BC Highway 97 near Fort Nelson, 19 Aug 2019 (Drive BC/Twitter)
Residents of northern British Columbia were shocked to wake up to snow this morning – an estimated 50 cm in some areas.
Environment Canada says cold Arctic air combined with moisture from the Pacific was responsible for the winter-like conditions in late summer.
Fort Nelson received a mix of rain and snow while higher elevations of 1,000 metres or more saw mainly snow.
Historical data shows measurable snow is likely in Fort Nelson in every month except July.
By contrast on Monday, Kamloops in the Okanagan Valley – about 1300 km south – reached a daytime high of 31°C.
Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)
A wet, cold spring and a dry, humid July have led to one of the quietest forest fire seasons in recent memory in New Brunswick.
Statistics show 152 fires for the season to date which compares to 206 fires over the past ten years.
Last year was also much busier with 242 fires recorded by the middle of August.
Provincial wildfire officials say although July was warmer than normal, high humidity levels helped prevent fires from starting and from spreading.
After a cold and wet spring in New Brunswick, what will summer be like?
The Weather Network has unveiled its summer 2019 forecast and if you were hoping for warmer temperatures, it appears you may have to wait a little longer.
TWN suggests the season will be changeable and humid with cool weather in June but warmer than normal temperatures arriving in July stretching into August.
Extended periods of dry weather could lead to short term drought in parts of the Maritimes but overall precipitation will likely be near normal.
What about the spring 2019 forecast from The Weather Network?
TWN noted a cold wave in early March would be followed by a warmer pattern later in the month with more consistent spring-like weather by early April.
Both temperatures and precipitation were expected to be near normal.
So was the seasonal forecast accurate?
While early March was cold in Greater Moncton with a bitter low of -20.1 C, a warmer pattern never really developed except for a brief shot of warmth at month end.
April had some warmth in the middle but that fizzled near the end and while May started off strong, a cold pattern held steady for the second half of the month.
Precipitation was below seasonal in March, well above average in April and slightly above normal for May.
Wildfires create smoky sky over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)
Here is the annual list from Environment Canada:
Record wildfires and smoky summer skies in the West
Summer heat wave from East to West
Tough growing season in the Prairies
Powerful May winds impact Ontario and Quebec
September tornadoes touch down in Ottawa-Gatineau
Spring flooding in southern British Columbia
Historic spring flooding along the St. John River Valley
August deluge in Toronto
Record cold start to a long winter nationwide
Cold and stormy April for the East
autumn, cold, dry, fire, flooding, heat, rain, smoke, snow, spring, summer, tornado, warm, wind, winter |
Black-eyed Susans growing in Upper Hammonds Plains, NS, 21 Sept 2018 (Dearing)
Warm, summer weather picked up in September where it left off in August in Southeast New Brunswick.
But the passage of a cold front marked a drastic temperature drop on the 18th and suddenly it felt like fall in Greater Moncton.
The thermometer continued to plunge and sank to -1.9°C on the 25th with light, scattered frost although most vegetation was spared severe damage.
Precipitation was actually above normal although heavy amounts fell in a handful of rainfalls.
SEPTEMBER 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 20.9°C
Average LOW 7.9°C
AVERAGE 14.4°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 28.9°C (06 Sept)
Extreme LOW -1.9°C (25 Sept)
RAINFALL 100.5 mm (about 10 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Tall trees in Irishtown Nature Park, 26 August 2018 (Dearing)
A hot July also translated into a hot August in what has to be one of the warmest summers in Southeast New Brunswick since 1940.
In Greater Moncton, the thermometer climbed to 30°C or higher on 6 days during August and never dropped below 18°C during 9 overnights.
Fans, air conditioners and other cooling units sold out at stores across the region and many weren’t able to reorder more.
Although it seemed rather dry, rainfall was actually slightly above average thanks to a single rain event which delivered nearly 60 mm which is 60 percent of the monthly total.
AUGUST 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 26.2°C
Average LOW 14.6°C
AVERAGE 20.4°C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 31.6°C (06 Aug)
Extreme LOW 9.7°C (31 Aug)
RAINFALL 100.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A warm air mass from north Africa has caused temperatures to skyrocket into the 40s C throughout the Iberian Peninsula challenging all-time heat records in Europe.
Lisbon, Portugal set a new maximum for 04 August at 44°C and even overnight lows are barely falling below 30°C.
Hundreds of firefighters are battling wildfires in the Algarve region and in neighbouring Spain.
The water in some rivers has become so overheated that fish are dying on a mass scale.
Forecasters say the heat is moving east and will affect France and Germany over the next few days.
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe is 48°C (118.4°F) set in Athens, Greece in July 1977.
The summer solstice officially arrived in New Brunswick at 7:07am ADT today.
This is the longest day of the year with 15 hours and 46 minutes of daylight in Moncton.
The sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer and it will now begin moving south toward the equator which means days will be getting shorter again – by three seconds starting tomorrow.
As for summer weather predictions for the region, the Weather Network is suggesting July and August will have slightly above normal temperatures with high humidity.
Environment Canada believes there is an 80 percent chance of higher than average temperatures and a 40 percent chance of below normal precipitation.
Spring has sputtered in New Brunswick – it was nowhere to be found in March, finally appeared in late April and although May has had a few warm days, the month is still running slightly below normal in Greater Moncton.
So what about summer?
In its seasonal forecast, the Weather Network believes a cool June should give way to more consistent warm weather during July and August.
A humid summer is expected which may result in warmer than normal temperatures at night – overnight lows average about 12 C.
While periods of dry weather are expected, heavy showers and thunderstorms should bring rain totals to near normal for the season.
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