After a cold and wet spring in New Brunswick, what will summer be like?
The Weather Network has unveiled its summer 2019 forecast and if you were hoping for warmer temperatures, it appears you may have to wait a little longer.
TWN suggests the season will be changeable and humid with cool weather in June but warmer than normal temperatures arriving in July stretching into August.
Extended periods of dry weather could lead to short term drought in parts of the Maritimes but overall precipitation will likely be near normal.
What about the spring 2019 forecast from The Weather Network?
TWN noted a cold wave in early March would be followed by a warmer pattern later in the month with more consistent spring-like weather by early April.
Both temperatures and precipitation were expected to be near normal.
So was the seasonal forecast accurate?
While early March was cold in Greater Moncton with a bitter low of -20.1 C, a warmer pattern never really developed except for a brief shot of warmth at month end.
April had some warmth in the middle but that fizzled near the end and while May started off strong, a cold pattern held steady for the second half of the month.
Precipitation was below seasonal in March, well above average in April and slightly above normal for May.
Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 31 Mar 2019 (Dearing)
March seemed quite cold overall in Southeast New Brunswick especially given some frigid overnight lows during the first ten days of the month.
Daytime highs improved dramatically after that culminating with a maximum of 16.8°C on the 31st.
However, only two days recorded temperatures with both highs and lows above freezing.
The month was also very dry with less than half of the normal rainfall and snowfall received.
MARCH 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 2.4°C
Average LOW -7.4°C
AVERAGE -2.5°C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 16.8°C (31 Mar)
Extreme LOW -18.7°C (08 Mar)
RAINFALL 26.4 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 35.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
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)
The Weather Network believes the harsh winter conditions this November in New Brunswick are just a preview of the upcoming season.
Temperatures will likely be below normal this season but periods of mild weather can still be expected.
An active storm track along the Atlantic coast will mean many systems delivering above average precipitation including snow, rain and freezing rain.
A developing El Nino should bring a warmer, drier winter for Western Canada and a colder, wetter winter from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada.
Heavy rain is not exactly being welcomed in California despite recent wildfires in the northern and southern parts of the state which have been ferocious and deadly.
Officials are now warning about the threat of mudslides as rain falls on dry or parched land and it runs downhill bringing rocks and debris with it.
About 100 mm of rain could fall in the north where the so-called Camp Fire has wiped out the mountain town of Paradise, north of the state capital Sacramento, claiming more than 77 lives with 1,000 still missing.
In the south, nearly 50 mm could dampen the so-called Woolsey Fire in the western suburbs of Los Angeles which has claimed at least three lives and destroyed some of America’s most expensive real estate including the homes of numerous Hollywood celebrities.
The cause of both fires is still under investigation but a lawsuit alleges problems with electricity transmission lines may have played a role.
Actor Gerard Butler in front of his destroyed home in Malibu, CA, USA, 11 Nov 2018 (Instagram)
Fall foliage along St George Boulevard, Moncton, 13 Oct 2018 (Dearing)
The brilliant fall foliage hues of red, orange and gold have reached their peak in Southeast New Brunswick.
Leaves have already begun falling to the ground and the season is already past peak across the northern part of the province.
Experts say the colours have peaked about a week later than usual thanks to a hot, dry summer which caused stress for leaves.
The drought was relatively short-lived with a plentiful amount of rain recorded so far this autumn.
Tall trees in Irishtown Nature Park, 26 August 2018 (Dearing)
A hot July also translated into a hot August in what has to be one of the warmest summers in Southeast New Brunswick since 1940.
In Greater Moncton, the thermometer climbed to 30°C or higher on 6 days during August and never dropped below 18°C during 9 overnights.
Fans, air conditioners and other cooling units sold out at stores across the region and many weren’t able to reorder more.
Although it seemed rather dry, rainfall was actually slightly above average thanks to a single rain event which delivered nearly 60 mm which is 60 percent of the monthly total.
AUGUST 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 26.2°C
Average LOW 14.6°C
AVERAGE 20.4°C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 31.6°C (06 Aug)
Extreme LOW 9.7°C (31 Aug)
RAINFALL 100.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
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.