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

Hurricane season begins

2018 hurricanes

Today marks the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season which will run until the end of November.

For a record fifth consecutive year, storm activity began before the 01 June official start date when Subtropical Storm Andrea formed on 20 May.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a near normal season with 9–15 named systems, 4–8 hurricanes, and 2–4 major hurricanes.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre begins issuing statements when a storm is within three days of entering a response zone covering Eastern Canada and adjacent waters.

Florence creates historic flooding

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Fallen tree traps residents inside home, Wilmington, NC, USA, 15 Sept 2018 (ABC)

Since making landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence has claimed at least 15 lives.

Strong winds have toppled trees trapping some and even killing others in their own homes.

Now a tropical depression, the storm has been dumping epic amounts of rain (800 mm or more) on North and South Carolina which has caused flash flooding as rivers and streams spill their banks.

First responders have rescued almost 1,000 residents from floodwaters while nearly one million are without power and tens of thousands have sought refuge in emergency shelters.

Many highways have been left impassable and officials are urging drivers to stay at home and off the roads.

Florence called a ‘monster’

More than two million residents have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence roars toward the Southeastern United States with sustained winds of more than 175 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm is taking aim at North and South Carolina on Thursday.

A life threatening storm surge is expected along the Atlantic coast with an incredible 800 mm (30 inches) rain possible.

Emergency officials call Florence “a monster” and cities like Myrtle Beach have become eerily empty as the hurricane approaches.

Where is Florence headed?

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is shifting into high gear as it often does this month.

Florence is the newest storm to pose a threat and the Category 3 storm is now churning toward Bermuda.

Some computer models are suggesting Florence could impact the U.S. Eastern Seaboard by the middle of next week.

Even if Florence stays out to sea, forecasters say numerous other systems are developing over the Atlantic as the hurricane season reaches its average peak on September 10th.

September 2017 – Summer continues

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Maple leaves changing colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September turned out to be a continuation of summer in Southeast New Brunswick right up until month end.

Daytime highs in Greater Moncton climbed above 25 C on ten days and a monthly maximum of 31.1 C turned out to be the warmest of 2017 set in early fall (26 Sept).

Although hurricanes never directly affected the province, meteorologists say much of the warmth last month came from tropical air pushed northward from these storms.

Rainfall was exactly normal but almost all of the precipitation fell during a single rain event spread over two days (6-7 Sept).

SEPTEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  22.3 C

Average LOW  9.4 C

AVERAGE  15.8 C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  31.1 C (26 Sept, warmest high of 2017)

Extreme LOW  0.6 C (30 Sept)

RAINFALL  93.5 mm (Exactly NORMAL)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Summer outlook unveiled

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Accuweather has unveiled its summer outlook for Canada and it looks decent for New Brunswick.

Above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation are in store for the province with below normal precipitation in Northern New Brunswick.

The big concern in late summer is hurricanes and tropical storms and Accuweather projects a higher than normal number of storms for the Atlantic Basin.

Since 2000, there has been an average of one land-falling hurricane on Canadian soil every other year and before that the rate of landfall was closer to one every three years.