September 2019 – Dorian’s fury

Fallen leaves on a trail in Irishtown Nature Park, 23 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

Hurricane Dorian defined September for Southeast New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Although downgraded before making landfall near Halifax, Dorian was still a very destructive storm.

Powerful winds toppled century-old trees onto power lines, a month’s worth of rain drenched the region in hours and a vicious storm surge tossed boats around like toys.

If it hadn’t been for Dorian, the month would have been quite dry in Greater Moncton.

September also lacked heat with slightly below normal temperatures thanks to chilly nights and cool daytime highs which often struggled to reach 20°C.

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

Average HIGH 18.9°C

Average LOW 7.3°C

AVERAGE 13.1°C (about 0.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 26.0°C (22 Sept)

Extreme LOW -0.4°C (19 Sept)

RAINFALL 187.5 mm (more than DOUBLE the normal amount)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

September snow in the West!

A snowy rooftop patio in Calgary, AB, 29 September 2019 (gbenlucas/Instagram)

Autumn began just a few days ago but it already looks and feels like winter in parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A strong low pressure system prompted snowfall and winter storm warnings as up to 100 cm of snow fell across southern Alberta.

Gusty winds behind the system created blowing and drifting snow making highway travel treacherous.

Many early season snowfall records have been broken.

Snowfall amounts (in cm) as of 1pm MDT, 30 September:

  • Calgary 32
  • Claresholm  40-45
  • Lethbridge  50-60
  • Taber  60
  • Cardston area  70-90
  • Waterton Park  95

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Autumn arrives!

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 23 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

Summer it seems we hardly knew ya!

Fall officially arrived early this morning in New Brunswick with the autumnal equinox at 4:50am ADT.

The sun is now located just above the equator and day and night are about equal.

The nights will continue to get longer throughout autumn.

The first day proved summer-like in Greater Moncton with a daytime high of 25.8°C and a humidex of 32.

Scattered frost!

Geranium with light frost damage in NE Moncton, 19 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

It was a cold morning in the Maritimes and frost advisories were posted for all three provinces.

Scattered frost was recorded in many areas including Greater Moncton where the thermometer fell to -0.4°C at the airport which is close to the 2008 record low of -1.2°C.

However, a minimum of -4.4°C was set in the area in 1945.

This was a light frost and much earlier than the average date of 04 October.

New record lows for 19 September:

Grand Manan
New record  -2.1°C
Old record -1.6°C set in 2008
Records in this area have been kept since 1883

Saint John Airport
New record -0.7°C
Old record -0.5°C set in 2009
Records in this area have been kept since 1871

Port Hawkesbury, NS
New record 0.3°C
Old record 2.0°C set in 1994
Records in this area have been kept since 1875

Summerside, PEI
New record 0.6°C
Old record 2.1°C set in 2014
Records in this area have been kept since 1898

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Fall preview for Atlantic Canada

After what seemed like a short summer – it didn’t get started until early July in Southeast New Brunswick – The Weather Network has unveiled its 2019 fall forecast.

  • Much of Atlantic Canada should see above-average rainfall due to a few systems that tap into tropical moisture and bring excessive totals.
  • Above normal temperatures are expected to dominate across the southern Maritimes, while typical fall temperatures are expected elsewhere.

TWN Fall

Storm cleanup continues

Dorian crane (Coastal Elite Wikipedia)

Construction crane collapses during Dorian in south end Halifax, NS, 10 Sept 2019 (Coastal Elite/Wikipedia)

No one expected Dorian to batter Southeast New Brunswick with such intensity.

Hurricane-force winds and a powerful storm surge along the Northumberland Strait wrecked wharves and fishing boats, tossed yachts like toys at a marina, flooded campgrounds and destroyed camper trailers.

For the first time in its history, Parlee Beach has been closed to the public after boardwalks and ramps were damaged posing safety risks for visitors.

The cleanup at Murray Beach may take weeks where dozens of fallen trees closed the campground, kitchen shelters were flattened and the beach itself was heavily eroded.

Torrential rain washed out sections of some roads including in Salisbury where a car plunged into a gaping hole.

Public works crews in Greater Moncton have been clearing away downed trees and branches which were responsible for most power outages.

