Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)
A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.
More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.
Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.
Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.
Freezing rain coats a railing in NE Moncton, 25 March 2016 (Dearing)
After several hours of periodic freezing rain in Greater Moncton, Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning late today but Fredericton and western New Brunswick were expected to be hardest hit.
Snowfall warnings are posted in northern New Brunswick where up to 25 cm could fall by tonight.
Forecasters say this Colorado Low will move out of the province overnight and weather conditions will improve for the rest of the Easter weekend.
Melting snow in west end Moncton, 24 March 2016 (Dearing)
With a Colorado Low heading to New Brunswick tomorrow bringing a mixed bag of precipitation, travel could be tricky as the Easter long weekend begins.
Environment Canada has issued snowfall and freezing rain warnings for most of the province except the south from an area including Greater Moncton to Saint John and St. Stephen.
The storm originated over the American Rockies in Colorado where more than 30 cm of snow fell before it swept across the Great Plains along with Ontario and Quebec.
NB Power says it is ready for the storm with staff on standby and 60 contractor crews spread over key areas of the province in the event of outages.
Fast melting icicles in NE Moncton neighbourhood, 05 April 2015 (Dearing)
While Christmas was mild and wet in Southeast New Brunswick, Easter turned out to be cold and white and it felt like December.
A low pressure system delivered almost 10 mm rain yesterday before the thermometer dropped below freezing and precipitation turned to snow.
Less than 5 cm fell and given the strong power of the sun in April, the snow and even icicles melted quickly.
Temperatures continue to be cold in what many are calling “sprinter” – a hybrid of spring and winter – and an overnight low of -16 C overnight could break a record
The coldest temperature ever recorded for 31 March was set in Braemar, Scotland with a low today of -12.5°C.
It was also chilly in London this morning with a low of -2.8°C, several degrees below normal.
The UK Met Office reports that the average monthly temperature across the entire United Kingdom was 2.5-3.0°C below normal – the coldest March since 1962.
Meanwhile in Greater Moncton, it was a pleasant Easter day with sunshine and a high of 10.0°C – the warmest daytime high of the month.
Snow in Fredericton NB, 08 April 2012 (Dearing photo)
Happy Easter and happy snow!?!
A low pressure system over the Gulf of St. Lawrence has delivered heavy, wet snow to eastern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia.
Snowfall amounts (as of 9 pm ADT according to Environment Canada) have ranged from 10 cm in Bathurst to 22 cm in Moncton.
The snow may not be a welcome sight but the precipitation is needed during a very dry spring to date.
Rain is in the forecast for the next few days so the snow won’t be around for long.
April can be an unpredictable month for weather in Southeast New Brunswick and this Easter weekend is no exception.
Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Greater Moncton with up to 20 cm expected starting tonight.
A low pressure system is moving into the region and will lie over the Gulf of St. Lawrence bringing snow and strong northerly winds.
These winds combined with high tide will produce strong waves and rough pounding surf along the shorelines overnight and into Sunday afternoon.
We were definitely spoiled last week in Southeast New Brunswick.
Not only did it feel like spring, it felt like summer with temperatures hitting all-time March records in the high 20’s Celsius – the likes of which we will probably never see again in our lifetimes.
That’s why when temperatures barely climbed above freezing this week – keep in mind the NORMAL high for late March in Greater Moncton is a mere 6 C – we shiver in our shoes.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the region can expect NORMAL temperatures but the long range outlook for Easter weekend calls for chilly, less than spring-like conditions according to Accuweather.com.