An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)
For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July.
After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal.
Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on 05 July.
The only concern is a lack of rainfall.
The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick.
(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)
Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)
More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.
Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.
Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.
The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.
Wildfire north of Cache Creek, BC, 07 July 2017 (BC Transportation/Twitter)
A state of emergency is in place across British Columbia which gives government special authority over more than 230 wildfires.
B.C. wildfire officials say weeks of hot, dry weather combined with strong winds and dry lightning have led to almost 16,000 hectares being burned so far.
More than 7,000 residents in the Interior and Cariboo regions have been evacuated from communities like Cache Creek, Princeton, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House to be housed in Kamloops.
Temperatures remain hot in these areas this weekend soaring above 30 C.
Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)
A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.
On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.
The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.
Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.
Ominous clouds near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)
Thunderstorm activity was common throughout Southeast New Brunswick in June and all but ten days had at least a trace of rainfall.
But precipitation amounts were generally light in Greater Moncton except for two major rain events – 36.6 mm fell on 09 June along with a peak wind gust of 102 km/h and 21.2 mm fell on 24 June.
Temperatures were cool during the first week of the month with an overnight low dropping to the freezing point although frost was generally avoided thanks to cloudy skies.
Summer-like conditions arrived by mid-month and many daytime highs climbed well into the 20’s C and reached 30 C or higher three times.
JUNE 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 22.4 C
Average LOW 9.9 C
AVERAGE 16.2 C (about 1.0 degree ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.8 C (11 June)
Extreme LOW 0.0 C (06 June)
RAINFALL 77.8 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Children play at a water park in Las Vegas, NV, USA, 20 June 2017 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Excessive heat warnings have been posted in parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where record highs have been broken.
Las Vegas tied its record today of 47 C and Phoenix came close to its all-time high at 48 C.
Many flights have been delayed or cancelled since smaller jets can’t operate properly in dangerously hot conditions.
Temperatures have soared to 53 C in Death Valley, California which climbed to 56.7 C on 10 July 1913 – the hottest ever in North America.
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.
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.
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.
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.