Snow settles in NE Moncton before a changeover to rain, 28 Oct 2018 (Dearing)
A frosty Saturday morning proved record breaking at the Greater Moncton International Airport when the thermometer plunged to -6.6°C which breaks the previous cold low from 1998 by 0.1°C.
Frigid temperatures were also set in Edmundston at -12.2°C, Woodstock at -11.7°C and Saint John at -8.4°C with weather records going back to 1886.
The Arctic cold was soon replaced by a low pressure system with some tropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Willa.
The early season Nor’easter brought snow, ice pellets and eventually rain to the Maritimes along with gusty winds which uprooted trees in parts of New England.
Dorchester Beach, NB, 17 June 2018 (Dearing)
Spring had its inevitable ups and downs in Southeast New Brunswick but overall the average temperature was close to normal for March, April and May.
March was very stormy with a parade of Nor’easters which led to the highest snow depth of the winter in Greater Moncton by the end of the month.
April was slightly colder than normal with chilly nights until mid-month and the last measurable snow fell on the 21st.
May had slightly above normal temperatures overall thanks to 14 days with daytime highs of 20 C or more but nights remained cold with single digit lows.
So far this June, the mean temperature is running three degrees below average with a hard frost on the 4th which was the coldest minimum since 16 April.
METEOROLOGICAL SPRING at the Greater Moncton International Airport
Average -1.7 C (1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Snowfall: well above normal, Rainfall: well below normal
Average 3.2 C (0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Snowfall: below normal, Rainfall: above normal
Average 10.3 C (0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)
Rainfall: below normal, Snowfall: nil
Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)
Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.
The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.
By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.
Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.
MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 1.3 C
Average LOW -4.7 C
AVERAGE -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.1 C (29 Mar)
Extreme LOW -15.4 C (26 Mar)
RAINFALL 11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
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
A snowbound U.S. Capitol building, Washington DC, 21 March 2018 (Twitter)
The fourth snowstorm this March struck the American Northeast during the first full day of spring with its biggest fury in a stretch from Washington, DC to New York City.
About 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell in the American capital which was the heaviest this winter and the latest March storm since 1964.
New York City’s Central Park recorded almost 20 cm which pushed the seasonal total above 75 cm for the fifth straight winter.
The Nor’easter didn’t pack much of a punch for Boston – less than 5 cm – but it is heading toward the Maritimes.
Another long and dark winter is finally over – at least astronomically speaking anyway!
The vernal equinox officially arrived at 1:15pm ADT in New Brunswick marking spring as the length of day equals the length of night.
But forecasters say winter weather is not over yet with the fourth Nor’easter in two weeks expected to hit the Maritimes on Thursday.
Environment Canada says spring-like weather may not arrive until month’s end or early April.
So much for Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction of an early spring!
Wet, heavy snow in NE Moncton, 14 March 2018 (Dearing)
The third Nor’easter in a week to strike Southeast New Brunswick packed less punch than the other two despite predictions it would be the strongest.
Temperatures remained near freezing in Greater Moncton during the snowfall which made it extremely heavy and wet and strong winds gusted to 85 km/h.
The western and northeastern parts of the province were hardest hit from this storm.
Snowfall totals as of 9pm ADT, 14 March:
- Miramichi 46 cm
- Bathurst 40 cm
- Fredericton 38 cm
- Saint John 27 cm
- Greater Moncton 16 cm
- Halifax Stanfield Airport 12 cm
- Charlottetown 5 cm
Peak wind gusts:
- Grand Etang 146 km/h
- Lunenburg 104 km/h
- Sydney 85 km/h
- Halifax Stanfield 83 km/h
An early sign of spring in downtown Moncton, 03 March 2018 (Dearing)
After days of cloudy skies and mostly dry conditions, it seems Old Man Winter is returning.
While no weather warnings are currently in place for Southeast New Brunswick, snowfall advisories have been issued for areas to the north and west.
Environment Canada says a low pressure system approaching from the U.S. Northeast could bring 10-15 cm of snow Thursday with a changeover to rain by evening as temperatures climb above freezing.
But another storm system will move into the region late Friday and into Saturday with rain changing over to snow.
And early next week could bring yet another storm system.
The Weather Network has taken a look ahead at the months of March, April and May for Atlantic Canada…
While it has been a relatively mild winter across the region, winter will still have several parting shots, including the threat for a few Nor’easters.
For some places, the biggest snowfall of the year could still be on the horizon (keep in mind the context – some areas have not had a classic winter storm).
Back and forth temperature swings should come close to offsetting, but with more potential for warmth to outweigh the periods of colder weather.
An active storm track will tap into subtropical moisture at times and bring above normal precipitation to most of the region through the spring season.
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)