An early sign of spring in downtown Moncton, 03 March 2018 (Dearing)
After days of cloudy skies and mostly dry conditions, it seems Old Man Winter is returning.
While no weather warnings are currently in place for Southeast New Brunswick, snowfall advisories have been issued for areas to the north and west.
Environment Canada says a low pressure system approaching from the U.S. Northeast could bring 10-15 cm of snow Thursday with a changeover to rain by evening as temperatures climb above freezing.
But another storm system will move into the region late Friday and into Saturday with rain changing over to snow.
And early next week could bring yet another storm system.
Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.
But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.
After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.
Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).
DECEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.5 C
Average LOW -10.7 C
AVERAGE -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 11.1 C (06 Dec)
Extreme LOW -21.8 C (31 Dec)
RAINFALL 39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)
More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.
The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.
Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.
Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.
Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.
Many trees are losing leaves in west end Moncton, 27 Oct 2017 (Dearing)
October often felt like August in Greater Moncton with 12 days reaching daytime highs of 20 C or higher.
Environment Canada says only October 1913 was slightly warmer since records began in 1881.
Temperatures did fall below freezing on 7 days with some scattered frost but the month escaped a hard frost and vegetation continued to flourish.
Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal in Southeast New Brunswick continuing a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.
OCTOBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 17.7 C
Average LOW 5.0 C
AVERAGE 11.4 C (about 3.8 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 23.7 C (08 Oct)
Extreme LOW -1.8 C (13 Oct)
RAINFALL 76.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A slow moving frontal system brought heavy rain to western New Brunswick with about 20 mm falling per hour in the southwest.
Environment Canada reported 174 mm of rain in St. Stephen over a two day period which is a shocking amount considering about 180 mm fell from June to September.
Other amounts include 112 mm in Edmundston, 93 mm in Woodstock and 74 mm in Fredericton.
Rainfall totals were much lower in Southeast New Brunswick where only 27 mm fell at the Greater Moncton International Airport.
Tropical air with this system broke more record highs in Atlantic Canada with a maximum of 23.4 C in Moncton and Bouctouche, 23.5 C in Cheticamp, 22.0 C in Deer Lake and 21.2 C in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Three forest fires are continuing to burn at Base Gagetown with drifting smoke causing poor air quality in Oromocto and nearby Fredericton.
Training exercises on the sprawling military base reportedly ignited the fires in recent days which have not posed any threat to homes or structures.
A smoky sky over the New Brunswick capital city prompted public health officials to urge children, seniors and anyone with lung conditions to stay indoors.
Water bombers have been attacking the fires which have burned over 1,000 hectares to date amid very dry conditions.
Maple tree past peak in Moncton, 22 Oct 2017 (Dearing)
The fall foliage in Southeast New Brunswick is now past peak and the leaves are starting to tumble to the ground.
Typically a strong wind and/or rain event will bring down most remaining leaves from the trees with maples the first to shed and oaks among the last.
Forestry experts say unseasonably warm weather across the Maritimes this autumn have muted some fall colours.
Rich, vivid displays are most common when days are sunny but cool and nights are cold.
Maple tree turning colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, NB, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)
If you were looking for great summer weather in the province, Environment Canada says Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick was the place to find it this year.
The average temperature for meteorological summer – June, July and August – was 18.1 C which is 0.7 degrees above normal.
The weather office says humidity was often low, overnight lows were comfortable but 8 days hit 30 C or higher compared to a typical 4 to 5.
The downside was a lack of precipitation with 155 mm of rain recorded which is 40 percent less than the summer average of 268 mm.
Extremely dry ground and brown grass in NE Moncton, 30 Aug 2017 (Dearing)
The dry summer in Southeast New Brunswick continued in August with a dangerous forest fire hazard and little precipitation to soak the parched ground.
A dry trend which began in late June continued during the month with less than 50 mm of rain falling in Greater Moncton.
Temperatures were above normal with daytime highs consistently in the high 20’s Celsius but a string of single digit overnight lows during the final week brought down the overall monthly average.
AUGUST 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 25.6 C
Average LOW 11.9 C
AVERAGE 18.9 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.6 C (04 Aug)
Extreme LOW 7.2 C (28 Aug)
RAINFALL 46.8 mm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Heavy downpour during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 11 Aug 2017 (Dearing)
A thunderstorm rolled through Greater Moncton on Friday afternoon and it was a welcome sight when two periods of downpours brought much needed rain.
A fire ban had been in place across Southern New Brunswick but more rain today lowered the fire hazard and burning is now allowed from 8pm to 8am.
The last significant rainfall in Greater Moncton was 8.2 mm on 21 July and prior to that it was 21.2 mm on 24 June.
Agriculture Canada has declared that much of Prince Edward Island is experiencing a drought with little rain since early June.