Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Newfoundland nailed!

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Heavy snow in Corner Brook, NL, 09 April 2018 (Smallwood/Twitter)

After delivering a punch to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, a low pressure system rapidly intensified over Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow creating blizzard conditions.

Snowfall was heaviest in western Newfoundland while the eastern island received freezing rain, ice pellets and rain.

Snowfall totals as of 9am NDT, 10 April:

  • St. Anthony  42 cm
  • Corner Brook  37 cm
  • Deer Lake  27 cm
  • Gander  18 cm

Rainfall totals:

  • Cape Race  32 mm
  • St. John’s  24 mm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Bonavista  126 km/h
  • St. Anthony  120 km/h
  • Gander  119 km/h
  • St. John’s  115 km/h

Winter 2017/18 – Riding a Rollercoaster!

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A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.

What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.

Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.

WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Average LOW  -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

AVERAGE  -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 February)

RAINFALL  134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

 

Another roller coaster ride!

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A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

A low pressure system from the west is bringing another mixed bag of precipitation to the Maritimes and once it departs more cold air will filter in behind it.

Schools were cancelled in New Brunswick today as snow began in the morning followed by a changeover to ice pellets and freezing rain and eventually to rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Flooding is possible again since the partially frozen ground is less able to absorb heavy rainfall.

Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for Greater Moncton but it was dropped later in the day with less than an hour of ice pellets/freezing rain recorded.

The temperature is expected to reach 10 C by early Wednesday before plunging to -13 C by early Thursday – a difference of 23 degrees in less than a day.

Flooding then flash freeze

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Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.

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Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

Greater Moncton spared worst of storm

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Powerful storm surge causes flooding along the waterfront in Halifax, NS, 05 Jan 2018 (Twitter)

The ‘bomb cyclone’ or ‘snow hurricane’ – featuring a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure when warm and cold air collided – has left the Maritimes and spared Southeast New Brunswick from the worst of its fury.

While strong winds were a factor throughout the region, Greater Moncton received less snow compared to further north and west.

To the south and east, more rain fell along with hurricane-force winds (up to 200 km/h gusts in western Cape Breton) which created powerful storm surges causing flooding along the coast.

Here are some totals from Environment Canada and local estimates:

  • Greater Moncton Airport  14 cm snow, 10 mm rain, 91 km/h wind gust
  • Bathurst  58 cm snow, 80 km/h wind gust
  • Fredericton  30 cm snow, 78 km/h wind gust
  • Saint John  5 cm snow, 20 mm rain, 87 km/h wind gust
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  40 mm rain, trace snow, 122 km/h wind gust

The storm may have departed but Arctic air has filtered back into the Maritimes which will mean a bitterly cold weekend.

Major storm moves across Maritimes

 

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“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)

An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.

Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.

In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.

Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.

‘Bomb cyclone’ barrels up U.S. East Coast

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Snow accumulates in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 03 Jan 2018 (Twitter)

For the first time in 28 years, the capital of America’s Sunshine State had measurable snow.

Tallahassee may occasionally see snowflakes in winter but today was only the fourth time since 1950 that snow actually accumulated on the ground.

The wintry blast was thanks to a so-called bomb cyclone which originated off Florida’s east coast and is barreling up the Atlantic toward the Maritimes.

The intense storm system also brought heavy freezing rain to South Carolina and blizzard warnings have been posted from Virginia to Maine.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with 30 cm of snow/ice pellets and 10 mm of rain as the temperature finally climbs above freezing.

The thermometer has not risen above zero since Christmas Day and seven straight days have been below -10 C.

Nor’easter not as bad as expected

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Snow begins falling in NE Moncton, 14 March 2017 (Dearing)

An intense Nor’easter moved into New Brunswick last night from the U.S.Eastern Seaboard with heavy, wet snow and high winds creating blowing snow and poor visibility.

Snow switched over to rain over southern and central New Brunswick with a
brief period of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Forecasters had originally said up to 45 cm of snow could fall in parts of the province.

Summary of snowfall in centimetres:

Bathurst 30
Kouchibouguac 26
Fredericton 20
Edmundston 18
Moncton 17
Miramichi 16
Saint John 15

Summary of maximum winds in kilometres per hour:

Grand Manan 102
Saint John 102
Miramichi 81
Fredericton 80
Moncton 78
CFB Gagetown 72
Kouchibouguac 61

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

January 2017 – Milder, less snowy but icy

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Ice buildup tilts power pole in Salisbury, NB, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook/Salisbury Happenings)

The defining weather event of January 2017 in New Brunswick was the devastating ice storm which brought down power lines and poles leaving more than 133,000 electricity customers in the dark for days.

Freezing rain and ice pellets began falling in Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick on 25 January and the storm eventually moved northeast to Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.

Emergency shelters were set up in churches and community centres and the military was called in to help after some households were still without power a week later.

While overnight lows became frigid during the early and middle parts of the month, daytime highs were generally much milder than usual.

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

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -9.5 C

AVERAGE  -5.3 C (about 3.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  8.5 C (12 January)

Extreme LOW  -23.2 C (10 January)

RAINFALL  65.7 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  48.9 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)