4 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Flooding along the St. John River

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Flooding along the St. John River in Fredericton, 28 April 2018 (Coleman/Twitter/Weather Network)

Recent heavy rains and melting snow have caused flooding along the St. John River Valley especially in Fredericton.

Streets and parking lots in the downtown core have been left underwater.

Emergency Management Organization officials say the river was 1.7 metres above flood stage in Fredericton by late Saturday – a level not seen since the major flood of 2008.

Communities further downstream have also been flooded including Maugerville and Jemseg with some roads impassable due to high water levels.

First 20 C high of the year!

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Given the recent stretch of below seasonal temperatures in Southeast New Brunswick, I wasn’t optimistic we would reach 20 C anytime soon.

But yesterday the thermometer climbed to 21.2 C in Greater Moncton marking the first time to reach and surpass that threshold in 2018.

Over the last five years, we have reached 20 C over a two week period from mid-April to early May.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Last snow of season?

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Light dusting of snow in NE Moncton, 20 April 2018 (Dearing)


Could this finally be the last snow of the season?

About 5 cm of snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton International Airport yesterday although it only stuck to grassy surfaces, vehicles and rooftops and didn’t settle on pavement.

Another dusting of snow fell this morning in Greater Moncton but again didn’t stick to paved surfaces.

Coincidentally, several centimetres of snow fell on 20 April last year too.

Forecasters say a warming trend is coming with temperatures finally getting into the double digits this week.

Snow disappears!

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Top photo is from 09 April, Bottom photo is from 19 April, NE Moncton (Dearing)

The snow has finally vanished from the front lawn of my home in northeast Moncton!

The top photo shows a lot of snow on 09 April while the last of it melted by 19 April in the bottom photo.

Despite below normal temperatures which struggled to reach 10 C, the snow disappeared in just 10 days.

Snow cover lingers across Canada

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We know it snows in Canada in April but an astonishing amount of snow remains on the ground for the middle of the month.

The only snow-free areas as of 18 April are mainland Nova Scotia, extreme SW Ontario, southern Manitoba, SW Saskatchewan, SE Alberta, coastal British Columbia and southern valleys of the interior.

Even much of the northeastern United States and the upper Great Lakes region is still covered in white.

In Greater Moncton, the snow has mostly disappeared except for man-made snowbanks but as much as 100 cm remains in northern New Brunswick.

Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record lows in NB

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Despite chilly weather, snowbanks are melting in NE Moncton, 16 April 2018 (Dearing)

Mid-April is here already but temperatures certainly haven’t been improving very much lately in New Brunswick.

Overnight lows continue to be abnormally cold with records set on Sunday, 15 April.

Greater Moncton fell to -9.1 C which breaks a record low of -8.6 C from 1981.

New records were also set in Bouctouche at -8.6 C and Miscou Island at -9.3 C.

Where’s spring?

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Lingering snowbanks in NE Moncton, 09 April 2018 (Dearing)

Since the start of astronomical spring, the highest temperature in Greater Moncton has been 9.1 C and overnight lows have dropped to a near record low of  -8.8 C.

So many are asking when is it ever going to warm up in New Brunswick?

The Maritimes has recently found itself on the north side of the prevailing jet stream which has allowed cold, Arctic air to sink south.

Environment Canada says the temperature should finally climb to at least 10 C by Friday.

Keep in mind, the first 20 C reading of the season was 12 April in 2017 while it was 21 April in 2016.

Newfoundland nailed!

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Heavy snow in Corner Brook, NL, 09 April 2018 (Smallwood/Twitter)

After delivering a punch to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, a low pressure system rapidly intensified over Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow creating blizzard conditions.

Snowfall was heaviest in western Newfoundland while the eastern island received freezing rain, ice pellets and rain.

Snowfall totals as of 9am NDT, 10 April:

  • St. Anthony  42 cm
  • Corner Brook  37 cm
  • Deer Lake  27 cm
  • Gander  18 cm

Rainfall totals:

  • Cape Race  32 mm
  • St. John’s  24 mm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Bonavista  126 km/h
  • St. Anthony  120 km/h
  • Gander  119 km/h
  • St. John’s  115 km/h