May 2018 – Warm days, cold nights

Magnolia trees in bloom at Moncton City Hall, 16 May 2018 (Dearing)

While daytime highs were near or slightly above normal during May in Greater Moncton, overnight lows were chilly with frost and freezing temperatures throughout the month.

Fourteen days had highs of 20 C or more while eight days had lows near or slightly below freezing.

Precipitation was slightly below normal with most of the rainfall recorded during the first third of the month.

By mid-month, the landscape become more colourful as trees and bushes began to bloom and leaf out.

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

Average HIGH  18.1°C

Average LOW  2.5°C

AVERAGE  10.3°C (about 0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  27.8°C (31 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.0°C (12 May)

RAINFALL  82.5 mm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Mini heat wave

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Thanks to high pressure and a jet stream surging north, New Brunswick will feel the heat over the next two days.

Greater Moncton is expecting a high of 30 C today and 31 C tomorrow with humidex values between 30 and 36.

Environment Canada says the warmest conditions will be from mid-afternoon to early evening and precautions should be taken in extreme heat.

The passing of a cold front this weekend will bring temperatures closer to normal.

TWN unveils summer forecast

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Spring has sputtered in New Brunswick – it was nowhere to be found in March, finally appeared in late April and although May has had a few warm days, the month is still running slightly below normal in Greater Moncton.

So what about summer?

In its seasonal forecast, the Weather Network believes a cool June should give way to more consistent warm weather during July and August.

A humid summer is expected which may result in warmer than normal temperatures at night – overnight lows average about 12 C.

While periods of dry weather are expected, heavy showers and thunderstorms should bring rain totals to near normal for the season.

Busy hurricane season predicted

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From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes this year.

One to four hurricanes is likely to be major with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h.

But 2018 is not expected to be as busy as 2017 which had 17 named storms with 10 hurricanes including a trio of destructive cyclones – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Three storms made it into Canada’s response zone but none made landfall.

Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, a subtropical storm named Alberto has already formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and will churn north across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward the U.S Gulf Coast.

Late spring snowstorm strikes Newfoundland

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Highway camera image courtesy NL Government

While not uncommon, the end of May is still late – and record breaking – for a significant snowfall of 36 cm in Gander.

A low pressure system brought strong winds and rain which turned to snow over northeast Newfoundland when the temperature fell to the freezing point.

Burgeo recorded a peak wind gust of 95 km/h as did Bonavista which also picked up 40 mm of rain.

Snowfall totals as of 3:30pm NDT:

  • Gander  36 cm
  • Lewisporte  26 cm
  • Badger  16 cm
  • Twillingate  11 cm

Snow in late May!!!

While a snowflake or two is common in early May in New Brunswick, accumulating snow is rare in the latter part of the month.

A cold front pushed through the province today and with a change in wind direction from south to north, precipitation changed from rain to snow and the thermometer plummeted.

Bathurst and Miramichi both reported snow today and in some areas it began to stick to the ground while thunderstorms rolled through further south.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature drop was dramatic with a high of 16 C at 11am and by 4pm it was only 5 C.

Meantime, parts of central Newfoundland are under a snowfall warning with 15 to 30 cm in the forecast.

Last frost of spring?

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)


When the temperature dropped to -0.3 C early this morning, frost could be found in Greater Moncton.

The coldest low in New Brunswick was -5.9 C at Edmundston!

Thanks to cool, dry air with no cloud cover, Environment Canada has issued another frost advisory for tonight.

But keep in mind it’s not that unusual based on the 30-year average (1981-2010).

The average last spring frost date is 23 May in Greater Moncton and the first fall frost is 2 October for a growing season of 131 days.

Major flooding in B.C.

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Flooding in Grand Forks, BC, 11 May 2018 (Regional District of Kootenay Boundary)

A combination of heavy rain, warm temperatures and rapid snowmelt from the mountains has created major flooding in Interior British Columbia.

About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes mainly in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

At the confluence of two rivers – the Granby and the Kettle – the city of Grand Forks has been hardest hit where firefighters have rescued dozens by boat.

The province has issued evacuation orders or alerts in six other regional districts and eight First Nations.

Officials say this spring’s flooding is worse than the devastating floods of 1948.

Floodwaters finally recede in N.B.

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(Top) Swollen St. John River, 02 May 2018,(Bottom) A more typical flow, 12 May 2016 (NASA Earth Observatory)

Water levels have dropped below flood stage in most areas of the St. John River in what has become the worst flooding event ever recorded in New Brunswick.

The Emergency Measures Organization says only in the Jemseg area will levels be just above flood stage.

The Trans Canada Highway between River Glade and Oromocto finally reopened Friday after being shut down for a week but dozens of roads remain closed due to flooding.

The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed 60 members to assist the provincial government with flood cleanup.

Almost 1,700 residents have registered with the Red Cross as evacuees and many who have returned home are finding heavy water damage to homes and cottages.

St. John River flooding reaches historic levels

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Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)

After steadily rising for more than a week, water levels along the southern portion of the St. John River have surpassed the historic flood in 1973.

Environment Canada is forecasting more rain for Southern New Brunswick with up to 20 mm possible by Monday after 30 mm fell Friday and early Saturday.

The Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have provided vessels to help with evacuations and Transport Canada has deployed surveillance aircraft.

Almost 1,000 people have registered as evacuees with the Red Cross.

Many roads have been closed by the flooding including the Trans Canada Highway between River Glade and Oromocto – the detour through Saint John adds one hour of travel time between Moncton and Fredericton.