Sunshine and dandelions 

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Dandelions growing in NE Moncton, 13 May 2017 (Dearing)

The dandelions are out in full force as Southeast New Brunswick welcomed a beautiful, sunny day following a cold, grey and rainy week.

The normal high in Greater Moncton for mid-May is 17 C and temperatures didn’t even reach 10 C for two days in a row.

Rainfall has already reached 87 mm and the normal monthly total is 93 mm.

Forecasters are calling for 20-30 mm rain early next week thanks to another low pressure system.

April 2017 – Spring sputters

Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)

Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.

The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.

A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.

Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.

APRIL 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 10.5 C

Average LOW -0.8 C

AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)

Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)

RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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.

March 2017 – Cold and snowy

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)

Winter won’t let go!

Still looks like winter in NE Moncton, 31 March 2017 (Dearing)

The temperature was warmer in the far north cities of Whitehorse and Yellowknife than it was in Greater Moncton.

The thermometer barely climbed above freezing today but at least the sun made an appearance after a five day absence.

Lots of cloud and frequent periods of snow have made the end of March look more like the beginning of January.

Environment Canada is not forecasting spring-like weather in the near future with another possible snowstorm by the middle of next week.

Cold start to spring

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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.

Blizzard warning downgraded 

Sunset in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)

A low pressure system from Quebec tracking eastward into New Brunswick was originally expected to be a blizzard but Environment Canada downgraded that warning to a blowing snow advisory late today.

After reaching a high of 5 C by afternoon in Greater Moncton, the thermometer dropped below freezing by evening and rain changed to snow.

Strong, gusty winds will create blowing snow with 10 cm possible before conditions improve tomorrow.

Wind chills will be unseasonably cold over the next 24 hours with values as low as -27 C.

Weather Network unveils spring forecast

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A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.

But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?

In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.

Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.

Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.

“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.

Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.

Another rollercoaster ride!

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The January wolf moon over downtown Moncton, 11 Jan 2017 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton is experiencing another see-saw temperature pattern this week.

After the thermometer fell to -23.2 early Tuesday (coldest yet this winter and coldest since February 2015), a Colorado Low brought milder air and rain to Southeast New Brunswick today with a balmy high of 7.7 C.

But an Arctic air mass is pushing in again by the weekend and Environment Canada says a drop to -19 C is forecast by early Saturday.

By early next week, temperatures are set to get warmer again and climb above freezing.

Brief Arctic Blast

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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.