Winter storm sweeps Eastern Canada

Snow falls in NE Moncton, 27 Feb 2020 (Dearing)

A major winter storm moved across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada delivering snow, rain, freezing rain, strong winds and ice pellets.

Police told drivers to stay off the roads, many flights were grounded, schools closed and some businesses shut down.

Almost 17 cm of snow/ice pellets fell in Greater Moncton which made roads treacherous and forced the transit system to cancel service by late afternoon.

Snowfall amounts (in cm):

  • Mont-Laurier, QC 49
  • Pembroke, ON 34
  • Gaspe, QC 25 to 45
  • Ingonish Beach, NS 25
  • Miramichi, NB 22
  • Quebec City area 20 to 40
  • Edmundston, NB 18
  • Greater Moncton 17
  • Ottawa 17
  • Fredericton 16
  • Toronto Pearson 15
  • London 12
  • Greater Montreal 5 to 15
  • St. John’s 11

Duration of freezing rain (in hours):

  • CFB Trenton 7
  • Kingston 5
  • Ottawa 1.5

Rainfall (in mm):

  • Western Head, NS 47
  • Shelburne, NS 34

Wind gusts (in km/h):

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, NS 181
  • Wreckhouse, NL 181
  • Yarmouth, NS 118
  • Port aux Basques, NL 123
  • Quebec City 102
  • Stephenville, NL 100
  • Picton area, ON 101
  • Sydney, NS 93
  • Halifax Stanfield 89
  • Toronto Billy Bishop 82

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Storm brings snow to Ontario & Quebec


A Colorado Low tracked across Lake Huron on Saturday and brought snow to nearly all of Ontario and Southern Quebec with the first major amounts this winter.

Strong gusty winds up to 100 km/h in some areas also created blowing snow.

The low pressure system continued through the Northeastern United States and impacted the Maritimes on Sunday.

Snowfall amounts (in cm):

  • Marathon  30
  • Thunder Bay  21
  • Ottawa  20 (new daily record for 18 January)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo  19
  • Toronto Pearson Airport  17.2 (new daily record for 18 January)
  • Montreal  17
  • London  16
  • Kenora  15

(Data courtesy Environment Canada and volunteer observations)

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%

Thunderstorms cool off Eastern Canada

Thunderstorms rolling across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec this weekend brought an end to oppressive heat and humidity.

Toronto residents were trying to keep cool Saturday when the mercury soared to 33.0°C with a stifling humidex of 44 and Montreal reported similar conditions.

In the Maritimes, even typically cooler coastal areas were warm with new record highs set in Saint John and Grand Manan.

The temperature in Greater Moncton peaked at 32.4°C which fell short of the record of 33.5°C from 1991.

A brief, violent thunderstorm hit Halifax on Sunday afternoon with flash flooding and strong winds knocking out power to more than 44,000 Nova Scotians.

Flooding plagues Ontario & Quebec

Ottawa flood

Volunteers filling sandbags in Ottawa, 25 April 2019 (City of Ottawa)


New Brunswick is not the only province experiencing severe flooding this spring – so are Ontario and Quebec.

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency this week as water levels rose along the Ottawa River.

The military was called in to help with flood mitigation efforts including sandbagging along with thousands of community volunteers.

In the western Laurentian mountains, the Rouge River is threatening to spill over the Bell Falls Dam and at least 60 homes have been evacuated downstream.

Due to the threat of flooding in several areas of the city, Montreal has also declared a state of emergency.

Strong winds across Atlantic Canada

A fast-moving cold front passed through the Maritimes today on its way to Newfoundland.

Powerful winds developed as a result which knocked out electricity to tens of thousands of customers across New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

The Greater Moncton International Airport recorded a gust of almost 90 km/h late this morning with Cape Breton Island reporting winds of more than 100 km/h.

Many locations across Newfoundland had hurricane-force gusts including Bonavista at 126 km/h, Wreckhouse at 107 km/h and St. John’s at 104 km/h.

The cold front also affected Southern Quebec yesterday with gusts of more than 80 km/h in Montreal and Quebec City.

Warm July for most of Canada

July was a warm month not only in Greater Moncton and New Brunswick but also throughout most of Canada – except for the Far North.

Montreal shattered its monthly record with a mean temperature of 24.1 C – three degrees above normal – and sadly dozens died from not having air conditioning.

Halifax and Toronto were both almost two degrees above normal while Vancouver and Calgary were each more than one degree higher than average.

Even normally cool St. John’s, Newfoundland was 1.6 degrees warmer in July with 15 days reaching daytime highs of 25 C or more.

Only in the Arctic were temperatures lower with Iqaluit, Nunavut nearly one degree below average and Resolute was off by 2.5 degrees – its coldest July since 1964.

Strong winds cause destruction in Eastern Canada

img_1647

Tree falls near school bus in Mississauga, Ontario, 04 May 2018 (Twitter/Peel Regional Police)

A rapidly deepening low pressure system created strong winds gusting to hurricane-strength across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec on Friday knocking down trees and power lines causing massive outages.

Three people were killed by fallen trees and a school bus filled with children in Mississauga had a near miss.

Toronto Pearson Airport had a maximum wind gust of 119 km/h while Montreal Trudeau Airport recorded 117 km/h – both are the windiest days ever in May.

Winds were also powerful on Saturday in Greater Moncton with a wind gust of 100 km/h – the strongest since January.

Icy weekend in Central Canada

TOicestormApr15

A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Microburst in Montreal

MicroburstMTL

Damage from microburst in Notre-Dame-de-Grace, Montreal, QC, 22 Aug 2017 (Instagram)


A sudden and powerful storm which meteorologists call a microburst created a path of damage in Montreal which included the Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough.

Strong, gusty linear winds up to 120 km/h brought down trees and power lines leaving thousands without electricity on Tuesday.

Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado struck Lachute, northwest of Montreal, where winds reached up to 180 km/h.

No one was hurt but hundreds of homes were damaged and some residents have been displaced.