Snowstorm sweeps Southeastern U.S.

Southeast USA snowstorm

Man cuts fallen tree blocking a road in South Carolina, 09 Dec 2018 (Reuters)

Several deaths have been reported after a massive snowstorm buried parts of the Southeastern United States with more than 30 cm falling in several major cities to as much as 60 cm in the Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina and Virginia were especially hard hit by the storm system which slowly moved out into the Atlantic Ocean today.

Highways became hazardous as snowy, icy conditions led to hundreds of collisions, dozens of flights were cancelled and schools and businesses shut down.

About 300,000 customers also lost electricity during the peak as the storm knocked trees onto power lines.

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Bitter cold hangs on

Irishtown Nature Park reservoir is already frozen, 01 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

An Arctic air mass continues to have its grip over the Maritimes with today marking the sixth day of below freezing temperatures in Greater Moncton.

The early morning lows dropped to -16.1°C yesterday and -16.5°C today.

Brisk northwest winds have also created bitter wind chills into the -20s this weekend giving a risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

The normal high for early December is 0°C and the low is -8°C.

Environment Canada says temperatures may not climb above freezing until Friday making this one of the longest cold snaps in recent memory.

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)

Weather Network unveils winter forecast

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The Weather Network believes the harsh winter conditions this November in New Brunswick are just a preview of the upcoming season.

Temperatures will likely be below normal this season but periods of mild weather can still be expected.

An active storm track along the Atlantic coast will mean many systems delivering above average precipitation including snow, rain and freezing rain.

A developing El Nino should bring a warmer, drier winter for Western Canada and a colder, wetter winter from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada.

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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

Nor’easter follows record cold

Snow settles in NE Moncton before a changeover to rain, 28 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

A frosty Saturday morning proved record breaking at the Greater Moncton International Airport when the thermometer plunged to -6.6°C which breaks the previous cold low from 1998 by 0.1°C.

Frigid temperatures were also set in Edmundston at -12.2°C, Woodstock at -11.7°C and Saint John at -8.4°C with weather records going back to 1886.

The Arctic cold was soon replaced by a low pressure system with some tropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Willa.

The early season Nor’easter brought snow, ice pellets and eventually rain to the Maritimes along with gusty winds which uprooted trees in parts of New England.

First snow flurries of fall!

Snow squall in west end Moncton, 18 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

Low clouds and cold gusty winds across the warm Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy produced the first snow flurries of the season throughout the Maritimes today.

Greater Moncton actually had occasional snow squalls throughout the afternoon but there was no accumulation.

Some areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did record slight amounts on the ground.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement with up to 10 cm of snow possible for the Cape Breton Highlands.

Heavy snow hits Calgary

Heavy snow covers cars in Calgary, AB, 02 Oct 2018 (Twitter)

Late summer and early autumn have been cold in southern Alberta but a big snowfall suddenly made it seem like winter.

Heavy snow moved across the Rockies and the foothills today dumping between 20 and 40 cm of snow (including over 30 cm at Calgary International Airport).

Environment Canada warns the snow will continue into Wednesday morning with a few more centimetres expected.

Traffic also ground to a halt as vehicles became stranded on snowy and icy highways.

September 2018 – Warm and wet

Black-eyed Susans growing in Upper Hammonds Plains, NS, 21 Sept 2018 (Dearing)

Warm, summer weather picked up in September where it left off in August in Southeast New Brunswick.

But the passage of a cold front marked a drastic temperature drop on the 18th and suddenly it felt like fall in Greater Moncton.

The thermometer continued to plunge and sank to -1.9°C on the 25th with light, scattered frost although most vegetation was spared severe damage.

Precipitation was actually above normal although heavy amounts fell in a handful of rainfalls.

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

Average HIGH 20.9°C

Average LOW 7.9°C

AVERAGE 14.4°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 28.9°C (06 Sept)

Extreme LOW -1.9°C (25 Sept)

RAINFALL 100.5 mm (about 10 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)