January 2019 – Wet and wild!

Plumweseep

Flooding at Plumweseep Covered Bridge near Sussex, 25 Jan 2019 (Sussex and Area Events/Facebook)

The beginning of 2019 proved to be wild and crazy in New Brunswick.

Precipitation was well above normal for January as storm after storm brought rain, freezing rain, snow and ice pellets with rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

Ice and snow often blocked storm drains which created flooding during heavy rain and when the thermometer plunged, it all froze.

The average monthly temperature was actually about one degree above normal although it didn’t seem like it given the roller coaster of highs and lows.

JANUARY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH -2.5°C

Average LOW -13.7°C

AVERAGE -8.1°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 10.5°C (24 Jan)

Extreme LOW -21.4°C (14 Jan)

RAINFALL 48.9 mm (above 60 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 101.3 cm (about 30 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Rain, freezing rain cause flooding

Creek Road near Sussex, NB is washed out by flooding, 25 Jan 2019 (SussexArea/Facebook)

It’s been quite a week for stormy weather in New Brunswick.

The latest system brought heavy rain and a period of freezing rain to the province.

Ice-clogged storm drains caused the water to backup turning streets into rivers in areas such as downtown Moncton.

Municipalities were urging residents to help public works crews by trying to clear drains near their homes.

Mild temperatures contributed to snowmelt and the added rush of water was enough to washout some roads and bridges.

Strong winds along the coast also gusted to more than 100 km/h.

Rainfall amounts (mm):

  • Mechanic Settlement 68
  • Miramichi 61
  • Sussex area 55
  • Kouchibouguac 44
  • Fredericton 34
  • Saint John 25
  • Moncton 13

Bitter cold in Toronto

A bitterly cold day in downtown Toronto, 20 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

Without a doubt, Canada’s largest city can often be cold during the winter.

But during a recent stopover in Toronto, an Arctic air mass pushed into Southern Ontario giving the provincial capital its coldest daytime high ever recorded.

A bitterly cold maximum of -14.2°C was set on 20 January at Pearson Airport.

Two overnight lows also dropped to -22°C this week which although frigid were still a few degrees away from the all-time records.

Until now, Central Canada had practically escaped the winter season apart from a brief blast in late November.

What a mess!

Crestwood Drive under water in north Moncton, 20 Jan 2019 (MacKay/Facebook)

An intense low pressure system proved to be one of the strongest winter storms in the Maritimes so far this season.

Greater Moncton received 12 cm of snow followed by several hours of freezing rain and then almost 30 mm of rain.

The rain led to flooding on many streets after storm drains became clogged with ice and snow and the water had no place to go.

To make matters worse, temperatures plunged well below freezing after the rain and subsequent flooding which led to such icy streets that some donned skates as a more efficient way of getting around.

The wild weather closed many highways for hours including the Trans Canada and Route 1 between River Glade and St. Stephen yesterday.

Northern New Brunswick received the most snow between 30 and 50 cm while the Halifax region of Nova Scotia got the most rain at nearly 60 mm.

Major winter storm approaches

winterstormjan20

Radar image captured at 23hrs, 19 Jan 2019 (Bing maps)


A strong winter storm will track across the Maritimes Sunday bringing a mixed bsg of precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow at times heavy will begin in the morning changing to ice pellets and freezing rain by noon and eventually to rain later in the afternoon.

Greater Moncton is expecting about 20 cm snow, 20 mm of rain and possibly several hours of ice accumulation.

Strong winds will develop giving reduced visibility in blowing snow with gusts reaching 80 km/h along the Fundy coast.

Conditions may not improve until Monday afternoon as the storm moves eastward.

Risk of frostbite

Hoar frost on trees in west end Moncton, 14 Jan 2019 ( Dearing)

A good old fashioned January cold snap continues in New Brunswick with well below normal temperatures since last weekend.

Wind chill values have dropped to -30 giving the risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

After a frosty -21.4°C in Greater Moncton earlier this week, forecasters say a further tumble to -23°C is likely before a potent winter storm arrives on Sunday.

Environment Canada is tracking a system moving across the U.S. which is expected to bring at least 30 cm of snow, 50 mm of rain, a period of freezing rain and strong winds to the Maritimes.

Winter storm stretches across central, eastern U.S.

Cross country skiing near US Capitol, Washington, DC, USA, 13 Jan 2018 (Twitter/Nathanaj80)

A major winter storm brought heavy snow and mixed precipitation from the American Midwest to the mid-Atlantic states over the weekend.

The snow began falling in Kansas and Missouri with some areas getting almost 50 cm.

The storm knocked out power, disrupted air travel and created slippery highways with numerous collisions including an Illinois crash which killed a police officer.

Freezing rain led to a build-up of ice on surfaces in North Carolina and Virginia.

Between 15 and 30 cm of snow fell over the Washington, DC area – its heaviest snowfall in three years – which closed schools and federal government offices on Monday.

Forecasters say melting during the day would create hazardous black ice after sunset as temperatures fell back below freezing.

The storm system has moved out into the Atlantic but will brush Cape Breton Island and eastern Newfoundland on Tuesday.

2018 in Review

screenshot (319)

While the last three months of 2018 were colder than normal in Greater Moncton, the annual average temperature was still 0.4 degrees above the 30-year average.

Summer proved to be extremely warm with more highs above 20°C overall and more than three times as many days above 30°C.

As for cold weather, the number of days falling below -10°C was near normal but there were far fewer lows dropping to -20°C or lower.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

1-2-3 New Year Punch

Snow falling in west end Moncton, 09 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

For the third time since the start of 2019, Southeast New Brunswick was hit with snow.

Another low pressure system initially brought snow with 21 cm recorded in Greater Moncton following briefly by ice pellets and then 5 mm of rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Higher amounts of snow fell in central and northern New Brunswick while more rain fell over mainland Nova Scotia with localized flooding in the Halifax region.

Environment Canada expects calmer but colder conditions over the next few days.

UPDATE – Storm summary for New Brunswick:

Snowfall (cm)

  • Miramichi  up to 55
  • Caraquet  up to 44
  • Bathurst  28
  • Kouchibouguac  28
  • Shediac  27
  • Alma  26
  • Greater Moncton  21
  • Fredericton  15
  • Saint John  5

Rainfall  (mm)

  • Grand Manan  30
  • Saint John  25
  • Alma  19
  • St. Stephen  13
  • Fredericton  5
  • Greater Moncton  5

More snow and more coming

Heavy snow falling in NE Moncton, 05 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

A low pressure system moved across the Maritimes heading to Newfoundland bringing snow to the west and rain to the east.

Greater Moncton received about 14 cm of snow by the time it stopped late this morning.

The temperature will plummet tonight with cold northwesterly winds.

Forecasters are watching the next weather system now making its way across the country with more snow expected on Wednesday.