Cape Breton drenched again

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A stream overflows in north end Sydney, NS, 11 May 2017 (Cape Breton Post)

Parts of Cape Breton Island were flooded by a deluge of rain barely six months ago – Thanksgiving weekend – and this week it’s happening again.

The ground is saturated with water after more than 160 mm of rain since the weekend and some Sydney residents are dealing with flooded basements.

Rain and snow melt from the Cape Breton highlands is being blamed for washouts along sections of the Cabot Trail and its side roads.

Road crews are working overtime making repairs before the busy tourism season begins in a few weeks.

St. John River remains above flood stage

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Flooding along the St. John River, Fredericton, NB, 07 May 2017 (Instagram)

Much of New Brunswick was spared the worst of a low pressure system which delivered heavy rain and created flooding over the weekend especially along the St. John River.

Environment Canada says the extreme southern half of the province had the most rain with more than 100 mm in some areas and unofficially almost 180 mm (about two months worth) fell in Mechanic Settlement, near Fundy National Park.

Moncton got off relatively easy with 40 mm of rain while Saint John had 70 mm and Fredericton reported 80 mm.

The Emergency Measures Organization says water levels should remain high but steady for the rest of this week with more rain on the way.

Military helps in Quebec flood effort

Flooding in Gatineau, Quebec, 06 May 2017 (Instagram)

Days of rainy weather in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario have taken a toll on the region and Canadian soldiers have been asked to help.

High water levels have threatened hundreds of homes and at least 700 residents have been evacuated.

Ile-Bizard, west of Montreal, has been especially hard hit with sand bags helping to keep back rising water in some areas.

In New Brunswick, a low pressure system could bring 50-100 mm of rain to western areas of the province where rivers are already full of water this weekend.

Heavy rain heading to N.B.

Parlee Beach, NB, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)


I was grateful to soak up some sunshine this evening since clouds and rain are expected this weekend in New Brunswick. 

Environment Canada says a low pressure system from the Great Lakes will bring a prolonged period of rain to the province. 

Highest amounts could fall in the southwest with up to 100 mm and possibly 50 mm for Greater Moncton. 

The emergency measures organization is warning residents living near the St. John River and its tributaries to be on alert for flooding. 

Keeping an eye on N.B. rivers

Ice jam on Middle River causes flooding, 16 April 2016 (NB-EMO)

Emergency measures officials with River Watch in New Brunswick are closely monitoring the St. John River and say the only area currently above flood stage is near Jemseg.

Even with rain being forecasted by Environment Canada, water levels are expected to remain below flood stage for the rest of the week.

So far this spring, it has been relatively quiet along flood-prone areas of the St. John River system.

Along the Middle River, south of Bathurst, an ice jam created localized flooding and forced a road closure but water levels are receding.

Spring may finally arrive in N.B.

Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)


Good news… spring may finally be arriving!

Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.

Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!

Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.

Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.

Snow buries central Newfoundland

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Snow nearly buries two-storey homes in Gander, NL, 04 April 2017 (Twitter)


Residents of Gander might be asking, what have we done to deserve this Mother Nature?

Snow has finally stopped falling central Newfoundland after an exceptional stretch of blizzards which have brought a record 135 cm in just six days.

Drivers were being urged to stay off highways in the region as the plows struggled and often got stuck keeping up with the heavy snow.

Schools were closed for a third day and many businesses and government offices were shuttered.

Meteorologists say Gander now has 241 cm of snow on the ground which is an all-time record beating 174 cm from 2004.

Rain and milder temperatures are in the forecast which raises concerns about rapid snow melt and possible flooding by next week.

Europe cold snap ruins crops

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Snow falls along Mediterranean Sea at Javea, Alicante, Spain, 18 Jan 2017 (Facebook)

A combination of cold temperatures, flooding and lack of sunlight has been ruining crops across key agriculture areas in southern Europe.

The heaviest rain in 30 years has flooded the Murcia region of southeast Spain and severe cold and snow in central Italy have nearly wiped out vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, eggplants and zucchinis.

The shortages have significantly increased food prices across northern Europe as suppliers scramble to meet demand.

Measurable snow has also blanketed the coast of the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since the early 1980s.

The cold snap has claimed more than 65 lives across Europe this month.

Hurricane Otto strikes Central America

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Heavy rain and flooding swept away bridges in Costa Rica, 25 Nov 2016 (Reuters)

Otto has become the strongest storm so late in the Atlantic hurricane season to make landfall.

Otto struck the coast of Nicaragua and Costa Rica as a category 2 hurricane but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakens in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Forecasters say exceptionally high sea surface temperatures of around 29 C added extra fuel to the storm which delivered a month’s worth of rain in a few hours.

Officials say the death toll was nine but could have been higher if the storm had hit major population centres.

Turbulent Thanksgiving!

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Floodwaters on Whitney Ave. in Sydney, NS, 10 Oct 2016 (Twitter)

Parts of Cape Breton Island received more than 200 mm of rain over the Thanksgiving weekend along with strong winds which flooded basements and washed out roads.

Mainland Nova Scotia including Halifax had more than 100 mm of rain and damaging winds which brought down trees and power lines causing widespread power outages.

Forecasters say a low pressure system fuelled by Matthew’s moisture brought the severe weather which also affected central Newfoundland where a state of emergency was declared in several communities.

The storm was less severe in New Brunswick with about 48 mm of rain in Greater Moncton with winds at times gusting more than 70 km/h.