White Christmas

Light snow falls on Boxing Day, Truro, NS, 26 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Despite a relatively snow-free December, Greater Moncton still managed to have a White Christmas this year after all – but just barely.

Environment Canada reports 2 cm of snow on the ground at the airport Christmas morning which fits its official definition.

Other parts of southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did not have snow including in Truro where I spent the holiday.

Meteorologists say odds of a White Christmas have decreased in recent years.

Here are the odds for select Canadian cities (1994-2017 versus 1955-2017):

  • Moncton – 65% / 73%
  • Fredericton – 50% / 76%
  • Saint John – 45% / 60%
  • Charlottetown – 55% / 78%
  • Halifax – 40% / 54%
  • Montreal – 70% / 76%
  • Toronto – 45% / 52%
  • Winnipeg – 100% / 98%
  • Calgary – 60% / 59%
  • Vancouver – 10% / 10%

Wind & rain cause damage

Roof damage at apartment building, Heather Way, 10 Dec 2019 (City of Saint John)

Strong winds and heavy rain from a strong low pressure system caused damage to properties and localized flooding in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The Saint John area was hard hit with wind gusts up to 95 km/h which led to power outages and roof damage to at least two apartment buildings.

No one was hurt but all tenants were evacuated and assisted by the Red Cross.

Many roads were closed due to flooding or fallen trees and there were voluntary evacuations in Sussex in low lying areas.

The storm also brought mild, record-breaking temperatures with highs of 11°C in Edmundston and 12°C in Bathurst and Woodstock.

Greater Moncton hit 13.7°C but the record for 10 December was 15°C from 1957.

Rainfall totals (in mm) as of 8am on 10 December 2019:

  • Mechanic Settlement, NB  94 mm
  • Saint John Airport  63 mm
  • Kejimkujik NP, NS  53 mm
  • Dorchester, NB  50 mm
  • Yarmouth, NS  43 mm
  • Halifax (city)  48 mm
  • Fredericton  33 mm
  • Greater Moncton 26 mm

Peak wind gusts (km/h):

  • Cheticamp area, NS  135
  • Sydney  106
  • Halifax (Shearwater)  102
  • Saint John Airport  95
  • Lunenburg  92
  • Grand Manan, NB  89

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Messy mix falls over Maritimes

Icy slush in NE Moncton, 03 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

After exiting Ontario, a Colorado Low moved into the Maritimes bringing freezing rain and rain to Nova Scotia along with mixed precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.

The system shut down schools in many parts of the region on Tuesday with icy roads being a major factor.

Greater Moncton had several hours of freezing rain and ice pellets mixing with snow (3 cm) and later rain (15 mm) as the temperature climbed slightly above freezing.

Northern and western New Brunswick received mostly snow with 10 cm in Fredericton, 18 cm in Miramichi and 27 cm in Woodstock.

Heavy, wet snow creates chaos

An early blast of winter in Moncton, 09 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

Some drivers were prepared when snow entered the forecast for the first time this week and had their winter tires installed.

But many drivers were caught off guard by the heavy, wet – sloppy – snow which fell across Southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, northern Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland.

A low pressure system brought rain on Thursday but snow fell by evening as the temperature dropped to the freezing point.

The snow continued throughout Friday creating slippery roads which left plow operators scrambling to deal with the early blast of winter.

Many minor accidents were reported with vehicles sliding into the ditch.

The Trans Canada Highway at Cobequid Pass was forced to close for several hours Friday night after numerous tractor trailers got stuck in snow and blocked the road.

Snowfall amounts (Thu-Fri) in cm:

  • Corner Brook 19.4
  • Greater Moncton 18.8
  • Fredericton 10-15 (estimate)
  • Deer Lake 13
  • Saint John 8.9
  • Halifax Stanfield 5.8
  • Charlottetown 3.9

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

More rain & wind for Maritimes

Few leaves remain on trees after strong winds, Irishtown Nature Park, 25 Oct 2019 (Dearing)

Another low pressure system moved through the Maritimes on Wednesday bringing a lot of rain to the region especially to western New Brunswick.

Winds were also a factor with this storm but for a shorter period of time even though the peak gust was 81 km/h which was slightly higher than last week.

Here some rainfall totals (mm):

  • Saint John  59
  • Edmundston  59
  • Bathurst  49
  • Fredericton  48
  • Miramichi  37
  • Sydney  30
  • Charlottetown  22
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  21
  • Greater Moncton  19

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Coolest day since May

Irishtown Nature Park, 05 October 2019 (Dearing)

Chilly temperatures across the Maritimes on Friday made it feel more like early November than early October.

In Greater Moncton, the daytime high for 04 October was only 8.2 C which means it was the coolest day since 22 May when the maximum was only 8.6 C.

Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John and Fredericton also had highs below 10 C.

The normal high for the first week of October in Southeast New Brunswick is 15 C with an overnight low of 4 C.

Dorian packs powerful punch

Dorian damage in Halifax’s West End, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Hurricane Dorian has left a path of destruction across the Maritime Provinces despite being downgraded as it crossed the region.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Dorian was an intense post-tropical storm as it made landfall at 7:15pm ADT Saturday in Sambro, 25 km southwest of Halifax.

Dorian brought destructive winds, flooding rains and powerful storm surges to much of Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

A construction crane collapsed and century old trees toppled onto homes, businesses, vehicles and streets in Halifax.

Public works staff are scrambling to clean up the mess and power crews are trying to restore electricity to the tens of thousands without it.

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Crews clean up storm damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Rainfall totals (mm) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Oxford, NS. 138
  • Halifax (Lower Sackville), NS. 138
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 121
  • Miramichi, NB. 115
  • Kentville, NS. 110
  • Summerside, PEI. 90
  • Saint John, NB. 82
  • Fredericton, NB. 75

Peak wind gusts (km/h) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Beaver Island (eastern shore), NS. 145
  • Yarmouth, NS. 130
  • North Cape, PEI. 122
  • Halifax (city), NS. 120
  • Miscou Island, NB. 106
  • Sydney, NS. 104
  • Saint John, NB. 102
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 100

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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.

Deep snow cover across N.B.

NB map
This has been a very snowy winter across northern New Brunswick with Edmundston and Bas-Caraquet recording 114 cm of snow on the ground as of today (06 March).

Some unofficial reports have indicated a snow depth of more than 160 cm in some mountainous areas.

Southern New Brunswick also has plenty of snow but often it has been mixed with rain, freezing rain or ice pellets which have lowered accumulations.

Greater Moncton now sits at 53 cm (the most so far this season) and snowbanks are getting high enough to cause visibility issues at some intersections.

Plenty of snow near Caraquet, NB (Village Historique Acadian/IG)