Northeastern Ontario burning

ON fire

Helicopter drops water on eastern flank of Parry Sound 33 fire, 30 July 2018 (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

A forest fire in northeastern Ontario is edging dangerously close to the Trans Canada Highway which links the northern and southern parts of the province.

Known as Parry Sound 33, the fire has burned more than 100 square kilometres since it began on 18 July and smoke has been creating poor air quality.

Many small communities, south of Greater Sudbury, are either being evacuated or are on alert to leave at a moment’s notice.

More than 600 firefighters from across North America have arrived to help battle this blaze and dozens of others across the region.


Sizzling heat in Southwest U.S.


Children play at a water park in Las Vegas, NV, USA, 20 June 2017 (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Excessive heat warnings have been posted in parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico where record highs have been broken.

Las Vegas tied its record today of 47 C and Phoenix came close to its all-time high at 48 C.

Many flights have been delayed or cancelled since smaller jets can’t operate properly in dangerously hot conditions.

Temperatures have soared to 53 C in Death Valley, California which climbed to 56.7 C on 10 July 1913 – the hottest ever in North America.

Polar vortex sinks south

590x393_11101954_pvThe coldest blast of air so far this autumn is impacting much of North America this week bringing snow and icy temperatures to the middle of the continent.

Thanks to a monster storm in Alaska producing 15-metre waves, the polar vortex has sunk south with the Prairies struggling to reach highs of -10 C and snow moving into the American Midwest.

Colder temperatures are in store for Southeast New Brunswick later this week according to Environment Canada with highs barely above freezing under mostly clear skies.

Polar vortex in July

Courtesy The Old Farmers Almanac

Courtesy The Old Farmers Almanac

Most of us are familiar with the polar vortex.

Last winter, the cold outbreak sunk deep into North America and brought frigid conditions to much of the continent.

But the polar vortex can happen in July too and essentially during mid-summer, it means the jet stream is taking an unusually deep trek south.

For Ontario, it has meant below seasonal temperatures this July.

As a matter of fact, St. John’s has had more days above 25 C this month than Toronto which is fairly significant given the Ontario capital’s typical hot and humid weather during July.

Fortunately, New Brunswick like Newfoundland has been on the other side of the jet stream this month with warm, sunny days and above seasonal temperatures.

Severe cold settles into NB

ColdTemperatures could fall as low as -22°C in parts of New Brunswick tonight and it will feel even colder with the windchill.

An Arctic air mass has moved into the Maritimes and is expected to stick around for a few days.

How can it get so cold?

Cold air develops over frozen areas of the Arctic region.

At these high latitudes, there is little or no sunlight this time of year with far more outgoing than incoming heat energy.

Eventually the cold air moves south across North America and is giving us the first frigid conditions of the season.

Colorado Low barreling toward Maritimes


A wind warning has been issued for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick by Environment Canada as a Colorado Low heads for the Maritimes.

A Colorado Low is a low pressure system that develops near Colorado on the eastern side of the American Rockies and carries everything from heavy snow and torrential rains to super cell outbreaks and gale force winds.

The Colorado Low is the third most frequent system that influences weather across North America, trailing only the Alberta Clippers and North Pacific Lows.

Tomorrow, the southwesterlies funnelling up the Bay of Fundy will likely reach gusts of 90 km/h and will target the Tantramar Marsh area between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  

Rainfall amounts could total 30 mm by Saturday.

Winter eases into spring

Birds of spring in Moncton, 16 March 2012 (TWN)

After several days of winter-like weather, it’s finally going to feel more like spring in New Brunswick this weekend. 

Temperatures across the province will return to double digit highs by tomorrow under a sunny sky.

News 91.9 meteorologist Richard Zurawski says while we’ve been experiencing winter this week, regions close by such as southern Ontario and southern New England, have been basking in 20 degree Celsius temperatures.

“In the northeast of North America, we’ve been looking at very mild temperatures, record-setting… and it looks like this dome of warm air is going to stick around.”

Zurawski adds the warm spring-like weather is expected to continue well into next week and some parts of the province could reach 20 degrees by Tuesday. 

(courtesy News 91.9 Moncton)