Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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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.

Thousands evacuated in B.C. wildfires 

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. 

June 2017 – Warm and unsettled

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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)

Severe weather in northern N.B.

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Heavy rain, hail and wind, Plaster Rock, NB, 27 June 2017 (Greg LeBel/Facebook)

An unstable air mass moved from west to east in New Brunswick producing severe thunderstorms bringing torrential rain, large hail and strong winds.

Environment Canada believes a severe thunderstorm formed near Doaktown and possibly spawned a tornado that moved into the Blackville area last night.

Golf ball size hail and damaging winds with gusts up to 100 km/h were recorded in the Plaster Rock area.

Southeast New Brunswick has seen an above average 18 days with thunderstorm activity this June and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued in the region this afternoon.

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. 

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.

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.