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.
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.
The snowbanks keep getting higher in NW Moncton, 16 Feb 2017 (Facebook)
An intense low pressure system tracked across the Maritimes today bringing heavy snow along with strong northerly winds creating blowing and drifting snow.
Environment Canada says this was the fourth storm system to impact Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick over the last two weeks.
Visibility was often very poor and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization restricted travel to snow plows and emergency vehicles on many major highways today.
Greater Moncton: 35 cm
Saint John: 25 cm
Fredericton: 20 cm
Charlottetown: 15 cm
Greenwood, NS: 40 cm
Halifax Stanfield Airport: 15 cm
NB daytime highs from Environment Canada, 14 July 2016
Greater Moncton has yet to reach 30 C this summer but warm, breezy conditions pushed the daytime high to 29 C today with winds gusting up to 72 km/h.
Many other New Brunswick locations surpassed 30 C with Bathurst climbing to 33 C which was the hot spot in Canada.
Temperatures were cooler along the Fundy coast with a maximum of 20 C in Saint John and 23.4 C on Grand Manan Island.
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.
Evening sky in Moncton, 03 July 2016 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton typically reaches a daytime high of 25 C in early July but while it was 28 C yesterday, it was only 19 C today and perhaps slightly cooler tomorrow.
The below normal conditions – coming after several weeks of warm weather – are due to a chilly north wind and two low pressure systems merging over Atlantic Canada.
On a positive note, some needed rain is on the way after a recent dry spell in Southeastern New Brunswick.
Low pressure system impacts Atlantic Canada this week, 14 June 2016 (TWN)
Cloudy, cool, drizzle, showers and repeat.
If it was April we wouldn’t think twice but it’s mid-June and heat is currently absent in Southeast New Brunswick.
The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 12.2 C yesterday and the high today will struggle to reach 10 C.
Keep in mind, the average high for this time of year is 22 C and the low is 10 C.
A pesky low pressure system has no place to go thanks to a blocking high over Greenland so forecasters say cloudy, wet conditions will persist this week.
Wooded trail in Irishtown Nature Park, NB, 29 May 2016 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton was actually warmer than normal in May according to Environment Canada but somehow it seemed cooler than average.
Overnight lows were quite cold throughout the month with five nights either at or below freezing and just three nights at or higher than 10 C.
Daytime highs varied widely with six days failing to reach 10 C and eleven days climbing to at least 20 C or more.
Rainfall was below normal with snow flurries spotted on 09 May and measurable snow in western New Brunswick as late as 16 May.
MAY 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)
Average HIGH 16.7 C
Average LOW 4.7 C
AVERAGE 10.7 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE 30-year average)
Extreme HIGH 29.5 C (31 May, new record high for date)
Extreme LOW -4.0 C (01 May)
RAINFALL 75.0 mm (about 20 percent BELOW 30-year average)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Dark clouds over NE Moncton, 31 May 2016 (Dearing)
The warmest temperature so far in 2016 was recorded in Greater Moncton this afternoon with a warm high of 29.5 C – beating today’s record of 29.3 C from 1999.
But a strong cold front moved across Southeast New Brunswick which prompted Environment Canada to issue a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6pm.
In less than an hour, the temperature dropped nine degrees from 27 C to 18 C and hail was reported north of Moncton.
The front has ushered in much cooler temperatures with a high tomorrow of only 13 C and a risk of frost by early Thursday morning.
Blue sky with wispy clouds over NE Moncton, 01 May 2016 (Dearing)
After a cooler than normal April in Greater Moncton, May got off to a warm start with a daytime high of 18.3 C under a beautiful, blue sky.
Fredericton was the warm spot in New Brunswick on May Day reaching a high of almost 20 C.
Temperatures did get off to a cool start this morning with lows ranging from -1 C in Alma to -6 C in Edmundston.