N.B. halts forestry operations amid extreme dryness

Tinder dry grass in west end Moncton, 03 Aug 2017 (Dearing)

Provincial officials say the fire hazard in New Brunswick is at its highest level in over 20 years.

A fire ban has been in place for days which means campers have to find other ways to roast marshmallows.

The province took a rare step today by restricting forestry operations during peak daytime hours.

Southeast New Brunswick currently has an extreme fire hazard and Greater Moncton has not recorded any significant rain since 21 July.

Unusual mid-summer cool snap

Sunset at Parlee Beach, NB, 18 July 2017 (Dearing)


Late July is typically the warmest period of summer in Greater Moncton but a recent cool down has brought September-like days and a record overnight low. 

On 23 July, the temperature fell to 6.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which broke a record low of 7.2 C from 1962. 

A frost advisory was posted in northwest New Brunswick with a chilly low of 2.4 C in Edmundston. 

The short term forecast calls for more seasonal highs in the mid-20’s C and lows near 13 C. 

Heat wave abruptly ends in N.B.

Heavy rain during thunderstorm in NE Moncton, 21 July 2017 (Dearing)


The temperature climbed to 30 C for three days in a row in Greater Moncton which is an unofficial heat wave since 32 C is the maximum by definition.

Those warm daytime highs, 30.4 C (19 July), 30.4 C (20 July) and 30.0 C (21 July), still haven’t eclipsed the season-to-date maximum of 30.8 C recorded on 11 June.

A cold front moved west to east through New Brunswick yesterday triggering scattered thunderstorms with heavy rain, gusty winds and even hail.

The heat and humidity have been replaced by a cooler, drier air mass with highs in the low 20’s C which is slightly below normal for late July.

Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)

More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.

Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.

Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.

The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.

Severe weather in northern N.B.

PlasterRock

Heavy rain, hail and wind, Plaster Rock, NB, 27 June 2017 (Greg LeBel/Facebook)

An unstable air mass moved from west to east in New Brunswick producing severe thunderstorms bringing torrential rain, large hail and strong winds.

Environment Canada believes a severe thunderstorm formed near Doaktown and possibly spawned a tornado that moved into the Blackville area last night.

Golf ball size hail and damaging winds with gusts up to 100 km/h were recorded in the Plaster Rock area.

Southeast New Brunswick has seen an above average 18 days with thunderstorm activity this June and a severe thunderstorm watch was issued in the region this afternoon.

Heat comes to abrupt end

Thunderstorm moves into Saint John, 12 June 2017 (AKS/Twitter)


After three days of daytime highs above 28 C in Greater Moncton, much cooler weather is coming thanks to a cold front and a change in wind direction. 

The warm sometimes unstable air mass has created severe thunderstorms across the region.

Flash flooding was reported in Saint John yesterday after heavy downpours with wind and and hail which were also observed today in northeastern Nova Scotia. 

Environment Canada is forecasting below seasonal temperatures for Southeast New Brunswick over the next couple of days. 

Heavy rain, wind after record highs

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Tree downed in key intersection of downtown Moncton, 09 June 2017 (Wade Perry/Twitter)

A low pressure system moved into the Maritimes today bringing up to 40 mm of rain to Greater Moncton.

A strong thunderstorm also rolled through Southeast New Brunswick in the early evening with wind speeds clocked as high as 102 km/h.

The brief but powerful gusts downed trees and branches onto power lines and caused thousands of power outages.

Environment Canada had not issued any weather warnings for the region.

The storm replaced a warm air mass which set record highs in at least four New Brunswick communities yesterday.

The hotspot was Kouchibouguac National Park which climbed to 32 C and that beats the maximum from 1992.

Moncton and Doaktown both tied their record highs of 30.6 C for the date.

Warmer weather ushers out cold

Brilliant pink sky over NE Moncton, 06 June 2017 (Dearing)


At least one New Brunswick location dropped to a new low on 06 June.

Environment Canada says Kouchibouguac National Park set a new cold record of -1.7 C which broke the old minimum of -1.1 C from 1958.

Greater Moncton managed to escape frost this week thanks to cloud cover although the thermometer fell to the freezing point tying a record low.

Following a brief period of very warm air, forecasters say temperatures will reach near seasonal values for the short term.

Near record cold in N.B.

A break in clouds over the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

The last couple of days had near record lows in Greater Moncton with temperatures dropping to near the freezing point.

A low of 1.0 C at the airport on Monday was close to the 1947 record of 0.6 C while a low of 0.0 C on Tuesday tied the minimum from 1995.

Fortunately cloud cover prevented frost in most of New Brunswick but another risk is possible by early Wednesday.

Folklore suggests frost can be expected until the full moon in June which is this Friday the ninth.

Cool, unsettled start to June

Ominous clouds near Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Weather conditions have been cool and unsettled in the Maritimes over the past several days.

While driving in Nova Scotia on Friday, I encountered everything from clouds and heavy downpours to a clearing sky with bright sunshine to clouds and rain again.

On the way home to New Brunswick on Saturday, I encountered similar conditions.

In Greater Moncton today, the thermometer climbed to a daytime high of only 10.6 C under a dreary sky which is about 10 degrees below normal for early June.

Forecasters say warmer, more seasonal temperatures will return by Wednesday but not before a risk of frost in Southeast New Brunswick by early Tuesday.