Frost free season approaches

May is here which means it won’t be long before Jack Frost visits Atlantic Canada for the last time this spring.

Mid to late May is typically when the last frost arrives in Greater Moncton, early in the month for Halifax and late April for Yarmouth.

Early to mid June dates are normal for most of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last year in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, frost appeared as late as early June which proved disastrous for grape, blueberry and strawberry farmers.

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Frost forms under harvest moon

A clear night under a brilliant harvest moon lowered the temperature to -1.9°C in Greater Moncton this morning with some scattered frost.

Most sensitive vegetation survived as the thermometer fell below zero for less than six hours.

Many weather stations across New Brunswick had readings near or a few degrees below freezing.

On average, the first fall frost date in Moncton is 02 October with an growing season of 131 days.

However, a record breaking low of -3.2°C on 04 June brought a late frost (about two weeks later than usual) which proved devastating for farmers and gardeners.

So despite enjoying a long and warm summer, the frost-free season lasted 112 days which is about 19 days shorter than usual.

Summer departs with gusty winds

Hints of fall colours in west end Moncton, 20 Sept 2018 (Dearing)

The same storm system which brought severe weather to Ontario and Quebec – including tornadoes – crossed through New Brunswick overnight.

Strong low pressure caused gusty winds up to 72 km/h at the Greater Moncton International Airport which turned out to be the windiest day since 02 June.

A wind gust of 85 km/h was reported in Charlo.

NB Power said almost 10,000 customers lost power at the peak of the storm thanks to trees and branches falling on utility lines.

Incidentally, fall officially arrives later tonight with the autumnal equinox at 10:54 pm ADT.

Summer to fall in two hours

The skyline of Moncton, NB, 16 Sept 2018 (Dearing)

An abrupt change in temperature thanks to a passing cold front turned summer quickly into fall in Greater Moncton this week.

On Tuesday, Environment Canada reports a temperature of 22°C at 11am which plummeted to 16°C by 1pm and the wind direction changed from the southeast to the northwest.

The long, hot summer in New Brunswick was suddenly over.

The daytime high on Wednesday was 13.6°C which was the coolest day since 25 June.

Forecasters are calling for near or slightly below seasonal temperatures until the end of the month (Normal high 18°C, normal low 7°C).

June 2018 – Cold nights, plenty of rain

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Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 June 2018 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton has endured the coolest June in recent memory and while daytime highs were close to normal – with a few exceptions – overnight lows were cold, even frosty at times during the first half of the month.

A hard frost on 04 June with a record breaking low of -3.2 C was devastating for agriculture across New Brunswick especially in the Southeast.

Farmers suffered major damage – in some cases 50 to 80 percent losses – to crops such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

Oddly enough, the temperature had not been that low in all of May and not since 16 April had it been at least that cold.

Rainfall was about 60 percent above normal and was confined to a handful of major rain events with nine days being completely dry.

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

Average HIGH  20.3°C

Average LOW  6.6°C

AVERAGE  13.5°C (about 1.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  29.7°C (01 June)

Extreme LOW  -3.2°C (04 June)

RAINFALL  154.0 mm (about 60 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Here comes the heat!

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A severe thunderstorm rolls through Greater Moncton ahead of warmer weather, 29 June 2018 (Dearing)

At long last, warm weather is finally pushing into New Brunswick after the coldest June in recent memory.

Environment Canada says a warm, humid air mass will settle over the Maritimes this weekend and persist into next week.

Temperatures in the low 30s Celsius are expected with high humidity making it feel much warmer.

Relief will come along coastal areas which can expect slightly cooler conditions.

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.

Goodbye Spring!

Dorchester Beach, NB, 17 June 2018 (Dearing)

Spring had its inevitable ups and downs in Southeast New Brunswick but overall the average temperature was close to normal for March, April and May.

March was very stormy with a parade of Nor’easters which led to the highest snow depth of the winter in Greater Moncton by the end of the month.

April was slightly colder than normal with chilly nights until mid-month and the last measurable snow fell on the 21st.

May had slightly above normal temperatures overall thanks to 14 days with daytime highs of 20 C or more but nights remained cold with single digit lows.

So far this June, the mean temperature is running three degrees below average with a hard frost on the 4th which was the coldest minimum since 16 April.

METEOROLOGICAL SPRING at the Greater Moncton International Airport

MARCH 2018
Average -1.7 C (1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Snowfall: well above normal, Rainfall: well below normal

APRIL 2018
Average 3.2 C (0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Snowfall: below normal, Rainfall: above normal

MAY 2018
Average 10.3 C (0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)
Rainfall: below normal, Snowfall: nil

Risk of frost!

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)

New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia are under a frost advisory for tonight and tomorrow night.

Cold air, light winds and few clouds will allow temperatures to fall near the freezing point and patchy frost is expected.

The average last frost date in spring for Greater Moncton is 23 May.

Farmers are already suffering from tremendous losses in the region with crops such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apples being hit by a recent hard frost with a low of -4 C in some areas.

June has gotten off to cold start with snow flurries reported in Charlottetown this week and accumulating snow in the highlands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Record lows in Maritimes

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We are now several weeks into the growing season and temperatures are dropping to dangerously cold lows.

Farmers are concerned about damage to crops after a cool air mass and clear skies led to a frigid low of -4 C in parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia overnight.

Greater Moncton dropped to -3.2 C early today which broke the old record of -2.2 C from 1903 and records go back to 1881.

The following new record lows were set on 04 June:

  • Kouchibouguac National Park, NB -3.8 C (records since 1924)
  • Grand Manan, NB -2.2 C (records since 1883)
  • Port Hawkesbury, NS -2.6 C (records since 1875)
  • Ingonish, NS -2.2 C (records since 1950)
  • Summerside, PEI -1.9 C (records since 1898)
  • Charlottetown, PEI -1.0 C (records since 1872)