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)

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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.

First snowstorm of season

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Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)

A classic snowstorm brought heavy, moisture-laden snow to much of New Brunswick this weekend.

Environment Canada says the heaviest amounts fell in northeast areas of the province with 27 cm at Bathurst and 24 cm at Miscou Island.

Greater Moncton received 15 cm which was exactly what was being forecasted for Southeast New Brunswick.

The same system brought rain and warm temperatures to eastern mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the island of Newfoundland with a high of 18 C in St. John’s.

Western NB gets drenched

A slow moving frontal system brought heavy rain to western New Brunswick with about 20 mm falling per hour in the southwest.

Environment Canada reported 174 mm of rain in St. Stephen over a two day period which is a shocking amount considering about 180 mm fell from June to September.

Other amounts include 112 mm in Edmundston, 93 mm in Woodstock and 74 mm in Fredericton.

Rainfall totals were much lower in Southeast New Brunswick where only 27 mm fell at the Greater Moncton International Airport.

Tropical air with this system broke more record highs in Atlantic Canada with a maximum of 23.4 C in Moncton and Bouctouche, 23.5 C in Cheticamp, 22.0 C in Deer Lake and 21.2 C in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Fall foliage past peak

Maple tree past peak in Moncton, 22 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

The fall foliage in Southeast New Brunswick is now past peak and the leaves are starting to tumble to the ground.

Typically a strong wind and/or rain event will bring down most remaining leaves from the trees with maples the first to shed and oaks among the last.

Forestry experts say unseasonably warm weather across the Maritimes this autumn have muted some fall colours.

Rich, vivid displays are most common when days are sunny but cool and nights are cold.

Harvest Moon

The almost Full Harvest Moon over Moncton, NB, 04 Oct 2017

Under a mostly cloudy sky, it was difficult to capture the Full Harvest Moon in most of Southeast New Brunswick but I did manage to get a shot last night.

The Harvest Moon derives its name from when farmers used the moon’s bright light to help them gather crops for winter.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox which occurred on 22 September.

August 2017 – Dry summer persists

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Extremely dry ground and brown grass in NE Moncton, 30 Aug 2017 (Dearing)

The dry summer in Southeast New Brunswick continued in August with a dangerous forest fire hazard and little precipitation to soak the parched ground.

A dry trend which began in late June continued during the month with less than 50 mm of rain falling in Greater Moncton.

Temperatures were above normal with daytime highs consistently in the high 20’s Celsius but a string of single digit overnight lows during the final week brought down the overall monthly average.

AUGUST 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 25.6 C

Average LOW 11.9 C

AVERAGE 18.9 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.6 C (04 Aug)

Extreme LOW 7.2 C (28 Aug)

RAINFALL 46.8 mm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)