Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)
Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.
The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.
By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.
Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.
MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 1.3 C
Average LOW -4.7 C
AVERAGE -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.1 C (29 Mar)
Extreme LOW -15.4 C (26 Mar)
RAINFALL 11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Moncton’s west end after the latest Nor’easter, 23 March 2018 (Dearing)
It seems a bit strange the largest single snowfall this winter in Greater Moncton actually occurred on the second full day of spring.
Environment Canada says Southeast New Brunswick hit the snow jackpot from the fourth Nor’easter this month with more than 30 cm recorded.
A storm on 30 January was the previous snowfall event winner with almost 25 cm.
Strong winds were also a factor in this storm gusting at times to 82 km/h.
Here are some other snowfall totals:
- Kentville, NS 24 cm
- Alma, NB 20 cm
- Yarmouth, NS 18 cm
- Sussex, NB 17 cm
- Charlottetown, PEI 12 cm
- Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS 11 cm
- Bathurst, NB 8 cm
- Saint John, NB 6 cm
A snowbound U.S. Capitol building, Washington DC, 21 March 2018 (Twitter)
The fourth snowstorm this March struck the American Northeast during the first full day of spring with its biggest fury in a stretch from Washington, DC to New York City.
About 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell in the American capital which was the heaviest this winter and the latest March storm since 1964.
New York City’s Central Park recorded almost 20 cm which pushed the seasonal total above 75 cm for the fifth straight winter.
The Nor’easter didn’t pack much of a punch for Boston – less than 5 cm – but it is heading toward the Maritimes.
Another long and dark winter is finally over – at least astronomically speaking anyway!
The vernal equinox officially arrived at 1:15pm ADT in New Brunswick marking spring as the length of day equals the length of night.
But forecasters say winter weather is not over yet with the fourth Nor’easter in two weeks expected to hit the Maritimes on Thursday.
Environment Canada says spring-like weather may not arrive until month’s end or early April.
So much for Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction of an early spring!
Traffic on a snowy West Main Street, Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)
The second of three winter storms in less than a week has delivered another dumping of snow but this time it was more evenly distributed throughout the Maritimes.
The snow was heavy and wet especially in Southeast New Brunswick.
Snow totals courtesy of Environment Canada as of 8:30am Saturday, 10 March:
- Caraquet, 29 cm
- Shediac, 27 cm
- Halifax Stanfield Airport, 23 cm
- Bathurst, 20 cm
- Miramichi, 17 cm
- Saint John, 17 cm
- Truro, 17 cm
- Greater Moncton, 16 cm
- Summerside, 16 cm
- Greenwood, 15 cm
- Charlottetown, 12 cm
- Halifax Downtown, 9 cm
- CFB Gagetown, 7 cm
Strong winds were also a factor with peak gusts in km/h:
- Grand Etang, Cape Breton, 154
- East Point, PEI, 82
- Caraquet, 78
The Weather Network has taken a look ahead at the months of March, April and May for Atlantic Canada…
While it has been a relatively mild winter across the region, winter will still have several parting shots, including the threat for a few Nor’easters.
For some places, the biggest snowfall of the year could still be on the horizon (keep in mind the context – some areas have not had a classic winter storm).
Back and forth temperature swings should come close to offsetting, but with more potential for warmth to outweigh the periods of colder weather.
An active storm track will tap into subtropical moisture at times and bring above normal precipitation to most of the region through the spring season.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
Snow covers a vehicle in Aviemore, Scotland, UK, 25 April 2017 (BBC Weather)
Arctic air has enveloped the United Kingdom with heavy snow in Scotland and northern England and near freezing temperatures as far south as London.
Forecasters say snow in late April is not uncommon and actually fell over parts of the country around the same time last year.
Temperatures struggled to reach 10 C today after a hard frost early this morning.
This cold snap is a far cry from record breaking heat earlier this month when the thermometer climbed to 26 C in southern England and a mild March which was the fifth warmest ever for the U.K.
Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)
Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.
After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.
So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.
The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.
Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)
Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March.
Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month.
Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week.
Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March.
Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days.
MARCH 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 0.3 C
Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)
Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)
RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)
(courtesy Environment Canada)