Smoke impacts Alberta air quality

Smoke over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 August 2018 (Dearing)

Smoke from forest fires in British Columbia is streaming into Alberta resulting in poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Environment Canada says smoke conditions can change quickly during wildfires but air quality will be poor for the rest of the week.

Small children, seniors and anyone with chronic conditions are especially at risk.

British Columbia has declared a state of emergency with over 560 out-of-control wildfires forcing 3,000 residents from their homes and another 20,000 are under evacuation alert.

Advertisements

Wildfires rage in California

CAfires

Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)

The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.

Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.

Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.

Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.

Furnace Friday

HotUK

Forecast highs in the UK for 27 July 2018 (Met Office)

The British, like Canadians, often give names to extreme weather events and ‘Furnace Friday’ is a fine example.

Meteorologists were expecting the all-time heat record of 38.5 C from 2003 would fall yesterday but thunderstorms rolled through and cooled things down.

Nevertheless, the UK Met Office reports a maximum of 34.7 C at Tibenham Airfield, Norfolk while it reached 35.3 C in Faversham, Kent – the hottest high of 2018 so far.

The heat wave has turned grass brown, triggered water restrictions, disrupted rail services and prompted a warning from officials to stay out of the sun.

The heat returns!

Countryside near Victoria-by-the-Sea, PEI, 23 July 2018 (Dearing)

Another round of very warm temperatures and high humidity has enveloped almost all of the Maritimes with only New Brunswick’s Fundy coast exempt from an Environment Canada heat warning.

While actual daytime highs will approach 30 C, humidex values will range between 35 and 40 which can be dangerous for those at risk including young children, seniors and anyone with a chronic illness.

Forecasters say some relief may come on Thursday with some much needed rain but high humidity could persist until early next week.

1-2-3 Winter Punch Coming

img_1116

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.

December 2017 – Cold and dry

img_0102

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)

California wildfires prompt massive evacuation

CAwildfires

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.

October 2017 – Second warmest since 1881

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)

Western NB gets drenched

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.

Forest fires burn at CFB Gagetown

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.