Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories for 2012

Flooding on Robie Street, Truro, NS, 10 September 2012 (Courtesy Facebook)

Flooding on Robie Street, Truro, NS, 10 September 2012 (Courtesy Facebook)

In its annual list, Environment Canada has chosen the top weather stories of the year – from super storms to super heat, and from immense flooding to immense fires.

1. BIG HEAT
Temperatures were above normal across Canada during winter, spring and summer from coast to coast to coast.

2. ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON
By the end of the Atlantic hurricane season, 19 named storms were recorded with Chris, Leslie, Rafael and Sandy impacting Canada.

3. BRITISH COLUMBIA FLOODING
High levels of early spring flooding in British Columbia caused washouts, and slides, evacuations and fatalities.

4. MARCH MILDNESS
The March heat wave was off the scale in every way: intense, huge and long-lasting. In Moncton, a new record monthly high of 26 C was recorded.

5. WILD PRAIRIE SUMMER
Summer on the Prairies started out with short-lived cool temperatures and ended as one of the top ten warmest on record.

6. BIG MELT
The year will go down as one of extraordinary change across the Arctic Ocean, with sea ice becoming dramatically thinner, weaker and younger and melting more easily.

7. HIGH AND DRY IN THE EAST
Higher than normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall in Eastern Canada meant a great summer for most outdoor enthusiasts but trouble for some crops and water systems.

8. URBAN FLOODING
Thunder Bay experienced record breaking flooding in May while Montreal and Toronto also found themselves with expensive floods weeks later.

9. CALGARY HAILSTORM
A monstrous hailstorm pelted Calgary with hailstones larger than golf balls on August 12th and in a matter of 10 minutes, pounding hail dimpled vehicles and riddled house siding with millions of dents.

10. SAINT JOHN RIVER ICE-JAM FLOODING
The first days of spring were marked by a mandatory evacuation for residents of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation when the Saint John River and several tributaries spilled onto nearby fields and roads.

Rafael brushes past Newfoundland

Rafael was downgraded from a hurricane to a post-tropical storm as it moved into the North Atlantic past eastern Newfoundland this morning.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says rainfall was not really a factor for the island with only 6 mm reported at Cape Race.

A powerful storm surge did affect the southern Avalon Peninsula with waves crashing through a breakwater in Trepassey but there were no reports of injuries.

Hurricane Rafael could impact NFLD

Courtesy Canadian Hurricane Centre, 15 October 2012

Forecasters say Hurricane Rafael has formed in the Atlantic Ocean south of Bermuda.

The U.S. Hurricane Center said Monday night that Rafael’s top sustained winds had risen to near 120 kph, making it the ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says the storm will likely have an impact on eastern Newfoundland by late Wednesday with heavy rain but the wind threat is descreasing since the current track is putting Rafael far offshore.