A heat wave named Lucifer

hoteuropeTemperatures across southern Europe have been so hot in recent days – climbing to more than 40 C in some areas – the heat wave has been called “Lucifer”.

Several deaths have been reported and severe weather warnings have been issued in Spain, France, Italy and the Balkan States.

Serbia’s capital Belgrade reached a scorching 39 C and train service in the southern part of the country was halted after rail tracks buckled in the extreme heat.

By contrast, northern Europe has been much cooler and wetter with the thermometer dropping as low as 4 C in the Scottish Highlands.

July 2017 – Warm and dry

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 with 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 C 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)

Heat wave in the West

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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.

Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Decent first half of July

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)

Thousands evacuated in B.C. wildfires 

Wildfire north of Cache Creek, BC, 07 July 2017 (BC Transportation/Twitter)


A state of emergency is in place across British Columbia which gives government special authority over more than 230 wildfires. 

B.C. wildfire officials say weeks of hot, dry weather combined with strong winds and dry lightning have led to almost 16,000 hectares being burned so far. 

More than 7,000 residents in the Interior and Cariboo regions have been evacuated from communities like Cache Creek, Princeton, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House to be housed in Kamloops. 

Temperatures remain hot in these areas this weekend soaring above 30 C. 

Heat warnings issued in the West

Heat west

Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)

A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.

On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.

The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.

Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.

Sizzling heat in Southwest U.S.

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Children play at a water park in Las Vegas, NV, USA, 20 June 2017 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Excessive heat warnings have been posted in parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where record highs have been broken.

Las Vegas tied its record today of 47 C and Phoenix came close to its all-time high at 48 C.

Many flights have been delayed or cancelled since smaller jets can’t operate properly in dangerously hot conditions.

Temperatures have soared to 53 C in Death Valley, California which climbed to 56.7 C on 10 July 1913 – the hottest ever in North America.

Heat comes to abrupt end

Thunderstorm moves into Saint John, 12 June 2017 (AKS/Twitter)


After three days of daytime highs above 28 C in Greater Moncton, much cooler weather is coming thanks to a cold front and a change in wind direction. 

The warm sometimes unstable air mass has created severe thunderstorms across the region.

Flash flooding was reported in Saint John yesterday after heavy downpours with wind and and hail which were also observed today in northeastern Nova Scotia. 

Environment Canada is forecasting below seasonal temperatures for Southeast New Brunswick over the next couple of days. 

Back to the Beach

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 11 June 2017 (Dearing)


Although I walked along Parlee Beach earlier this spring, my first official beach day of the season was a visit to Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pele yesterday. 

Under a mostly sunny sky, the afternoon high soared above 30 C although the water of the Northumberland Strait was a lot cooler. 

Signage indicated the water quality was good for swimming. 

The only minor downside was the wind which at times gusted to more than 80 km/h creating mini sand storms on the beach.