Environment Canada issued a flash freeze warning for much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island early today.
A low pressure system brought snow, later rain and then snow again after the temperature plummeted as Arctic air pushed back into the region.
The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 3.0 C at 11am and pooling water began freezing when the thermometer dropped below freezing by 3pm.
By early Saturday, forecasters say the low could drop to -19 C but temperatures will moderate on Sunday before falling again on Monday.
A snow free downtown Moncton, 28 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
With a daytime high of 7 C, it felt more like spring than midwinter along the Riverfront Trail in Moncton today.
Skateboarders instead of snowshoers were found along with joggers in shorts and T-shirts and a group having a picnic in the late afternoon sun.
A lack of snow cancelled numerous winter activities this weekend and ski resorts put snowmaking machines into overdrive to open just a handful of runs.
Environment Canada says winter is returning with a low pressure system arriving Tuesday with up to 15 cm of snow possible in Southeast New Brunswick.
Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)
After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.
The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.
Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.
Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)
Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.
Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.
Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)
A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.
The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.
Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.
While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.
Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.
But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.
After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.
Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).
DECEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.5 C
Average LOW -10.7 C
AVERAGE -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 11.1 C (06 Dec)
Extreme LOW -21.8 C (31 Dec)
RAINFALL 39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Frigid temperatures across Canada, observed 8am AST 28 Dec 2017
This is Canada and we know it gets cold in the winter but the bitter Arctic air which has enveloped almost the entire country is a bit unusual so early in the season.
Environment Canada says the size of the cold wave – from interior British Columbia to Atlantic Canada – and the duration of the frigid weather are exceptional for late December.
Meteorologists say 1993 was the last time there was a similar cold spell between Christmas and New Year’s.
Only the coast of British Columbia will escape the worst but even there, daytime temperatures will barely climb above freezing.
A ridge of clouds as the sun rises over northern Nova Scotia near Truro, 15 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
A ridge of clouds as the sun rose over northern Nova Scotia was an awesome sight to behold during a trip from Moncton to Halifax on Friday.
Although Greater Moncton lost most of its snow cover due to rain a few days ago, Truro picked up some snow early Friday (5-10 cm) but Halifax was snow-free.
The Nova Scotia capital did pick up a few centimetres early Saturday but Truro and Moncton didn’t.
But the entire Maritimes is under an Arctic air mass which has brought cold wind chills to -25 and daytime highs well below freezing.
Residents of Alberta were golfing rather than skiing this weekend as chinook-like weather brought record high temperatures.
On 09 December, Calgary set a new record of 15.4 C which broke the old record by one full degree from 1890.
The normal daytime high for Calgary is -1 C with an overnight low of -13 C.
Other records were set in Claresholm which hit a summer-like 20.3 C while Sundre reached 16.3 C.
Environment Canada says double digit highs are likely for at least the next few days.
Heavy rain falls in northeast Moncton, 22 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
A low pressure system from the southwest brought significant rainfall for southern New Brunswick.
Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning with up to 50 mm expected along the Fundy coast, Greater Moncton and the Kennebecasis Valley.
Drivers are being warned about water pooling on roads and flash flooding.
Falling from a daytime high of 13 C to an overnight low of zero, rain could turn to snow with a slight accumulation possible.
Snow falling in west end Moncton, 10 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
A low pressure system moved into New Brunswick today bringing heavy rain accompanied by a vigorous cold front with Arctic air behind it.
As a result, the temperature in Greater Moncton plunged dramatically in just one hour – from a daytime high of 10.3 C at 11am to only 1.8 C by noon.
The thermometer continued to drop below freezing and rain turned to snow before the sky cleared in the late afternoon.
Environment Canada is forecasting a cold but dry weekend with sunshine and temperatures at or slightly above freezing.