Teddy by the numbers

Hurricane Teddy transitioned into a large post-tropical system before it made landfall in eastern Nova Scotia Wednesday morning (23 September).

Teddy brought heavy rain and strong winds to much of the Maritime Provinces and here are the numbers:

Rainfall summary (in mm):

  • Ingonish Beach, NS 133
  • Bedford, NS 100
  • Halifax (downtown), NS 94
  • Summerside, PEI 68
  • Mechanic Settlement, NB 58
  • Greater Moncton, NB 40
  • Bouctouche, NB 34

Maximum wind gusts (in km/h):

  • Grand Etang, NS 145
  • Eskasoni First Nation, NS 119
  • Cheticamp, NS 109
  • Sydney (airport), NS 93
  • North Cape, PEI 82
  • Greater Moncton, NB 80
  • Saint John, NB 78

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Active Atlantic hurricane season predicted

Hurricane

U.S. forecasters have unveiled their projections for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and it promises to be a busy one with 13 to 19 named storms and 6 to 10 becoming hurricanes.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believes several factors are at play this year including above average sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical trade winds and an expected La Nina climate pattern.

Although the season doesn’t officially begin until 01 June, there has already been one named storm – Arthur – which had peak wind gusts of 95 km/h and neared the Southeastern U.S. before moving out to sea without striking land.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre will also be keeping an eye on storms which enter northern waters.

Last September, Hurricane Dorian made landfall near Halifax and caused destruction across Nova Scotia, Southeast New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Late season snow!

Courtesy Nova Scotia Highway Cameras

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island saw more snow today which is becoming a bit unusual as April comes to an end.

A slow moving low pressure system brought several centimetres which mainly accumulated on colder surfaces such as grass and vehicles.

The Halifax area turned white and so did northern and eastern areas of the province and Cape Breton.

New Brunswick seemed to escape the snow except for a few scattered flurries.

UPDATE – New snowfall records:

Halifax Stanfield Airport – 28.2 cm (old record 19.3 cm from 1967)

Sydney Airport – 24.8 cm (old record 6.6 cm from 1971)

White Christmas

Light snow falls on Boxing Day, Truro, NS, 26 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Despite a relatively snow-free December, Greater Moncton still managed to have a White Christmas this year after all – but just barely.

Environment Canada reports 2 cm of snow on the ground at the airport Christmas morning which fits its official definition.

Other parts of southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did not have snow including in Truro where I spent the holiday.

Meteorologists say odds of a White Christmas have decreased in recent years.

Here are the odds for select Canadian cities (1994-2017 versus 1955-2017):

  • Moncton – 65% / 73%
  • Fredericton – 50% / 76%
  • Saint John – 45% / 60%
  • Charlottetown – 55% / 78%
  • Halifax – 40% / 54%
  • Montreal – 70% / 76%
  • Toronto – 45% / 52%
  • Winnipeg – 100% / 98%
  • Calgary – 60% / 59%
  • Vancouver – 10% / 10%

Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2019

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Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.

Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:

  1. Another record Ottawa River flood
  2. Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
  3. Snowy Prairie autumn
  4. Bitterly cold February nationwide
  5. Record heat continues in the Arctic
  6. Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
  7. Blustery Halloween in the East
  8. Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
  9. More flooding along the St. John River
  10. Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned

Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:

  • New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
  • January Maritime storm included every type of weather
  • Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
  • February storm causes road closures in Labrador
  • Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
  • March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
  • October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain

Wind & rain cause damage

Roof damage at apartment building, Heather Way, 10 Dec 2019 (City of Saint John)

Strong winds and heavy rain from a strong low pressure system caused damage to properties and localized flooding in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The Saint John area was hard hit with wind gusts up to 95 km/h which led to power outages and roof damage to at least two apartment buildings.

No one was hurt but all tenants were evacuated and assisted by the Red Cross.

Many roads were closed due to flooding or fallen trees and there were voluntary evacuations in Sussex in low lying areas.

