February 2019 – Cold & Stormy

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Aftermath of ice storm in NE Moncton, 08 Feb 2019 (Dearing)

February may be the shortest month but it certainly seemed a lot longer this year with bitterly cold and stormy conditions.

While January was snowy in Greater Moncton, all was quiet until the largest single snowfall of the year arrived at mid-month.

After several freeze-thaw cycles which produced icy conditions, the latter half became decidedly colder with bitter overnight lows and wind chills.

Strong winds and blowing snow created dangerous whiteout conditions during the last week wreaking havoc with transportation across New Brunswick.

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

Average HIGH -3.5°C

Average LOW -12.9°C

AVERAGE -8.3°C (about 0.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 7.2°C (05 Feb)

Extreme LOW -18.7°C (27 Feb)

RAINFALL 25.2 mm (just slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 58.8 cm (about 10 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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More snow for Las Vegas

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Snow settles in Las Vegas, NV, USA (21 Feb 2019/AP)

America’s so-called Sin City might be renamed Snow City after a series of snowfalls this month that will go down in the weather history books.

Las Vegas, Nevada has recorded snow on four days this February with 2 cm today – enough to make a snowman – the first significant snowfall since 2008.

Highways became icy by late afternoon leading to dozens of crashes but police reported no serious injuries.

Heavy snow (about 30 cm) also fell in northern Arizona and the mountains of southern California where it fell as low as 300 metres above sea level in the Los Angeles foothills.

Frigid air follows ice storm

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Aftermath of ice storm in NE Moncton, 08 Feb 2019 (Dearing)

Southern New Brunswick received several hours of freezing rain Friday morning – enough to make highways and other surfaces extremely icy.

Schools were cancelled, many businesses delayed opening until midday, pedestrians were forced to walk like penguins and even salt trucks slid off the road in Nova Scotia.

Ice coated my own steps to the point where I had to slide down them and crawl to my car which was a few metres away.

Greater Moncton only received about 10 mm of rain but the water eventually froze when a cold front followed the ice storm and temperatures plummeted by early Saturday.

Winds were also strong behind the system gusting at times up to 90 km/h.

Environment Canada is forecasting colder than normal weather but mostly clear skies over the next few days.

Snowstorm sweeps Southeastern U.S.

Southeast USA snowstorm

Man cuts fallen tree blocking a road in South Carolina, 09 Dec 2018 (Reuters)

Several deaths have been reported after a massive snowstorm buried parts of the Southeastern United States with more than 30 cm falling in several major cities to as much as 60 cm in the Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina and Virginia were especially hard hit by the storm system which slowly moved out into the Atlantic Ocean today.

Highways became hazardous as snowy, icy conditions led to hundreds of collisions, dozens of flights were cancelled and schools and businesses shut down.

About 300,000 customers also lost electricity during the peak as the storm knocked trees onto power lines.

Heavy snow hits Calgary

Heavy snow covers cars in Calgary, AB, 02 Oct 2018 (Twitter)

Late summer and early autumn have been cold in southern Alberta but a big snowfall suddenly made it seem like winter.

Heavy snow moved across the Rockies and the foothills today dumping between 20 and 40 cm of snow (including over 30 cm at Calgary International Airport).

Environment Canada warns the snow will continue into Wednesday morning with a few more centimetres expected.

Traffic also ground to a halt as vehicles became stranded on snowy and icy highways.

Juneuary!

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Snow falls in Gander, NL (GNL Highway Cameras)

When it snows in June it might as well be January which gives us a new month called Juneuary!

It may now be summer but an icy rain changed to snow in central Newfoundland and the Cape Breton Highlands today.

Gander set a new record with 2 cm of snow and Environment Canada said it has never snowed on 26 June before.

Thanks to a chilly rain, Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of only 11.0 C yesterday which was colder than the average overnight low of 12 C.

Average temperatures in Southeast New Brunswick have been running about three degrees below normal this month.

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)

Beast from the East 2.0

UK snowy

Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)


A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.

More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.

Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.

Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.

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)

 

Record January thaw

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Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)

A few days ago it was extremely cold in Greater Moncton and today it felt like spring.

The unofficial high was 14.3 C which beats the record of 11.2 C from 2014 according to Environment Canada.

But emergency measures officials are warning New Brunswickers to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend with 50 to 100 mm of rain possible and a flash freeze warning.

The ground is mostly frozen and has a reduced ability to absorb heavy rainfall.

The temperature is forecast to fall below freezing by late Saturday which will lead to icy conditions.