Snowstorm sweeps Southeastern U.S.

Southeast USA snowstorm

Man cuts fallen tree blocking a road in South Carolina, 09 Dec 2018 (Reuters)

Several deaths have been reported after a massive snowstorm buried parts of the Southeastern United States with more than 30 cm falling in several major cities to as much as 60 cm in the Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina and Virginia were especially hard hit by the storm system which slowly moved out into the Atlantic Ocean today.

Highways became hazardous as snowy, icy conditions led to hundreds of collisions, dozens of flights were cancelled and schools and businesses shut down.

About 300,000 customers also lost electricity during the peak as the storm knocked trees onto power lines.

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Powerful winds pummel Maritimes

Tree topples over following powerful winds, 04 Nov 2018 (NB Power)

An intense low pressure system moving up from the U.S. Eastern Seaboard brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Maritimes overnight.

The powerful hurricane-force gusts knocked out electricity to more than 100,000 customers in New Brunswick during the height of the storm.

Temperatures were very mild thanks to a southerly flow with highs exceeding 20°C in some areas including a new record of 21.7°C in Cheticamp.

Rainfall amounts (mm):

  • Kejimkujik, NS  93
  • Alma, NB  85
  • Greater Moncton  69
  • Fredericton  64
  • Saint John  60
  • Summerside, PEI  58
  • Halifax Stanfield  45

Wind gusts (km/h):

  • Bouctouche, NB  119
  • North Cape, PEI  117
  • Greater Moncton  110
  • North Mountain, NS  108
  • Grand Etang, NS  106
  • Fredericton  102
  • Saint John  100
  • Halifax Stanfield  100

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Deadly mudslides in California

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Aftermath of mudslides in Santa Barbara, CA, USA, 09 Jan 2018 (US Coast Guard)

Only a month after California endured searing wildfires, the southern part of the state is now grappling with deadly mudslides thanks to heavy rain and barren ground from a recently scorched landscape.

Santa Barbara County has been the hardest hit area with hundreds of homes damaged and at least 65 destroyed.

The death toll stands at 17 with almost 30 injured and more than 40 reported missing.

Thousands lost electricity and a portion of a major highway (US 101) had to be temporarily closed due to the mud which covered it.

Microburst in Montreal

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Damage from microburst in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal, QC, 22 Aug 2017 (Instagram)


A sudden and powerful storm which meteorologists call a microburst created a path of damage in Montreal which included the Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough.

Strong, gusty linear winds up to 120 km/h brought down trees and power lines leaving thousands without electricity on Tuesday.

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado struck Lachute, northwest of Montreal, where winds reached up to 180 km/h.

No one was hurt but hundreds of homes were damaged and some residents have been displaced.

Acadian Peninsula hit again

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Severe thunderstorm, Caraquet, NB, 18 May 2017 (R.Mallais/Twitter)

After a severe ice storm in February, the Acadian Peninsula has been hit with bad weather again and this time by possible tornadoes.

Environment Canada is investigating after social media showed downed power poles, partially collapsed roofs and overturned concrete last night.

Severe thunderstorms can cause straight line winds with gusts as high as 130 km/h which is the same strength as the lowest level of tornado.

NB Power is working to restore electricity for thousands in northeastern New Brunswick and it could be sometime tomorrow before full restoration occurs.

The same frontal trough of low pressure moved into Greater Moncton this afternoon creating a 9 degree temperature drop (23 C to 14 C) in less than an hour and a wind direction change from southwest to northeast.

January 2017 – Milder, less snowy but icy

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Ice buildup tilts power pole in Salisbury, NB, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook/Salisbury Happenings)

The defining weather event of January 2017 in New Brunswick was the devastating ice storm which brought down power lines and poles leaving more than 133,000 electricity customers in the dark for days.

Freezing rain and ice pellets began falling in Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick on 25 January and the storm eventually moved northeast to Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.

Emergency shelters were set up in churches and community centres and the military was called in to help after some households were still without power a week later.

While overnight lows became frigid during the early and middle parts of the month, daytime highs were generally much milder than usual.

JANUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -9.5 C

AVERAGE  -5.3 C (about 3.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  8.5 C (12 January)

Extreme LOW  -23.2 C (10 January)

RAINFALL  65.7 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  48.9 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Military joins ice storm relief effort

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Members of the military go door to door in Lameque, NB, 31 Jan 2017 (JTFA/Twitter)

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been dispatched to the Acadian Peninsula to help in the cleanup following the recent ice storm.

Thousands are still without electricity in northeastern New Brunswick almost a week after the devastating storm.

About 200 members of the military are doing various tasks including going door to door in communities to check on residents who may still be in their homes.

NB Power describes this “crisis” event as being worse than Hurricane Arthur in 2014.

Acadian Peninsula pounded by ice storm 

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Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)

While Greater Moncton was hard hit by this week’s ice storm so was much of eastern New Brunswick including the Acadian Peninsula.

At least three communities have declared states of emergency – Tracadie-Sheila, Lameque and Shippagan – in what has been the most devastating ice storm in recent memory.

Two deaths have been reported and many others hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning related to an alternate source of indoor heating amid the massive power outages.

Power poles have snapped in half under the weight of ice-laden lines and downed trees and branches have shut down roads as the cleanup begins.

As of Saturday 28 January at 9am, NB Power reports about 46,000 customers are still without power and almost half are in the Acadian Peninsula.

NB ice storm cleanup continues

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Power pole and lines dangling in NW Moncton, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook)


Some residents of New Brunswick have been without power for more than 24 hours after the worst ice storm in recent memory.

NB Power has about 250 crews on the ground and more from neighbouring Nova Scotia trying to restore electricity in what officials are calling a “huge weather event”.

By the end of today, the power utility believes 80 percent of customers in Greater Moncton and Sussex will be back on the grid while 60 percent in Shediac, Sackville and Miramichi should be restored.

Warming centres have opened in several communities where residents can seek shelter and charge their electronic devices.

Fortunately temperatures are not very cold and should not fall below freezing until early Friday.

1-2-3 storm punch

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NB Power crews working near Fredericton, 01 Dec 2016 (NB Power/Twitter)

Three storms over a four day period brought an early blast of winter to Southeast New Brunswick.

The first was a Nor’easter which packed the smallest punch with just a dusting of snow in Greater Moncton (2 cm), the second delivered heavy, wet snow (26 cm) and the third started as snow (5.8 cm) but changed to rain (7.6 mm).

The heavy, wet snow brought down trees and branches causing thousands of power outages across southern New Brunswick on Wednesday.

Thousands more lost power when snow fell across the northern part of the province on Thursday.