March 2020 – Warm and dry

Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 15 March 2020 (Dearing)

Much less rain and snow fell in Greater Moncton during March even though precipitation was recorded on 23 days.

Only 10 mm of rain and 32 cm of snow fell with the normals being 49 mm and 65 cm respectively.

Warm daytime highs were scarce – the thermometer failed to reach 10°C – but temperatures were actually slightly above average overall.

The coldest weather occurred during the first few days of spring with a minimum of -13.8°C on 23 March.

MARCH 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -6.3°C

AVERAGE -2.0°C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.4°C (28 Mar)

Extreme LOW -13.8°C (23 Mar)

RAINFALL 10.7 mm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 34.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Warm spring day

Finally some warmth!

Southeast New Brunswick is trending slightly above normal for March but real heat has been absent until this weekend.

Greater Moncton reached 9.4°C which was a monthly high.

While Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island were cooler, some parts of the Maritimes got into the double digits.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia hit 13.9°C while Saint John recorded 10.5°C.

Remember the Great March Heat Wave?

Parlee Beach, NB, 22 March 2012

Early spring is not known as being particularly warm in New Brunswick, but the early days of spring in March 2012 were a rare exception.

For three consecutive days, the thermometer soared into the 20’s Celsius in Southeast New Brunswick breaking record highs and culminating in an unbelievable all-time monthly maximum of 26.1°C on 22 March 2012.

Beachgoers flocked to the coast to take advantage of the summer-like conditions and some at Parlee Beach even took a dip in the Northumberland Strait despite ice patches still floating in the water.

Although temperatures have been near normal so far this month, Greater Moncton has yet to crack 10°C.

Ice cover shrinking in Gulf of St. Lawrence

A satellite image taken on 18 March captures the ice coverage in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

While ice is shrinking in the Northumberland Strait, the central Gulf still has a fair amount of coverage especially north of Prince Edward Island and west of Cape Breton Island.

Spring arrives

Courtesy Accuweather.com

The spring or vernal equinox arrived at 12:50am ADT in New Brunswick which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it continues to move northward.

Days are now about equal in length to nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer in June.

Spring may be here officially but consistent warmth is usually delayed in the Maritimes thanks to the surrounding cold ocean waters.

So far this March in Greater Moncton, temperatures have been close to normal overall but precipitation has been well below average.

Warm front brings record highs

Radar image at 9pm ADT, 10 March 2020 (Microsoft)

A slow moving warm front has brought precipitation and varying temperatures to the Maritimes.

About 15 cm of snow was expected in the north, while freezing rain and ice pellets fell in central areas and rain in the south.

Temperatures also ranged from well below freezing in northwestern New Brunswick to as high as 15°C in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Meantime, the thermometer has been rising in Greater Moncton over the past 24 hours with snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and now rain.

Record highs from 09 March (courtesy Environment Canada):

  • Kejumkujik National Park, 14.9°C beats old record 14.3°C from 2002.
  • Grand Manan Island, 10.4°C beats old record 9.9°C from 2012.

NB River Watch Launches

Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)

It’s a sure sign of spring…

New Brunswick’s annual program monitoring the status of rivers, ice jams and other flood issues officially launched today.

Historic flooding in 2018 and 2019 devastated many communities along the St. John River although individuals and municipal governments were better prepared last year.

Higher than normal water levels forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton for almost a week and even longer the year before.

Officials say a variety of factors contribute to flooding including precipitation, snow pack, air temperatures and river ice.

Deadly tornadoes hit Tennessee

A series of deadly tornadoes blew through the southern state of Tennessee early Tuesday morning with much of the destruction concentrated in Nashville and nearby Putnam County.

Authorities believe up to 25 people have been killed in the twisters and many others have been reported missing.

More than 100 buildings including homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed.

Many residents were asleep during the strong storms and those who were awake had only a few minutes warning.

Winter 2019-20 in Review

Data courtesy Environment Canada

Meteorological winter in Greater Moncton covering the months of December, January and February proved to be almost two degrees above normal compared to the 30-year average.

The warmest temperatures were recorded in December while frigid weather in February saw the coldest low in five years.

Precipitation was about 25 percent below normal with little snow in December and barely any rain in February.