Record breaking heat!

CNN hot wx
Record highs were smashed in many communities across New Brunswick on Thursday (18 June) with temperatures soaring to 37°C – rare for June.

Many of the old records which were broken date back to 1949.

Environment Canada says the above average warmth is expected to continue – with a brief respite on Saturday – well into next week.

Meteorologists say the excessive heat is surging northward into Eastern Canada thanks to locked-in low pressure over the Southeastern United States which is bringing rain and cooler than normal temperatures to that region.

Selected new record highs for 18 June 2020:

  • Bathurst  37.2C, old record 34.4C set in 1949
  • Charlo  36.7C, old 31.1C set in 1971
  • Miramichi  36.2C, old 35.0C set in 1949
  • Kouchibouguac  35.8C, old 35.6C set in 1949
  • Bas Caraquet  35.8C, old 30.0C set in 1971
  • Edmundston  34.8C, old 32.8C set in 1949
  • Fredericton  34.1C, old 32.8C set in 1949
  • Greater Moncton Airport  33.8C, old 32.8C set in 1949

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

The long trek of Cristobal

Cristobal
Although the storm never reached hurricane status, Cristobal has made an incredible trek from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.

Meteorologists have noted the unique formation of Cristobal which developed from the remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda that ravaged the Pacific coast of Central America during the last week of May.

The tropical storm made landfall along the U.S. Gulf Coast with strong winds and heavy rain all the way up the Mississippi River Valley causing widespread flooding and even spawning some tornadoes.

The remnants of Cristobal moved into Ontario on Wednesday where an associated cold front brought severe thunderstorms.

Polar vortex brings cold, snow

Snow in Hanwell, NB, 09 May 2020 (Twitter/@marlowcam8)

It’s the middle of May and spring has barely appeared in New Brunswick so far and now an intense low pressure system has brought a wintry blast.

Greater Moncton had strong winds along with a cold rain which later turned to snow and a couple centimetres accumulated on colder surfaces like vehicles.

But the central, western and northern parts of the province got blasted with more than 30 cm of heavy, wet snow in some areas.

Meteorologists say cold air from the polar vortex continues to loom over eastern North America with new record lows set in Ontario this weekend and New York City recorded its latest trace of snow since 1977.

Snowfall amounts, 10 May at 3pm ADT (cm):

  • Woodstock  33
  • New Maryland  24
  • Bouctouche  22
  • Grand Falls  20
  • Miramichi  20
  • Fredericton  9
  • Bathurst  6

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Historic blizzard buries Newfoundland

Aftermath of a historic blizzard, St. John’s, NL, 18 Jan 2020 (Bob Hallett/Twitter)

Eastern Newfoundland has been paralyzed by a blizzard which meteorologists are calling a weather bomb with historic snow and howling winds.

A state of emergency continued Saturday in St. John’s where a new all-time daily snowfall record was set on Friday.

The provincial capital received an astonishing 76.2 cm on 17 January which buried vehicles and left huge snowdrifts making even walking difficult.

The previous daily record was 68.4 cm from 05 April 1999 with records dating to 1942.

Other communities in the Avalon Peninsula recorded more than 90 cm of snow.

Wind gusts exceeded hurricane-force in many areas with a peak of 171 km/h at Fortune Bay.

The Newfoundland premier has asked the federal government to bring in the army for help in the cleanup effort.

White Christmas

Light snow falls on Boxing Day, Truro, NS, 26 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Despite a relatively snow-free December, Greater Moncton still managed to have a White Christmas this year after all – but just barely.

Environment Canada reports 2 cm of snow on the ground at the airport Christmas morning which fits its official definition.

Other parts of southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did not have snow including in Truro where I spent the holiday.

Meteorologists say odds of a White Christmas have decreased in recent years.

Here are the odds for select Canadian cities (1994-2017 versus 1955-2017):

  • Moncton – 65% / 73%
  • Fredericton – 50% / 76%
  • Saint John – 45% / 60%
  • Charlottetown – 55% / 78%
  • Halifax – 40% / 54%
  • Montreal – 70% / 76%
  • Toronto – 45% / 52%
  • Winnipeg – 100% / 98%
  • Calgary – 60% / 59%
  • Vancouver – 10% / 10%

Heavy rain may cause flooding

Snow settles in Moncton, 05 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

The latest low pressure to invade the Maritimes is bringing heavy rain and strong winds to Southern New Brunswick and Northern Nova Scotia.

Environment Canada has issued a rainfall warning with up to 70 mm possible especially along the Fundy coast and strong winds gusting up to 90 km/h.

Meteorologists say that much rain is a lot for frozen ground to absorb and along with an existing snowpack could create localized flooding.

After a few days with below freezing temperatures, the small amount of snow in Greater Moncton has been taken away by the rain and a mild high of 12°C.

The forecast is calling for much colder air behind this system with some snow likely on Wednesday.

Early blast of Arctic air

The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.

New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.

The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.

The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.

Baked Alaska!

Hot weather is rare for Anchorage which has reached an all-time high of 32°C (90°F) but in Alaska’s interior, heat is not unknown.

Fairbanks has previously topped out at 37°C (99°F) and the all-time Alaska state high was 38°C (100°F) in Fort Yukon from 1915.

Meteorologists say a strong high pressure system has been sitting stationary over the state creating the heat wave.

Smoke from wildfires has drifted into many communities creating air quality problems.

Neighbouring Yukon has also been affected by smoke with Whitehorse and Dawson City recording above normal temperatures in the high 20’s since late June.

Freak hailstorm in western Mexico

Guadalajara was inundated with almost one metre of hail when a freak hailstorm moved through parts of Jalisco state on Sunday.

The governor posted photos on social media of buried vehicles, damaged homes and city workers alongside the Mexican Army shoveling the hail – even bulldozing it.

No reports of injuries or fatalities.

At 1,600 metres (5,000 feet) above sea level, meteorologists say high elevation played a role as one thunderstorm moved out and another one developed rapidly behind it bringing a huge quantity of small hailstones.

Europe sizzles in heatwave

Europe heatwave

A rare June heatwave has blasted Europe with record breaking warm temperatures in numerous countries.

France recorded its highest temperature ever on Friday near the southern city of Montpellier at 45.9°C.

The hottest day of the year in the United Kingdom was Saturday when London Heathrow reached 34°C.

Meteorologists say hot air from the Sahara Desert is responsible for the extreme heat which has claimed several lives, shut down schools and led to water restrictions.

Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have all recorded their highest June temperatures ever.