Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2019

img_0659

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

First -10°C low in the fall

First -10
Although it seems like really cold weather arrived earlier than usual, the chart above shows a drop of -10°C occurred on the same date last year in Greater Moncton – 14 November.

Over the last seven years, the temperature has gotten that cold between mid-November and early December.

The thermometer will likely sink to -15°C sometime later next month.

The last time it dropped that low in Southeast New Brunswick was 10 March.

First Below 0°C Daytime High

First Below 0
Cold, wintry weather seems to have arrived earlier this season in New Brunswick and Greater Moncton is no exception.

As shown above, the first below freezing daytime high was recorded on 09 November which makes it the earliest date in recent years.

In addition, the thermometer has already dropped to -10°C this month which I will outline in an upcoming post.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

October 2019 – Gradual easing into fall

Centennial Park, Moncton, 14 Oct 2019 (Dearing)

Daytime highs were consistently in the mid-teens in Southeast New Brunswick during October which usually sees a sharp drop in temperature as the month progresses.

The average temperature was 0.7°C above normal in Greater Moncton with two days failing to reach 10°C and the warmest maximum on the last day, 19.3°C.

Six days had lows below freezing with some light frost but there was no hard freeze allowing vegetation to flourish.

The precipitation total mostly came from five rainfall events with not a single snowflake recorded.

Fall foliage peaked prior to Thanksgiving weekend and several strong wind events left few leaves on trees by Halloween night.

OCTOBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 13.5°C

Average LOW 3.0°C

AVERAGE 8.3°C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.3°C (31 Oct)

Extreme LOW -2.7°C (27 Oct)

RAINFALL 102.7 mm (slightly BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Fast and furious storm

A tree topples over in Halifax, NS, 17 Oct 2019 (Nova Scotia Power/Twitter)

A so-called bomb cyclone with wind and rain moved through the Maritimes in just a few hours today.

The intense low pressure system brought winds gusting up to 89 km/h in Saint John which uprooted some trees already weakened by Hurricane Dorian last month.

Greater Moncton recorded a peak gust of 78 km/h along with 20 mm of rain which caused some localized flooding as leaves clogged storm drains.

The winds were even stronger in Nova Scotia with a gust of 101 km/h at Halifax harbour and 106 km/h in Lunenburg which brought trees down knocking out power.

The highest gust was near Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island at 148 km/h.

Rainfall amounts across New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island ranged from 15 to 30 mm with more than double those amounts in Nova Scotia.

Strong fall storm coming

An intense low pressure system is heading to the Maritimes.

Heavy rain will start during the morning hours in Greater Moncton and strong winds will develop by midday.

Environment Canada says rainfall amounts could reach 50 mm while easterly wind gusts of 70 km/h or higher are likely.

Some trees may be at risk of falling after being weakened by Hurricane Dorian last month.

Many leaves will undoubtedly drop which could plug storm drains causing localized flooding.

Growing seasons in Greater Moncton

Growing Season

Data courtesy Environment Canada

After taking a look at the past seven growing seasons in Greater Moncton including 2019, the last freezing temperature in Greater Moncton in the spring has been recorded from a month-long period from early May to early June.

Meantime in the fall, the first freezing temperature has been recorded from a month-long period from mid-September to mid-October.

The total number of days above freezing during the growing season has ranged from as little as 111 days to as many as 155 days – a difference of more than one month.

September snow in the West!

A snowy rooftop patio in Calgary, AB, 29 September 2019 (gbenlucas/Instagram)

Autumn began just a few days ago but it already looks and feels like winter in parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A strong low pressure system prompted snowfall and winter storm warnings as up to 100 cm of snow fell across southern Alberta.

Gusty winds behind the system created blowing and drifting snow making highway travel treacherous.

Many early season snowfall records have been broken.

Snowfall amounts (in cm) as of 1pm MDT, 30 September:

  • Calgary 32
  • Claresholm  40-45
  • Lethbridge  50-60
  • Taber  60
  • Cardston area  70-90
  • Waterton Park  95

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Autumn arrives!

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 23 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

Summer it seems we hardly knew ya!

Fall officially arrived early this morning in New Brunswick with the autumnal equinox at 4:50am ADT.

The sun is now located just above the equator and day and night are about equal.

The nights will continue to get longer throughout autumn.

The first day proved summer-like in Greater Moncton with a daytime high of 25.8°C and a humidex of 32.

Fall preview for Atlantic Canada

After what seemed like a short summer – it didn’t get started until early July in Southeast New Brunswick – The Weather Network has unveiled its 2019 fall forecast.

  • Much of Atlantic Canada should see above-average rainfall due to a few systems that tap into tropical moisture and bring excessive totals.
  • Above normal temperatures are expected to dominate across the southern Maritimes, while typical fall temperatures are expected elsewhere.

TWN Fall