Heat in the Arctic!

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Meteorologists have said a temperature anomaly of more than 2 C is considered significant – but how about 14.4 C above normal for March 2019!

Inuvik, Northwest Territories – above the Arctic Circle – was the hotspot in Canada’s far north last month.

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Spring arrives early in the North

A warm air mass has surged into Western Canada this week bringing record temperatures to the region and also to the North.

Many communities from Yukon to Nunavut were well above freezing and into the double digits breaking March records.

Yohin Lake hit a record high of 18.8°C Monday and spiked to 20.2°C Tuesday marking the first time in March the thermometer has climbed above 20°C in Northwest Territories.

Daytime highs in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley hit the mid 20’s while Alberta residents enjoyed maximums in the high teens.

Weather bomb crosses the continent

Bomb cyclone

Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)

A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain,  flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.

The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.

Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.

Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.

New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.

Finally above freezing!

Tracks on frozen reservoir in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 10 March 2019 (Dearing)

For the first time in 12 days, the daytime high in Greater Moncton finally climbed above freezing with a balmy high of 1°C today!

The normal maximum for early March in Southeast New Brunswick is 2°C with a minimum of -8°C.

The last third of winter has been especially cold with overnights consistently below -10°C and even as low as -20.1°C early Friday.

However, there is some good news – Environment Canada is forecasting that the next five out of six days will have highs above freezing.

Deep snow cover across N.B.

NB map
This has been a very snowy winter across northern New Brunswick with Edmundston and Bas-Caraquet recording 114 cm of snow on the ground as of today (06 March).

Some unofficial reports have indicated a snow depth of more than 160 cm in some mountainous areas.

Southern New Brunswick also has plenty of snow but often it has been mixed with rain, freezing rain or ice pellets which have lowered accumulations.

Greater Moncton now sits at 53 cm (the most so far this season) and snowbanks are getting high enough to cause visibility issues at some intersections.

Plenty of snow near Caraquet, NB (Village Historique Acadian/IG)

Second heaviest snowfall of the season

Cat enters snowbound backyard in NW Moncton, 04 March 2019 (T. Clow)

A low pressure system approached the Maritimes from the northeastern United States late Sunday night.

Snow began in New Brunswick early Monday and intensified throughout the day before tapering off to freezing drizzle by evening.

About 24 cm fell in Greater Moncton which was the second heaviest snowfall of the season after the storm on 13 February.

The system also brought snow to western and central Newfoundland later on Monday with freezing rain to the Avalon Peninsula.

Snowfall amounts (cm) as of 1AM Tuesday from Environment Canada:

  • Sydney: 26
  • Saint John Airport: 26
  • Greater Moncton Airport: 24
  • Deer Lake: 23
  • Fredericton: 21
  • Miramichi: 21
  • Charlottetown: 19
  • Greenwood: 19
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport: 17
  • Bathurst: 14
  • Gander: 14
  • Yarmouth: 12

Winter snowfall across Canada

TWN Snowmap

It has been quite a winter across Canada with no region reporting a shortage of snow.

Snowfall has been especially heavy in the West this season especially coastal British Columbia which usually sees only scant amounts.

Victoria, BC had almost 70 cm of snow in February – more than what typically falls all winter – even higher than snowy Moncton at nearly 60 cm last month.

While many areas of the West have already exceeded their snowfall amounts for an average winter, much of the East is still falling short of a normal season.

The deepest snowpack can be found in northern New Brunswick, central Quebec, Labrador, the Rockies and B.C.’s mountain ranges.

Winter 2018-19 in Review

Winter 18-19
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.

In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.

Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.

February 2019 – Cold & Stormy

img_0019

Aftermath of ice storm in NE Moncton, 08 Feb 2019 (Dearing)

February may be the shortest month but it certainly seemed a lot longer this year with bitterly cold and stormy conditions.

While January was snowy in Greater Moncton, all was quiet until the largest single snowfall of the year arrived at mid-month.

After several freeze-thaw cycles which produced icy conditions, the latter half became decidedly colder with bitter overnight lows and wind chills.

Strong winds and blowing snow created dangerous whiteout conditions during the last week wreaking havoc with transportation across New Brunswick.

FEBRUARY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH -3.5°C

Average LOW -12.9°C

AVERAGE -8.3°C (about 0.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 7.2°C (05 Feb)

Extreme LOW -18.7°C (27 Feb)

RAINFALL 25.2 mm (just slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 58.8 cm (about 10 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Freaky heat in the U.K.

 
Never before has the temperature climbed above 20 C during the winter in the United Kingdom – until this week.

The record U.K. temperature for February has actually been broken twice over the past few days.

On social media, users were posting photos of a snowy wonderland at the same time last year compared to spring-like scenes this year.

France has also been exceptionally warm with a record high of 19 C in Paris and a scorching maximum of 28 C in the southwestern part of the country.

Meantime, the high in London today is cooler at 14 C which is still about four degrees above average for late February.