Sizzling heat Down Under

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Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)


A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.

The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.

Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.

While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.

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Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2017

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Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)

Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.

From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:

1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia

2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba

3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario

4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August

6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada

7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March

8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September

9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April

10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January

September 2017 – Summer continues

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Maple leaves changing colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September turned out to be a continuation of summer in Southeast New Brunswick right up until month end.

Daytime highs in Greater Moncton climbed above 25 C on ten days and a monthly maximum of 31.1 C turned out to be the warmest of 2017 set in early fall (26 Sept).

Although hurricanes never directly affected the province, meteorologists say much of the warmth last month came from tropical air pushed northward from these storms.

Rainfall was exactly normal but almost all of the precipitation fell during a single rain event spread over two days (6-7 Sept).

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

Average HIGH  22.3 C

Average LOW  9.4 C

AVERAGE  15.8 C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  31.1 C (26 Sept, warmest high of 2017)

Extreme LOW  0.6 C (30 Sept)

RAINFALL  93.5 mm (Exactly NORMAL)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Snow in Edmonton!

Snow falling in Edmonton, AB, 19 Sept 2017 (Dearing)


The northernmost city in North America with over one million residents had 5 cm of snow today. 

Edmonton had a winter-like day during the final days of summer when a cold rain turned white making highways slippery. 

Alberta weather can be highly variable given that on 07 September, the provincial capital climbed to 32.8 C – the warmest temperature so far this year. 

Environment Canada says the cold and snow will be short-lived with sunshine and daytime highs climbing to 16 C by the weekend. 

Maria becomes a menace

MariaThe parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.

Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.

September heat

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Flowers are flourishing in the September heat, 16 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September usually doesn’t disappoint in Southeast New Brunswick when it comes to warm weather and so far this month is no exception.

Environment Canada reports on 14 September, the thermometer climbed to 27.8 C in Greater Moncton which ties the record high from 2003.

St. Stephen was the hot spot in the province and all of Canada with a high of 29.2 C which eclipsed the old record from 1903.

As we approach the first day of autumn on 22 September, temperatures in Greater Moncton can still climb into the 30s Celsius with a record high of 32.8 C in 1965.

Irma swamps Florida

The impact of Hurricane Irma in Miami, FL, USA, 10 Sept 2017 (AP)

Irma was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm today after slamming Florida with destructive wind, heavy rain, flash flooding, high storm surges and even tornadoes.

Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, made landfall over the Florida Keys on Sunday before coming ashore near Naples and then heading up the state’s west coast.

Miami was not in the storm’s direct path but was still battered by strong winds which swayed high rise buildings, brought down three construction cranes and downtown streets were swamped.

In northeast Florida, Jacksonville had historic flooding after the swollen St. Johns River spilled its banks and officials said dangerous conditions were expected for several days.

Prior to arriving in the United States, Irma claimed 10 lives in Cuba according to state media after battering Havana and tourist resorts such as Varadero and Cayo Coco where the international airport was destroyed.

Triple Threat: Irma, Jose & Katia

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

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Irma aftermath on St. Maarten Island, eastern Caribbean, 06 Sept 2017 (Reuters)

Hurricane Irma has barreled through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm claiming more than 20 lives and destroying more than 90 percent of the buildings on the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts.

Irma is heading for Florida where officials say it could be the strongest storm ever and evacuation orders have led to massive lineups at gas stations as residents flee northward.

Following a similar path, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 storm which could hit the already battered islands of Antigua and Barbuda.

Hurricane Katia is a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico which will make landfall along Mexico’s east coast bringing heavy rain and a storm surge before dissipating quickly over the rugged Sierra Madre mountains.

Forecasters say three simultaneous hurricanes is quite rare and the last time was in 2010 with Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl.

Meteorological Summer in Greater Moncton

Maple tree turning colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, NB, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)


If you were looking for great summer weather in the province, Environment Canada says Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick was the place to find it this year. 

The average temperature for meteorological summer – June, July and August – was 18.1 C which is 0.7 degrees above normal. 

The weather office says humidity was often low, overnight lows were comfortable but 8 days hit 30 C or higher compared to a typical 4 to 5. 

The downside was a lack of precipitation with 155 mm of rain recorded which is 40 percent less than the summer average of 268 mm. 

Hurricane Irma intensifies

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Hurricane Irma is being called a “potentially catastrophic” category 5 storm by the U.S National Hurricane Center with maximum sustained winds of 295 km/h as it bears down on the eastern Caribbean.

The core of Irma is expected to move across the northern Leeward Islands overnight and will track close to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Wednesday and the Dominican Republic by Thursday.

A hurricane watch has also been issued for eastern Cuba along with northern Haiti, southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

Forecasters say Irma is increasingly likely to target Florida (now under a state of emergency) and parts of the American Southeast as a dangerous hurricane this weekend.