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.
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