Autumn 2017 – Abnormally dry (YELLOW), Moderate drought (TAN), courtesy Agriculture Canada
Central New Brunswick is experiencing a moderate drought while much of the rest of the province is abnormally dry except for the Acadian Peninsula according to Agriculture Canada.
Forecasters say two weather systems could bring as much as 100 mm of rain on Thursday and Friday which is welcome relief for a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.
Environment Canada has issued rainfall warnings for western and southern New Brunswick but the Southeast is expecting less than 40 mm.
Meantime, more record highs were broken across the Maritimes today as southerly air continued to push temperatures well into the 20’s C.
The parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.
Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.
From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)
Irma aftermath on St. Maarten Island, eastern Caribbean, 06 Sept 2017 (Reuters)
Hurricane Irma has barreled through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm claiming more than 20 lives and destroying more than 90 percent of the buildings on the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts.
Irma is heading for Florida where officials say it could be the strongest storm ever and evacuation orders have led to massive lineups at gas stations as residents flee northward.
Following a similar path, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 storm which could hit the already battered islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
Hurricane Katia is a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico which will make landfall along Mexico’s east coast bringing heavy rain and a storm surge before dissipating quickly over the rugged Sierra Madre mountains.
Forecasters say three simultaneous hurricanes is quite rare and the last time was in 2010 with Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl.
Hurricane Irma is being called a “potentially catastrophic” category 5 storm by the U.S National Hurricane Center with maximum sustained winds of 295 km/h as it bears down on the eastern Caribbean.
The core of Irma is expected to move across the northern Leeward Islands overnight and will track close to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Wednesday and the Dominican Republic by Thursday.
A hurricane watch has also been issued for eastern Cuba along with northern Haiti, southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.
Forecasters say Irma is increasingly likely to target Florida (now under a state of emergency) and parts of the American Southeast as a dangerous hurricane this weekend.
Flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston, TX, USA, 27 Aug 2017 (Twitter)
Harvey may have been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved inland over Texas but the U.S. National Weather Service stated “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown and beyond anything experienced.”
Forecasters say the Houston metropolitan area could receive more than 1000 mm of rain from the storm over the next few days which has claimed at least five lives.
By early today, more than 600 mm had fallen in America’s fourth largest city overwhelming lakes and rivers forcing thousands of residents scrambling into boats or onto rooftops to safety.
Tornado warnings have been lifted but a flash flood warning remains in place for much of southeastern Texas.
Hurricane Gert is not going to pose any threat to land in Atlantic Canada according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre but it will be felt in the sea.
The swell from the Category 1 storm will move into the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia on Wednesday (16 August) and will persist into Thursday.
The swell will produce waves breaking up to three metres along parts of the coast and rip currents are likely.
Forecasters say Gert will not produce any rainfall for the region but the tropical moisture could feed into another low pressure system arriving later this week.
Cooling off in the Elbow River, SW Calgary, AB, 27 July 2017 (Postmedia/G. Young)
Environment Canada issued heat warnings for most of Alberta along with parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba this week in the wake of sizzling high temperatures.
The weather office says a daytime maximum of 30 C or higher could pose an elevated risk of heat-related illnesses and residents should avoid outdoor activities until cooler hours of the day.
Temperatures could climb to 33 C as far north as Thompson and almost 30 C in Churchill along the Hudson Bay coast.
Forecasters say the extreme heat will continue this weekend but a slight cool down is expected early next week.
Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)
More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.
Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.
Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.
The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.
Brilliant pink sky over NE Moncton, 06 June 2017 (Dearing)
At least one New Brunswick location dropped to a new low on 06 June.
Environment Canada says Kouchibouguac National Park set a new cold record of -1.7 C which broke the old minimum of -1.1 C from 1958.
Greater Moncton managed to escape frost this week thanks to cloud cover although the thermometer fell to the freezing point tying a record low.
Following a brief period of very warm air, forecasters say temperatures will reach near seasonal values for the short term.
Ominous clouds near Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)
Weather conditions have been cool and unsettled in the Maritimes over the past several days.
While driving in Nova Scotia on Friday, I encountered everything from clouds and heavy downpours to a clearing sky with bright sunshine to clouds and rain again.
On the way home to New Brunswick on Saturday, I encountered similar conditions.
In Greater Moncton today, the thermometer climbed to a daytime high of only 10.6 C under a dreary sky which is about 10 degrees below normal for early June.
Forecasters say warmer, more seasonal temperatures will return by Wednesday but not before a risk of frost in Southeast New Brunswick by early Tuesday.