The parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.
Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.
Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.
Tree downed in key intersection of downtown Moncton, 09 June 2017 (Wade Perry/Twitter)
A low pressure system moved into the Maritimes today bringing up to 40 mm of rain to Greater Moncton.
A strong thunderstorm also rolled through Southeast New Brunswick in the early evening with wind speeds clocked as high as 102 km/h.
The brief but powerful gusts downed trees and branches onto power lines and caused thousands of power outages.
Environment Canada had not issued any weather warnings for the region.
The storm replaced a warm air mass which set record highs in at least four New Brunswick communities yesterday.
The hotspot was Kouchibouguac National Park which climbed to 32 C and that beats the maximum from 1992.
Moncton and Doaktown both tied their record highs of 30.6 C for the date.
Ominous clouds near Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)
Weather conditions have been cool and unsettled in the Maritimes over the past several days.
While driving in Nova Scotia on Friday, I encountered everything from clouds and heavy downpours to a clearing sky with bright sunshine to clouds and rain again.
On the way home to New Brunswick on Saturday, I encountered similar conditions.
In Greater Moncton today, the thermometer climbed to a daytime high of only 10.6 C under a dreary sky which is about 10 degrees below normal for early June.
Forecasters say warmer, more seasonal temperatures will return by Wednesday but not before a risk of frost in Southeast New Brunswick by early Tuesday.
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.
Jones Lake, west end Moncton, 18 May 2017 (Dearing)
Summer-like air enveloped the Maritime Provinces with new record high temperatures set in all three provinces yesterday.
Environment Canada says more than a dozen communities in New Brunswick hit new maximums for the date including St. Stephen at 34.0 C (hot spot in Canada), Fredericton at 33.0 C and both Woodstock and Edmundston at 32.0 C.
While the thermometer reached a record-breaking 30.5 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport, the overall 18 May record for Moncton is 31.7 C from 1918.
In Nova Scotia, new records were set in Greenwood and Kejimkujik Park at 32.0 C while Summerside, Prince Edward Island warmed up to 26.3 C.
Warm weather in Ontario heading to the Maritimes, 17 May 2017 (TWN)
A high pressure system is pushing warm, southerly air into the Maritimes with highs approaching 30 C tomorrow in New Brunswick.
Environment Canada says humidex values could climb to 39 which has led to a Level 1 Heat Alert for Fredericton and St. Stephen.
The provincial health department issues this alert when anyone vulnerable to the heat may be affected.
Greater Moncton could break a record on Thursday if the temperature reaches the forecast high of 28 C.
Signs of spring, downtown Moncton, 10 April 2017 (Dearing)
For the first time this spring, temperatures in the Maritime Provinces climbed to 20 C and higher yesterday.
In Greater Moncton, the thermometer hit 20.6 C but wasn’t quite as warm as the record of 26.7 C from 1945.
Grand Manan Island was the hotspot in New Brunswick with a new record high of 20.8 C.
Several locations in Nova Scotia were also the warmest so far this season with 23.1 C recorded at Halifax Stanfield Airport although it was much cooler in downtown Halifax.
A new record was set in Kejimkujik Park at 25.8 C which was the hotspot in Canada.
Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)
Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.
In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.
It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.
The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.
Ice melting in Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 18 Mar 2017 (Dearing)
After a stormy, rollercoaster winter in Southeast New Brunswick, spring will be especially welcomed today at 7:28am ADT.
The vernal or spring equinox is when the sun’s direct rays move north of the equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
At this time, the length of day and night are about equal and days will continue to lengthen until the summer solstice in June.
But winter is not over yet as Environment Canada says a low pressure system will bring snow to Nova Scotia and the possibility of freezing rain for Greater Moncton.
The last week of winter in New Brunswick has felt more like January than March but that frigid air is about to be replaced by a powerful Nor’easter forming off the U.S. Eastern Seaboard from two low pressure systems.
Overnight temperatures plunged to -20.1 C in Greater Moncton on the weekend which is close to a record low and daytime highs remained well below freezing with dangerous wind chills as low as -35 at times.
Environment Canada says heavy snow and winds creating blowing snow will move into southwestern New Brunswick Tuesday afternoon and spread to the remainder of the province in the evening.
Snow will likely change to rain by early Wednesday with most areas of the province expected to receive up to 30 cm of snow.
Before the storm reaches the Maritimes, forecasters say the Nor’easter could drop between 30 and 50 cm of snow in the U.S. Northeast from Washington DC to New York to Boston.