Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)

More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.

Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.

Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.

The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.

Heat warnings issued in the West

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Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)

A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.

On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.

The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.

Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.

Snowy weekend in Newfoundland & Labrador

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Heavy snow in Cartwright, Labrador, NL, 21 May 2017 (Twitter)

The Victoria Day long weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer in most of Canada but not Newfoundland and Labrador this year.

More than 50 cm of snow fell in southeastern Labrador and between 20 and 30 cm was recorded in western Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula.

Campers in Gros Morne National Park had fires one evening and then woke up to white the next morning.

St. John’s also picked up about 4 cm of snow which was the snowiest May long weekend since 1991.

Cherry blossoms brighten B.C. coast

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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.

Record highs in the Maritimes

Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)


Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.

It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.

The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.

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.

Canada’s Top 10 of 2016

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RCMP officer in burnt neighbourhood, Fort McMurray, AB, 05 May 2016 (Alberta RCMP)

From the horrible wildfires which destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alberta to the winter that wasn’t to a warm, dry summer which led to drought in areas of Eastern Canada, 2016 was certainly noteworthy for major weather events.

  1. Fort McMurray’s “Fire Beast”
  2. Super El Niño Cancels Winter – 2nd warmest Canada-wide ever
  3. August Long Weekend Storm on the Prairies… Big and Costly
  4. A Summer to Remember in the East
  5. November’s Heat Wave and December’s Deep Freeze
  6. Arctic Sea Ice Going, Going… Break-up earlier/Freeze-up later
  7. Wild Summer Prairie Weather
  8. A Tale of Two Springs – Cold East and Warm West
  9. Thanksgiving Day Atlantic Weather Bomb
  10. Southwest Ontario’s $100 Million September Gusher                                               (Courtesy Environment Canada)

Weather Network unveils winter forecast

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As snow flurries began falling in Greater Moncton today, the Weather Network unveiled its winter forecast covering the months of December, January and February.

TWN says although typical see-saws are expected, temperatures should be near normal for Southeast New Brunswick with daytime highs averaging just below freezing at about -2 C.

Precipitation will likely be above normal for the region but TWN meteorologists say the storm track will vary which means not all of it will fall as snow like what happened two years ago.

Overall across Canada, TWN says we should expect a classic Canadian winter in 2016-17.

Mid-summer heat!

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NB daytime highs from Environment Canada, 14 July 2016

Greater Moncton has yet to reach 30 C this summer but warm, breezy conditions pushed the daytime high to 29 C today with winds gusting up to 72 km/h.

Many other New Brunswick locations surpassed 30 C with Bathurst climbing to 33 C which was the hot spot in Canada.

Temperatures were cooler along the Fundy coast with a maximum of 20 C in Saint John and 23.4 C on Grand Manan Island.

Extreme weather closes out 2015

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Image Courtesy CNN

The North Pole climbs above freezing, deadly tornadoes strike Texas, extreme heat bakes Australia and historic floods hit Britain and the American Midwest – the world is filled with extreme weather as it welcomes 2016.

A powerful and destructive North Atlantic low-pressure system brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, climbing to a spring-like 16°C in Montreal on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by heavy snow from Ontario to the Maritimes.

In the United States, tornadoes and floods left almost 50 dead.

The mighty Mississippi River has already exceeded overflow levels by four metres in some areas.

Scientists say the common cause of these events is a strong El Nino, a weather phenomenon which emerges every few years on average.

Record rainfall has brought unprecedented flooding to England and Scotland and Britain’s mean December temperature was a record-breaking 8°C, smashing the previous high of 6.9°C set in 1934.

With El Nino showing little sign of running out of steam, many scientists say 2016 could be even warmer than 2015.