Snow is piled high in Boston, MA, USA, 05 Jan 2018 (AP)
Much of New Brunswick was under another extreme cold warning this weekend with a near record low of -22.3 C in Greater Moncton today (record is -23.3 C from 1945) and a bone-chilling wind chill near -36.
Environment Canada is calling for temperatures to moderate this week with a return to near normal values and even above freezing temperatures by Thursday.
The Northeast United States has also been under a cold snap and the thermometer bottomed out Sunday with record lows in a number of cities including Burlington, Vermont at -29 C and Portland, Maine at -24 C.
Boston, Massachusetts tied its record low of -19 C just days after digging out from 34 cm of snow during the ‘bomb cyclone’ and being inundated with icy floodwaters from the highest tides in a century.
Several weather outlets are forecasting a major winter storm will hit the Maritimes bringing heavy snow and strong winds to New Brunswick just days into 2018.
Blizzard conditions are possible along with large waves and high water levels along the coast.
Nova Scotia may get more rain along the Atlantic coast while a rain/snow mix is likely inland.
Until the storm arrives, Arctic air remains firmly in place with several cities in Ontario setting new record lows on New Year’s Day including -22.6 C at Toronto Pearson Airport and -28.6 C at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport.
Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.
But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.
After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.
Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).
DECEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.5 C
Average LOW -10.7 C
AVERAGE -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 11.1 C (06 Dec)
Extreme LOW -21.8 C (31 Dec)
RAINFALL 39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Frigid temperatures across Canada, observed 8am AST 28 Dec 2017
This is Canada and we know it gets cold in the winter but the bitter Arctic air which has enveloped almost the entire country is a bit unusual so early in the season.
Environment Canada says the size of the cold wave – from interior British Columbia to Atlantic Canada – and the duration of the frigid weather are exceptional for late December.
Meteorologists say 1993 was the last time there was a similar cold spell between Christmas and New Year’s.
Only the coast of British Columbia will escape the worst but even there, daytime temperatures will barely climb above freezing.
Drivers deal with snow in Worcester, England, UK, 12 Dec 2017 (Sky News)
An Arctic chill lowered temperatures to -13 C in Shawbury near Manchester which was the lowest in the United Kingdom since -14 C in Braemar, Scotland in February 2016.
The cold comes after heavy snow fell with as much as 30 cm in parts of Wales knocking out power to tens of thousands.
Snow also fell in London where cancellations were reported at Heathrow Airport as plows cleared runways.
Snow and ice also delayed train schedules and created slick road conditions across the country.
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.
Snow melting in Riverview, 24 Feb 2017 (Dearing)
Mild temperatures have been melting lots of snow in Southeast New Brunswick this week.
Greater Moncton now has about 50 cm on the ground compared to more than 110 cm only a week ago.
The daytime high climbed to 11.5 C at the airport on Friday but a private weather station recorded a maximum of 14.6 C at Jones Lake.
Environment Canada is forecasting the warmth to continue for the next few days with a sudden cold snap expected to arrive later in the week.
Courtesy The Weather Network
The wind chill was so bitterly cold in Greater Moncton early this morning, it felt more like -35 as the temperature fell to -22 C.
However, the Arctic blast will be short-lived as a Colorado Low approaches the Maritimes with snow, rain and milder temperatures.
Environment Canada is forecasting highs of 8 C by later this week in Southeast New Brunswick.
But by the weekend, temperatures will plummet once again with a low of -16 C expected by early Saturday morning.
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.
(Courtesy City of Moncton, 06 Jan 2016)
Temperatures seldom stay below freezing for more than a few days at a time during winter in Southeast New Brunswick.
The first cold snap of the season is no exception.
Greater Moncton dipped to -20.9 C early yesterday which was still well below the record of -30.5 C from 1981.
The thermometer dipped even lower in Edmundston at -28.3 C.
But Environment Canada says temperatures will gradually climb above freezing by this weekend with rain possible early next week.