Santa Claus in downtown Moncton (City of Moncton/Facebook)
The Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is the unofficial start to the Christmas season in Southeast New Brunswick.
The weather was cooperative for Santa’s arrival this year with a mild 10 C when the parade started at 5pm with light winds under clear and dry conditions.
It was a different story last year with a chilly 3 C under a mostly cloudy sky with damp conditions.
An estimated 100,000 spectators come out to see the parade every year and this year the crowd seemed even larger.
A sunny but cold morning in west end Moncton, 13 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
Clear skies and an Arctic air mass lowered temperatures in Greater Moncton to a chilly -9.0 C on November 12th and 13th.
Recent data shows temperatures that low (within 2 and 3 degrees of record lows) typically don’t occur until later in the month and the thermometer failed to climb above freezing on the 12th which is also earlier than normal.
A new record low was set at the Saint John Airport when it fell to -11.3 C on the 12th.
Quite a contrast from just a week ago when several communities in New Brunswick climbed into the low 20s Celsius.
An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)
For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July.
After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal.
Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on 05 July.
The only concern is a lack of rainfall.
The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick.
(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)
Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)
Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March.
Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month.
Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week.
Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March.
Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days.
MARCH 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 0.3 C
Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)
Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)
RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)
(courtesy Environment Canada)
Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)
The first week of spring has felt more like the dead of winter in Southeast New Brunswick.
Greater Moncton may have missed the brunt of two storms this week but extreme cold settled in behind them with a frigid -13.7 C on 23 March.
Half of the days so far this March have recorded well below freezing average temperatures.
Environment Canada is forecasting more chilly weather for the upcoming final week with even a chance of accumulating snow.
Barren trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 05 Nov 2016 (Dearing)
Most trees have now lost their leaves in Greater Moncton – with oak trees being the exception – and the starkness of November is settling in.
The thermometer dipped to a frosty -3.1 C yesterday morning which was the coldest low so far this fall and a chilly high of only 4.5 C.
It’s a different story in the Prairies and northwestern Ontario with record breaking warm temperatures climbing near 20 C which is well above normal.
Edmonton climbed to 20.6 C on Friday which was the warmest high ever for a November day in the Alberta capital.
A view of Percé Rock, Quebec, 09 July 2016 (Dearing)
Some claimed it was time to haul out the parkas again after five straight days with daytime highs failing to reach 20 C in Greater Moncton.
Keep in mind the average early July high is 25 C and recent daily maximums were barely climbing to 15 C.
Data shows this has been the coolest stretch in July in many years.
But grey skies are finally clearing and Environment Canada is forecasting highs at or slightly above normal over the next few days.
Evening sky in Moncton, 03 July 2016 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton typically reaches a daytime high of 25 C in early July but while it was 28 C yesterday, it was only 19 C today and perhaps slightly cooler tomorrow.
The below normal conditions – coming after several weeks of warm weather – are due to a chilly north wind and two low pressure systems merging over Atlantic Canada.
On a positive note, some needed rain is on the way after a recent dry spell in Southeastern New Brunswick.
Warm air arrives in Eastern Canada, 18 June 2016 (Environment Canada)
After almost a week of cold, rainy weather in Southeast New Brunswick, a warm air mass is moving in from Central Canada which will raise temperatures considerably.
After a chilly low this morning of 4.5 C in Greater Moncton, temperatures could reach as high as 30 C tomorrow which will be very close to a record high.
The heat returns just in time for the official arrival of summer on Monday night.
Canada geese feed on a soggy lawn at Jones Lake, Moncton, 15 June 2016 (Dearing)
During the first half of June, rainfall was measured on 11 of 15 days in Greater Moncton according to Environment Canada.
Clouds came along with that rain which has meant only short bursts of sun during the mostly gloomy weather.
Hope is on the horizon since forecasters say that stubborn low pressure system will be replaced by high pressure and temperatures could hit 30 C by Sunday.
But not before a chilly night with either a frost advisory or a risk of frost for most of New Brunswick.