August snow in northern BC!

Ft Nelson snow

BC Highway 97 near Fort Nelson, 19 Aug 2019 (Drive BC/Twitter)


Residents of northern British Columbia were shocked to wake up to snow this morning – an estimated 50 cm in some areas.

Environment Canada says cold Arctic air combined with moisture from the Pacific was responsible for the winter-like conditions in late summer.

Fort Nelson received a mix of rain and snow while higher elevations of 1,000 metres or more saw mainly snow.

Historical data shows measurable snow is likely in Fort Nelson in every month except July.

By contrast on Monday, Kamloops in the Okanagan Valley – about 1300 km south – reached a daytime high of 31°C.

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Quiet forest fire season in N.B.

Forest Fire

Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)

A wet, cold spring and a dry, humid July have led to one of the quietest forest fire seasons in recent memory in New Brunswick.

Statistics show 152 fires for the season to date which compares to 206 fires over the past ten years.

Last year was also much busier with 242 fires recorded by the middle of August.

Provincial wildfire officials say although July was warmer than normal, high humidity levels helped prevent fires from starting and from spreading.

Stormy Saturday in Maritimes

Ominous sky over Moncton, 10 Aug 2019 (B. Smith-Peterson/Facebook)

A line of strong thunderstorms moved across New Brunswick, western Prince Edward Island and eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday bringing heavy downpours, hail and strong winds.

Greater Moncton was under a severe thunderstorm warning for a few hours with hail about 1 cm in diameter being reported outside the city.

Heavy rain also caused flash flooding in downtown Shediac with social media posts showing vehicles making their way through water clogged streets.

Temperatures also plunged from the low 20s to the mid-teens as the storms passed.

Although the rain is needed, concert goers might disagree with the first show being staged on Magnetic Hill today in four years.

How does July 2019 compare?

Julys in Moncton
Greater Moncton recorded an average temperature of 20.0°C last month but how did it compare to previous July’s going back to 2012?

According to the 30-year average (1981-2010) at the Greater Moncton International Airport, the July normal is 18.8°C.

Of the past eight July’s, only one was actually below average in 2015 while the others were above normal.

The historic warmest July was in 2018 while 2014 was not too far behind.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

July 2019 – Warm and dry

A fiery looking sunset in Moncton, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)

After a cold start to July in Greater Moncton, temperatures climbed rapidly and hit a monthly high of 34.0°C within the first week.

Environment Canada says the temperature reached 30°C or higher on eight days during the month.

The monthly average was 20.0°C or 1.2 degrees above normal.

July 2018 was still warmer in Moncton with a historic average of 21.4°C.

Besides being warm, it was also dry with less than half of the 92 millimetres of rain which typically falls.

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

Average HIGH  27.8°C

Average LOW  14.8°C

AVERAGE  20.0°C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  34.0°C (05 July)

Extreme LOW  8.7°C (13 July)

RAINFALL  44.2 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Severe weather moves across N.B.

Dark clouds northwest of Moncton, 31 July 2019 (Dearing)

A line of severe thunderstorms slid through New Brunswick tonight producing heavy rain, hail and strong, gusty winds up to 100 km/h.

Small funnel clouds were noticed but no reports of tornadoes.

Environment Canada issued watches and warnings for many parts of the province including Greater Moncton.

The ridge of storm clouds passed to the northwest of the city and not a single drop of rain fell but it did drop temperatures enough to end the heat warning.

Heat building in the Maritimes

Beach

A fine day at Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)

A heat warning has been in place since the start of the weekend in much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (except for Cape Breton) and Prince Edward Island.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 30 C on Saturday and 29 C today but the forecast calls for 30 C on Monday and 31 C for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Overnight lows are not expected to drop that much either hovering around 18 to 19 C.

While humidity has been relatively low this weekend at around 50 percent or less, Environment Canada says the warm air mass will become more humid this week.

The only relief will be along the Fundy coast where temperatures will stay in the low 20s.

New all-time record highs across Europe

Paris (AP)

Cooling off in Paris near Eiffel Tower, 25 July 2019 (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

The second summer heat wave gripping Europe peaked on Thursday with new all-time record highs set in several countries.

Paris climbed to a stifling 42.6 C breaking the French capital’s previous record high of 40.4 C from July 1947.

The temperature climbed above 40 C in the Netherlands at Gilzen-Rijen for the first time ever when it reached 40.7 C and Lingen, Germany set a new country record of 42.6 C.

Records were also set in Belgium (41.8 C) and Luxembourg (40.8 C).

The UK Met Office is verifying whether a high of 38.7 C at Cambridge is the warmest temperature ever for the United Kingdom.

Historic heat in Western Europe

The jet stream has carried hot air from northern Africa across western Europe which is shattering all-time record highs in numerous countries.

The second extreme heat wave this summer has set new maximums in Belgium at 38.9 C, the Netherlands at 39.2 C and Germany at 40.5 C.

Bordeaux, France reached 41.2 C on Tuesday which was its highest temperature ever.

Thanks to the urban heat island effect, major cities are more prone to hot weather than rural areas and don’t cool down that much overnight.

On Thursday, the UK Met Office believes Britain could smash its current historic high of 38.5 C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

Thunderstorms cool off Eastern Canada

Thunderstorms rolling across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec this weekend brought an end to oppressive heat and humidity.

Toronto residents were trying to keep cool Saturday when the mercury soared to 33.0°C with a stifling humidex of 44 and Montreal reported similar conditions.

In the Maritimes, even typically cooler coastal areas were warm with new record highs set in Saint John and Grand Manan.

The temperature in Greater Moncton peaked at 32.4°C which fell short of the record of 33.5°C from 1991.

A brief, violent thunderstorm hit Halifax on Sunday afternoon with flash flooding and strong winds knocking out power to more than 44,000 Nova Scotians.