Forest fire tragedy in Portugal

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Burnt cars block a road in the Pedrogao Grande area, Portugal, 18 June 2017 (AP/Armando Franca)

A massive forest fire in central Portugal has claimed more than 60 lives and injured dozens of others with hot, windy conditions fanning the flames.

Many died in their vehicles trying to flee the blaze while others died from smoke inhalation.

Portugal has declared three days of mourning in what has been called the worst human tragedy in recent times.

More than 2,000 firefighters are on the scene with help coming from Spain and across Europe.

Officials believe lightning started the fire on Saturday in the mountainous area of Pedrogao Grande, northeast of Lisbon.

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. 

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.

Tornado touches down in Alberta

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Tornado swirling near Three Hills, AB, 02 June 2017 (TWN/Twitter)


A large tornado touched down in central Alberta near Three Hills on Friday afternoon amid severe thunderstorms.

Environment Canada had issued a tornado warning for the region which lasted about half an hour.

Officials say wind speeds up to 130 km/h caused damage to trees, roofs and buildings but no one was hurt.

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.

Say it isn’t snow in Alberta!

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Snow falling in a Calgary backyard, 22 Aug 2016 (Twitter)


Snow is not unusual in Alberta in August but nevertheless no one wants to see it in late summer.

Calgary received a trace of snow while several centimetres fell in the foothills and in the Rocky Mountains.

The snow was part of a wild weather system which also brought thunderstorms, heavy rain, flooding, strong winds, a confirmed tornado and even a waterspout.

Severe weather rolls through N.B.

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Boardwalk to Kellys Beach, Kouchibouguac National Park, 05 Aug 2016 (Dearing)

Severe thunderstorm watches and warnings were posted across central and southern New Brunswick today.

At 5:16pm, Environment Canada issued a rare tornado watch for Grand Lake and Queens County noting conditions were favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms which could produce tornadoes.

At 5:39pm, the tornado watch came to an end.

There were no immediate reports of tornadoes.

Greater Moncton was under a severe thunderstorm watch from about 4-7pm with some thunder heard and a brief but heavy rain shower.

Tornado touches down in Maine

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Severe thunderstorms moved into northwestern New Brunswick and the neighbouring State of Maine yesterday and one of those storm cells spawned a tornado.

U.S. National Weather Service officials say a tornado did touch down in Aroostook County, Maine near Caribou.

Environment Canada says funnel clouds may have been spotted in the Grand Falls area but the storm cell weakened by the time it reached New Brunswick.

Flash flooding was also reported in western parts of the province.

The severe weather came from a hot, humid air mass which has moved out of the region and has been replaced by cooler, drier air.

Heavy hailstorm hits Alberta

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Hail up to 30 cm deep fell near Calgary, AB, 28 June 2016 (Facebook)


Severe thunderstorms across Alberta delivered not only heavy rain but also heavy hail the size of quarters near Calgary yesterday.

The hail was so heavy and deep that it accumulated like snow and made an early summer day look downright wintry.

Funnel clouds and possible tornadoes were also reported during the stormy conditions.

Dramatic drop in temperature!

Dark Clouds

Dark clouds over NE Moncton, 31 May 2016 (Dearing)

The warmest temperature so far in 2016 was recorded in Greater Moncton this afternoon with a warm high of 29.5 C – beating today’s record of 29.3 C from 1999.

But a strong cold front moved across Southeast New Brunswick which prompted Environment Canada to issue a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6pm.

In less than an hour, the temperature dropped nine degrees from 27 C to 18 C and hail was reported north of Moncton.

The front has ushered in much cooler temperatures with a high tomorrow of only 13 C and a risk of frost by early Thursday morning.