August 2017 – Dry summer persists

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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)

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N.B. halts forestry operations amid extreme dryness

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.

July 2017 – Warm and dry

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)

Dry July in Southeast N.B.

Grass turning brown in NE Moncton, 26 July 2017 (Dearing)

Lawns are turning brown and gardens are thirsty in Southeast New Brunswick given the light amount of precipitation recorded so far this month.

Environment Canada says 29.8 mm of rain has fallen this July in Greater Moncton compared to an average of 92.1 mm – just under one-third of normal.

No significant rainfall is expected before the end of the month.

By contrast, parts of neighbouring Nova Scotia have been much wetter than normal with 135 mm to date at Halifax Stanfield Airport.

Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Decent first half of July

An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)


For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July. 

After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal. 

Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on  05 July. 

The only concern is a lack of rainfall. 

The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick. 

(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)

Thousands evacuated in B.C. wildfires 

Wildfire north of Cache Creek, BC, 07 July 2017 (BC Transportation/Twitter)


A state of emergency is in place across British Columbia which gives government special authority over more than 230 wildfires. 

B.C. wildfire officials say weeks of hot, dry weather combined with strong winds and dry lightning have led to almost 16,000 hectares being burned so far. 

More than 7,000 residents in the Interior and Cariboo regions have been evacuated from communities like Cache Creek, Princeton, Ashcroft and 100 Mile House to be housed in Kamloops. 

Temperatures remain hot in these areas this weekend soaring above 30 C. 

Snow falls in Sahara Desert

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Snow covers red sand dunes, Ain Sefra, Algeria, 19 Dec 2016 (Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson)

One of the hottest places on Earth has recorded a light snowfall for the first time in 37 years – since February 1979.

In the normally dry, hot Sahara desert, snow fell in the town of Ain Sefra, Algeria on 19 December.

The snow stayed for almost a day before it melted away.

A “Gateway to the Desert,” Ain Sefra is 1,078 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.

November 2016 – Mild and dry

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Remembrance Day service at Sunny Brae cenotaph, Moncton, 11 Nov 2016 (Twitter)

The first two-thirds of November proved to be mostly mild and dry in Greater Moncton although small amounts of rain did fall on most days.

The last ten days of the month took a decidedly colder turn and while overnight lows weren’t very cold, daytime highs struggled in the low single digits.

A blast of winter came at the very end with 26 cm of heavy, wet snow which brought up precipitation amounts but the total was still almost 40 percent below normal.

NOVEMBER 2016 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  7.2 C

Average LOW  0.5 C

AVERAGE  3.8 C (about 1.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  13.7 C (14 November)

Extreme LOW  -4.6 C (29 November)

RAINFALL  35.8 mm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  28.1 cm (about 30 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Autumn officially arrives

Spring equinox

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Autumn arrived in New Brunswick at 11:21 AM (Atlantic Time) today.

The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun is directly overhead at the equator and days and nights are about equal in length.

The sun continues to move south of the equator and the amount of daylight decreases until the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) on 21 December.

The leaves are just starting to change colour in Greater Moncton.

Given the dry summer in much of the Maritimes, experts say the fall colours may not be as vibrant and the leaves could drop off earlier than usual.