March 2017 – Cold and snowy

Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)

Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March. 

Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month. 

Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week. 

Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March. 

Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days. 

MARCH 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 0.3 C

Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)

Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)

RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(courtesy Environment Canada)

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Spring arrives!

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Ice melting in Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 18 Mar 2017 (Dearing)

After a stormy, rollercoaster winter in Southeast New Brunswick, spring will be especially welcomed today at 7:28am ADT.

The vernal or spring equinox is when the sun’s direct rays move north of the equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere.

At this time, the length of day and night are about equal and days will continue to lengthen until the summer solstice in June.

But winter is not over yet as Environment Canada says a low pressure system will bring snow to Nova Scotia and the possibility of freezing rain for Greater Moncton.

Nor’easter not as bad as expected

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Snow begins falling in NE Moncton, 14 March 2017 (Dearing)

An intense Nor’easter moved into New Brunswick last night from the U.S.Eastern Seaboard with heavy, wet snow and high winds creating blowing snow and poor visibility.

Snow switched over to rain over southern and central New Brunswick with a
brief period of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Forecasters had originally said up to 45 cm of snow could fall in parts of the province.

Summary of snowfall in centimetres:

Bathurst 30
Kouchibouguac 26
Fredericton 20
Edmundston 18
Moncton 17
Miramichi 16
Saint John 15

Summary of maximum winds in kilometres per hour:

Grand Manan 102
Saint John 102
Miramichi 81
Fredericton 80
Moncton 78
CFB Gagetown 72
Kouchibouguac 61

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Northeast U.S. nailed by Nor’easter

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Snow falls in Times Square, New York City, USA , 14 Mar 2017 (AP Photo)


One of the biggest storms this winter hit the Northeast United States with snow and gusty winds creating blizzard conditions.

Snow shovellers and plows were busy in New York City where 20 cm fell forcing schools to close and disrupting both ground and air transportation.

Boston was blanketed with 15 cm snow and amounts up to 45 cm were recorded elsewhere in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State.

Washington, DC only received a few centimetres but its near-peak and celebrated cherry blossoms were covered in ice.

Nor’easter replacing frigid air

Screenshot (76)_LIThe last week of winter in New Brunswick has felt more like January than March but that frigid air is about to be replaced by a powerful Nor’easter forming off the U.S. Eastern Seaboard from two low pressure systems.

Overnight temperatures plunged to -20.1 C in Greater Moncton on the weekend which is close to a record low and daytime highs remained well below freezing with dangerous wind chills as low as -35 at times.

Environment Canada says heavy snow and winds creating blowing snow will move into southwestern New Brunswick Tuesday afternoon and spread to the remainder of the province in the evening.

Snow will likely change to rain by early Wednesday with most areas of the province expected to receive up to 30 cm of snow.

Before the storm reaches the Maritimes, forecasters say the Nor’easter could drop between 30 and 50 cm of snow in the U.S. Northeast from Washington DC to New York to Boston.

Blizzard buries northern Manitoba

A blizzard buries front entrance of hotel in Churchill, MB, 09 March 2017 (Twitter)

Blizzards are not uncommon in late winter across the Prairie Provinces but the latest one to grip northern Manitoba lasted three days and dumped 60 cm snow in Churchill with winds up to 120 km/h creating enormous nine metre drifts.

Canada’s Polar Bear Capital declared a local state of emergency in an effort to gain resources from higher levels of government to help deal with the clean up.

Environment Canada says the blizzard in Churchill lasted 58 hours which was the third longest since 1953.

The fierce combination of snow and wind also stranded six people on a highway near Thompson for three days.

Record warmth in central, eastern United States

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Cherry blossoms in bloom, Washington, DC, USA, 02 March 2017 (Instagram)

During January and February, the city of Chicago only had a few centimetres of snow with no measurable amount on the ground for the first time in 146 years.

Record highs were broken from New England to Texas where temperatures recently soared into the high 20’s C causing trees and flowers to bloom ahead of schedule.

The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC could reach their peak on 14 March which would be the earliest.since officials began keeping track in 1921.

Climatologists say much of the central and eastern United States had a very warm winter with February 2017 being the second warmest in 123 years of records.

UPDATE – The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC actually reached their peak on 25 March after being delayed by a cold snap and snow.

February 2017 – Lots of snow then mild

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Spillway at Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 26 Feb 2017 (Dearing)

Three major winter storms including a blizzard were part of a very active weather pattern in Greater Moncton during February.

While snowfall was below normal in January, it made up for it in February with more than double the average amount recorded.

Temperatures were above normal but oddly enough it was still warmer in January which is typically the coldest month.

The final week felt like spring with mild temperatures climbing above 10 C which was enough to melt most of the snow which had fallen during the previous three weeks.

FEBRUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -10.9 C

AVERAGE  -6.2 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  11.5 C (24 February)

Extreme LOW  -22.6 C (12 February)

RAINFALL  19.7 mm (slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  124.1 cm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Great snow melt underway

Snow melting in Riverview, 24 Feb 2017 (Dearing)

Mild temperatures have been melting lots of snow in Southeast New Brunswick this week.

Greater Moncton now has about 50 cm on the ground compared to more than 110 cm only a week ago.

The daytime high climbed to 11.5 C at the airport on Friday but a private weather station recorded a maximum of 14.6 C at Jones Lake.

Environment Canada is forecasting the warmth to continue for the next few days with a sudden cold snap expected to arrive later in the week.

Record highs in Eastern Canada

What a difference in one week in downtown Fredericton, 23 Feb 2017 (Facebook)

The weather has been relatively calm lately in New Brunswick and the Maritimes which has been a welcome relief after a string of winter storms earlier this month.

Mild air has pushed into the region which set several record highs yesterday both here and in Southern Ontario.

The Greater Moncton International Airport reached 10 C and it was the warmest temperature since 18 December – just shy of the record of 13.2 from 1981.

But some weather stations in the Moncton area climbed as high as 13 C.

New record highs for 23 February:

Kouchibouguac Nat’l Park 12.4 C

Woodstock, NB 11.9 C

Bathurst 10.5 C

Windsor, ON 19.3 C

London, ON 18.3 C

Toronto Pearson Airport 17.7 C