February 2019 – Cold & Stormy

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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)

Dangerous whiteout conditions across N.B.

Open areas like West Main Street were prone to drifting snow, 26 Feb 2019 (Dearing)

Strong winds created blowing and drifting snow across New Brunswick today which caused whiteout conditions on highways.

RCMP say a multi-vehicle pileup on Highway 11 near Cocagne late this morning involved 15 vehicles in a series of collisions.

Visibility was poor in whiteouts near the Cocagne Bridge.

The highway was closed as emergency responders cleared the wreckage and waited for the weather to improve.

Winds gusted as high as 85 km/h in Greater Moncton which created a bitterly cold wind chill giving a risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

Major winter storm approaches

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Radar image captured at 23hrs, 19 Jan 2019 (Bing maps)


A strong winter storm will track across the Maritimes Sunday bringing a mixed bsg of precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow at times heavy will begin in the morning changing to ice pellets and freezing rain by noon and eventually to rain later in the afternoon.

Greater Moncton is expecting about 20 cm snow, 20 mm of rain and possibly several hours of ice accumulation.

Strong winds will develop giving reduced visibility in blowing snow with gusts reaching 80 km/h along the Fundy coast.

Conditions may not improve until Monday afternoon as the storm moves eastward.

Nor’easter packs bigger punch than expected

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The track of the latest Nor’easter hugged the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia which ultimately led to more snow in Southeast New Brunswick than forecasters first thought.

Environment Canada originally predicted 10 cm but more than double fell in Greater Moncton which ended up with the highest snow total in the Maritimes.

This was a classic Nor’easter with strong winds reaching a peak gust of 78 km/h creating blowing and drifting snow in open areas.

Here are some regional totals as of 8am ADT on 31 January:

  • Greater Moncton Airport:  25 cm
  • Halifax International Airport: 23 cm
  • Greenwood: 20
  • Sydney:  20
  • Halifax (downtown): 19
  • Charlottetown:  19
  • Bathurst:  18
  • CFB Gagetown:  14
  • Yarmouth:  13
  • Saint John Airport:  11

A classic Nor’easter slams Maritimes

A classic Nor’easter arrived in the Maritimes today bringing an abrupt end to a snow free Southeast New Brunswick.

Environment Canada says the intensity of the storm led to a snowfall warning and a blowing snow advisory being issued by mid-afternoon for Greater Moncton.

By 6pm, about 16 cm of snow had fallen with winds gusting up to 74 km/h creating poor visibility in blowing snow.

In Nova Scotia, about 16 cm fell in both the city of Halifax and at Stanfield Airport with an impressive 40 cm recorded in Sydney.

Blizzard warning downgraded 

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

A low pressure system from Quebec tracking eastward into New Brunswick was originally expected to be a blizzard but Environment Canada downgraded that warning to a blowing snow advisory late today.

After reaching a high of 5 C by afternoon in Greater Moncton, the thermometer dropped below freezing by evening and rain changed to snow.

Strong, gusty winds will create blowing snow with 10 cm possible before conditions improve tomorrow.

Wind chills will be unseasonably cold over the next 24 hours with values as low as -27 C.

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.

Another winter storm wallops N.B.

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The snowbanks keep getting higher in NW Moncton, 16 Feb 2017 (Facebook)

An intense low pressure system tracked across the Maritimes today bringing heavy snow along with strong northerly winds creating blowing and drifting snow.

Environment Canada says this was the fourth storm system to impact Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick over the last two weeks.

Visibility was often very poor and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization restricted travel to snow plows and emergency vehicles on many major highways today.

Snowfall totals:

Greater Moncton: 35 cm

Saint John: 25 cm

Fredericton: 20 cm

Charlottetown: 15 cm

Greenwood, NS: 40 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport: 15 cm

Snowstorm slams Atlantic coast

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Multi-vehicle pileup on interstate highway, Middletown, CT, USA, 07 Jan 2017 (Twitter)


A powerful winter storm moving up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard brought snowy and icy conditions from Alabama to Maine with more than 30 cm in parts of Virginia.

The low pressure system arrived in the Maritimes this evening with Nova Scotia expected to feel the brunt with up to 40 cm of snow expected.

A winter storm warning has been issued for Greater Moncton, Sussex, Saint John and Fundy National Park with 15-25 cm of snow and strong winds creating blowing snow by Sunday afternoon.

Northern New Brunswick is only expecting a few flurries to slight amounts of snow.

Nor’easter marks start of spring

Noreaster21mar16The first full day of spring in Greater Moncton looked more like winter and was much colder than Christmas Day as a Nor’easter delivered snow, ice pellets and gusty winds.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for Southeast New Brunswick with up to 25 cm of snow expected by early tomorrow.

By 10pm, I measured about 15 cm snow in my northeast Moncton neighbourhood.

Winds could gust up to 60 km/h overnight causing blowing and drifting snow which will create poor driving conditions.