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.
Extremely dry ground and brown grass in NE Moncton, 30 Aug 2017 (Dearing)
The dry summer in Southeast New Brunswick continued in August with a dangerous forest fire hazard and little precipitation to soak the parched ground.
A dry trend which began in late June continued during the month with less than 50 mm of rain falling in Greater Moncton.
Temperatures were above normal with daytime highs consistently in the high 20’s Celsius but a string of single digit overnight lows during the final week brought down the overall monthly average.
AUGUST 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 25.6 C
Average LOW 11.9 C
AVERAGE 18.9 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.6 C (04 Aug)
Extreme LOW 7.2 C (28 Aug)
RAINFALL 46.8 mm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Tinder dry grass in west end Moncton, 03 Aug 2017 (Dearing)
Provincial officials say the fire hazard in New Brunswick is at its highest level in over 20 years.
A fire ban has been in place for days which means campers have to find other ways to roast marshmallows.
The province took a rare step today by restricting forestry operations during peak daytime hours.
Southeast New Brunswick currently has an extreme fire hazard and Greater Moncton has not recorded any significant rain since 21 July.
Upper Salmon River, Alma, NB, 30 July 2017 (Dearing)
As the month of July progressed in Southeast New Brunswick, lawns turned brown and forests became extremely dry as temperatures soared and little rain fell.
Greater Moncton only received one-third of its normal monthly rainfall and 15 days had no precipitation at all.
The heat was steady throughout July with 20 days reaching 25 C or higher and four days climbing to 30 C or more.
A brief cool down near month end lowered daytime highs to the low 20s Celsius and brought a chilly overnight low of 6.9 C.
JULY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 26.0 C
Average LOW 12.3 C
AVERAGE 19.2 C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (31 July)
Extreme LOW 6.9 C (23 July)
RAINFALL 30.0 mm (about 67 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)