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.
Trailing arbutus or Mayflower growing in Irishtown Nature Park, 20 May 2017 (Dearing)
May in Southeast New Brunswick certainly lived up to its unpredictable nature as a transitional month between winter and summer.
Overall temperatures were above normal in Greater Moncton but oddly enough some of the coolest days were in the last third of the month.
Many days were cloudy and rainfall was heavy with only seven days without at least a trace of precipitation.
By the final week, trees were in full leaf or blossom and perennials were in full bloom.
MAY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 16.1 C
Average LOW 5.1 C
AVERAGE 10.8 C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (18 May)
Extreme LOW -0.4 C (13 May)
RAINFALL 163.5 mm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
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.
Dandelions growing in NE Moncton, 13 May 2017 (Dearing)
The dandelions are out in full force as Southeast New Brunswick welcomed a beautiful, sunny day following a cold, grey and rainy week.
The normal high in Greater Moncton for mid-May is 17 C and temperatures didn’t even reach 10 C for two days in a row.
Rainfall has already reached 87 mm and the normal monthly total is 93 mm.
Forecasters are calling for 20-30 mm rain early next week thanks to another low pressure system.
A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.
But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?
In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.
Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.
Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.
“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.
Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.
Clockwise from top left: Jan 2016 Moncton, May 2016 Moncton, Aug 2016 Kouchibouguac N.P., Oct 2016 Moncton
The average annual temperature for 2016 in Greater Moncton was 6.4 C which was one degree above the 1981-2010 period according to data from Environment Canada.
Precipitation was below normal with 995 mm recorded (1200 mm is average over the same thirty years) broken down as 689 mm of rain and 297 cm of snow.
The highest temperature of the year was 30.5 C on 28 July while the lowest was -22.1 C recorded on 17 December.
The growing season stretched from mid-May to early October which gave Moncton about 142 frost-free days, slightly higher than the average of 127.
Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)
Scattered frost has dotted the landscape of Greater Moncton a couple of times in the last week or so.
But the thermometer dipped below freezing early today to -1.5 C which brought widespread frost and effectively put an end to the growing season.
The last time it fell below zero was 15 May which means 2016 had about 142 frost-free days.
Post-Tropical Storm Colin, 08 June 2015 (CTV/Twitter)
By the time Colin had arrived in Canadian waters earlier today, it had become a post-tropical storm – essentially a strong low pressure system.
Much of Florida had received heavy rain from Colin before the storm moved into the Atlantic Ocean and tracked northeastward.
Wind was not a factor for the Maritimes but heavy rain fell in eastern Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland.
Greater Moncton received less than 20 mm of rain between remnants of Colin and another low pressure system which was crossing New Brunswick.
Colin was the third named storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season – after Bonnie in late May and Alex in mid-January.
Wooded trail in Irishtown Nature Park, NB, 29 May 2016 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton was actually warmer than normal in May according to Environment Canada but somehow it seemed cooler than average.
Overnight lows were quite cold throughout the month with five nights either at or below freezing and just three nights at or higher than 10 C.
Daytime highs varied widely with six days failing to reach 10 C and eleven days climbing to at least 20 C or more.
Rainfall was below normal with snow flurries spotted on 09 May and measurable snow in western New Brunswick as late as 16 May.
MAY 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport)
Average HIGH 16.7 C
Average LOW 4.7 C
AVERAGE 10.7 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE 30-year average)
Extreme HIGH 29.5 C (31 May, new record high for date)
Extreme LOW -4.0 C (01 May)
RAINFALL 75.0 mm (about 20 percent BELOW 30-year average)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Hummingbird feeder awaits visitors in NE Moncton, 18 May 2016 (Dearing)
If you have any sensitive plants outside, bring them indoors tonight!
Frost is possible for all of New Brunswick overnight especially in low-lying areas.
Environment Canada says light winds and clear skies will allow temperatures to fall near freezing by early tomorrow.
The average last spring frost date in Greater Moncton is 24 May while in Saint John it is 18 May.