Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.
Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:
- Another record Ottawa River flood
- Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
- Snowy Prairie autumn
- Bitterly cold February nationwide
- Record heat continues in the Arctic
- Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
- Blustery Halloween in the East
- Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
- More flooding along the St. John River
- Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned
Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:
- New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
- January Maritime storm included every type of weather
- Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
- February storm causes road closures in Labrador
- Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
- March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
- October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain
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.
Labrador typically receives some of the highest amounts of snow in Canada during the winter which stretches from October to April – and this season is no exception.
A coastal blizzard has buried the community of Makkovik with almost 110 cm of snow falling since late last week.
Social media posts have showed entrances to buildings blocked and the snow depth higher than local residents trying to dig out.
Based on the 30-year average, Makkovik usually gets about 411 cm per year with only July and August not recording measurable snow.
It should come as no surprise that Greater Moncton is on top of the snowfall totals list in the southern Maritimes although locations in northern New Brunswick have received even heavier amounts.
A powerful storm brought destructive winds to the Eastern Arctic with gusts up to 140 km/h in Nunavut, Nunavik (northern Quebec) and northern Labrador.
The power was knocked out in Iqaluit where residents were cleaning up debris and assessing roof damage on some buildings.
Environment Canada reported a peak wind gust of 124 km/h in Iqaluit but that was still below the record of 156 km/h from 1960.
Forecasters say the cyclogenesis or weather bomb featured rapidly dropping central pressure which generated strong winds.
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers report snow falling in Labrador West, NL, 31 Aug 2017 (Twitter)
Astronomical summer may be officially over but no one expects to see snow at the start of September after a cold front pushed Arctic air southward across Eastern Canada.
With temperatures near freezing, several centimetres of snow fell in northeastern Quebec and Labrador West overnight and drivers say the roads quickly became slushy and slippery.
Greater Moncton felt autumn-like with strong gusty winds under a mostly cloudy sky and temperatures struggled to reach the high teens Celsius.
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.
Heavy snow in Cartwright, Labrador, NL, 21 May 2017 (Twitter)
The Victoria Day long weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer in most of Canada but not Newfoundland and Labrador this year.
More than 50 cm of snow fell in southeastern Labrador and between 20 and 30 cm was recorded in western Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula.
Campers in Gros Morne National Park had fires one evening and then woke up to white the next morning.
St. John’s also picked up about 4 cm of snow which was the snowiest May long weekend since 1991.
A view of Toronto from Lake Ontario, 13 Feb 2016 (Toronto Star)
The coldest shot of winter 2015-16 has enveloped New Brunswick with an early morning low of -21.0 C in Greater Moncton and as frigid as -32 C in central and northern parts of the province.
Wind chills could drop as low as -35 by Monday morning.
The Arctic dome of air has also led Environment Canada to issue extreme cold warnings for much of Ontario, Quebec, Labrador and all of New Brunswick except the Southeast and Fundy coast.
Extreme cold warnings are issued when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates health risks such as frost bite and hypothermia.
Environment Canada (Canadian Ice Service), 21 March 2015
Spring is officially here but anyone living in New Brunswick knows that now is often when the battle lines are drawn.
Cold Arctic air can linger and along with an almost ice-covered Gulf of St. Lawrence creates a cooling affect which repeatedly fights it out with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.
Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Greater Moncton as a low pressure system intensifies tonight over the Maritimes with as much as 15 cm expected by late Sunday.
The Canadian Ice Service map shows ice is breaking up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence around Anticosti Island, Lakes Ontario and Michigan are nearly ice-free but the Labrador coast and Hudson Bay are still solidly frozen.