Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Record lows in NB

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Despite chilly weather, snowbanks are melting in NE Moncton, 16 April 2018 (Dearing)

Mid-April is here already but temperatures certainly haven’t been improving very much lately in New Brunswick.

Overnight lows continue to be abnormally cold with records set on Sunday, 15 April.

Greater Moncton fell to -9.1 C which breaks a record low of -8.6 C from 1981.

New records were also set in Bouctouche at -8.6 C and Miscou Island at -9.3 C.

Where’s spring?

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Lingering snowbanks in NE Moncton, 09 April 2018 (Dearing)

Since the start of astronomical spring, the highest temperature in Greater Moncton has been 9.1 C and overnight lows have dropped to a near record low of  -8.8 C.

So many are asking when is it ever going to warm up in New Brunswick?

The Maritimes has recently found itself on the north side of the prevailing jet stream which has allowed cold, Arctic air to sink south.

Environment Canada says the temperature should finally climb to at least 10 C by Friday.

Keep in mind, the first 20 C reading of the season was 12 April in 2017 while it was 21 April in 2016.

Newfoundland nailed!

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Heavy snow in Corner Brook, NL, 09 April 2018 (Smallwood/Twitter)

After delivering a punch to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, a low pressure system rapidly intensified over Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow creating blizzard conditions.

Snowfall was heaviest in western Newfoundland while the eastern island received freezing rain, ice pellets and rain.

Snowfall totals as of 9am NDT, 10 April:

  • St. Anthony  42 cm
  • Corner Brook  37 cm
  • Deer Lake  27 cm
  • Gander  18 cm

Rainfall totals:

  • Cape Race  32 mm
  • St. John’s  24 mm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Bonavista  126 km/h
  • St. Anthony  120 km/h
  • Gander  119 km/h
  • St. John’s  115 km/h

Snow swipes Nova Scotia

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Courtesy NS Department of Transportation

An intense low pressure system off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia brushed the eastern portion of the province and Cape Breton Island with heavy snow.

New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were spared from this storm.

The eastern part of Cape Breton was the hardest hit with almost 35 cm of snow recorded in the Sydney area.

Here are snowfall totals as of 9am ADT, 09 April (in cm):

  • Sydney  34.6
  • Cheticamp  22
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  23.4
  • Dartmouth  14
  • Bedford  10

Active weather across Eastern Canada

WxWarnings

Courtesy Environment Canada, 04 April 2018

Weather warnings are covering Southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada as a strong low pressure system brings strong winds, heavy rain, snow and freezing rain.

Sudbury picked up 29 cm of snow, four hours of freezing rain fell in Ottawa and Toronto Billy Bishop Airport had a peak wind gust of 98 km/h.

Southeast New Brunswick is the only part of the province not under a weather warning.

Northern New Brunswick could receive 30 cm of snow from this system while central and southwestern portions are under a rainfall warning with up to 35 mm possible.

Bitter cold in the West

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Winter just won’t let go in Western Canada with Environment Canada noting the duration and intensity of the current cold snap hasn’t been felt since April 1970.

The polar vortex is to blame as the pool of Arctic air sinks south into the Prairies.

Daytime highs in southern Alberta are only climbing to -7 C with overnight lows in the -20’s C in Saskatchewan and -30’s C in Manitoba.

Forecasters say the bitter cold will hang around until the weekend.

March 2018 – Stormy!

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Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.

The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.

By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.

Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.

MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  1.3 C

Average LOW  -4.7 C

AVERAGE  -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  9.1 C (29 Mar)

Extreme LOW  -15.4 C (26 Mar)

RAINFALL  11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Freezing fog!

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Freezing fog in Summerside, PEI, 27 March 2018 (Twitter)

Residents of Southeast New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island woke up to freezing fog this morning.

This occurs when water droplets develop during fog and freeze instantly when temperatures are below freezing.

The last three early mornings in Greater Moncton have been below -10°C and have dropped to a near record low of -15.4°C.

With nearly 40 cm of snow on the ground, this is the heaviest cover of white this winter season – keeping in mind this is now early spring.

Nor’easter number four!

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Moncton’s west end after the latest Nor’easter, 23 March 2018 (Dearing)

It seems a bit strange the largest single snowfall this winter in Greater Moncton actually occurred on the second full day of spring.

Environment Canada says Southeast New Brunswick hit the snow jackpot from the fourth Nor’easter this month with more than 30 cm recorded.

A storm on 30 January was the previous snowfall event winner with almost 25 cm.

Strong winds were also a factor in this storm gusting at times to 82 km/h.

Here are some other snowfall totals:

  • Kentville, NS  24 cm
  • Alma, NB  20 cm
  • Yarmouth, NS  18 cm
  • Sussex, NB  17 cm
  • Charlottetown, PEI  12 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  11 cm
  • Bathurst, NB  8 cm
  • Saint John, NB  6 cm