Winter storm sweeps Eastern Canada

Snow falls in NE Moncton, 27 Feb 2020 (Dearing)

A major winter storm moved across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada delivering snow, rain, freezing rain, strong winds and ice pellets.

Police told drivers to stay off the roads, many flights were grounded, schools closed and some businesses shut down.

Almost 17 cm of snow/ice pellets fell in Greater Moncton which made roads treacherous and forced the transit system to cancel service by late afternoon.

Snowfall amounts (in cm):

  • Mont-Laurier, QC 49
  • Pembroke, ON 34
  • Gaspe, QC 25 to 45
  • Ingonish Beach, NS 25
  • Miramichi, NB 22
  • Quebec City area 20 to 40
  • Edmundston, NB 18
  • Greater Moncton 17
  • Ottawa 17
  • Fredericton 16
  • Toronto Pearson 15
  • London 12
  • Greater Montreal 5 to 15
  • St. John’s 11

Duration of freezing rain (in hours):

  • CFB Trenton 7
  • Kingston 5
  • Ottawa 1.5

Rainfall (in mm):

  • Western Head, NS 47
  • Shelburne, NS 34

Wind gusts (in km/h):

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, NS 181
  • Wreckhouse, NL 181
  • Yarmouth, NS 118
  • Port aux Basques, NL 123
  • Quebec City 102
  • Stephenville, NL 100
  • Picton area, ON 101
  • Sydney, NS 93
  • Halifax Stanfield 89
  • Toronto Billy Bishop 82

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2019

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Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.

Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:

  1. Another record Ottawa River flood
  2. Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
  3. Snowy Prairie autumn
  4. Bitterly cold February nationwide
  5. Record heat continues in the Arctic
  6. Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
  7. Blustery Halloween in the East
  8. Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
  9. More flooding along the St. John River
  10. Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned

Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:

  • New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
  • January Maritime storm included every type of weather
  • Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
  • February storm causes road closures in Labrador
  • Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
  • March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
  • October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain

Early blast of Arctic air

The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.

New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.

The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.

The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.

Hottest weather yet?

Saint John River at Perth-Andover, NB, 16 July 2019 (Dearing)

The next heat wave across Eastern Canada could be the warmest period yet this summer with daytime highs in the low 30’s C and humidex values near 40.

Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec have been blanketed with heat warnings from Environment Canada with hot, humid days and warm nights expected this weekend.

Temperatures in the Maritimes for Saturday and Sunday could reach 30 C but a cold front will bring cooler and drier air by Monday.

A mini heat wave already brought highs of 29 C and 30 C earlier this week in Greater Moncton.

Hurricane season begins

2018 hurricanes

Today marks the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season which will run until the end of November.

For a record fifth consecutive year, storm activity began before the 01 June official start date when Subtropical Storm Andrea formed on 20 May.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a near normal season with 9–15 named systems, 4–8 hurricanes, and 2–4 major hurricanes.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre begins issuing statements when a storm is within three days of entering a response zone covering Eastern Canada and adjacent waters.

Spring-like in Eastern Canada

Ahead of a Colorado Low, a mild southerly air flow moved across Eastern Canada resulting in record high temperatures from Southern Ontario to New Brunswick.

The thermometer climbed to a balmy 7.2 C in Greater Moncton but it was shy of the 1962 record of 11.1 C.

Among the locations setting new maximums in New Brunswick on 05 February:

Bouctouche
Tied record of 8.5 set in 2018
Records since 1965

Fredericton
New record of 11.3
Old record of 8.3 set in 1890
Records since 1871

St. Stephen
New record of 12.4
Old record of 9.9 set in 2006
Records since 1898

Woodstock
New record of 10.1
Old record of 7.8 set in 1890
Records since 1886

New record highs set in Ontario included:

St. Catharines
New record 15.1
Old record 13.0 in 1991
Records began in 1902

London
New record 10.0
Old record 9.9 in 1991
Records began in 1941

Kitchener
New record 11.3
Old record 7.8 in 1962
Records began in 1915

Hamilton Airport
New record 12.1
Old record 10.6 in 1991
Records began in 1960

Toronto Pearson Airport
New record 12.7
Old record 11.0 in 1991
Records began in 1970

Peterborough
New record 10.3
Old record 9.0 in 1991
Records began in 1968

Trenton Airport
New record 10.8
Old record 9.2 in 1991
Records began in 1970

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Gordon hits U.S. Gulf Coast

Strong waves crashing ashore at Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA, 04 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Tropical Storm Gordon has claimed at least one life after striking the American Gulf Coast late Tuesday near the Alabama-Mississippi border.

Authorities say strong winds caused a tree to fall on a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida where a child was found deceased.

The U.S. National Hurricane Centre says Gordon weakened as it moved inland and was not powerful enough to reach hurricane status.

Tornado warnings were issued after radar showed possible twisters stemming from the storm.

Forecasters say as much as 200 cm of rain (almost 80 inches) could fall and the system could have an impact on Eastern Canada by early next week.

Heat wave ends

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Thundershower as cold front sweeps Greater Moncton, 06 July 2018 (91.9 The Bend)

The passing of a cold front led to showers and thundershowers in Southeast New Brunswick today marking the end of hot, humid weather.

Environment Canada has noted Greater Moncton endured an official heat wave by definition with three straight days of at least 32°C.

The trio of record highs this week:

JULY 3rd : 31.6 C (new), 31.0 C (old record 1984)

JULY 4th : 33.4 C (new), 31.6 C (old record 2013)

JULY 5th : 34.2 C (new), 32.7 C (old record 2013)

The hotspot in New Brunswick on 05 July was a scorching 36.0 C at Miramichi and not far behind was 35.5 C at Kouchibouguac National Park.

As the heat subsides in Eastern Canada, hot weather is building in Western Canada with an impressive record high today of 39.3 C at Val Marie, Saskatchewan.

Strong winds cause destruction in Eastern Canada

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Tree falls near school bus in Mississauga, Ontario, 04 May 2018 (Twitter/Peel Regional Police)

A rapidly deepening low pressure system created strong winds gusting to hurricane-strength across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec on Friday knocking down trees and power lines causing massive outages.

Three people were killed by fallen trees and a school bus filled with children in Mississauga had a near miss.

Toronto Pearson Airport had a maximum wind gust of 119 km/h while Montreal Trudeau Airport recorded 117 km/h – both are the windiest days ever in May.

Winds were also powerful on Saturday in Greater Moncton with a wind gust of 100 km/h – the strongest since January.

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2017

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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