California wildfires prompt massive evacuation

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Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)

More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.

The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.

Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.

Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.

Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.

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Rain turns to snow!

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Snow covering grassy areas in NE Moncton, 23 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

After an intense late fall storm moved through the Maritimes, strong winds and colder air followed changing rain to snow.

Wind gusts were clocked as high as 139 km/h on the Confederation Bridge prompting a closure this morning.

Rainfall amounts were heavy in many areas including Greater Moncton at 43 mm, Saint John at 56 mm and Halifax Stanfield Airport recorded 33 mm.

Southeast New Brunswick also had several centimetres of snow earlier today which mainly stuck to grassy areas.

Sunny, cold Remembrance Day

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Remembrance Day 2017 at Sunny Brae cenotaph in Moncton, 11 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

Remembrance Day 2017 was sunny but cold in Greater Moncton.

At 11am, the temperature was near freezing and it was dry with a westerly wind gusting at times to 40 km/h.

Despite the raw wind, it actually seemed warmer this year since in 2016 it was cloudy with a bone-chilling light rain.

Fierce fall storm hits Eastern Canada

An intense low pressure system which absorbed the remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe unleashed its fury on Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes after racing through the Northeastern United States.

Environment Canada reports more than 100 mm of rain (a month’s worth) fell in Ottawa turning some streets into rivers in the National Capital (2017 is now its wettest year ever) and neighbouring Gatineau.

Strong winds gusted to 93 km/h at Ile d’Orleans with rainfall amounts of up to 90 mm across Southern Quebec.

Western New Brunswick felt the brunt of this storm in the Maritimes while Greater Moncton recorded 25 mm of rain and a peak wind gust of 69 km/h.

Philippe remnants heading to NB

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Tropical Storm Philippe, the 16th named storm and 18th tropical system of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, is no more according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The storm brought heavy rain to central Cuba and the Bahamas in addition to spawning several tornadoes when it crossed south Florida.

Sustained winds reached 95 km/h with higher gusts reported before Philippe weakened over the western Atlantic.

However, Environment Canada says the remnants are combining with a low pressure system which will bring strong winds and heavy rain to New Brunswick on Monday.

Brisk start to September

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Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers report snow falling in Labrador West, NL, 31 Aug 2017 (Twitter)


Astronomical summer may be officially over but no one expects to see snow at the start of September after a cold front pushed Arctic air southward across Eastern Canada.

With temperatures near freezing, several centimetres of snow fell in northeastern Quebec and Labrador West overnight and drivers say the roads quickly became slushy and slippery.

Greater Moncton felt autumn-like with strong gusty winds under a mostly cloudy sky and temperatures struggled to reach the high teens Celsius.

Hurricane Harvey threatens Texas

South Padre Island, Texas, USA, 24 Aug 2017 (Twitter)

The worst storm to hit Texas in 20 years is expected to reach the state’s Gulf of Mexico coastline by early Saturday. 

The U.S. National Weather Service warned Harvey could bring a potentially devastating storm surge, up to 900 mm of rain and powerful winds to portions of the state. 

Harvey will be the first Category 3 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma in 2004.

A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for the coastal city of Corpus Christi with a population of more than 500,000 people.

Microburst in Montreal

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Damage from microburst in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal, QC, 22 Aug 2017 (Instagram)


A sudden and powerful storm which meteorologists call a microburst created a path of damage in Montreal which included the Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough.

Strong, gusty linear winds up to 120 km/h brought down trees and power lines leaving thousands without electricity on Tuesday.

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado struck Lachute, northwest of Montreal, where winds reached up to 180 km/h.

No one was hurt but hundreds of homes were damaged and some residents have been displaced.

Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)

More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.

Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.

Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.

The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.