Hello Spring!

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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)

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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.

Bitter cold hangs on

Irishtown Nature Park reservoir is already frozen, 01 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

An Arctic air mass continues to have its grip over the Maritimes with today marking the sixth day of below freezing temperatures in Greater Moncton.

The early morning lows dropped to -16.1°C yesterday and -16.5°C today.

Brisk northwest winds have also created bitter wind chills into the -20s this weekend giving a risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

The normal high for early December is 0°C and the low is -8°C.

Environment Canada says temperatures may not climb above freezing until Friday making this one of the longest cold snaps in recent memory.

Winter 2017/18 – Riding a Rollercoaster!

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A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.

What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.

Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.

WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Average LOW  -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

AVERAGE  -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 February)

RAINFALL  134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

 

Flooding in northern France

A street lamp and a tree are seen on the flooded banks of the River Seine in Paris

Flooding along the River Seine in Paris, France, 27 Jan 2018 (Reuters)

According to France’s meteorological agency, rain in December and January has led to the third wettest period ever in Paris which is why the River Seine and other tributaries in northern France have spilled their banks.

The river is expected to peak on Sunday at 6 metres – normally it measures 2 metres – slightly below the exceptional flooding in 2016 and the disastrous flood of 1910.

Some riverside restaurants have been submerged and roads and parks have been closed due to high water levels.

All boat traffic on the Seine has been halted including tourist cruises, some Metro stations are shuttered and the Louvre has shut down the museum’s lower level as a precaution.

December 2017 – Cold and dry

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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)