Early blast of Arctic air

The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.

New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.

The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.

The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.

Growing seasons in Greater Moncton

Growing Season

Data courtesy Environment Canada

After taking a look at the past seven growing seasons in Greater Moncton including 2019, the last freezing temperature in Greater Moncton in the spring has been recorded from a month-long period from early May to early June.

Meantime in the fall, the first freezing temperature has been recorded from a month-long period from mid-September to mid-October.

The total number of days above freezing during the growing season has ranged from as little as 111 days to as many as 155 days – a difference of more than one month.

Chilly nights!

Last Zero
The last couple of nights have been chilly across New Brunswick with overnight lows in the low single digits.

While Greater Moncton fell to 5.5°C which was a few degrees away from the record, the same minimum in Bouctouche was cold enough to set a new low.

Edmundston dipped to a nippy 1.1°C which tied its record as did Grand Manan when it dropped to 3.8°C.

Over the last six years in Greater Moncton, the chart above shows temperatures have not fallen to the freezing point or lower after early June.

The Year Without Spring

Snow in Rexton, 21 May 2019 (S. Hudson/Facebook)

It snowed overnight in Southeast New Brunswick.

About 0.6 cm of wet snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton Airport and even higher accumulations around the region.

In recent history, I can’t recall a snowfall this late in the month of May.

With meteorological summer arriving in 10 days and astronomical summer in barely a month, I’ve concluded that 2019 is the “Year Without Spring”.

The cold, damp weather has impacted farmers who are at least two weeks behind in planting crops due to saturated fields.

Sidewalk patios are eerily empty and winter parkas are still being worn by many.

A frost advisory has been posted for tonight and another one will likely be posted in two days as temperatures drop to near freezing again overnight.

Will the weather improve anytime soon?

A high of 20°C is forecast for Saturday but keep in mind we often hit 30°C before the beginning of June.

Frost advisory!

Desmoiselles Beach, Hopewell Rocks, 12 May 2019 (Dearing)

The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season in Canada when opening up the cottage or camping are on the agenda.

However, many residents are still wearing heavy, winter jackets and gloves as daytime highs struggle to reach 10°C in Southeast New Brunswick.

The normal maximum in Greater Moncton is about 18°C but the long range forecast shows it won’t be that warm for another six days!

Environment Canada has issued a frost advisory for all of New Brunswick and most of mainland Nova Scotia as the overnight low drops to near freezing.

On the upside, the advisory means the growing season is now officially underway but on the downside, it’s not warm enough to plant anything.

Risk of frost!

frost

Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)

New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia are under a frost advisory for tonight and tomorrow night.

Cold air, light winds and few clouds will allow temperatures to fall near the freezing point and patchy frost is expected.

The average last frost date in spring for Greater Moncton is 23 May.

Farmers are already suffering from tremendous losses in the region with crops such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apples being hit by a recent hard frost with a low of -4 C in some areas.

June has gotten off to cold start with snow flurries reported in Charlottetown this week and accumulating snow in the highlands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Late spring snowstorm strikes Newfoundland

NL snow

Highway camera image courtesy NL Government

While not uncommon, the end of May is still late – and record breaking – for a significant snowfall of 36 cm in Gander.

A low pressure system brought strong winds and rain which turned to snow over northeast Newfoundland when the temperature fell to the freezing point.

Burgeo recorded a peak wind gust of 95 km/h as did Bonavista which also picked up 40 mm of rain.

Snowfall totals as of 3:30pm NDT:

  • Gander  36 cm
  • Lewisporte  26 cm
  • Badger  16 cm
  • Twillingate  11 cm

March 2018 – Stormy!

Winter storm

Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.

The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.

By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.

Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.

MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  1.3 C

Average LOW  -4.7 C

AVERAGE  -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  9.1 C (29 Mar)

Extreme LOW  -15.4 C (26 Mar)

RAINFALL  11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Cold nights in NB

img_9790

A sunny but cold morning in west end Moncton, 13 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

Clear skies and an Arctic air mass lowered temperatures in Greater Moncton to a chilly -9.0 C on November 12th and 13th.

Recent data shows temperatures that low (within 2 and 3 degrees of record lows) typically don’t occur until later in the month and the thermometer failed to climb above freezing on the 12th which is also earlier than normal.

A new record low was set at the Saint John Airport when it fell to -11.3 C on the 12th.

Quite a contrast from just a week ago when several communities in New Brunswick climbed into the low 20s Celsius.

June 2017 – Warm and unsettled

img_7073

Ominous clouds near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Thunderstorm activity was common throughout Southeast New Brunswick in June and all but ten days had at least a trace of rainfall.

But precipitation amounts were generally light in Greater Moncton except for two major rain events – 36.6 mm fell on 09 June along with a peak wind gust of 102 km/h and 21.2 mm fell on 24 June.

Temperatures were cool during the first week of the month with an overnight low dropping to the freezing point although frost was generally avoided thanks to cloudy skies.

Summer-like conditions arrived by mid-month and many daytime highs climbed well into the 20’s C and reached 30 C or higher three times.

JUNE 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  22.4 C

Average LOW  9.9 C

AVERAGE 16.2 C (about 1.0 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  30.8 C (11 June)

Extreme LOW  0.0 C (06 June)

RAINFALL  77.8 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)