Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)
Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.
The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.
By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.
Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.
MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 1.3 C
Average LOW -4.7 C
AVERAGE -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.1 C (29 Mar)
Extreme LOW -15.4 C (26 Mar)
RAINFALL 11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
It felt more like mid-spring than late winter across Southern Ontario today.
A mild air mass combined with strengthening February sunshine to set new record highs in the region.
Environment Canada reports April-like maximums for 28 February:
- Sarnia, 16.8 C, old record 15.1 C from 2016
- Toronto Pearson Airport, 16.2 C, old record 14.0 C from 2016
- Windsor, 16.1 C, old record 13.6 C from 2017
- London, 15.1 C, old record 14.2 C from 2016
- Kitchener-Waterloo, 15.0 C, old record 12.4 C from 2016
Warm spring-like sunshine could be felt on my western facing balcony this afternoon in northeast Moncton and for few precious minutes it almost felt like winter was over.
The thermometer climbed to 12.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which just barely eclipsed the record high of 12.8 C from 1953.
Other record highs were set across the Maritimes including 13.8 C in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia and 10.4 C in Edmundston.
But further to the west, the temperature climbed to a balmy 17.6 C in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
Environment Canada issued a flash freeze warning for much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island early today.
A low pressure system brought snow, later rain and then snow again after the temperature plummeted as Arctic air pushed back into the region.
The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 3.0 C at 11am and pooling water began freezing when the thermometer dropped below freezing by 3pm.
By early Saturday, forecasters say the low could drop to -20 C but temperatures will moderate on Sunday before falling again on Monday.
The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)
The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.
Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.
A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.
Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.
JANUARY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.0 C
Average LOW -12.6 C
AVERAGE -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)
Extreme LOW -22.3 C (07 Jan)
RAINFALL 53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 77.2 cm (NEAR normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A snow free downtown Moncton, 28 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
With a daytime high of 7 C, it felt more like spring than midwinter along the Riverfront Trail in Moncton today.
Skateboarders instead of snowshoers were found along with joggers in shorts and T-shirts and a group having a picnic in the late afternoon sun.
A lack of snow cancelled numerous winter activities this weekend and ski resorts put snowmaking machines into overdrive to open just a handful of runs.
Environment Canada says winter is returning with a low pressure system arriving Tuesday with up to 15 cm of snow possible in Southeast New Brunswick.
Bare ground in west end Moncton after rain washes away snow cover, 24 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
The snow cover in Greater Moncton has disappeared after the latest storm system rolled through with mixed precipitation and mild temperatures.
Rainfall amounts varied from 20 to 70 mm across New Brunswick, up to 8 hours of freezing rain fell in Gagetown and 20 cm of snow was recorded in Bathurst and Edmundston.
Record highs for 23 January were set in Saint John at 10.4 C and St. Stephen reached 11.3 C.
Since a consistent snow cover began on 09 December in Southeast New Brunswick, the ground has been bare a couple of times for short periods.
A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)
A low pressure system from the west is bringing another mixed bag of precipitation to the Maritimes and once it departs more cold air will filter in behind it.
Schools were cancelled in New Brunswick today as snow began in the morning followed by a changeover to ice pellets and freezing rain and eventually to rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.
Flooding is possible again since the partially frozen ground is less able to absorb heavy rainfall.
Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for Greater Moncton but it was dropped later in the day with less than an hour of ice pellets/freezing rain recorded.
The temperature is expected to reach 10 C by early Wednesday before plunging to -13 C by early Thursday – a difference of 23 degrees in less than a day.
Before a cold front swept through the Maritimes, all-time record January highs were set across the region yesterday including 16.7 C at Greater Moncton International Airport.
New Brunswick’s all-time January high was set in Sussex at 17.3 C, narrowly beating the previous provincial record of 17.2 C in Moncton from 08 January 1930.
Nova Scotia’s all-time January record was set yesterday in Greenwood at 19.0 C followed closely by Cheticamp at 18.9 C while on Prince Edward Island, Summerside hit a new monthly high of 13.8 C and St. Peters reached a provincial high of 17.8 C.
Environment Canada says while the latest storm delivered almost 28 mm of rain in Moncton, more than a month’s worth fell in Mechanic Settlement at 128 mm and Bouctouche at 98 mm.
The peak wind gust was clocked in Saint John at 96 km/h.