Record lows in Maritimes

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We are now several weeks into the growing season and temperatures are dropping to dangerously cold lows.

Farmers are concerned about damage to crops after a cool air mass and clear skies led to a frigid low of -4 C in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia overnight.

Greater Moncton dropped to -3.2 C early today which broke the old record of -2.2 C from 1903 and records go back to 1881.

The following new record lows were set on 04 June:

  • Kouchibouguac National Park, NB -3.8 C (records since 1924)
  • Grand Manan, NB -2.2 C (records since 1883)
  • Port Hawkesbury, NS -2.6 C (records since 1875)
  • Ingonish, NS -2.2 C (records since 1950)
  • Summerside, PEI -1.9 C (records since 1898)
  • Charlottetown, PEI -1.0 C (records since 1872)
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TWN unveils summer forecast

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Spring has sputtered in New Brunswick – it was nowhere to be found in March, finally appeared in late April and although May has had a few warm days, the month is still running slightly below normal in Greater Moncton.

So what about summer?

In its seasonal forecast, the Weather Network believes a cool June should give way to more consistent warm weather during July and August.

A humid summer is expected which may result in warmer than normal temperatures at night – overnight lows average about 12 C.

While periods of dry weather are expected, heavy showers and thunderstorms should bring rain totals to near normal for the season.

Last frost of spring?

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)


When the temperature dropped to -0.3 C early this morning, frost could be found in Greater Moncton.

The coldest low in New Brunswick was -5.9 C at Edmundston!

Thanks to cool, dry air with no cloud cover, Environment Canada has issued another frost advisory for tonight.

But keep in mind it’s not that unusual based on the 30-year average (1981-2010).

The average last spring frost date is 23 May in Greater Moncton and the first fall frost is 2 October for a growing season of 131 days.

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2017

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Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)

Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.

From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:

1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia

2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba

3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario

4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August

6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada

7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March

8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September

9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April

10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January

Unusual mid-summer cool snap

Sunset at Parlee Beach, NB, 18 July 2017 (Dearing)


Late July is typically the warmest period of summer in Greater Moncton but a recent cool down has brought September-like days and a record overnight low. 

On 23 July, the temperature fell to 6.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which broke a record low of 7.2 C from 1962. 

A frost advisory was posted in northwest New Brunswick with a chilly low of 2.4 C in Edmundston. 

The short term forecast calls for more seasonal highs in the mid-20’s C and lows near 13 C. 

Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Near record cold in N.B.

A break in clouds over the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

The last couple of days had near record lows in Greater Moncton with temperatures dropping to near the freezing point.

A low of 1.0 C at the airport on Monday was close to the 1947 record of 0.6 C while a low of 0.0 C on Tuesday tied the minimum from 1995.

Fortunately cloud cover prevented frost in most of New Brunswick but another risk is possible by early Wednesday.

Folklore suggests frost can be expected until the full moon in June which is this Friday the ninth.

Cool, unsettled start to June

Ominous clouds near Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Weather conditions have been cool and unsettled in the Maritimes over the past several days.

While driving in Nova Scotia on Friday, I encountered everything from clouds and heavy downpours to a clearing sky with bright sunshine to clouds and rain again.

On the way home to New Brunswick on Saturday, I encountered similar conditions.

In Greater Moncton today, the thermometer climbed to a daytime high of only 10.6 C under a dreary sky which is about 10 degrees below normal for early June.

Forecasters say warmer, more seasonal temperatures will return by Wednesday but not before a risk of frost in Southeast New Brunswick by early Tuesday.

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.

Record warmth in central, eastern United States

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Cherry blossoms in bloom, Washington, DC, USA, 02 March 2017 (Instagram)

During January and February, the city of Chicago only had a few centimetres of snow with no measurable amount on the ground for the first time in 146 years.

Record highs were broken from New England to Texas where temperatures recently soared into the high 20’s C causing trees and flowers to bloom ahead of schedule.

The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC could reach their peak on 14 March which would be the earliest.since officials began keeping track in 1921.

Climatologists say much of the central and eastern United States had a very warm winter with February 2017 being the second warmest in 123 years of records.

UPDATE – The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC actually reached their peak on 25 March after being delayed by a cold snap and snow.