February 2018 – Warm with more rain

Shubie Sam

Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring, 02 Feb 2018 (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, NS)

The first half of February in Southeast New Brunswick was decidedly winter with frigid overnight lows dropping to a numbing -21 C in the first few days alone.

But the second half of the month was spring-like with most daytime highs above freezing and more tolerable minimums.

The average monthly temperature for Greater Moncton was about 3.2 degrees above normal and anything above 2 degrees is considered significant in meteorology.

Precipitation was slightly above average with more rain than snow falling compared to normal.

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

Average HIGH  1.0 C

Average LOW  -9.7 C

AVERAGE  -4.4 C (about 3.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  12.9 C (21 Feb)

Extreme LOW  -20.5 C (03 Feb)

RAINFALL  42.0 mm (more than 30 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  49.2 cm (about 25 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)


Ontario heat!

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

Spring-like record breaker!

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.

Ontario warmth heading East!

January 2018 – Turbulent!


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)

Feels like spring in N.B.


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.

Another roller coaster ride!


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.

January all-time highs!

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.

Flooding then flash freeze


Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.


Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

Record January thaw


Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)

A few days ago it was extremely cold in Greater Moncton and today it felt like spring.

The unofficial high was 14.3 C which beats the record of 11.2 C from 2014 according to Environment Canada.

But emergency measures officials are warning New Brunswickers to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend with 50 to 100 mm of rain possible and a flash freeze warning.

The ground is mostly frozen and has a reduced ability to absorb heavy rainfall.

The temperature is forecast to fall below freezing by late Saturday which will lead to icy conditions.