Santa Claus in downtown Moncton (City of Moncton/Facebook)
The Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is the unofficial start to the Christmas season in Southeast New Brunswick.
The weather was cooperative for Santa’s arrival this year with a mild 10 C when the parade started at 5pm with light winds under clear and dry conditions.
It was a different story last year with a chilly 3 C under a mostly cloudy sky with damp conditions.
An estimated 100,000 spectators come out to see the parade every year and this year the crowd seemed even larger.
An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)
For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July.
After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal.
Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on 05 July.
The only concern is a lack of rainfall.
The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick.
(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)
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.
Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)
Good news… spring may finally be arriving!
Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.
Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!
Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.
Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.
Snow nearly buries two-storey homes in Gander, NL, 04 April 2017 (Twitter)
Residents of Gander might be asking, what have we done to deserve this Mother Nature?
Snow has finally stopped falling central Newfoundland after an exceptional stretch of blizzards which have brought a record 135 cm in just six days.
Drivers were being urged to stay off highways in the region as the plows struggled and often got stuck keeping up with the heavy snow.
Schools were closed for a third day and many businesses and government offices were shuttered.
Meteorologists say Gander now has 241 cm of snow on the ground which is an all-time record beating 174 cm from 2004.
Rain and milder temperatures are in the forecast which raises concerns about rapid snow melt and possible flooding by next week.
Spillway at Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 26 Feb 2017 (Dearing)
Three major winter storms including a blizzard were part of a very active weather pattern in Greater Moncton during February.
While snowfall was below normal in January, it made up for it in February with more than double the average amount recorded.
Temperatures were above normal but oddly enough it was still warmer in January which is typically the coldest month.
The final week felt like spring with mild temperatures climbing above 10 C which was enough to melt most of the snow which had fallen during the previous three weeks.
FEBRUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -1.2 C
Average LOW -10.9 C
AVERAGE -6.2 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 11.5 C (24 February)
Extreme LOW -22.6 C (12 February)
RAINFALL 19.7 mm (slightly BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 124.1 cm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Snow melting in Riverview, 24 Feb 2017 (Dearing)
Mild temperatures have been melting lots of snow in Southeast New Brunswick this week.
Greater Moncton now has about 50 cm on the ground compared to more than 110 cm only a week ago.
The daytime high climbed to 11.5 C at the airport on Friday but a private weather station recorded a maximum of 14.6 C at Jones Lake.
Environment Canada is forecasting the warmth to continue for the next few days with a sudden cold snap expected to arrive later in the week.
What a difference in one week in downtown Fredericton, 23 Feb 2017 (Facebook)
The weather has been relatively calm lately in New Brunswick and the Maritimes which has been a welcome relief after a string of winter storms earlier this month.
Mild air has pushed into the region which set several record highs yesterday both here and in Southern Ontario.
The Greater Moncton International Airport reached 10 C and it was the warmest temperature since 18 December – just shy of the record of 13.2 from 1981.
But some weather stations in the Moncton area climbed as high as 13 C.
New record highs for 23 February:
Kouchibouguac Nat’l Park 12.4 C
Woodstock, NB 11.9 C
Bathurst 10.5 C
Windsor, ON 19.3 C
London, ON 18.3 C
Toronto Pearson Airport 17.7 C
A view of downtown from Moncton City Hall, 15 Feb 2017 (Facebook/CityofMoncton)
All is calm today but a parade of storms have been pounding Metro Moncton this month.
Environment Canada says 120 cm of snow has fallen at the airport so far this month with another ten days still to go.
Based on a thirty-year average, February snowfall in Moncton is typically about 65 cm.
But there is some good news on the horizon.
Meteorologist Claude Cote says we can expect much calmer weather over the next few days.
“This was the last of a series of four systems which have gone through the Moncton area in the past two weeks,” he notes.
Cote adds temperatures are expected to be fairly mild in the coming days with many daytime highs above the freezing mark.
Ice buildup tilts power pole in Salisbury, NB, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook/Salisbury Happenings)
The defining weather event of January 2017 in New Brunswick was the devastating ice storm which brought down power lines and poles leaving more than 133,000 electricity customers in the dark for days.
Freezing rain and ice pellets began falling in Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick on 25 January and the storm eventually moved northeast to Miramichi and the Acadian Peninsula.
Emergency shelters were set up in churches and community centres and the military was called in to help after some households were still without power a week later.
While overnight lows became frigid during the early and middle parts of the month, daytime highs were generally much milder than usual.
JANUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -1.2 C
Average LOW -9.5 C
AVERAGE -5.3 C (about 3.6 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 8.5 C (12 January)
Extreme LOW -23.2 C (10 January)
RAINFALL 65.7 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 48.9 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)