A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)
A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.
Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.
Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.
Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:
- Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
- Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
- London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
- Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
- Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
- Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
- Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
- Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)
Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.
What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.
Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.
WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport
Average HIGH -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)
Average LOW -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)
AVERAGE -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)
Extreme LOW -22.3 C (07 February)
RAINFALL 134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Freezing rain (pink) sandwiched between snow (blue) to the north and rain (green) to the south, 23 Dec 2017 (Intellicast)
Streets and highways in Greater Moncton turned into skating rinks early this evening after freezing rain began falling through Central and Southeast New Brunswick.
Social media users mentioned how numerous vehicles were sliding off the roads in icy conditions and Magnetic Hill had become an ice sheet.
A low pressure system from the Northeastern United States brought mixed precipitation which eventually changed to rain.
Meantime, Environment Canada is monitoring a major snowstorm expected Christmas Day which could bring 20 cm snow to parts of New Brunswick.
Members of the military go door to door in Lameque, NB, 31 Jan 2017 (JTFA/Twitter)
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to the Acadian Peninsula to help in the cleanup following the recent ice storm.
Thousands are still without electricity in northeastern New Brunswick almost a week after the devastating storm.
About 200 members of the military are doing various tasks including going door to door in communities to check on residents who may still be in their homes.
NB Power describes this “crisis” event as being worse than Hurricane Arthur in 2014.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
While Greater Moncton was hard hit by this week’s ice storm so was much of eastern New Brunswick including the Acadian Peninsula.
At least three communities have declared states of emergency – Tracadie-Sheila, Lameque and Shippagan – in what has been the most devastating ice storm in recent memory.
Two deaths have been reported and many others hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning related to an alternate source of indoor heating amid the massive power outages.
Power poles have snapped in half under the weight of ice-laden lines and downed trees and branches have shut down roads as the cleanup begins.
As of Saturday 28 January at 9am, NB Power reports about 46,000 customers are still without power and almost half are in the Acadian Peninsula.
Power pole and lines dangling in NW Moncton, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook)
Some residents of New Brunswick have been without power for more than 24 hours after the worst ice storm in recent memory.
NB Power has about 250 crews on the ground and more from neighbouring Nova Scotia trying to restore electricity in what officials are calling a “huge weather event”.
By the end of today, the power utility believes 80 percent of customers in Greater Moncton and Sussex will be back on the grid while 60 percent in Shediac, Sackville and Miramichi should be restored.
Warming centres have opened in several communities where residents can seek shelter and charge their electronic devices.
Fortunately temperatures are not very cold and should not fall below freezing until early Friday.
Image courtesy Almanac.com
Winter officially begins at 12:48 am ADT but in Greater Moncton, winter unofficially arrived early this month with the first major storm of the season.
Since then, another storm rolled through New Brunswick with an icy and snowy mix that still lies partially on the ground.
The winter solstice is the “shortest day” of the year, meaning the least amount of sunlight; the Sun reaches its most southern point in the sky at local noon.
After this date, the days start getting “longer,” i.e., the amount of daylight begins to increase.
Partly sunny after the wintry mix in Moncton’s west end, 16 Dec 2015 (Dearing)
The second winter storm of the season pounded Greater Moncton yesterday with a mixture of ice pellets, freezing rain and snow.
Environment Canada reports 34 mm of precipitation fell with 21 cm of snow and melted water from freezing rain and ice pellets.
Thousands lost power in western New Brunswick, mainly Greater Fredericton, after lines fell under the heavy, icy mix.
Downtown Moncton during an ice storm, 15 Dec 2015 (Duguay/Facebook)
Environment Canada issued a rare weather warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with a prolonged period of ice pellets in the forecast.
The weather office says moderate to heavy ice pellets mixed with freezing rain will persist today before changing to snow tonight.
Ice pellet amounts near 10 cm are expected and will be followed by snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 cm.
Elsewhere in New Brunswick, 45 mm of rain could fall in Saint John and along the Fundy coast, Fredericton can expect 20 cm of snow while Miramichi could get 25-50 cm before the storm moves away on Wednesday.
Ice on car windshield in NE Moncton, NB, 03 Dec 2014 (Dearing)
Freezing rain started falling in Greater Moncton by mid-morning during a changeover from snow to rain and that is when the trouble began.
Many drivers were caught off guard and some vehicles spun out, others simply slid off the road while transport trucks jack-knifed as icy conditions quickly developed.
Around midday, roads became so treacherous that RCMP closed portions of the Trans Canada Highway across Southeast New Brunswick.
Once temperatures rose and rain began falling, road conditions improved but police were still telling drivers to slow down and use caution.