Flooding eases along St. John River

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Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization says water levels continue to recede and are now below flood stage along most of the St. John River system.

Several roads remain closed and drivers are told to respect any barricades.

The provincial government has launched a disaster assistance program to help residents, businesses and municipalities deal with property damage from flooding.

Health officials are warning about harvesting wild, edible plants like fiddleheads near flooded waterways which may have been exposed to contaminants.

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April 2019 – Wet and chilly

Glorious sunset in NE Moncton, 22 Apr 2019 (Dearing)

Spring can be the most disappointing season of the year in New Brunswick and April 2019 was no exception with cloudy, cool and often wet conditions.

Surprisingly, Greater Moncton was close to normal in temperature but double the average amount of rain fell along with slightly more snow than usual.

Melting snow and heavy precipitation led to more disastrous flooding along the St. John River – almost as bad as last year’s historic water levels.

Only one day was fully below freezing and while nights weren’t that cold, daytime highs often struggled to reach the double digits.

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

Average HIGH  8.1°C

Average LOW  -1.0°C

AVERAGE  3.6°C (near normal)

Extreme HIGH  18.9°C (21 Apr)

Extreme LOW  -6.0°C (08 Apr)

RAINFALL  122.5 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  32.8 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Flooding plagues Ontario & Quebec

Ottawa flood

Volunteers filling sandbags in Ottawa, 25 April 2019 (City of Ottawa)


New Brunswick is not the only province experiencing severe flooding this spring – so are Ontario and Quebec.

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency this week as water levels rose along the Ottawa River.

The military was called in to help with flood mitigation efforts including sandbagging along with thousands of community volunteers.

In the western Laurentian mountains, the Rouge River is threatening to spill over the Bell Falls Dam and at least 60 homes have been evacuated downstream.

Due to the threat of flooding in several areas of the city, Montreal has also declared a state of emergency.

Flooding closes section of TCH

Flooding along the St. John River in Maugerville, 23 April 2019 (5th Canadian Division/Facebook)

For the second year in a row, floodwaters from the St. John River have forced the closure of the Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.

The New Brunswick Department of Transportation says drivers must detour at the Oromocto exit or at the River Glade exit and travel through Saint John.

The detour will add approximately 90 kilometres in each direction.

River Watch officials say water levels in Saint John are expected to reach last year’s historic marks by Friday and while now receding in Fredericton, the water will likely rise again by this weekend.

Military join flood emergency in N.B.

 
Floodwaters along the St. John River peaked in Fredericton today and are expected to peak in Saint John by Friday.

While the flooding is significant, River Watch officials in New Brunswick say levels are not expected to surpass last year’s historic numbers.

The provincial government has called in the Canadian Armed Forces from CFB Gagetown to help with soldiers assisting with sandbagging, evacuations and wellness checks.

Many roads especially in the Fredericton region have also been closed due to floodwaters and it could be days before some can reopen.

Weather bomb crosses the continent

Bomb cyclone

Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)

A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain,  flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.

The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.

Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.

Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.

New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.

Is spring around the corner?

spring_temps
spring_precip
The Weather Network has unveiled its spring 2019 forecast covering March, April and May – so what can New Brunswick expect?

It’s been a long, cold and stormy winter which began in mid-November but TWN believes after another cold wave in early March, a warmer pattern will develop later in the month.

Meteorologist Michael Carter says more consistent spring-like weather is possible by early April.

Both temperatures and precipitation are expected to be near normal for the season.

Carter adds flooding is a possibility given normal spring run-off combined with any rain or snow that falls.

But he thinks it won’t be as stormy this spring compared to past years.

January 2019 – Wet and wild!

Plumweseep

Flooding at Plumweseep Covered Bridge near Sussex, 25 Jan 2019 (Sussex and Area Events/Facebook)

The beginning of 2019 proved to be wild and crazy in New Brunswick.

Precipitation was well above normal for January as storm after storm brought rain, freezing rain, snow and ice pellets with rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

Ice and snow often blocked storm drains which created flooding during heavy rain and when the thermometer plunged, it all froze.

The average monthly temperature was actually about one degree above normal although it didn’t seem like it given the roller coaster of highs and lows.

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

Average HIGH -2.5°C

Average LOW -13.7°C

AVERAGE -8.1°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 10.5°C (24 Jan)

Extreme LOW -21.4°C (14 Jan)

RAINFALL 48.9 mm (above 60 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 101.3 cm (about 30 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

1-2-3 New Year Punch

Snow falling in west end Moncton, 09 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

For the third time since the start of 2019, Southeast New Brunswick was hit with snow.

Another low pressure system initially brought snow with 21 cm recorded in Greater Moncton following briefly by ice pellets and then 5 mm of rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Higher amounts of snow fell in central and northern New Brunswick while more rain fell over mainland Nova Scotia with localized flooding in the Halifax region.

Environment Canada expects calmer but colder conditions over the next few days.

UPDATE – Storm summary for New Brunswick:

Snowfall (cm)

  • Miramichi  up to 55
  • Caraquet  up to 44
  • Bathurst  28
  • Kouchibouguac  28
  • Shediac  27
  • Alma  26
  • Greater Moncton  21
  • Fredericton  15
  • Saint John  5

Rainfall  (mm)

  • Grand Manan  30
  • Saint John  25
  • Alma  19
  • St. Stephen  13
  • Fredericton  5
  • Greater Moncton  5

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2018

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Wildfires create smoky sky over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)

Here is the annual list from Environment Canada:

  1. Record wildfires and smoky summer skies in the West
  2. Summer heat wave from East to West
  3. Tough growing season in the Prairies
  4. Powerful May winds impact Ontario and Quebec
  5. September tornadoes touch down in Ottawa-Gatineau
  6. Spring flooding in southern British Columbia
  7. Historic spring flooding along the St. John River Valley
  8. August deluge in Toronto
  9. Record cold start to a long winter nationwide
  10. Cold and stormy April for the East