Maple tree turning colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, NB, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)
If you were looking for great summer weather in the province, Environment Canada says Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick was the place to find it this year.
The average temperature for meteorological summer – June, July and August – was 18.1 C which is 0.7 degrees above normal.
The weather office says humidity was often low, overnight lows were comfortable but 8 days hit 30 C or higher compared to a typical 4 to 5.
The downside was a lack of precipitation with 155 mm of rain recorded which is 40 percent less than the summer average of 268 mm.
Upper Salmon River, Alma, NB, 30 July 2017 (Dearing)
As the month of July progressed in Southeast New Brunswick, lawns turned brown and forests became extremely dry as temperatures soared and little rain fell.
Greater Moncton only received one-third of its normal monthly rainfall and 15 days had no precipitation at all.
The heat was steady throughout July with 20 days reaching 25 C or higher and four days climbing to 30 C or more.
A brief cool down near month end lowered daytime highs to the low 20s Celsius and brought a chilly overnight low of 6.9 C.
JULY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 26.0 C
Average LOW 12.3 C
AVERAGE 19.2 C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (31 July)
Extreme LOW 6.9 C (23 July)
RAINFALL 30.0 mm (about 67 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Grass turning brown in NE Moncton, 26 July 2017 (Dearing)
Lawns are turning brown and gardens are thirsty in Southeast New Brunswick given the light amount of precipitation recorded so far this month.
Environment Canada says 29.8 mm of rain has fallen this July in Greater Moncton compared to an average of 92.1 mm – just under one-third of normal.
No significant rainfall is expected before the end of the month.
By contrast, parts of neighbouring Nova Scotia have been much wetter than normal with 135 mm to date at Halifax Stanfield Airport.
Sunset at Parlee Beach, NB, 18 July 2017 (Dearing)
Late July is typically the warmest period of summer in Greater Moncton but a recent cool down has brought September-like days and a record overnight low.
On 23 July, the temperature fell to 6.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which broke a record low of 7.2 C from 1962.
A frost advisory was posted in northwest New Brunswick with a chilly low of 2.4 C in Edmundston.
The short term forecast calls for more seasonal highs in the mid-20’s C and lows near 13 C.
Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)
The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.
Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.
A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.
The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.
An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)
For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July.
After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal.
Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on 05 July.
The only concern is a lack of rainfall.
The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick.
(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)
Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)
A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.
On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.
The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.
Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.
The Weather Network has released its summer 2017 forecast covering June, July and August.
A changeable summer is expected across Atlantic Canada with extended periods of above seasonal and below seasonal weather.
The southern Maritimes which includes Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick and possibly into southern Newfoundland have the best chance of seeing temperatures tip to the warm side of normal.
Meanwhile, cooler than normal temperatures are expected to be more persistent across eastern Labrador and northern Newfoundland.
Near normal rainfall is expected this summer except for western and northern New Brunswick.
There is the potential for a couple of systems to tap into subtropical or tropical moisture and bring above normal rainfall to parts of the region.
Clockwise from top left: Jan 2016 Moncton, May 2016 Moncton, Aug 2016 Kouchibouguac N.P., Oct 2016 Moncton
The average annual temperature for 2016 in Greater Moncton was 6.4 C which was one degree above the 1981-2010 period according to data from Environment Canada.
Precipitation was below normal with 995 mm recorded (1200 mm is average over the same thirty years) broken down as 689 mm of rain and 297 cm of snow.
The highest temperature of the year was 30.5 C on 28 July while the lowest was -22.1 C recorded on 17 December.
The growing season stretched from mid-May to early October which gave Moncton about 142 frost-free days, slightly higher than the average of 127.
Dry pond, Arcadia, Yarmouth Co., NS, 14 Sept 2016 (Comeau/Yarmouth Vanguard)
While it has been dry this summer in parts of New Brunswick, no where has it been drier in the Maritimes than in southwest Nova Scotia.
Meteorologists say while the jet stream normally flows through the middle of the region providing adequate amounts of rain, it was pushed farther north this summer due to the Bermuda High which has been northwest of its usual position.
As a result, rainfall in northern New Brunswick has been above average while southwest Nova Scotia has only received 32 percent of its normal summer precipitation.
For example, Yarmouth had 87 mm of rain during June, July and August which is well below the average of 268 mm.
Emergency management officials say at least 1,000 households have run out of water and bottled water donations from major retailers are being shipped to affected communities.