Quiet forest fire season in N.B.

Forest Fire

Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)

A wet, cold spring and a dry, humid July have led to one of the quietest forest fire seasons in recent memory in New Brunswick.

Statistics show 152 fires for the season to date which compares to 206 fires over the past ten years.

Last year was also much busier with 242 fires recorded by the middle of August.

Provincial wildfire officials say although July was warmer than normal, high humidity levels helped prevent fires from starting and from spreading.

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How does July 2019 compare?

Julys in Moncton
Greater Moncton recorded an average temperature of 20.0°C last month but how did it compare to previous July’s going back to 2012?

According to the 30-year average (1981-2010) at the Greater Moncton International Airport, the July normal is 18.8°C.

Of the past eight July’s, only one was actually below average in 2015 while the others were above normal.

The historic warmest July was in 2018 while 2014 was not too far behind.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

July 2019 – Warm and dry

A fiery looking sunset in Moncton, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)

After a cold start to July in Greater Moncton, temperatures climbed rapidly and hit a monthly high of 34.0°C within the first week.

Environment Canada says the temperature reached 30°C or higher on eight days during the month.

The monthly average was 20.0°C or 1.2 degrees above normal.

July 2018 was still warmer in Moncton with a historic average of 21.4°C.

Besides being warm, it was also dry with less than half of the 92 millimetres of rain which typically falls.

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

Average HIGH  27.8°C

Average LOW  14.8°C

AVERAGE  20.0°C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  34.0°C (05 July)

Extreme LOW  8.7°C (13 July)

RAINFALL  44.2 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record heat at top of the world

The most northerly community in Canada – and the world for that matter – has set new all-time record highs for two days in a row.

Alert, Nunavut enjoyed the unusual heat thanks to a strong high pressure system over Greenland which moved into the Arctic Ocean.

Environment Canada notes Alert, population 62, normally sees highs of 6°C and lows of 1°C during July and more snow typically falls than rain.

When will it reach 30°C?

First 30
It’s been a cold spring in Greater Moncton and the thermometer didn’t reach 20°C until 25 May – so when will it hit 30°C?

According to Environment Canada, the average date since 2013 has ranged from mid-May to late June but mainly late May.

While June has been warmer to date in Southeast New Brunswick, the long range forecast is calling for cooler conditions.

Will we have to wait until July this year?

Weather Network unveils summer forecast

TWN Summer 2019

After a cold and wet spring in New Brunswick, what will summer be like?

The Weather Network has unveiled its summer 2019 forecast and if you were hoping for warmer temperatures, it appears you may have to wait a little longer.

TWN suggests the season will be changeable and humid with cool weather in June but warmer than normal temperatures arriving in July stretching into August.

Extended periods of dry weather could lead to short term drought in parts of the Maritimes but overall precipitation will likely be near normal.

What about the spring 2019 forecast from The Weather Network?

TWN noted a cold wave in early March would be followed by a warmer pattern later in the month with more consistent spring-like weather by early April.

Both temperatures and precipitation were expected to be near normal.

So was the seasonal forecast accurate?

While early March was cold in Greater Moncton with a bitter low of -20.1 C, a warmer pattern never really developed except for a brief shot of warmth at month end.

April had some warmth in the middle but that fizzled near the end and while May started off strong, a cold pattern held steady for the second half of the month.

Precipitation was below seasonal in March, well above average in April and slightly above normal for May.

August 2018 – Heat continues!

Tall trees in Irishtown Nature Park, 26 August 2018 (Dearing)

A hot July also translated into a hot August in what has to be one of the warmest summers in Southeast New Brunswick since 1940.

In Greater Moncton, the thermometer climbed to 30°C or higher on 6 days during August and never dropped below 18°C during 9 overnights.

Fans, air conditioners and other cooling units sold out at stores across the region and many weren’t able to reorder more.

Although it seemed rather dry, rainfall was actually slightly above average thanks to a single rain event which delivered nearly 60 mm which is 60 percent of the monthly total.

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

Average HIGH 26.2°C

Average LOW 14.6°C

AVERAGE 20.4°C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 31.6°C (06 Aug)

Extreme LOW 9.7°C (31 Aug)

RAINFALL 100.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Warm July for most of Canada

July was a warm month not only in Greater Moncton and New Brunswick but also throughout most of Canada – except for the Far North.

Montreal shattered its monthly record with a mean temperature of 24.1 C – three degrees above normal – and sadly dozens died from not having air conditioning.

Halifax and Toronto were both almost two degrees above normal while Vancouver and Calgary were each more than one degree higher than average.

Even normally cool St. John’s, Newfoundland was 1.6 degrees warmer in July with 15 days reaching daytime highs of 25 C or more.

Only in the Arctic were temperatures lower with Iqaluit, Nunavut nearly one degree below average and Resolute was off by 2.5 degrees – its coldest July since 1964.

July 2018 – Record heat!

Five Islands, Colchester County, NS, 24 July 2018 (Dearing)

July was definitely hot and often humid in Greater Moncton with Environment Canada confirming it was the warmest since 1940.

The average daily temperature was 21.4 C which is 2.6 degrees above normal.

An official heat wave in the first week was followed by numerous heat warnings being issued.

The thermometer climbed to 30 C or higher on 11 days during July and never dropped below 18 C during 7 overnights.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal and much of the precipitation fell during thunderstorms.

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

Average HIGH  27.8°C

Average LOW  14.8°C

AVERAGE  21.4°C (about 2.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  34.2°C (05 July)

Extreme LOW  8.7°C (13 July)

RAINFALL  63.0 mm (more than 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Wildfires rage in California

CAfires

Wildfires burning in northern California, 29 July 2018 (Google Maps)

The largest of California’s wildfires has claimed five lives and destroyed more than 500 buildings near the city of Redding in the northern part of the state.

Fire officials say the blaze has grown in size to about 360 square kilometres thanks to hot, dry conditions and gusty winds.

Sparks from a vehicle ignited the fire on 23 July and now many of Redding’s 92,000 residents are on evacuation notice.

Further south, crews have made progress containing a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park but heavy smoke has closed the Yosemite Valley until next weekend.