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.

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“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)

The peepers return!

Along the waterfront, St. Andrews By-the-Sea, 20 Apr 2019 (Dearing)

For the first time this season, I heard the peepers calling in the distance tonight.

The small chorus frogs are usually a sure sign of spring in the region.

Their annual return seems to coincide with a rainy period and this year is no exception.

About 50 mm of rain could fall in Southeast New Brunswick over the next few days with cold daytime highs in the single digits.

March 2019 – Warmer with less snow

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 31 Mar 2019 (Dearing)

March seemed quite cold overall in Southeast New Brunswick especially given some frigid overnight lows during the first ten days of the month.

Daytime highs improved dramatically after that culminating with a maximum of 16.8°C on the 31st.

However, only two days recorded temperatures with both highs and lows above freezing.

The month was also very dry with less than half of the normal rainfall and snowfall received.

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

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -7.4°C

AVERAGE -2.5°C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 16.8°C (31 Mar)

Extreme LOW -18.7°C (08 Mar)

RAINFALL 26.4 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 35.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Finally above freezing!

Tracks on frozen reservoir in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 10 March 2019 (Dearing)

For the first time in 12 days, the daytime high in Greater Moncton finally climbed above freezing with a balmy high of 1°C today!

The normal maximum for early March in Southeast New Brunswick is 2°C with a minimum of -8°C.

The last third of winter has been especially cold with overnights consistently below -10°C and even as low as -20.1°C early Friday.

However, there is some good news – Environment Canada is forecasting that the next five out of six days will have highs above freezing.

Winter 2018-19 in Review

Winter 18-19
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.

In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.

Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.

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)

Is spring around the corner?

spring_temps
spring_precip
The Weather Network has unveiled its spring 2019 forecast covering March, April and May – so what can New Brunswick expect?

It’s been a long, cold and stormy winter which began in mid-November but TWN believes after another cold wave in early March, a warmer pattern will develop later in the month.

Meteorologist Michael Carter says more consistent spring-like weather is possible by early April.

Both temperatures and precipitation are expected to be near normal for the season.

Carter adds flooding is a possibility given normal spring run-off combined with any rain or snow that falls.

But he thinks it won’t be as stormy this spring compared to past years.

Heaviest snowfall of 2019

Courtesy NB Highway Cameras, 13 Feb 2019

Lots of rain, freezing rain and ice pellets have been recorded so far this year in Southeast New Brunswick but snow has been somewhat scarce – until today.

A Colorado Low made its way across the continent this week bringing lots of snow to the American Midwest, Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec before arriving in the Maritimes.

Greater Moncton received 26 cm of snow followed by ice pellets and some freezing rain/drizzle along with strong winds which created poor visibility.

Snowfall amounts were fairly consistent across most of Nova Scotia with 22 cm at Greenwood and Halifax Stanfield Airport, 21 cm in Sydney but only 11 cm in Yarmouth.

Environment Canada says cold weather will replace the snow for late week with a brief warmup and rain expected this weekend.