October 2018 – Cool and wet

View from the Sussex Bluffs, Sussex Corner, NB, 14 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

October 2018 proved to be very different from October 2017 in Southeast New Brunswick.

While it was warm and dry last year in Greater Moncton (the second warmest October since 1881), it was the opposite this year – cool and wet.

Temperatures were below normal with only one day reaching 20°C and a hard frost arrived by mid-month.

Only seven days were dry with three major rainfall events and snow fell on three days – briefly settling on the ground twice.

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

Average HIGH 10.5°C

Average LOW 2.2°C

AVERAGE 6.4°C (about 1.2 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.6°C (04 Oct)

Extreme LOW -6.6°C (27 Oct)

RAINFALL 150 mm (estimate; about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 6.2 cm (well ABOVE the normal of 1.2 cm)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Nor’easter follows record cold

Snow settles in NE Moncton before a changeover to rain, 28 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

A frosty Saturday morning proved record breaking at the Greater Moncton International Airport when the thermometer plunged to -6.6°C which breaks the previous cold low from 1998 by 0.1°C.

Frigid temperatures were also set in Edmundston at -12.2°C, Woodstock at -11.7°C and Saint John at -8.4°C with weather records going back to 1886.

The Arctic cold was soon replaced by a low pressure system with some tropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Willa.

The early season Nor’easter brought snow, ice pellets and eventually rain to the Maritimes along with gusty winds which uprooted trees in parts of New England.

Willa wallops Mexico’s Pacific coast

Willa

A boat rests on a street in Teacapan, Sinaloa, Mexico following Hurricane Willa, 24 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

Crashing into the Pacific coast of Mexico between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Hurricane Willa was a Category 3 storm packing wind gusts up to 193 km/h.

The eye of the hurricane struck the town of Teacapan where roofs were ripped off buildings and the streets were turned into a muddy mess.

Roads leading into Teacapan were littered with dozens of fallen utility poles.

A massive evacuation effort moved thousands into temporary shelters inland and no deaths were reported.

Say it isn’t snow!

Snow settles on grass, vehicles and rooftops in NE Moncton, 25 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

Even by New Brunswick standards, snow in October is not very common.

But a low pressure system dropped more than 15 cm of heavy, wet snow over western and northern parts of the province creating commuter chaos in Fredericton yesterday.

After getting drenched with 38 mm of rain, Greater Moncton received a light coating of snow this morning which stuck to rooftops, vehicles and grassy areas but it melted by midday.

Here are some snowfall totals (in cm) from volunteer observations:

  • Charlo/Belledune area. 23 cm
  • Woodstock. 16 cm
  • Fredericton. 15 cm
  • Miramichi. 13 cm
  • Grand Falls. 10 cm
  • Moncton. 3.4 cm

Early season snow in N.B.

Radar image of New Brunswick, 17 hrs, 23 Oct 2018 (Intellicast)

Snow has come early for parts of northern and western New Brunswick as a low pressure system brings heavy rain elsewhere in the province.

Fredericton recorded a few centimetres of snow today while Greater Moncton is expecting mostly rain – possibly 15 to 25 mm – starting tonight.

Environment Canada says up to 15 cm of snow could fall by Wednesday night in the north and west with greater amounts over high terrain.

First snow flurries of fall!

Snow squall in west end Moncton, 18 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

Low clouds and cold gusty winds across the warm Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy produced the first snow flurries of the season throughout the Maritimes today.

Greater Moncton actually had occasional snow squalls throughout the afternoon but there was no accumulation.

Some areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did record slight amounts on the ground.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement with up to 10 cm of snow possible for the Cape Breton Highlands.

Strong winds across Atlantic Canada

A fast-moving cold front passed through the Maritimes today on its way to Newfoundland.

Powerful winds developed as a result which knocked out electricity to tens of thousands of customers across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

The Greater Moncton International Airport recorded a gust of almost 90 km/h late this morning with Cape Breton Island reporting winds of more than 100 km/h.

Many locations across Newfoundland had hurricane-force gusts including Bonavista at 126 km/h, Wreckhouse at 107 km/h and St. John’s at 104 km/h.

The cold front also affected Southern Quebec yesterday with gusts of more than 80 km/h in Montreal and Quebec City.

Hurricane remnants hit Portugal & Spain

Damage from Leslie in Lisbon, Portugal, 14 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

After swirling in the mid-Atlantic Ocean for weeks, Leslie hit the northwest coast of Portugal on Sunday delivering heavy rain and wind gusts up to 176 km/h.

The tropical storm uprooted trees, damaged cars and homes and local flooding was reported.

As Leslie exited Portugal and moved across northern Spain, the remnants of Michael were being felt in the same area of the Iberian Peninsula.

Meteorologists say this is the first time in recorded weather history that the remnants of two hurricanes have impacted Spain at the same time.

Fall colours reach peak

Fall foliage along St George Boulevard, Moncton, 13 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

The brilliant fall foliage hues of red, orange and gold have reached their peak in Southeast New Brunswick.

Leaves have already begun falling to the ground and the season is already past peak across the northern part of the province.

Experts say the colours have peaked about a week later than usual thanks to a hot, dry summer which caused stress for leaves.

The drought was relatively short-lived with a plentiful amount of rain recorded so far this autumn.

Michael partly to blame for rain

Fall foliage in Centennial Park, Moncton, 13 Oct 2018 ( Dearing)

Starting late Wednesday and lasting into Friday, a warm front and low pressure system eventually combined with moisture streaming northward from Tropical Storm Michael.

As these two systems began to interact, a significant amount of rain fell over parts of the Maritimes.

Rainfall summary in millimetres as of Saturday 5am ADT:

  • Doaktown: 47.2
  • Greater Moncton Airport: 39.4
  • Fredericton: 36.2
  • Saint John: 35.6
  • Grand Manan: 34.5
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport: 55.4
  • Yarmouth: 70.4
  • Kejimkujik: 47.7

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)