Five days after Dorian, thousands are still without electricity in Nova Scotia where century old trees toppled onto homes and vehicles.

Many city parks remain closed in Halifax due to debris and efforts begin to dismantle a construction crane which collapsed during the strong winds.

Dorian packs powerful punch

Dorian damage in Halifax’s West End, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Hurricane Dorian has left a path of destruction across the Maritime Provinces despite being downgraded as it crossed the region.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Dorian was an intense post-tropical storm as it made landfall at 7:15pm ADT Saturday in Sambro, 25 km southwest of Halifax.

Dorian brought destructive winds, flooding rains and powerful storm surges to much of Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

A construction crane collapsed and century old trees toppled onto homes, businesses, vehicles and streets in Halifax.

Public works staff are scrambling to clean up the mess and power crews are trying to restore electricity to the tens of thousands without it.

img_0660

Crews clean up storm damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Rainfall totals (mm) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Oxford, NS. 138
  • Halifax (Lower Sackville), NS. 138
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 121
  • Miramichi, NB. 115
  • Kentville, NS. 110
  • Summerside, PEI. 90
  • Saint John, NB. 82
  • Fredericton, NB. 75

Peak wind gusts (km/h) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Beaver Island (eastern shore), NS. 145
  • Yarmouth, NS. 130
  • North Cape, PEI. 122
  • Halifax (city), NS. 120
  • Miscou Island, NB. 106
  • Sydney, NS. 104
  • Saint John, NB. 102
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 100

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Hurricane Dorian landfall expected near Halifax

Dorian update

Emergency measures organizations in the Maritimes have been preparing for Hurricane Dorian which is approaching southwestern Nova Scotia with maximum winds of 148 km/h (as of 12pm ADT).

The Canadian Hurricane Centre expects Dorian will make landfall near Halifax on Saturday evening as a Category 1 hurricane.

Residents who live along the Atlantic coast, such as Peggys Cove for example, are being urged to evacuate and move inland.

Long lines were reported at stores and gas stations on Friday as residents scrambled to stock up on food and other supplies.

Hurricane warnings and tropical storm warnings have been issued for all of Nova Scotia including Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island and southeast New Brunswick.

Strong winds gusting up to 120 km/h are in the forecast, rainfall amounts could exceed 100 mm and large waves and storm surges are likely along coastlines.

As of 2pm ADT, about 75,000 customers were without electricity in Nova Scotia with some trees toppled over along the province’s south shore.

Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick (warnings as of 2pm ADT)

  • Tropical Storm Warning – heavy rain, strong winds, storm surges along the coast
  • Wind Warning – gusts up to 90 km/h which could cause damage, uproot trees
  • Rainfall Warning – 50 to 100 mm rain (a month’s worth) could cause flooding

Dorian likely to track near Nova Scotia

Dorian path

As slow-moving Hurricane Dorian continues churning parallel to the coastline of the Southeastern United States, the Canadian Hurricane Centre is getting a better sense of how the storm will impact Atlantic Canada this weekend.

Forecasters believe Dorian could be a Category 1 storm when it arrives on Saturday and follow a path to the east of mainland Nova Scotia.

Rainfall will be heavy to the west of the track which includes Southern New Brunswick with about 50 mm possible and perhaps as much as 100 mm for parts of Nova Scotia.

Hurricane-force winds with large waves and pounding surf are possible along the Atlantic coast near the track before the storm heads to Newfoundland on Sunday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dorian is now moving toward the coast of the Carolinas with strong winds, storm surges and up to 300 mm of rain.

Dorian devastates Bahamas

Bahamas Dorian

View from hotel balcony in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, 02 Sept 2019 (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

A number of fatalities have been reported as slow-moving Hurricane Dorian wreaks havoc in the Bahamas with more 13,000 homes severely damaged.

The strongest storm to ever hit the island nation – a Category 5 with sustained winds of 320 km/h – made landfall in the Abaco Islands with drenching rain and massive storm surges creating devastating flooding.

Downgraded to a Category 4 storm but still very dangerous, hurricane watches and warnings have been posted along the southeastern United States coastline from Florida to South Carolina.

In current projections, the U.S. National Hurricane Center suggests Dorian could reach the Maritime Provinces by Saturday.