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
Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)
Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.
The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.
A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.
Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.
APRIL 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 10.5 C
Average LOW -0.8 C
AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)
Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)
RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Snow covers a vehicle in Aviemore, Scotland, UK, 25 April 2017 (BBC Weather)
Arctic air has enveloped the United Kingdom with heavy snow in Scotland and northern England and near freezing temperatures as far south as London.
Forecasters say snow in late April is not uncommon and actually fell over parts of the country around the same time last year.
Temperatures struggled to reach 10 C today after a hard frost early this morning.
This cold snap is a far cry from record breaking heat earlier this month when the thermometer climbed to 26 C in southern England and a mild March which was the fifth warmest ever for the U.K.
Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)
Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.
After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.
So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.
The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.
A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.
But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?
In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.
Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.
Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.
“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.
Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.
Blue sky with wispy clouds over NE Moncton, 01 May 2016 (Dearing)
After a cooler than normal April in Greater Moncton, May got off to a warm start with a daytime high of 18.3 C under a beautiful, blue sky.
Fredericton was the warm spot in New Brunswick on May Day reaching a high of almost 20 C.
Temperatures did get off to a cool start this morning with lows ranging from -1 C in Alma to -6 C in Edmundston.
Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 25 April 2016 (Dearing)
Spring sputtered in Southeast New Brunswick during April with cold overnight lows and daytime highs were all over the chart.
Precipitation was below normal with little snow in Greater Moncton and rainfall was about 20 percent below average.
Although the thermometer climbed into the 20’s on a couple days, lows were so chilly during the last week that records were challenged on several nights.
APRIL 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)
Average HIGH 9.5 C
Average LOW -3.0 C
AVERAGE 3.2 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 21.7 C (21 April)
Extreme LOW -11.5 C (4,6 April)
Rainfall 48 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)
Snowfall 2.4 cm (about 90 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Dusting of snow sticks to cold surfaces in NE Moncton, 28 April 2016 (Dearing)
After receiving less than half a centimetre of snow this April in Greater Moncton, a dusting of snow fell just two days before month end.
Temperatures have been chilly this week in New Brunswick with a few record lows broken – Moncton was close at -5.5 C on 26 April.
The jet stream has taken a southern dip over Eastern Canada allowing cold Arctic air to sink south.
But forecasters say more seasonal weather is coming as we begin the month of May.
Tree in bud at Riverfront Park, Moncton, 17 April 2013 (Dearing File)
For the first time in 2016, the thermometer has climbed to 20°C or higher in Greater Moncton.
Environment Canada reports we reached 21.7°C yesterday and 20.5°C today.
The last time it was at least 20°C was on 12 October 2015.
Last spring, Greater Moncton surpassed the mark on 04 May and it was earlier in 2014 when it happened on 15 April.
In 2012, the high soared to a record 26.1°C on 22 March which was not only early to be that warm but it also became an all-time maximum for the month.
Deep snow in Mount Pearl, NL, 21 April 2016 (TWN)
A powerful storm system missed the Maritimes but nailed Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow.
St. John’s was especially hard hit with 10 hours of blizzard conditions delivering 49 cm of snow and wind gusts of more than 100 km/h.
This was the heaviest snowfall in the provincial capital this season and exceeds an average April snowfall of 25 cm.