Risk of frost!

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)

New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia are under a frost advisory for tonight and tomorrow night.

Cold air, light winds and few clouds will allow temperatures to fall near the freezing point and patchy frost is expected.

The average last frost date in spring for Greater Moncton is 23 May.

Farmers are already suffering from tremendous losses in the region with crops such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apples being hit by a recent hard frost with a low of -4 C in some areas.

June has gotten off to cold start with snow flurries reported in Charlottetown this week and accumulating snow in the highlands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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NB flood by numbers

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Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)

Some residents are still recovering from the historic spring flooding along the southern St. John River and its tributaries.

Flood levels were elevated between 27 April and 18 May affecting Fredericton, Saint John and areas in between.

By the numbers (provided by Government of New Brunswick):

  • 12,000 – properties affected by flooding to some degree
  • 2,627 – residents who registered for disaster financial assistance
  • 1,871 – residents who asked for health and safety inspection of properties
  • 1,110 – households registered with the Canadian Red Cross
  • 4,000 – tonnes of debris from flood dumped at landfills

Record lows in Maritimes

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We are now several weeks into the growing season and temperatures are dropping to dangerously cold lows.

Farmers are concerned about damage to crops after a cool air mass and clear skies led to a frigid low of -4 C in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia overnight.

Greater Moncton dropped to -3.2 C early today which broke the old record of -2.2 C from 1903 and records go back to 1881.

The following new record lows were set on 04 June:

  • Kouchibouguac National Park, NB -3.8 C (records since 1924)
  • Grand Manan, NB -2.2 C (records since 1883)
  • Port Hawkesbury, NS -2.6 C (records since 1875)
  • Ingonish, NS -2.2 C (records since 1950)
  • Summerside, PEI -1.9 C (records since 1898)
  • Charlottetown, PEI -1.0 C (records since 1872)

Drastic cooldown

Temperature dropped below 10 C by early afternoon, 02 June 2018 (Dearing)

Unbelievable!  Conditions went from hot to cold in just a matter of hours after a cold front swept through New Brunswick today.

In Greater Moncton, the high of 18°C was set early this morning before the front changed the wind direction from south to north and the temperature dropped six degrees in an hour to 11°C by 9am.

This is in stark contrast to yesterday when the thermometer climbed to 29.7°C which was the warmest high so far this year.

New maximum records were set for 01 June in Bouctouche at 32.6°C, Miramichi at 32.7°C and 33.2°C at Kouchibouguac National Park.

May 2018 – Warm days, cold nights

Magnolia trees in bloom at Moncton City Hall, 16 May 2018 (Dearing)

While daytime highs were near or slightly above normal during May in Greater Moncton, overnight lows were chilly with frost and freezing temperatures throughout the month.

Fourteen days had highs of 20 C or more while eight days had lows near or slightly below freezing.

Precipitation was slightly below normal with most of the rainfall recorded during the first third of the month.

By mid-month, the landscape become more colourful as trees and bushes began to bloom and leaf out.

MAY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  18.1°C

Average LOW  2.5°C

AVERAGE  10.3°C (about 0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  27.8°C (31 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.0°C (May)

RAINFALL  82.5 mm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Mini heat wave

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Thanks to high pressure and a jet stream surging north, New Brunswick will feel the heat over the next two days.

Greater Moncton is expecting a high of 30 C today and 31 C tomorrow with humidex values between 30 and 36.

Environment Canada says the warmest conditions will be from mid-afternoon to early evening and precautions should be taken in extreme heat.

The passing of a cold front this weekend will bring temperatures closer to normal.

Busy hurricane season predicted

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From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes this year.

One to four hurricanes is likely to be major with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h.

But 2018 is not expected to be as busy as 2017 which had 17 named storms with 10 hurricanes including a trio of destructive cyclones – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Three storms made it into Canada’s response zone but none made landfall.

Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, a subtropical storm named Alberto has already formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and will churn north across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward the U.S Gulf Coast.

Late spring snowstorm strikes Newfoundland

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Highway camera image courtesy NL Government

While not uncommon, the end of May is still late – and record breaking – for a significant snowfall of 36 cm in Gander.

A low pressure system brought strong winds and rain which turned to snow over northeast Newfoundland when the temperature fell to the freezing point.

Burgeo recorded a peak wind gust of 95 km/h as did Bonavista which also picked up 40 mm of rain.

Snowfall totals as of 3:30pm NDT:

  • Gander  36 cm
  • Lewisporte  26 cm
  • Badger  16 cm
  • Twillingate  11 cm

Snow in late May!!!

While a snowflake or two is common in early May in New Brunswick, accumulating snow is rare in the latter part of the month.

A cold front pushed through the province today and with a change in wind direction from south to north, precipitation changed from rain to snow and the thermometer plummeted.

Bathurst and Miramichi both reported snow today and in some areas it began to stick to the ground while thunderstorms rolled through further south.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature drop was dramatic with a high of 16 C at 11am and by 4pm it was only 5 C.

Meantime, parts of central Newfoundland are under a snowfall warning with 15 to 30 cm in the forecast.

Last frost of spring?

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)


When the temperature dropped to -0.3 C early this morning, frost could be found in Greater Moncton.

The coldest low in New Brunswick was -5.9 C at Edmundston!

Thanks to cool, dry air with no cloud cover, Environment Canada has issued another frost advisory for tonight.

But keep in mind it’s not that unusual based on the 30-year average (1981-2010).

The average last spring frost date is 23 May in Greater Moncton and the first fall frost is 2 October for a growing season of 131 days.