March 2019 – Warmer with less snow

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 31 Mar 2019 (Dearing)

March seemed quite cold overall in Southeast New Brunswick especially given some frigid overnight lows during the first ten days of the month.

Daytime highs improved dramatically after that culminating with a maximum of 16.8°C on the 31st.

However, only two days recorded temperatures with both highs and lows above freezing.

The month was also very dry with less than half of the normal rainfall and snowfall received.

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

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -7.4°C

AVERAGE -2.5°C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 16.8°C (31 Mar)

Extreme LOW -18.7°C (08 Mar)

RAINFALL 26.4 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 35.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Warmest since early November!

img_6424

The last day of March proved to be the warmest day in Greater Moncton since 03 November when the thermometer hit 17.1 C.

The daytime high reached a balmy 16.8 C and the New Brunswick hot spot was 19 C in Sussex which brought residents outdoors to walk, run, hike and play.

The maximum was actually close to the record for the date which was 17.5 C from 2006.

But a passing cold front will drop the temperature considerably overnight as rain changes to snow and Monday’s high struggles to reach slightly above freezing.

Hello Spring!

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Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)

The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.

The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.

To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:

  • Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
  • Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
  • Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Spring arrives early in the North

A warm air mass has surged into Western Canada this week bringing record temperatures to the region and also to the North.

Many communities from Yukon to Nunavut were well above freezing and into the double digits breaking March records.

Yohin Lake hit a record high of 18.8°C Monday and spiked to 20.2°C Tuesday marking the first time in March the thermometer has climbed above 20°C in Northwest Territories.

Daytime highs in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley hit the mid 20’s while Alberta residents enjoyed maximums in the high teens.

Weather bomb crosses the continent

Bomb cyclone

Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)

A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain,  flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.

The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.

Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.

Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.

New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.

Finally above freezing!

Tracks on frozen reservoir in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 10 March 2019 (Dearing)

For the first time in 12 days, the daytime high in Greater Moncton finally climbed above freezing with a balmy high of 1°C today!

The normal maximum for early March in Southeast New Brunswick is 2°C with a minimum of -8°C.

The last third of winter has been especially cold with overnights consistently below -10°C and even as low as -20.1°C early Friday.

However, there is some good news – Environment Canada is forecasting that the next five out of six days will have highs above freezing.

Deep snow cover across N.B.

NB map
This has been a very snowy winter across northern New Brunswick with Edmundston and Bas-Caraquet recording 114 cm of snow on the ground as of today (06 March).

Some unofficial reports have indicated a snow depth of more than 160 cm in some mountainous areas.

Southern New Brunswick also has plenty of snow but often it has been mixed with rain, freezing rain or ice pellets which have lowered accumulations.

Greater Moncton now sits at 53 cm (the most so far this season) and snowbanks are getting high enough to cause visibility issues at some intersections.

Plenty of snow near Caraquet, NB (Village Historique Acadian/IG)

Second heaviest snowfall of the season

Cat enters snowbound backyard in NW Moncton, 04 March 2019 (T. Clow)

A low pressure system approached the Maritimes from the northeastern United States late Sunday night.

Snow began in New Brunswick early Monday and intensified throughout the day before tapering off to freezing drizzle by evening.

About 24 cm fell in Greater Moncton which was the second heaviest snowfall of the season after the storm on 13 February.

The system also brought snow to western and central Newfoundland later on Monday with freezing rain to the Avalon Peninsula.

Snowfall amounts (cm) as of 1AM Tuesday from Environment Canada:

  • Sydney: 26
  • Saint John Airport: 26
  • Greater Moncton Airport: 24
  • Deer Lake: 23
  • Fredericton: 21
  • Miramichi: 21
  • Charlottetown: 19
  • Greenwood: 19
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport: 17
  • Bathurst: 14
  • Gander: 14
  • Yarmouth: 12

Winter snowfall across Canada

TWN Snowmap

It has been quite a winter across Canada with no region reporting a shortage of snow.

Snowfall has been especially heavy in the West this season especially coastal British Columbia which usually sees only scant amounts.

Victoria, BC had almost 70 cm of snow in February – more than what typically falls all winter – even higher than snowy Moncton at nearly 60 cm last month.

While many areas of the West have already exceeded their snowfall amounts for an average winter, much of the East is still falling short of a normal season.

The deepest snowpack can be found in northern New Brunswick, central Quebec, Labrador, the Rockies and B.C.’s mountain ranges.

Winter 2018-19 in Review

Winter 18-19
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.

In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.

Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.