Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Newfoundland nailed!

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Heavy snow in Corner Brook, NL, 09 April 2018 (Smallwood/Twitter)

After delivering a punch to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, a low pressure system rapidly intensified over Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow creating blizzard conditions.

Snowfall was heaviest in western Newfoundland while the eastern island received freezing rain, ice pellets and rain.

Snowfall totals as of 9am NDT, 10 April:

  • St. Anthony  42 cm
  • Corner Brook  37 cm
  • Deer Lake  27 cm
  • Gander  18 cm

Rainfall totals:

  • Cape Race  32 mm
  • St. John’s  24 mm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Bonavista  126 km/h
  • St. Anthony  120 km/h
  • Gander  119 km/h
  • St. John’s  115 km/h

Active weather across Eastern Canada

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Courtesy Environment Canada, 04 April 2018

Weather warnings are covering Southern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada as a strong low pressure system brings strong winds, heavy rain, snow and freezing rain.

Sudbury picked up 29 cm of snow, four hours of freezing rain fell in Ottawa and Toronto Billy Bishop Airport had a peak wind gust of 98 km/h.

Southeast New Brunswick is the only part of the province not under a weather warning.

Northern New Brunswick could receive 30 cm of snow from this system while central and southwestern portions are under a rainfall warning with up to 35 mm possible.

Snow barely brushes Greater Moncton

A low pressure system passed south of New Brunswick on Thursday and brought snow to the northern part of the province.

The same storm also delivered snow to eastern Quebec including Quebec City and Saguenay late Wednesday.

Greater Moncton was left relatively unscathed with about 6 cm of snow and freezing rain just in time to make the evening commute rather slippery.

Updated summary of snowfall as of 8:00 A.M. Friday:

  • Edmundston  20 cm
  • Bathurst  19 cm
  • Miramichi  17 cm
  • Kouchibouguac  15 cm
  • Charlo  10 cm
  • Bouctouche  8 cm
  • Shediac  8 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Winter 2017/18 – Riding a Rollercoaster!

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A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.

What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.

Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.

WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Average LOW  -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

AVERAGE  -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 February)

RAINFALL  134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

 

Heavy snow buries Moscow

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Plowing snow near St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia, 05 Feb 2018 (Maximov/AFP)


The first weekend of February was marked by freezing rain and periods of heavy snow in the Russian capital city.

Moscow has been buried with more than 60 cm of snow which has shattered previous records, caused massive power outages and led to a rare ‘snow day’ for school students on Monday.

Drivers were urged to stay home as the so-called “snowfall of the century” downed over 2,000 trees and even the Russian army was deployed to help dig out.

The Russian weather agency was forecasting a low of -17 C by early Tuesday and another 8 cm of snow could fall in the next few days.

Snow vanishes!

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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.

Another roller coaster ride!

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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.

Flooding then flash freeze

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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.

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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.

Greater Moncton spared worst of storm

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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.