Hello Spring!

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Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)

The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.

The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.

To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:

  • Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
  • Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
  • Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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Winter 2018-19 in Review

Winter 18-19
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.

In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.

Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.

January 2019 – Wet and wild!

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Flooding at Plumweseep Covered Bridge near Sussex, 25 Jan 2019 (Sussex and Area Events/Facebook)

The beginning of 2019 proved to be wild and crazy in New Brunswick.

Precipitation was well above normal for January as storm after storm brought rain, freezing rain, snow and ice pellets with rapidly fluctuating temperatures.

Ice and snow often blocked storm drains which created flooding during heavy rain and when the thermometer plunged, it all froze.

The average monthly temperature was actually about one degree above normal although it didn’t seem like it given the roller coaster of highs and lows.

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

Average HIGH -2.5°C

Average LOW -13.7°C

AVERAGE -8.1°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 10.5°C (24 Jan)

Extreme LOW -21.4°C (14 Jan)

RAINFALL 48.9 mm (above 60 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 101.3 cm (about 30 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

1-2-3 New Year Punch

Snow falling in west end Moncton, 09 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

For the third time since the start of 2019, Southeast New Brunswick was hit with snow.

Another low pressure system initially brought snow with 21 cm recorded in Greater Moncton following briefly by ice pellets and then 5 mm of rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Higher amounts of snow fell in central and northern New Brunswick while more rain fell over mainland Nova Scotia with localized flooding in the Halifax region.

Environment Canada expects calmer but colder conditions over the next few days.

UPDATE – Storm summary for New Brunswick:

Snowfall (cm)

  • Miramichi  up to 55
  • Caraquet  up to 44
  • Bathurst  28
  • Kouchibouguac  28
  • Shediac  27
  • Alma  26
  • Greater Moncton  21
  • Fredericton  15
  • Saint John  5

Rainfall  (mm)

  • Grand Manan  30
  • Saint John  25
  • Alma  19
  • St. Stephen  13
  • Fredericton  5
  • Greater Moncton  5

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.

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)

 

January 2018 – Turbulent!

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The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)

The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.

Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.

A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.

Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.

JANUARY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -2.0 C

Average LOW  -12.6 C

AVERAGE  -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 Jan)

RAINFALL  53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  77.2 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Nor’easter packs bigger punch than expected

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The track of the latest Nor’easter hugged the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia which ultimately led to more snow in Southeast New Brunswick than forecasters first thought.

Environment Canada originally predicted 10 cm but more than double fell in Greater Moncton which ended up with the highest snow total in the Maritimes.

This was a classic Nor’easter with strong winds reaching a peak gust of 78 km/h creating blowing and drifting snow in open areas.

Here are some regional totals as of 8am ADT on 31 January:

  • Greater Moncton Airport:  25 cm
  • Halifax International Airport: 23 cm
  • Greenwood: 20
  • Sydney:  20
  • Halifax (downtown): 19
  • Charlottetown:  19
  • Bathurst:  18
  • CFB Gagetown:  14
  • Yarmouth:  13
  • Saint John Airport:  11

Flooding in northern France

A street lamp and a tree are seen on the flooded banks of the River Seine in Paris

Flooding along the River Seine in Paris, France, 27 Jan 2018 (Reuters)

According to France’s meteorological agency, rain in December and January has led to the third wettest period ever in Paris which is why the River Seine and other tributaries in northern France have spilled their banks.

The river is expected to peak on Sunday at 6 metres – normally it measures 2 metres – slightly below the exceptional flooding in 2016 and the disastrous flood of 1910.

Some riverside restaurants have been submerged and roads and parks have been closed due to high water levels.

All boat traffic on the Seine has been halted including tourist cruises, some Metro stations are shuttered and the Louvre has shut down the museum’s lower level as a precaution.

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.