Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)
The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.
Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.
Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.
Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.
Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)
When the temperature dropped to -0.3 C early this morning, frost could be found in Greater Moncton.
The coldest low in New Brunswick was -5.9 C at Edmundston!
Thanks to cool, dry air with no cloud cover, Environment Canada has issued another frost advisory for tonight.
But keep in mind it’s not that unusual based on the 30-year average (1981-2010).
The average last spring frost date is 23 May in Greater Moncton and the first fall frost is 2 October for a growing season of 131 days.
An early sign of spring in downtown Moncton, 03 March 2018 (Dearing)
After days of cloudy skies and mostly dry conditions, it seems Old Man Winter is returning.
While no weather warnings are currently in place for Southeast New Brunswick, snowfall advisories have been issued for areas to the north and west.
Environment Canada says a low pressure system approaching from the U.S. Northeast could bring 10-15 cm of snow Thursday with a changeover to rain by evening as temperatures climb above freezing.
But another storm system will move into the region late Friday and into Saturday with rain changing over to snow.
And early next week could bring yet another storm system.
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)
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)
More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.
The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.
Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.
Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.
Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.
Santa Claus in downtown Moncton (City of Moncton/Facebook)
The Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is the unofficial start to the Christmas season in Southeast New Brunswick.
The weather was cooperative for Santa’s arrival this year with a mild 10 C when the parade started at 5pm with light winds under clear and dry conditions.
It was a different story last year with a chilly 3 C under a mostly cloudy sky with damp conditions.
An estimated 100,000 spectators come out to see the parade every year and this year the crowd seemed even larger.
Remembrance Day 2017 at Sunny Brae cenotaph in Moncton, 11 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
Remembrance Day 2017 was sunny but cold in Greater Moncton.
At 11am, the temperature was near freezing and it was dry with a westerly wind gusting at times to 40 km/h.
Despite the raw wind, it actually seemed warmer this year since in 2016 it was cloudy with a bone-chilling light rain.
Autumn 2017 – Abnormally dry (YELLOW), Moderate drought (TAN), courtesy Agriculture Canada
Central New Brunswick is experiencing a moderate drought while much of the rest of the province is abnormally dry except for the Acadian Peninsula according to Agriculture Canada.
Forecasters say two weather systems could bring as much as 100 mm of rain on Thursday and Friday which is welcome relief for a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.
Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for western and southern New Brunswick but the Southeast is expecting less than 40 mm.
Meantime, more record highs were broken across the Maritimes today as southerly air continued to push temperatures well into the 20’s C.
Wildfires destroy entire neighbourhoods in Santa Rosa, CA, USA, 11 Oct 2017 (Getty Images)
Fire officials say wildfires will get worse before getting better in the wine country of northern California.
High winds and dry conditions have fuelled the flames destroying entire neighbourhoods in Santa Rosa and at least 13 wineries been either damaged or completely wiped out.
The death toll stands at about 30 with many residents being found in their homes not being able to escape the fires.
More than 3,500 homes and buildings have been destroyed so far and firefighters continue knocking on doors trying to evacuate thousands more being affected by the catastrophic blazes.