Stormy American Thanksgiving weekend

US storm

Snow clearing for NFL game at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA, 01 Dec 2019 (R. Deutsch/USA Today)

A major winter storm made its way across the United States during the American Thanksgiving weekend disrupting travel plans for millions.

The massive system began on the West Coast as a bomb cyclone bringing wind gusts up to 160 km/h and heavy amounts of snow in the mountains.

Strong winds accompanied by a mixture of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow fell from the Great Plains to the Midwest and into the Northeastern U.S.

Boston recorded 20 cm of snow with more than 60 cm falling in other parts of New England before the system headed to the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland.

Manitoba declares state of emergency

A wintry scene in Winnipeg, 12 Oct 2014 (Facebook/Winnipeg)

The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a powerful storm dumped heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and wind to southern portions of the province this week.

Amid the early winter blast, Manitoba Hydro is trying to restore electricity to thousands of residents after numerous trees and branches – many still covered in leaves – fell onto power lines with winds gusting up to 100 km/h.

The storm was so bad it forced the temporary closure of the Trans Canada Highway from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan border.

Southern Manitoba got blasted after a Colorado Low moved in from the United States where it brought dramatic temperature drops and heavy snow to the Great Plains states.

The next concern for local emergency measures officials will be flooding as the snow melts given the rising temperatures forecasted over the next few days.

Snowfall totals as of 1pm CDT on Saturday, October 12th:

  • Carberry  74 cm
  • Morden  64 cm
  • Winnipeg  34 cm
  • Dauphin  30 cm
  • Brandon  29 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Good Friday will be bad for travel


Melting snow in west end Moncton, 24 March 2016 (Dearing)

With a Colorado Low heading to New Brunswick tomorrow bringing a mixed bag of precipitation, travel could be tricky as the Easter long weekend begins.

Environment Canada has issued snowfall and freezing rain warnings for most of the province except the south from an area including Greater Moncton to Saint John and St. Stephen.

The storm originated over the American Rockies in Colorado where more than 30 cm of snow fell before it swept across the Great Plains along with Ontario and Quebec.

NB Power says it is ready for the storm with staff on standby and 60 contractor crews spread over key areas of the province in the event of outages.

Blizzards, tornadoes batter American Midwest

Shoppers stock up during a blizzard in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, 05 Oct 2013 (AP)

Shoppers stock up during a blizzard in Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, 05 Oct 2013 (AP)

October snowfall records were shattered in South Dakota where more than 50 cm of heavy, wet snow fell in Rapid City and more than 100 cm in the Black Hills after a powerful cold front crossed the Great Plains.

Impassable roads and power outages plagued South Dakota today and some motorists had to be rescued by snowmobilers.

Further south, severe thunderstorms brought rain, hail and as many as nine tornadoes touched down in Nebraska and Iowa.

At least 15 people were injured in tornadoes while three deaths were reported in a car crash on a snowy highway.

2012 was warmest year ever in USA


Courtesy NOAA

Courtesy NOAA

The U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration says 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the mainland United States.

The year consisted of a record warm spring, second-warmest summer, fourth-warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn.

The average temperature for 2012 was 12.9 C, 1.8 C above the 20th century average and 0.56 C above 1998, the previous warmest year.

The average precipitation total for the mainland U.S. for 2012 was 67.5 cm or 6.53 cm below average, making it the 15th driest year on record.

At its peak in July, the drought of 2012 engulfed 61 percent of the U.S. with the Rockies, Great Plains and Midwest experiencing the most intense drought conditions.

Snow falls in northern NB

Snow near Campbellton, NB, 12 October 2012 (Twitter)

It seems early but the first snowfall of the season was reported in parts of northern New Brunswick this morning.

Some areas received as much as 5 cm of snow but since the ground is still warm and it later changed to rain, it didn’t stick around for long.

Since the beginning of October, snow has already fallen in many parts of Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland and also in the Great Plains, Upper Midwest and Northeast of the United States.

Cold in the east,warm in the west

Snowless in Moncton, 04 Jan 2012 (Dearing photo)

The jetstream has surged northward across western North America bringing Arctic air to much of the East as far south as Florida and allowing warm air to envelop the Prairies and U.S Great Plains.

Greater Moncton dropped to -15.8 C this morning – still not as cold as Christmas at -19.9 C.

Lows this morning in Florida dipped to 6.1 C in Miami and -5.6 C in Jacksonville while the U.S. Northeast had its coldest temperatures since last winter with Washington, DC falling to -8.3 C, New York City at -10.6 C and Boston at -11.7 C.

Meantime, it felt like spring on the Prairies today with Calgary reaching a record high of 15.3 C, Maple Creek, SK hit 16.4 C and even normally frigid Manitoba climbed above freezing with Melita, SW of Brandon, setting a new record of 6.1 C.

Blizzard batters U.S. Great Plains

Snow clearing in Amarillo, TX, USA, 20 Dec 2011 (AP photo)

A deadly storm is barreling through the U.S. Great Plains dropping more that 30 cm of snow in some areas and leaving snow drifts several metres high.

Travel was treacherous in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas today.

More than seven deaths are being blamed on the blizzard just days before the official start of winter.

The storm is now heading east toward the Great Lakes.