Before a cold front swept through the Maritimes, all-time record January highs were set across the region yesterday including 16.7 C at Greater Moncton International Airport.
New Brunswick’s all-time January high was set in Sussex at 17.3 C, narrowly beating the previous provincial record of 17.2 C in Moncton from 08 January 1930.
Nova Scotia’s all-time January record was set yesterday in Greenwood at 19.0 C followed closely by Cheticamp at 18.9 C while on Prince Edward Island, Summerside hit a new monthly high of 13.8 C and St. Peters reached a provincial high of 17.8 C.
Environment Canada says while the latest storm delivered almost 28 mm of rain in Moncton, more than a month’s worth fell in Mechanic Settlement at 128 mm and Bouctouche at 98 mm.
The peak wind gust was clocked in Saint John at 96 km/h.
Powerful storm surge causes flooding along the waterfront in Halifax, NS, 05 Jan 2018 (Twitter)
The ‘bomb cyclone’ or ‘snow hurricane’ – featuring a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure when warm and cold air collided – has left the Maritimes and spared Southeast New Brunswick from the worst of its fury.
While strong winds were a factor throughout the region, Greater Moncton received less snow compared to further north and west.
To the south and east, more rain fell along with hurricane-force winds (up to 200 km/h gusts in western Cape Breton) which created powerful storm surges causing flooding along the coast.
Here are some totals from Environment Canada and local estimates:
- Greater Moncton Airport 14 cm snow, 10 mm rain, 91 km/h wind gust
- Bathurst 58 cm snow, 80 km/h wind gust
- Fredericton 30 cm snow, 78 km/h wind gust
- Saint John 5 cm snow, 20 mm rain, 87 km/h wind gust
- Halifax Stanfield Airport 40 mm rain, trace snow, 122 km/h wind gust
The storm may have departed but Arctic air has filtered back into the Maritimes which will mean a bitterly cold weekend.
“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)
An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.
Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.
In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.
Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.
Snow accumulates in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 03 Jan 2018 (Twitter)
For the first time in 28 years, the capital of America’s Sunshine State had measurable snow.
Tallahassee may occasionally see snowflakes in winter but today was only the fourth time since 1950 that snow actually accumulated on the ground.
The wintry blast was thanks to a so-called bomb cyclone which originated off Florida’s east coast and is barreling up the Atlantic toward the Maritimes.
The intense storm system also brought heavy freezing rain to South Carolina and blizzard warnings have been posted from Virginia to Maine.
Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with 30 cm of snow/ice pellets and 10 mm of rain as the temperature finally climbs above freezing.
The thermometer has not risen above zero since Christmas Day and seven straight days have been below -10 C.
Several weather outlets are forecasting a major winter storm will hit the Maritimes bringing heavy snow and strong winds to New Brunswick just days into 2018.
Blizzard conditions are possible along with large waves and high water levels along the coast.
Nova Scotia may get more rain along the Atlantic coast while a rain/snow mix is likely inland.
Until the storm arrives, Arctic air remains firmly in place with several cities in Ontario setting new record lows on New Year’s Day including -22.6 C at Toronto Pearson Airport and -28.6 C at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport.
Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.
But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.
After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.
Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).
DECEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.5 C
Average LOW -10.7 C
AVERAGE -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 11.1 C (06 Dec)
Extreme LOW -21.8 C (31 Dec)
RAINFALL 39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Map courtesy Brian Brettschneider (Twitter)
Greater Moncton experienced its shortest day of the year with 8 hours and 37 minutes of daylight.
The winter solstice occurred at 12:28pm in New Brunswick marking the point where the direct rays of the sun begin moving north from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Equator.
As the above map shows, most of the Maritimes, Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario have between 8.5 and 9 hours of daylight on this date.
North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise at all today.
A ridge of clouds as the sun rises over northern Nova Scotia near Truro, 15 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
A ridge of clouds as the sun rose over northern Nova Scotia was an awesome sight to behold during a trip from Moncton to Halifax on Friday.
Although Greater Moncton lost most of its snow cover due to rain a few days ago, Truro picked up some snow early Friday (5-10 cm) but Halifax was snow-free.
The Nova Scotia capital did pick up a few centimetres early Saturday but Truro and Moncton didn’t.
But the entire Maritimes is under an Arctic air mass which has brought cold wind chills to -25 and daytime highs well below freezing.
Snow covering grassy areas in NE Moncton, 23 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
After an intense late fall storm moved through the Maritimes, strong winds and colder air followed changing rain to snow.
Wind gusts were clocked as high as 139 km/h on the Confederation Bridge prompting a closure this morning.
Rainfall amounts were heavy in many areas including Greater Moncton at 43 mm, Saint John at 56 mm and Halifax Stanfield Airport recorded 33 mm.
Southeast New Brunswick also had several centimetres of snow earlier today which mainly stuck to grassy areas.
Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 05 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
Autumn has made an abrupt return to Southeast New Brunswick.
The passage of a cold front lowered daytime highs in Greater Moncton from a near record of 19.3 C to a below seasonal high of 5.2 C over the past 24 hours.
Temperatures are poised to drop even lower later this week when the first blast of Arctic air this season moves into the Maritimes.
Environment Canada is forecasting a low of -7 C by early Saturday which will likely mean a hard, killing frost for any remaining sensitive vegetation.