August snow in northern BC!

Ft Nelson snow

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.

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Quiet forest fire season in N.B.

Forest Fire

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.

June 2019 – Mild and wet

Strawberry plant in blossom after rain, NE Moncton, 29 June 2019 (Dearing)

The average monthly temperature for June in Greater Moncton was at least close to normal compared to a damp, cold May.

While daytime highs climbed to 20°C or higher on 20 days, significant heat was scarce and the thermometer didn’t even get close to 30°C.

Rainfall was heavier than normal – a measurable amount was recorded on 21 days – following a trend which began in early spring.

About three-quarters of the precipitation fell during the last ten days of the month.

JUNE 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  21.0°C

Average LOW  8.8°C

AVERAGE  14.9°C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  26.0°C (19 June)

Extreme LOW  2.8°C (01 June)

RAINFALL  128.9 mm (almost 30 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Chilly nights!

Last Zero
The last couple of nights have been chilly across New Brunswick with overnight lows in the low single digits.

While Greater Moncton fell to 5.5°C which was a few degrees away from the record, the same minimum in Bouctouche was cold enough to set a new low.

Edmundston dipped to a nippy 1.1°C which tied its record as did Grand Manan when it dropped to 3.8°C.

Over the last six years in Greater Moncton, the chart above shows temperatures have not fallen to the freezing point or lower after early June.

When will it reach 30°C?

First 30
It’s been a cold spring in Greater Moncton and the thermometer didn’t reach 20°C until 25 May – so when will it hit 30°C?

According to Environment Canada, the average date since 2013 has ranged from mid-May to late June but mainly late May.

While June has been warmer to date in Southeast New Brunswick, the long range forecast is calling for cooler conditions.

Will we have to wait until July this year?

Thundersnow in B.C.!

A thunderstorm with snow is called thundersnow and it struck the British Columbia Interior just two days before the start of summer!

An unstable air mass bringing cold air from Alaska is to blame for the rare thundersnow which covered mountainous terrain in the Okanagan Valley with about 10 cm.

Snow fell above 1500 metres with a snow/rain mix down to 1100 metres and a chilly rain at sea level.

About 10 cm of snow was also expected in the Alberta Rockies from a similar system.

May 2019 – Miserable!

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 20 May 2019 (Dearing)

May 2019 proved to be the coldest May since 1974 in the Maritimes with temperatures about two or three degrees below normal.

The month started out with some warmth in Greater Moncton but it turned colder near the middle with snow recorded as late as the 21st before a slight recovery at the end.

Overnight lows were cold with six nights either at or below freezing and most minimums were in the low single digits.

Cold, damp and cloudy weather stunted growth and forced farmers to delay planting because fields were saturated.

Only three days reached or exceeded 20°C and the thermometer came nowhere near 30°C at any time of the month.

MAY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  13.4°C

Average LOW  1.8°C

AVERAGE  7.6°C (about 2.4 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  22.1°C (25 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.7°C (02 May)

RAINFALL  105.8 mm (about 10 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  0.8 cm (near normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

The Year Without Spring

Snow in Rexton, 21 May 2019 (S. Hudson/Facebook)

It snowed overnight in Southeast New Brunswick.

About 0.6 cm of wet snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton Airport and even higher accumulations around the region.

In recent history, I can’t recall a snowfall this late in the month of May.

With meteorological summer arriving in 10 days and astronomical summer in barely a month, I’ve concluded that 2019 is the “Year Without Spring”.

The cold, damp weather has impacted farmers who are at least two weeks behind in planting crops due to saturated fields.

Sidewalk patios are eerily empty and winter parkas are still being worn by many.

A frost advisory has been posted for tonight and another one will likely be posted in two days as temperatures drop to near freezing again overnight.

Will the weather improve anytime soon?

A high of 20°C is forecast for Saturday but keep in mind we often hit 30°C before the beginning of June.

“Sprinter” continues

Snowflakes falling in NE Moncton, 14 May 2019 (Dearing)

Sprinter is a portmanteau of spring and winter which aptly describes the recent weather in Southeast New Brunswick.

Already mid-May, Environment Canada indicates Greater Moncton is running about three degrees below normal for the month.

Snow mixed in with rain last night and 0.6 cm was recorded at the airport.

Today’s daytime high was 5.3°C and the forecast shows little change for tomorrow.

The Victoria Day long weekend is expected to bring some sunshine but temperatures will remain below seasonable.

April 2019 – Wet and chilly

Glorious sunset in NE Moncton, 22 Apr 2019 (Dearing)

Spring can be the most disappointing season of the year in New Brunswick and April 2019 was no exception with cloudy, cool and often wet conditions.

Surprisingly, Greater Moncton was close to normal in temperature but double the average amount of rain fell along with slightly more snow than usual.

Melting snow and heavy precipitation led to more disastrous flooding along the St. John River – almost as bad as last year’s historic water levels.

Only one day was fully below freezing and while nights weren’t that cold, daytime highs often struggled to reach the double digits.

APRIL 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  8.1°C

Average LOW  -1.0°C

AVERAGE  3.6°C (near normal)

Extreme HIGH  18.9°C (21 Apr)

Extreme LOW  -6.0°C (08 Apr)

RAINFALL  122.5 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  32.8 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)