June 2020 – Suddenly it’s hot!

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 16 June 2020 (Dearing)

The first half of June was cold and dry similar to May and April.

But by mid-month, after struggling to reach the 20s, temperatures suddenly began climbing into the 30s.

On 19 June, Greater Moncton hit a sizzling 35.6°C (humidex 40) which is the hottest June temperature in recorded history.

The thermometer climbed above 30°C six times and the average is only once.

Before the heat arrived, a light frost occurred on 10 June which damaged some sensitive crops like strawberries.

Farmers and gardeners also lamented a lack of rain with only one-third of the normal monthly amount recorded.

JUNE 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 23.8°C

Average LOW 10.0°C

AVERAGE 16.9°C (about 1.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 35.6°C (19 June, new monthly record)

Extreme LOW -0.6°C (10 June)

RAINFALL 34.3 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

How dry is it?

Drought

Yellow/brown areas show dry to moderate drought conditions, 01 June 2020 (Agriculture Canada)

Most of New Brunswick is extremely dry and has been for months which is a big concern for agriculture.

Environment Canada data shows winter snowfall was about 20 percent below normal in Greater Moncton and precipitation has been below average every month since March.

June rainfall was only one-third of normal and the last major amount – 21.3 mm – fell on 12 June which was just prior to a prolonged heat wave.

Prior to that, 09 May is the previous date with appreciable precipitation – 14.1 mm – which also included some snow!

Farmers in Southeast New Brunswick – already coping with a pandemic – say the drought has put many crops including potatoes in danger and without irrigation total losses can be expected.

In addition, a strawberry farmer notes how a light frost earlier this month (10 June) caused some damage with many berries in bloom at the time.

Risk of frost!

frost

Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)

New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia are under a frost advisory for tonight and tomorrow night.

Cold air, light winds and few clouds will allow temperatures to fall near the freezing point and patchy frost is expected.

The average last frost date in spring for Greater Moncton is 23 May.

Farmers are already suffering from tremendous losses in the region with crops such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apples being hit by a recent hard frost with a low of -4 C in some areas.

June has gotten off to cold start with snow flurries reported in Charlottetown this week and accumulating snow in the highlands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Record lows in Maritimes

Temp0degrees
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)

Harvest Moon

The almost Full Harvest Moon over Moncton, NB, 04 Oct 2017

Under a mostly cloudy sky, it was difficult to capture the Full Harvest Moon in most of Southeast New Brunswick but I did manage to get a shot last night.

The Harvest Moon derives its name from when farmers used the moon’s bright light to help them gather crops for winter.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox which occurred on 22 September.

More snow in Alberta!

Heavy, wet snow snaps tree branches in Calgary, AB, 10 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

Heavy, wet snow snaps tree branches in Calgary, AB, 10 Sept 2014 (Twitter)

Snow can fall in virtually any month of the year in Alberta – especially in the Rockies and the foothills – but even this seems a little unusual for Calgary.

Temperatures hovered near freezing as Calgary had its second dose of snow this week which brought down tree branches still laden with leaves and power lines.

Thousands lost power and many residents were calling city crews to help clean up fallen trees which had blocked streets, sidewalks and toppled onto vehicles.

Farmers are concerned about losses during the harvest season with the heavy, wet snow virtually flattening many crops.

Frost advisory for Maritime Provinces

Lilacs in bloom (file)

Lilacs are finally showing blossoms in Greater Moncton (file)

A frost advisory is not too unusual for late May in New Brunswick but it is rare for the alert to be spread across all of the Maritime Provinces.

Environment Canada says even areas near the coast, which are typically milder overnight, will likely have frost tomorrow morning.

Farmers in the region are not too concerned since many are just now planting crops due to the cold, wet spring.

Garden and greenhouse centres are reporting a slow start thanks to the inclement weather.

BC battered by stormy weather

English Bay, Vancouver, BC, 29 Sept 2013 (PNG)

English Bay, Vancouver, BC, 29 Sept 2013 (PNG)

A wintry-like storm delivering heavy wind and rain battered Southwestern British Columbia over the weekend.

Meteorologists say wind gusts were hurricane-force at Tofino on Vancouver Island last night near 105 km/h.

Numerous ferry crossings had to be cancelled between the island and the mainland during the turbulent weather.

Meantime, apple growers in the Okanagan Valley are counting their losses today after a hail storm blew through the region yesterday.

One farmer may have lost about 60 percent of his crop according to a neighbour.

NB farmers worry about dry weather

A farm in SE New Brunswick (TWN)

A dry spring has led to a dry summer so far this year in New Brunswick.

July is nearly over and less than half of the normal amount of rain has fallen in Greater Moncton.

Meteorologists are not calling it a drought yet but farmers are worried.

A combination of heat and a lack of rain is causing everything from potatoes to grain crops to struggle this summer.