St. John River flooding reaches historic levels

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Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)

After steadily rising for more than a week, water levels along the southern portion of the St. John River have surpassed the historic flood in 1973.

Environment Canada is forecasting more rain for Southern New Brunswick with up to 20 mm possible by Monday after 30 mm fell Friday and early Saturday.

The Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have provided vessels to help with evacuations and Transport Canada has deployed surveillance aircraft.

Almost 1,000 people have registered as evacuees with the Red Cross.

Many roads have been closed by the flooding including the Trans Canada Highway between River Glade and Oromocto – the detour through Saint John adds one hour of travel time between Moncton and Fredericton.

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Flooding closes TCH

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Floodwaters from St. John River lapping at the Trans Canada Highway near Jemseg, NB, 03 May 2018 (Hay/Facebook)

Floodwaters covering the road near Jemseg have forced the closure of the Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.

The Emergency Management Organization says the road could be closed for several days until water levels recede.

A long detour forces travellers to go through Saint John via Routes 1 and 7.

EMO says the water continues to rise along the southern St. John River and may exceed levels last seen during the historic 1973 flood.

Snow disappears!

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Top photo is from 09 April, Bottom photo is from 19 April, NE Moncton (Dearing)

The snow has finally vanished from the front lawn of my home in northeast Moncton!

The top photo shows a lot of snow on 09 April while the last of it melted by 19 April in the bottom photo.

Despite below normal temperatures which struggled to reach 10 C, the snow disappeared in just 10 days.

Nor’easter number four!

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Moncton’s west end after the latest Nor’easter, 23 March 2018 (Dearing)

It seems a bit strange the largest single snowfall this winter in Greater Moncton actually occurred on the second full day of spring.

Environment Canada says Southeast New Brunswick hit the snow jackpot from the fourth Nor’easter this month with more than 30 cm recorded.

A storm on 30 January was the previous snowfall event winner with almost 25 cm.

Strong winds were also a factor in this storm gusting at times to 82 km/h.

Here are some other snowfall totals:

  • Kentville, NS  24 cm
  • Alma, NB  20 cm
  • Yarmouth, NS  18 cm
  • Sussex, NB  17 cm
  • Charlottetown, PEI  12 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  11 cm
  • Bathurst, NB  8 cm
  • Saint John, NB  6 cm

Spring-like record breaker!

Warm spring-like sunshine could be felt on my western facing balcony this afternoon in northeast Moncton and for few precious minutes it almost felt like winter was over.

The thermometer climbed to 12.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which just barely eclipsed the record high of 12.8 C from 1953.

Other record highs were set across the Maritimes including 13.8 C in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia and 10.4 C in Edmundston.

But further to the west, the temperature climbed to a balmy 17.6 C in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

January 2018 – Turbulent!

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The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)

The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.

Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.

A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.

Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.

JANUARY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -2.0 C

Average LOW  -12.6 C

AVERAGE  -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 Jan)

RAINFALL  53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  77.2 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

A classic Nor’easter slams Maritimes

A classic Nor’easter arrived in the Maritimes today bringing an abrupt end to a snow free Southeast New Brunswick.

Environment Canada says the intensity of the storm led to a snowfall warning and a blowing snow advisory being issued by mid-afternoon for Greater Moncton.

By 6pm, about 16 cm of snow had fallen with winds gusting up to 74 km/h creating poor visibility in blowing snow.

In Nova Scotia, about 16 cm fell in both the city of Halifax and at Stanfield Airport with an impressive 40 cm recorded in Sydney.

January all-time highs!

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.

Flooding then flash freeze

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Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.

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Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

Snow here and there

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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.