The storm also brought mild, record-breaking temperatures with highs of 11°C in Edmundston and 12°C in Bathurst and Woodstock.

Greater Moncton hit 13.7°C but the record for 10 December was 15°C from 1957.

Rainfall totals (in mm) as of 8am on 10 December 2019:

  • Mechanic Settlement, NB  94 mm
  • Saint John Airport  63 mm
  • Kejimkujik NP, NS  53 mm
  • Dorchester, NB  50 mm
  • Yarmouth, NS  43 mm
  • Halifax (city)  48 mm
  • Fredericton  33 mm
  • Greater Moncton 26 mm

Peak wind gusts (km/h):

  • Cheticamp area, NS  135
  • Sydney  106
  • Halifax (Shearwater)  102
  • Saint John Airport  95
  • Lunenburg  92
  • Grand Manan, NB  89

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Colorado Low impacts Maritimes

Snowy Highway 102 in Bedford, NS (NS Highway Cameras)

A Colorado Low tracked through the Maritimes today bringing mixed precipitation and strong winds.

The system brought the first major snowfall to Nova Scotia with 23 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and lesser amounts in the city but it caught drivers and plow operators off guard creating gridlock.

About 10 to 20 cm of snow also fell in central and southwestern New Brunswick where some schools closed with slippery road conditions.

Greater Moncton had a rain/snow mix this morning with 2 cm before it changed to rain.

As this system moves off to Newfoundland, brisk winds behind it will produce gusts up to 90 km/h with snow squalls expected along coastal areas.

Coolest day since May

Irishtown Nature Park, 05 October 2019 (Dearing)

Chilly temperatures across the Maritimes on Friday made it feel more like early November than early October.

In Greater Moncton, the daytime high for 04 October was only 8.2 C which means it was the coolest day since 22 May when the maximum was only 8.6 C.

Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John and Fredericton also had highs below 10 C.

The normal high for the first week of October in Southeast New Brunswick is 15 C with an overnight low of 4 C.

September 2019 – Dorian’s fury

Fallen leaves on a trail in Irishtown Nature Park, 23 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

Hurricane Dorian defined September for Southeast New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Although downgraded before making landfall near Halifax, Dorian was still a very destructive storm.

Powerful winds toppled century-old trees onto power lines, a month’s worth of rain drenched the region in hours and a vicious storm surge tossed boats around like toys.

If it hadn’t been for Dorian, the month would have been quite dry in Greater Moncton.

September also lacked heat with slightly below normal temperatures thanks to chilly nights and cool daytime highs which often struggled to reach 20°C.

SEPTEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 18.9°C

Average LOW 7.3°C

AVERAGE 13.1°C (about 0.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 26.0°C (22 Sept)

Extreme LOW -0.4°C (19 Sept)

RAINFALL 187.5 mm (more than DOUBLE the normal amount)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Storm cleanup continues

Dorian crane (Coastal Elite Wikipedia)

Construction crane collapses during Dorian in south end Halifax, NS, 10 Sept 2019 (Coastal Elite/Wikipedia)

No one expected Dorian to batter Southeast New Brunswick with such intensity.

Hurricane-force winds and a powerful storm surge along the Northumberland Strait wrecked wharves and fishing boats, tossed yachts like toys at a marina, flooded campgrounds and destroyed camper trailers.

For the first time in its history, Parlee Beach has been closed to the public after boardwalks and ramps were damaged posing safety risks for visitors.

The cleanup at Murray Beach may take weeks where dozens of fallen trees closed the campground, kitchen shelters were flattened and the beach itself was heavily eroded.

Torrential rain washed out sections of some roads including in Salisbury where a car plunged into a gaping hole.

Public works crews in Greater Moncton have been clearing away downed trees and branches which were responsible for most power outages.

Five days after Dorian, thousands are still without electricity in Nova Scotia where century old trees toppled onto homes and vehicles.

Many city parks remain closed in Halifax due to debris and efforts begin to dismantle a construction crane which collapsed during the strong winds.