Most major centres across Southern Canada were slightly colder than normal in 2019 with only the Arctic region posting above average values.
Greater Moncton was no exception at 0.1 degree below normal which was in contrast to 2018 which was 0.4 degrees above normal.
Based on the thirty year period from 1981-2010, Moncton had more hot days and fewer frigid days in 2019 but other categories were close to average.
Rainfall was above normal for Southeast New Brunswick while less snowfall was recorded for the year.
Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.
Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:
- Another record Ottawa River flood
- Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
- Snowy Prairie autumn
- Bitterly cold February nationwide
- Record heat continues in the Arctic
- Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
- Blustery Halloween in the East
- Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
- More flooding along the St. John River
- Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned
Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:
- New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
- January Maritime storm included every type of weather
- Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
- February storm causes road closures in Labrador
- Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
- March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
- October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain
Ice forms on Irishtown Reservoir after cold night, 13 Nov 2019 (Dearing)
November got off to a mild start in Greater Moncton – the monthly high 19.4 C was actually 0.1 degrees warmer than October’s maximum – but temperatures quickly tumbled especially overnight.
Only two nights were actually above freezing with the coldest weather around the middle of the month.
The first measurable snow was recorded on 07-8 (18.8 cm) which was more than half of the November total and rainfall was lighter than usual.
Daytime highs struggled to climb above freezing especially during the last two weeks which led to a below normal monthly average.
NOVEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 4.6°C
Average LOW -3.7°C
AVERAGE 0.5°C (about 1.4 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 19.4°C (01 Nov)
Extreme LOW -10.9°C (17 Nov)
RAINFALL 66.7 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 32.5 cm (almost double, well ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Although it seems like really cold weather arrived earlier than usual, the chart above shows a drop of -10°C occurred on the same date last year in Greater Moncton – 14 November.
Over the last seven years, the temperature has gotten that cold between mid-November and early December.
The thermometer will likely sink to -15°C sometime later next month.
The last time it dropped that low in Southeast New Brunswick was 10 March.
Snowy Highway 102 in Bedford, NS (NS Highway Cameras)
A Colorado Low tracked through the Maritimes today bringing mixed precipitation and strong winds.
The system brought the first major snowfall to Nova Scotia with 23 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and lesser amounts in the city but it caught drivers and plow operators off guard creating gridlock.
About 10 to 20 cm of snow also fell in central and southwestern New Brunswick where some schools closed with slippery road conditions.
Greater Moncton had a rain/snow mix this morning with 2 cm before it changed to rain.
As this system moves off to Newfoundland, brisk winds behind it will produce gusts up to 90 km/h with snow squalls expected along coastal areas.
Cold, wintry weather seems to have arrived earlier this season in New Brunswick and Greater Moncton is no exception.
As shown above, the first below freezing daytime high was recorded on 09 November which makes it the earliest date in recent years.
In addition, the thermometer has already dropped to -10°C this month which I will outline in an upcoming post.
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.
Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.
New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.
The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.
The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.
Temperature contrast 8pm, 12 Nov 2019 (earth nullschool.net)
Snow began falling in Southeast New Brunswick Monday night and later changed to freezing rain and then rain by Tuesday afternoon.
The temperature climbed to a balmy 14°C in Greater Moncton and 18°C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
But as the low pressure system moved out of the Maritimes toward Newfoundland, winds shifted to the northwest causing the thermometer to drop rapidly Tuesday night with a return to snow when it fell to freezing again.
Overnight low records could be challenged in the region by early Thursday as cold Arctic air takes hold.
A snowy Gore Park, Hamilton, ON, 11 Nov 2019 (City of Hamilton)
An early winter storm tracked south of the Great Lakes on Monday and brought snow to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec.
Snowfall amounts generally ranged between 10 and 30 cm.
Environment Canada says Toronto marked its earliest major snowfall on record with about 15 cm.
Arctic air has filtered in behind the storm prompting the city to issue an extreme cold weather alert with a possible overnight low of -15°C.
Snowfall amounts (cm), Tuesday 5pm EST:
- Montreal 20
- Quebec City 20
- Windsor 19
- Hamilton 17
- Toronto (downtown) 15
- Ottawa 13
An early blast of winter in Moncton, 09 Nov 2019 (Dearing)
Some drivers were prepared when snow entered the forecast for the first time this week and had their winter tires installed.
But many drivers were caught off guard by the heavy, wet – sloppy – snow which fell across Southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, northern Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland.
A low pressure system brought rain on Thursday but snow fell by evening as the temperature dropped to the freezing point.
The snow continued throughout Friday creating slippery roads which left plow operators scrambling to deal with the early blast of winter.
Many minor accidents were reported with vehicles sliding into the ditch.
The Trans Canada Highway at Cobequid Pass was forced to close for several hours Friday night after numerous tractor trailers got stuck in snow and blocked the road.
Snowfall amounts (Thu-Fri) in cm:
- Corner Brook 19.4
- Greater Moncton 18.8
- Fredericton 10-15 (estimate)
- Deer Lake 13
- Saint John 8.9
- Halifax Stanfield 5.8
- Charlottetown 3.9
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)