2018 in Review

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While the last three months of 2018 were colder than normal in Greater Moncton, the annual average temperature was still 0.4 degrees above the 30-year average.

Summer proved to be extremely warm with more highs above 20°C overall and more than three times as many days above 30°C.

As for cold weather, the number of days falling below -10°C was near normal but there were far fewer lows dropping to -20°C or lower.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2018

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Wildfires create smoky sky over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)

Here is the annual list from Environment Canada:

  1. Record wildfires and smoky summer skies in the West
  2. Summer heat wave from East to West
  3. Tough growing season in the Prairies
  4. Powerful May winds impact Ontario and Quebec
  5. September tornadoes touch down in Ottawa-Gatineau
  6. Spring flooding in southern British Columbia
  7. Historic spring flooding along the St. John River Valley
  8. August deluge in Toronto
  9. Record cold start to a long winter nationwide
  10. Cold and stormy April for the East

 

Autumn 2018 in review

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Meteorological autumn spanning the months of September, October and November proved to be cooler and much wetter than normal in Greater Moncton.

While September felt more summer-like, it turned decidedly colder by mid-October and a big drop by mid-November with a low within two degrees of a 30-year record.

Precipitation was heavy with more than 100 mm of rain falling above normal and snow first appeared in late October and again in heavy amounts by late November.

November 2018 – Cold & snowy

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Snow settles in NE Moncton before changeover to rain, 10 Nov 2018 (Dearing)

About twice the normal amount of precipitation fell in Southeast New Brunswick during November which began as heavy rain and became heavy snow when it turned colder.

Two major rain events which included hurricane force winds were followed by the first snowfall of the season on the 10th and three more snow events to round out the month.

Greater Moncton had snow cover starting on the 14th and by the 30th, about 31 cm of snow was lying on the ground – almost eight times more than normal.

Temperatures were mild during the first third of the month and became decidedly frigid by the middle with lows near -15 C accompanied by bitterly cold wind chills.

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

Average HIGH 3.2°C

Average LOW -4.0°C

AVERAGE -0.4°C (about 2.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 17.1°C (03 Nov)

Extreme LOW -15.3°C (22 Nov)

RAINFALL 141.4 mm (about 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 75.0 cm (about 4 times ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Back-to-back systems batter N.B.

Freshly fallen snow in west end Moncton, 29 Nov 2018 (Dearing)

Southeast New Brunswick has been under a gloomy, grey sky all week thanks to a couple of low pressure systems.

The first one brought rain, drizzle and fog while the second brought heavy, wet snow to make this November one of the snowiest in recent memory.

Eastern New Brunswick got the brunt of the snow with Miramichi picking up a whopping 43 cm of snow while Greater Moncton had a hefty 28 cm.

Most of the snow in Nova Scotia fell over northern and eastern areas with heavy rain falling elsewhere.

Strong winds up to 89 km/h caused a storm surge along the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast.

Gusts of more than 100 km/h were reported on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island.

Daytime highs break cold records

The recent cold snap has been so fierce that daytime highs are struggling under bitter wind chills and are setting maximum cold records.

On 22nd and 23rd November, the daily highs in Greater Moncton only climbed to -7.9 C and -6.9 C respectively which broke records from 1989 as shown in the above chart.

Besides 1989, it looks like 1978 was another nippy November in the Maritimes judging by the number of maximum cold records which fell in those years.

Bitter cold ahead of more snow

Temperatures sunk early Monday across the Maritimes with some New Brunswick locations shattering records by almost five degrees dating back to the 1880’s.

The bitter cold precedes another storm system which could bring up to 25 cm of snow to southern New Brunswick, most of Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia.

While it plunged to -14.7°C in Greater Moncton, the 1936 record still stands at -16.7°C.

Here are some of the new record lows set in the region on 19 November:

  • Bathurst, NB -22.5°C
  • Woodstock, NB -21.4°C
  • Miramichi, NB -20.2°C
  • Kouchibouguac, NB -20.0°C
  • Summerside, PE -15.7°C
  • Charlottetown, PE -15.2°C

Will rain really help California wildfires?

Heavy rain is not exactly being welcomed in California despite recent wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state which have been ferocious and deadly.

Officials are now warning about the threat of mudslides as rain falls on dry or parched land and it runs downhill bringing rocks and debris with it.

About 100 mm of rain could fall in the north where the so-called Camp Fire has wiped out the mountain town of Paradise, north of the state capital Sacramento, claiming more than 77 lives with 1,000 still missing.

In the south, nearly 50 mm could dampen the so-called Woolsey Fire in the western suburbs of Los Angeles which has claimed at least three lives and destroyed some of America’s most expensive real estate including the homes of numerous Hollywood celebrities.

The cause of both fires is still under investigation but a lawsuit alleges problems with electricity transmission lines may have played a role.

Gerard Butler, Instagram

Actor Gerard Butler in front of his destroyed home in Malibu, CA, USA, 11 Nov 2018 (Instagram)

November snow 2008-17

NOVEMBER snowfalls in Greater Moncton
Year Snow event Total monthly snowfall
2017 3.2 cm
2016 Nov. 30 had 26 cm 37.4 cm
2015 4.0 cm
2014 Nov. 26-27 had 32 cm 55.8 cm
2013 3.4 cm
2012 No measurable snow
2011 Nov. 23 had 21.6 cm 25.0 cm
2010 Nov. 27 had 10.6 cm 26.2 cm
2009 7.4 cm
2008 Nov. 22 had 32.7 cm

42.1 cm

November can often be a hard month to predict when it comes to how much snow may fall in New Brunswick.

As the chart above shows for Greater Moncton, some years may have only a few centimetres or even barely a snowflake as was the case in 2012.

However, it only takes one major storm to push up the totals such as in 2014 with almost 56 cm of snow.

Much of the month’s accumulation tends to come from several snowfalls of just a couple centimetres each and often there are no major snow events.

The thirty year snowfall average (1981-2010) for November at the Greater Moncton Airport is 19.4 cm.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Early blast of winter

Main Street East webcam, 17 Nov 2018 (City of Moncton)

Southeast New Brunswick received about 20 cm of snow from a Nor’easter giving the region its first taste of winter.

Rain or ice pellets did not mix in as forecast for Greater Moncton but the snow was wet and heavy.

Higher amounts of snow fell further north and lesser amounts along the Fundy coast, Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia where more rain fell.

Snowfall totals (in cm):

  • Kouchibouguac 28
  • Bouctouche 22
  • Greater Moncton 20
  • Miramichi 14
  • Fredericton 13
  • Charlottetown 9
  • Saint John 8
  • (Data courtesy Environment Canada)