Desmoiselles Beach, Hopewell Rocks, 12 May 2019 (Dearing)
The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season in Canada when opening up the cottage or camping are on the agenda.
However, many residents are still wearing heavy, winter jackets and gloves as daytime highs struggle to reach 10°C in Southeast New Brunswick.
The normal maximum in Greater Moncton is about 18°C but the long range forecast shows it won’t be that warm for another six days!
Environment Canada has issued a frost advisory for all of New Brunswick and most of mainland Nova Scotia as the overnight low drops to near freezing.
On the upside, the advisory means the growing season is now officially underway but on the downside, it’s not warm enough to plant anything.
Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)
The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization says water levels continue to recede and are now below flood stage along most of the St. John River system.
Several roads remain closed and drivers are told to respect any barricades.
The provincial government has launched a disaster assistance program to help residents, businesses and municipalities deal with property damage from flooding.
Health officials are warning about harvesting wild, edible plants like fiddleheads near flooded waterways which may have been exposed to contaminants.
May is here which means it won’t be long before Jack Frost visits Atlantic Canada for the last time this spring.
Mid to late May is typically when the last frost arrives in Greater Moncton, early in the month for Halifax and late April for Yarmouth.
Early to mid June dates are normal for most of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Last year in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, frost appeared as late as early June which proved disastrous for grape, blueberry and strawberry farmers.
Glorious sunset in NE Moncton, 22 Apr 2019 (Dearing)
Spring can be the most disappointing season of the year in New Brunswick and April 2019 was no exception with cloudy, cool and often wet conditions.
Surprisingly, Greater Moncton was close to normal in temperature but double the average amount of rain fell along with slightly more snow than usual.
Melting snow and heavy precipitation led to more disastrous flooding along the St. John River – almost as bad as last year’s historic water levels.
Only one day was fully below freezing and while nights weren’t that cold, daytime highs often struggled to reach the double digits.
APRIL 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 8.1°C
Average LOW -1.0°C
AVERAGE 3.6°C (near normal)
Extreme HIGH 18.9°C (21 Apr)
Extreme LOW -6.0°C (08 Apr)
RAINFALL 122.5 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 32.8 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
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.
Flooding along the St. John River in Maugerville, 23 April 2019 (5th Canadian Division/Facebook)
For the second year in a row, floodwaters from the St. John River have forced the closure of the Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.
The New Brunswick Department of Transportation says drivers must detour at the Oromocto exit or at the River Glade exit and travel through Saint John.
The detour will add approximately 90 kilometres in each direction.
River Watch officials say water levels in Saint John are expected to reach last year’s historic marks by Friday and while now receding in Fredericton, the water will likely rise again by this weekend.
Floodwaters along the St. John River peaked in Fredericton today and are expected to peak in Saint John by Friday.
While the flooding is significant, River Watch officials in New Brunswick say levels are not expected to surpass last year’s historic numbers.
The provincial government has called in the Canadian Armed Forces from CFB Gagetown to help with soldiers assisting with sandbagging, evacuations and wellness checks.
Many roads especially in the Fredericton region have also been closed due to floodwaters and it could be days before some can reopen.
Snow in west end Moncton, 09 April 2019 (Dearing)
Real winter weather in New Brunswick started early – back in mid-November – and the relentless season hangs on.
Greater Moncton recorded 7 cm of snow overnight with more than 10 cm in southwestern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia.
The strong April sun had melted most it by the end of the day.
But another weak system tonight could bring another 4 cm.
Warmer weather is on the way with Environment Canada forecasting highs in the double digits by the weekend.
The last day of March proved to be the warmest day in Greater Moncton since 03 November when the thermometer hit 17.1 C.
The daytime high reached a balmy 16.8 C and the New Brunswick hot spot was 19 C in Sussex which brought residents outdoors to walk, run, hike and play.
The maximum was actually close to the record for the date which was 17.5 C from 2006.
But a passing cold front will drop the temperature considerably overnight as rain changes to snow and Monday’s high struggles to reach slightly above freezing.
Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)
A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain, flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.
The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.
Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.
Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.
New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.