December 2019 – Mild with little snow

Along Northumberland Strait, Beaubassin-est, NB, 29 December 2019 (Dearing)

It felt like winter was on pause during December in Southeast New Brunswick.

After significant snow on 07-08 November, many thought winter arrived early again.

But more rain fell and the heaviest snow was a mere 9 cm – paltry by Greater Moncton standards.

Although the temperature remained below freezing on 13 days and most daytime highs were just slightly above zero, the thermometer did climb above 10°C on four occasions.

DECEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 0.9°C

Average LOW -8.0°C

AVERAGE -3.6°C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 13.8°C (15 Dec)

Extreme LOW -15.1°C (27 Dec)

RAINFALL 56.9 mm (slightly ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 26.0 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

White Christmas

Light snow falls on Boxing Day, Truro, NS, 26 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Despite a relatively snow-free December, Greater Moncton still managed to have a White Christmas this year after all – but just barely.

Environment Canada reports 2 cm of snow on the ground at the airport Christmas morning which fits its official definition.

Other parts of southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did not have snow including in Truro where I spent the holiday.

Meteorologists say odds of a White Christmas have decreased in recent years.

Here are the odds for select Canadian cities (1994-2017 versus 1955-2017):

  • Moncton – 65% / 73%
  • Fredericton – 50% / 76%
  • Saint John – 45% / 60%
  • Charlottetown – 55% / 78%
  • Halifax – 40% / 54%
  • Montreal – 70% / 76%
  • Toronto – 45% / 52%
  • Winnipeg – 100% / 98%
  • Calgary – 60% / 59%
  • Vancouver – 10% / 10%

Wind & rain cause damage

Roof damage at apartment building, Heather Way, 10 Dec 2019 (City of Saint John)

Strong winds and heavy rain from a strong low pressure system caused damage to properties and localized flooding in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The Saint John area was hard hit with wind gusts up to 95 km/h which led to power outages and roof damage to at least two apartment buildings.

No one was hurt but all tenants were evacuated and assisted by the Red Cross.

Many roads were closed due to flooding or fallen trees and there were voluntary evacuations in Sussex in low lying areas.

The storm also brought mild, record-breaking temperatures with highs of 11°C in Edmundston and 12°C in Bathurst and Woodstock.

Greater Moncton hit 13.7°C but the record for 10 December was 15°C from 1957.

Rainfall totals (in mm) as of 8am on 10 December 2019:

  • Mechanic Settlement, NB  94 mm
  • Saint John Airport  63 mm
  • Kejimkujik NP, NS  53 mm
  • Dorchester, NB  50 mm
  • Yarmouth, NS  43 mm
  • Halifax (city)  48 mm
  • Fredericton  33 mm
  • Greater Moncton 26 mm

Peak wind gusts (km/h):

  • Cheticamp area, NS  135
  • Sydney  106
  • Halifax (Shearwater)  102
  • Saint John Airport  95
  • Lunenburg  92
  • Grand Manan, NB  89

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

First -10°C low in the fall

First -10
Although it seems like really cold weather arrived earlier than usual, the chart above shows a drop of -10°C occurred on the same date last year in Greater Moncton – 14 November.

Over the last seven years, the temperature has gotten that cold between mid-November and early December.

The thermometer will likely sink to -15°C sometime later next month.

The last time it dropped that low in Southeast New Brunswick was 10 March.

Hello Spring!

img_1775

Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)

The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.

The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.

To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:

  • Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
  • Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
  • Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Winter 2018-19 in Review

Winter 18-19
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.

In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.

Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.

December 2018 – Cold & dry

Sun glistening on the ice of Shediac Bay, 30 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

December turned out to be another cold month in Greater Moncton continuing a trend which began in October.

An early Arctic air mass kept daytime highs below freezing for a lengthy ten day stretch.

The month did prove to be less stormier than November with below normal rainfall and snowfall.

While Southeast New Brunswick had a snow cover for a few weeks prior to Christmas, it had mostly disappeared by 25 December.

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

Average HIGH -1.6°C

Average LOW -10.2°C

AVERAGE -5.9°C (about 1.1 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 12.8°C (22 Dec)

Extreme LOW -16.5°C (09 Dec)

RAINFALL 46.8 mm (slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 34.7 cm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record highs in Maritimes

St. George Gorge, Magaguadavic River, NB, 22 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

Warm, moist air with southerly winds pushed temperatures into record high territory across the Maritimes on Saturday.

Greater Moncton reached a high of 12.8 C which was actually a bit shy of the 1973 record of 14.4 C.

New record highs for 22 December:

  • Greenwood, NS  16.8 C
  • St. Stephen, NB  14.7 C
  • Saint John, NB  14.1 C
  • Fredericton, NB  13.0 C
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  13.6 C
  • Alma. NB  12.9 C
  • Kouchibouguac, NB  12.9 C
  • St. Peters, PEI  12.2 C

Snowstorm departs, rainstorm coming

Reservoir at Irishtown Nature Park, 16 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

More than 24 hours after it started, snow finally stopped falling in Southeast New Brunswick and a slow moving low pressure system headed to western Newfoundland.

Greater Moncton picked up between 20 and 25 cm and schools in the region were closed for two days.

Higher amounts of snow fell in western New Brunswick, western Prince Edward Island and the Cape Breton Highlands.

Environment Canada says the next major weather should arrive Friday with warm, moist air boosting temperatures and bringing significant rainfall.

Calm before the storm

Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 16 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

The first half of December has been cold in Southeast New Brunswick and relatively calm but that is about to change.

Environment Canada says a slow moving low pressure system will bring rain and snow to most of the Maritimes.

The snow will begin Monday afternoon in Greater Moncton and continue into Tuesday with up 20 cm in total expected.

The latest storm follows three days with above freezing temperatures after a lengthy early winter cold snap.