Heat wave ends

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Thundershower as cold front sweeps Greater Moncton, 06 July 2018 (91.9 The Bend)

The passing of a cold front led to showers and thundershowers in Southeast New Brunswick today marking the end of hot, humid weather.

Environment Canada has noted Greater Moncton endured an official heat wave by definition with three straight days of at least 32°C.

The trio of record highs this week:

JULY 3rd : 31.6 C (new), 31.0 C (old record 1984)

JULY 4th : 33.4 C (new), 31.6 C (old record 2013)

JULY 5th : 34.2 C (new), 32.7 C (old record 2013)

The hotspot in New Brunswick on 05 July was a scorching 36.0 C at Miramichi and not far behind was 35.5 C at Kouchibouguac National Park.

As the heat subsides in Eastern Canada, hot weather is building in Western Canada with an impressive record high today of 39.3 C at Val Marie, Saskatchewan.

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June 2018 – Cold nights, plenty of rain

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Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 June 2018 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton has endured the coolest June in recent memory and while daytime highs were close to normal – with a few exceptions – overnight lows were cold, even frosty at times during the first half of the month.

A hard frost on 04 June with a record breaking low of -3.2 C was devastating for agriculture across New Brunswick especially in the Southeast.

Farmers suffered major damage – in some cases 50 to 80 percent losses – to crops such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

Oddly enough, the temperature had not been that low in all of May and not since 16 April had it been at least that cold.

Rainfall was about 60 percent above normal and was confined to a handful of major rain events with nine days being completely dry.

JUNE 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  20.3°C

Average LOW  6.6°C

AVERAGE  13.5°C (about 1.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  29.7°C (01 June)

Extreme LOW  -3.2°C (04 June)

RAINFALL  154.0 mm (about 60 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Juneuary!

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Snow falls in Gander, NL (GNL Highway Cameras)

When it snows in June it might as well be January which gives us a new month called Juneuary!

It may now be summer but an icy rain changed to snow in central Newfoundland and the Cape Breton Highlands today.

Gander set a new record with 2 cm of snow and Environment Canada said it has never snowed on 26 June before.

Thanks to a chilly rain, Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of only 11.0 C yesterday which was colder than the average overnight low of 12 C.

Average temperatures in Southeast New Brunswick have been running about three degrees below normal this month.

Goodbye Spring!

Dorchester Beach, NB, 17 June 2018 (Dearing)

Spring had its inevitable ups and downs in Southeast New Brunswick but overall the average temperature was close to normal for March, April and May.

March was very stormy with a parade of Nor’easters which led to the highest snow depth of the winter in Greater Moncton by the end of the month.

April was slightly colder than normal with chilly nights until mid-month and the last measurable snow fell on the 21st.

May had slightly above normal temperatures overall thanks to 14 days with daytime highs of 20 C or more but nights remained cold with single digit lows.

So far this June, the mean temperature is running three degrees below average with a hard frost on the 4th which was the coldest minimum since 16 April.

METEOROLOGICAL SPRING at the Greater Moncton International Airport

MARCH 2018
Average -1.7 C (1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Snowfall: well above normal, Rainfall: well below normal

APRIL 2018
Average 3.2 C (0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Snowfall: below normal, Rainfall: above normal

MAY 2018
Average 10.3 C (0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)
Rainfall: below normal, Snowfall: nil

May 2018 – Warm days, cold nights

Magnolia trees in bloom at Moncton City Hall, 16 May 2018 (Dearing)

While daytime highs were near or slightly above normal during May in Greater Moncton, overnight lows were chilly with frost and freezing temperatures throughout the month.

Fourteen days had highs of 20 C or more while eight days had lows near or slightly below freezing.

Precipitation was slightly below normal with most of the rainfall recorded during the first third of the month.

By mid-month, the landscape become more colourful as trees and bushes began to bloom and leaf out.

MAY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  18.1°C

Average LOW  2.5°C

AVERAGE  10.3°C (about 0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  27.8°C (31 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.0°C (12 May)

RAINFALL  82.5 mm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

They’re back!

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Dandelions growing in NE Moncton, 02 May 2018 (Dearing)

Dandelions have made their return to Southeast New Brunswick a little later than usual thanks to a cold spring.

The yellow plants or weeds were spotted today when the temperature climbed to 24.5 C in Greater Moncton – the warmest high so far this year.

The hotspot in New Brunswick was St. Stephen at 29 C and Fredericton was not far behind at 28 C.

But a cold front is pushing through the province which will bring rain and dramatically lower temperatures overnight with single digit highs expected tomorrow.

April 2018 – Spring sputters

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Tree is budding at Fairview Knoll Park, NE Moncton, 28 April 2018 (Dearing)

Spring was mostly absent during the first two-thirds of April in Greater Moncton with daytime highs often barely above freezing and overnight lows which were much colder than normal.

Suddenly spring arrived during the last third of the month when temperatures jumped to 20 C and higher by day and above freezing by night.

While more rain fell during April compared to average, snowfall was scant which led to below normal precipitation overall.

The seasonal snow cover finally melted by mid-month but it had disappeared twice (late January and early March) since mid-December.

APRIL 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  8.1 C

Average LOW  -1.8 C

AVERAGE  3.2 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  21.2 C (24 April)

Extreme LOW  -9.6 C (16 April)

RAINFALL  73.4 mm (slightly ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  8.4 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Bitter cold in the West

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Winter just won’t let go in Western Canada with Environment Canada noting the duration and intensity of the current cold snap hasn’t been felt since April 1970.

The polar vortex is to blame as the pool of Arctic air sinks south into the Prairies.

Daytime highs in southern Alberta are only climbing to -7 C with overnight lows in the -20’s C in Saskatchewan and -30’s C in Manitoba.

Forecasters say the bitter cold will hang around until the weekend.

February 2018 – Warm with more rain

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Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring, 02 Feb 2018 (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, NS)

The first half of February in Southeast New Brunswick was decidedly winter with frigid overnight lows dropping to a numbing -21 C in the first few days alone.

But the second half of the month was spring-like with most daytime highs above freezing and more tolerable minimums.

The average monthly temperature for Greater Moncton was about 3.2 degrees above normal and anything above 2 degrees is considered significant in meteorology.

Precipitation was slightly above average with more rain than snow falling compared to normal.

FEBRUARY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  1.0 C

Average LOW  -9.7 C

AVERAGE  -4.4 C (about 3.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  12.9 C (21 Feb)

Extreme LOW  -20.5 C (03 Feb)

RAINFALL  42.0 mm (more than 30 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  49.2 cm (about 25 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Escaping a strange winter

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The beaches of Varadero, Cuba, 15 February 2018 (Dearing)

Let’s face it, winter in Southeast New Brunswick has been a volatile roller coaster ride with wildly fluctuating temperatures and unusual amounts of mixed precipitation.

I wanted an escape, so a two-week vacation getaway to Cuba was in order.

From 06-20 February, the island’s most popular beach destination of Varadero enjoyed daytime highs in the upper 20s C with glorious sunshine and just a few passing clouds.

Winter is the dry season in Cuba and precipitation was light except for a lengthy downpour of rain during just one early morning.

Varadero has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and millions of international visitors – mostly Canadians – flock there every year.