Last snow of season?

Apr20

Light dusting of snow in NE Moncton, 20 April 2018 (Dearing)


Could this finally be the last snow of the season?

About 5 cm of snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton International Airport yesterday although it only stuck to grassy surfaces, vehicles and rooftops and didn’t settle on pavement.

Another dusting of snow fell this morning in Greater Moncton but again didn’t stick to paved surfaces.

Coincidentally, several centimetres of snow fell on 20 April last year too.

Forecasters say a warming trend is coming with temperatures finally getting into the double digits this week.

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Bitter cold in the West

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Winter just won’t let go in Western Canada with Environment Canada noting the duration and intensity of the current cold snap hasn’t been felt since April 1970.

The polar vortex is to blame as the pool of Arctic air sinks south into the Prairies.

Daytime highs in southern Alberta are only climbing to -7 C with overnight lows in the -20’s C in Saskatchewan and -30’s C in Manitoba.

Forecasters say the bitter cold will hang around until the weekend.

Spring arrives in New Brunswick!

Spring equinox

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Another long and dark winter is finally over – at least astronomically speaking anyway!

The vernal equinox officially arrived at 1:15pm ADT in New Brunswick marking spring as the length of day equals the length of night.

But forecasters say winter weather is not over yet with the fourth Nor’easter in two weeks expected to hit the Maritimes on Thursday.

Environment Canada says spring-like weather may not arrive until month’s end or early April.

So much for Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction of an early spring!

Beast from the East 2.0

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Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)


A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.

More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.

Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.

Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.

Another flash freeze!

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Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)


Environment Canada issued a flash freeze warning for much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island early today.

A low pressure system brought snow, later rain and then snow again after the temperature plummeted as Arctic air pushed back into the region.

The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 3.0 C at 11am and pooling water began freezing when the thermometer dropped below freezing by 3pm.

By early Saturday, forecasters say the low could drop to -20 C but temperatures will moderate on Sunday before falling again on Monday.

Rain is welcome relief

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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.

Maria becomes a menace

MariaThe 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.

Triple Threat: Irma, Jose & Katia

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From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)

St Martin hurricane

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 intensifies

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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.

Harvey hammers Houston

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.