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. 

Heavy rain, wind after record highs

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Tree downed in key intersection of downtown Moncton, 09 June 2017 (Wade Perry/Twitter)

A low pressure system moved into the Maritimes today bringing up to 40 mm of rain to Greater Moncton.

A strong thunderstorm also rolled through Southeast New Brunswick in the early evening with wind speeds clocked as high as 102 km/h.

The brief but powerful gusts downed trees and branches onto power lines and caused thousands of power outages.

Environment Canada had not issued any weather warnings for the region.

The storm replaced a warm air mass which set record highs in at least four New Brunswick communities yesterday.

The hotspot was Kouchibouguac National Park which climbed to 32 C and that beats the maximum from 1992.

Moncton and Doaktown both tied their record highs of 30.6 C for the date.

Warmer weather ushers out cold

Brilliant pink sky over NE Moncton, 06 June 2017 (Dearing)


At least one New Brunswick location dropped to a new low on 06 June.

Environment Canada says Kouchibouguac National Park set a new cold record of -1.7 C which broke the old minimum of -1.1 C from 1958.

Greater Moncton managed to escape frost this week thanks to cloud cover although the thermometer fell to the freezing point tying a record low.

Following a brief period of very warm air, forecasters say temperatures will reach near seasonal values for the short term.

Near record cold in N.B.

A break in clouds over the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

The last couple of days had near record lows in Greater Moncton with temperatures dropping to near the freezing point.

A low of 1.0 C at the airport on Monday was close to the 1947 record of 0.6 C while a low of 0.0 C on Tuesday tied the minimum from 1995.

Fortunately cloud cover prevented frost in most of New Brunswick but another risk is possible by early Wednesday.

Folklore suggests frost can be expected until the full moon in June which is this Friday the ninth.

Cool, unsettled start to June

Ominous clouds near Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Weather conditions have been cool and unsettled in the Maritimes over the past several days.

While driving in Nova Scotia on Friday, I encountered everything from clouds and heavy downpours to a clearing sky with bright sunshine to clouds and rain again.

On the way home to New Brunswick on Saturday, I encountered similar conditions.

In Greater Moncton today, the thermometer climbed to a daytime high of only 10.6 C under a dreary sky which is about 10 degrees below normal for early June.

Forecasters say warmer, more seasonal temperatures will return by Wednesday but not before a risk of frost in Southeast New Brunswick by early Tuesday.

May 2017 – Wet and cloudy

Trailing arbutus or Mayflower growing in Irishtown Nature Park, 20 May 2017 (Dearing)


May in Southeast New Brunswick certainly lived up to its unpredictable nature as a transitional month between winter and summer.

Overall temperatures were above normal in Greater Moncton but oddly enough some of the coolest days were in the last third of the month.

Many days were cloudy and rainfall was heavy with only seven days without at least a trace of precipitation.

By the final week, trees were in full leaf or blossom and perennials were in full bloom.

MAY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 16.1 C

Average LOW  5.1 C

AVERAGE 10.8 C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (18 May)

Extreme LOW -0.4 C (13 May)

RAINFALL 163.5 mm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Busy Atlantic hurricane season expected

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting hurricane activity in the North Atlantic Ocean in 2017 is likely to be above normal (45 percent) or near-normal (35 percent).

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says it responds to 4 or 5 tropical cyclone events each year on average, with 1 or 2 of those affecting Canadian land and another 2 or 3 threatening offshore waters.

Hurricanes are typically a greater concern in Canadian waters later in the season but the Canadian Hurricane Centre monitors the Atlantic Ocean year‑round for any tropical or tropical‑like cyclone that could pose a threat to Canada or its waters.

2017nameshurricanes

Snowy weekend in Newfoundland & Labrador

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Heavy snow in Cartwright, Labrador, NL, 21 May 2017 (Twitter)

The Victoria Day long weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer in most of Canada but not Newfoundland and Labrador this year.

More than 50 cm of snow fell in southeastern Labrador and between 20 and 30 cm was recorded in western Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula.

Campers in Gros Morne National Park had fires one evening and then woke up to white the next morning.

St. John’s also picked up about 4 cm of snow which was the snowiest May long weekend since 1991.

Acadian Peninsula hit again

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Severe thunderstorm, Caraquet, NB, 18 May 2017 (R.Mallais/Twitter)

After a severe ice storm in February, the Acadian Peninsula has been hit with bad weather again and this time by possible tornadoes.

Environment Canada is investigating after social media showed downed power poles, partially collapsed roofs and overturned concrete last night.

Severe thunderstorms can cause straight line winds with gusts as high as 130 km/h which is the same strength as the lowest level of tornado.

NB Power is working to restore electricity for thousands in northeastern New Brunswick and it could be sometime tomorrow before full restoration occurs.

The same frontal trough of low pressure moved into Greater Moncton this afternoon creating a 9 degree temperature drop (23 C to 14 C) in less than an hour and a wind direction change from southwest to northeast.