Bare ground in west end Moncton after rain washes away snow cover, 24 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
The snow cover in Greater Moncton has disappeared after the latest storm system rolled through with mixed precipitation and mild temperatures.
Rainfall amounts varied from 20 to 70 mm across New Brunswick, up to 8 hours of freezing rain fell in Gagetown and 20 cm of snow was recorded in Bathurst and Edmundston.
Record highs for 23 January were set in Saint John at 10.4 C and St. Stephen reached 11.3 C.
Since a consistent snow cover began on 09 December in Southeast New Brunswick, the ground has been bare a couple of times for short periods.
A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)
A low pressure system from the west is bringing another mixed bag of precipitation to the Maritimes and once it departs more cold air will filter in behind it.
Schools were cancelled in New Brunswick today as snow began in the morning followed by a changeover to ice pellets and freezing rain and eventually to rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.
Flooding is possible again since the partially frozen ground is less able to absorb heavy rainfall.
Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for Greater Moncton but it was dropped later in the day with less than an hour of ice pellets/freezing rain recorded.
The temperature is expected to reach 10 C by early Wednesday before plunging to -13 C by early Thursday – a difference of 23 degrees in less than a day.
Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)
After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.
The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.
Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.
Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)
Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.
Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.
Powerful storm surge causes flooding along the waterfront in Halifax, NS, 05 Jan 2018 (Twitter)
The ‘bomb cyclone’ or ‘snow hurricane’ – featuring a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure when warm and cold air collided – has left the Maritimes and spared Southeast New Brunswick from the worst of its fury.
While strong winds were a factor throughout the region, Greater Moncton received less snow compared to further north and west.
To the south and east, more rain fell along with hurricane-force winds (up to 200 km/h gusts in western Cape Breton) which created powerful storm surges causing flooding along the coast.
Here are some totals from Environment Canada and local estimates:
- Greater Moncton Airport 14 cm snow, 10 mm rain, 91 km/h wind gust
- Bathurst 58 cm snow, 80 km/h wind gust
- Fredericton 30 cm snow, 78 km/h wind gust
- Saint John 5 cm snow, 20 mm rain, 87 km/h wind gust
- Halifax Stanfield Airport 40 mm rain, trace snow, 122 km/h wind gust
The storm may have departed but Arctic air has filtered back into the Maritimes which will mean a bitterly cold weekend.
“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)
An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.
Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.
In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.
Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.
Snow accumulates in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 03 Jan 2018 (Twitter)
For the first time in 28 years, the capital of America’s Sunshine State had measurable snow.
Tallahassee may occasionally see snowflakes in winter but today was only the fourth time since 1950 that snow actually accumulated on the ground.
The wintry blast was thanks to a so-called bomb cyclone which originated off Florida’s east coast and is barreling up the Atlantic toward the Maritimes.
The intense storm system also brought heavy freezing rain to South Carolina and blizzard warnings have been posted from Virginia to Maine.
Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with 30 cm of snow/ice pellets and 10 mm of rain as the temperature finally climbs above freezing.
The thermometer has not risen above zero since Christmas Day and seven straight days have been below -10 C.
Freezing rain (pink) sandwiched between snow (blue) to the north and rain (green) to the south, 23 Dec 2017 (Intellicast)
Streets and highways in Greater Moncton turned into skating rinks early this evening after freezing rain began falling through Central and Southeast New Brunswick.
Social media users mentioned how numerous vehicles were sliding off the roads in icy conditions and Magnetic Hill had become an ice sheet.
A low pressure system from the Northeastern United States brought mixed precipitation which eventually changed to rain.
Meantime, Environment Canada is monitoring a major snowstorm expected Christmas Day which could bring 20 cm snow to parts of New Brunswick.
Ice melting in Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 18 Mar 2017 (Dearing)
After a stormy, rollercoaster winter in Southeast New Brunswick, spring will be especially welcomed today at 7:28am ADT.
The vernal or spring equinox is when the sun’s direct rays move north of the equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
At this time, the length of day and night are about equal and days will continue to lengthen until the summer solstice in June.
But winter is not over yet as Environment Canada says a low pressure system will bring snow to Nova Scotia and the possibility of freezing rain for Greater Moncton.
Snow begins falling in NE Moncton, 14 March 2017 (Dearing)
An intense Nor’easter moved into New Brunswick last night from the U.S.Eastern Seaboard with heavy, wet snow and high winds creating blowing snow and poor visibility.
Snow switched over to rain over southern and central New Brunswick with a
brief period of freezing rain and ice pellets.
Forecasters had originally said up to 45 cm of snow could fall in parts of the province.
Summary of snowfall in centimetres:
Saint John 15
Summary of maximum winds in kilometres per hour:
Grand Manan 102
Saint John 102
CFB Gagetown 72
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Ice buildup tilts power pole in Salisbury, NB, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook/Salisbury Happenings)
The defining weather event of January 2017 in New Brunswick was the devastating ice storm which brought down power lines and poles leaving more than 133,000 electricity customers in the dark for days.
Freezing rain and ice pellets began falling in Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick on 25 January and the storm eventually moved northeast to Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.
Emergency shelters were set up in churches and community centres and the military was called in to help after some households were still without power a week later.
While overnight lows became frigid during the early and middle parts of the month, daytime highs were generally much milder than usual.
JANUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -1.2 C
Average LOW -9.5 C
AVERAGE -5.3 C (about 3.6 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 8.5 C (12 January)
Extreme LOW -23.2 C (10 January)
RAINFALL 65.7 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 48.9 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)