Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2017

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Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)

Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.

From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:

1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia

2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba

3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario

4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August

6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada

7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March

8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September

9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April

10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January

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Rain is welcome relief

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Autumn 2017 – Abnormally dry (YELLOW), Moderate drought (TAN), courtesy Agriculture Canada


Central New Brunswick is experiencing a moderate drought while much of the rest of the province is abnormally dry except for the Acadian Peninsula according to Agriculture Canada.

Forecasters say two weather systems could bring as much as 100 mm of rain on Thursday and Friday which is welcome relief for a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.

Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for western and southern New Brunswick but the Southeast is expecting less than 40 mm.

Meantime, more record highs were broken across the Maritimes today as southerly air continued to push temperatures well into the 20’s C.

Acadian Peninsula hit again

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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.

January 2017 – Milder, less snowy but icy

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Ice buildup tilts power pole in Salisbury, NB, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook/Salisbury Happenings)

The defining weather event of January 2017 in New Brunswick was the devastating ice storm which brought down power lines and poles leaving more than 133,000 electricity customers in the dark for days.

Freezing rain and ice pellets began falling in Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick on 25 January and the storm eventually moved northeast to Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.

Emergency shelters were set up in churches and community centres and the military was called in to help after some households were still without power a week later.

While overnight lows became frigid during the early and middle parts of the month, daytime highs were generally much milder than usual.

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

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -9.5 C

AVERAGE  -5.3 C (about 3.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  8.5 C (12 January)

Extreme LOW  -23.2 C (10 January)

RAINFALL  65.7 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  48.9 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Military joins ice storm relief effort

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Members of the military go door to door in Lameque, NB, 31 Jan 2017 (JTFA/Twitter)

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to the Acadian Peninsula to help in the cleanup following the recent ice storm.

Thousands are still without electricity in northeastern New Brunswick almost a week after the devastating storm.

About 200 members of the military are doing various tasks including going door to door in communities to check on residents who may still be in their homes.

NB Power describes this “crisis” event as being worse than Hurricane Arthur in 2014.

Acadian Peninsula pounded by ice storm 

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Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)

While Greater Moncton was hard hit by this week’s ice storm so was much of eastern New Brunswick including the Acadian Peninsula.

At least three communities have declared states of emergency – Tracadie-Sheila, Lameque and Shippagan – in what has been the most devastating ice storm in recent memory.

Two deaths have been reported and many others hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning related to an alternate source of indoor heating amid the massive power outages.

Power poles have snapped in half under the weight of ice-laden lines and downed trees and branches have shut down roads as the cleanup begins.

As of Saturday 28 January at 9am, NB Power reports about 46,000 customers are still without power and almost half are in the Acadian Peninsula.

Spring has not sprung yet…

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A winter wonderland again after a Nor’easter, NE Moncton, 22 March 2016 (Dearing)

Whatever had started sprouting out of the ground is now covered by 23 cm of snow which fell in Greater Moncton yesterday.

Snow totals of 20 to 30 cm were common across Southern New Brunswick from this spring Nor’easter while the Acadian Peninsula felt the brunt with nearly 50 cm.

Lesser amounts ranging from 5 to 15 cm of snow fell over most of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Meantime, forecasters are watching a Colorado Low which will move into the Maritimes late Thursday/early Friday and bring a mixed bag of wintry precipitation.