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.
Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)
Good news… spring may finally be arriving!
Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.
Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!
Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.
Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.
Environment Canada (Canadian Ice Service), 21 March 2015
Spring is officially here but anyone living in New Brunswick knows that now is often when the battle lines are drawn.
Cold Arctic air can linger and along with an almost ice-covered Gulf of St. Lawrence creates a cooling affect which repeatedly fights it out with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.
Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Greater Moncton as a low pressure system intensifies tonight over the Maritimes with as much as 15 cm expected by late Sunday.
The Canadian Ice Service map shows ice is breaking up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence around Anticosti Island, Lakes Ontario and Michigan are nearly ice-free but the Labrador coast and Hudson Bay are still solidly frozen.
Rainbow over Niagara Falls (Reuters)
Despite reports to the contrary, Niagara Falls has not frozen over – but the landscape around it certainly has.
A bitterly cold month with temperatures dipping close to -30 C have created an Arctic-like wonderland in the region.
As a result, almost everything near the falls has been coated in snow and ice including trees, boulders and guard rails.
Courtesy NASA, 19 Feb 2014
It has been a very cold winter in Central Canada and the American Midwest and proof of that is the mostly frozen Great Lakes.
As of this week, scientists say 88 percent of the Great Lakes are frozen over which is a level not seen since 1994.
Lakes Erie and Huron are almost entirely frozen while the much deeper Lake Ontario contains much less ice.
Temperatures could fall as low as -22°C in parts of New Brunswick tonight and it will feel even colder with the windchill.
An Arctic air mass has moved into the Maritimes and is expected to stick around for a few days.
How can it get so cold?
Cold air develops over frozen areas of the Arctic region.
At these high latitudes, there is little or no sunlight this time of year with far more outgoing than incoming heat energy.
Eventually the cold air moves south across North America and is giving us the first frigid conditions of the season.