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.
Location of forest fire, south of Riverview, NB (Google Maps)
Some much needed rain finally fell over parts of New Brunswick early this morning which helped firefighters who are battling a number of forest fires.
A fire about 3 km south of Riverview town limits is now considered “under control” and officials say the rain helped and ground crews are now focusing on hot spots.
The fire was reported on Saturday morning and was attacked by several water bombers and crews from the Department of Natural Resources, Riverview and Hillsborough.
A total of 15 fires are currently burning across the province which are being described as either “contained”, “under control” or “being patrolled”.
Tinder dry grass in west end Moncton, 03 Aug 2017 (Dearing)
Provincial officials say the fire hazard in New Brunswick is at its highest level in over 20 years.
A fire ban has been in place for days which means campers have to find other ways to roast marshmallows.
The province took a rare step today by restricting forestry operations during peak daytime hours.
Southeast New Brunswick currently has an extreme fire hazard and Greater Moncton has not recorded any significant rain since 21 July.
Upper Salmon River, Alma, NB, 30 July 2017 (Dearing)
As the month of July progressed in Southeast New Brunswick, lawns turned brown and forests became extremely dry as temperatures soared and little rain fell.
Greater Moncton only received one-third of its normal monthly rainfall and 15 days had no precipitation at all.
The heat was steady throughout July with 20 days reaching 25 C or higher and four days climbing to 30 C or more.
A brief cool down near month end lowered daytime highs to the low 20s Celsius and brought a chilly overnight low of 6.9 C.
JULY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 26.0 C
Average LOW 12.3 C
AVERAGE 19.2 C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (31 July)
Extreme LOW 6.9 C (23 July)
RAINFALL 30.0 mm (about 67 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Cooling off in the Elbow River, SW Calgary, AB, 27 July 2017 (Postmedia/G. Young)
Environment Canada issued heat warnings for most of Alberta along with parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba this week in the wake of sizzling high temperatures.
The weather office says a daytime maximum of 30 C or higher could pose an elevated risk of heat-related illnesses and residents should avoid outdoor activities until cooler hours of the day.
Temperatures could climb to 33 C as far north as Thompson and almost 30 C in Churchill along the Hudson Bay coast.
Forecasters say the extreme heat will continue this weekend but a slight cool down is expected early next week.
Grass turning brown in NE Moncton, 26 July 2017 (Dearing)
Lawns are turning brown and gardens are thirsty in Southeast New Brunswick given the light amount of precipitation recorded so far this month.
Environment Canada says 29.8 mm of rain has fallen this July in Greater Moncton compared to an average of 92.1 mm – just under one-third of normal.
No significant rainfall is expected before the end of the month.
By contrast, parts of neighbouring Nova Scotia have been much wetter than normal with 135 mm to date at Halifax Stanfield Airport.
An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)
For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July.
After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal.
Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on 05 July.
The only concern is a lack of rainfall.
The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick.
(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)
Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)
More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.
Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.
Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.
The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.