From cold to hot

Leaves are finally bursting out, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 May 2020 (Dearing)

Numerous record lows were set across the Maritimes early Sunday morning as temperatures plummeted under clear skies and light winds.

But the cold will be replaced by heat as the jet stream surges north over Eastern Canada this week.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for New Brunswick with unseasonably warm weather expected for late May.

Records will be challenged in Greater Moncton as daytime highs soar to 30°C and humidex values reach the mid-30’s.

New record lows set on 24 May:

  • Woodstock -4.7°C
  • Edmundston -3.0°C
  • Grand Manan -2.8°C
  • Bouctouche -1.9°C
  • Saint John -1.6°C
  • Kejimkujik NP -1.6°C
  • Summerside -1.4°C

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Active Atlantic hurricane season predicted

Hurricane

U.S. forecasters have unveiled their projections for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and it promises to be a busy one with 13 to 19 named storms and 6 to 10 becoming hurricanes.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believes several factors are at play this year including above average sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical trade winds and an expected La Nina climate pattern.

Although the season doesn’t officially begin until 01 June, there has already been one named storm – Arthur – which had peak wind gusts of 95 km/h and neared the Southeastern U.S. before moving out to sea without striking land.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre will also be keeping an eye on storms which enter northern waters.

Last September, Hurricane Dorian made landfall near Halifax and caused destruction across Nova Scotia, Southeast New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Late season snow!

Courtesy Nova Scotia Highway Cameras

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island saw more snow today which is becoming a bit unusual as April comes to an end.

A slow moving low pressure system brought several centimetres which mainly accumulated on colder surfaces such as grass and vehicles.

The Halifax area turned white and so did northern and eastern areas of the province and Cape Breton.

New Brunswick seemed to escape the snow except for a few scattered flurries.

UPDATE – New snowfall records:

Halifax Stanfield Airport – 28.2 cm (old record 19.3 cm from 1967)

Sydney Airport – 24.8 cm (old record 6.6 cm from 1971)

Warm spring day

Finally some warmth!

Southeast New Brunswick is trending slightly above normal for March but real heat has been absent until this weekend.

Greater Moncton reached 9.4°C which was a monthly high.

While Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island were cooler, some parts of the Maritimes got into the double digits.

Liverpool, Nova Scotia hit 13.9°C while Saint John recorded 10.5°C.

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)

Groundhogs send mixed messages

Shubenacadie Sam sees his shadow, Shubenacadie, NS, 02 Feb 2020 (Twitter)

The first marmot in North America to make a weather prediction on Groundhog Day was Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam who saw his shadow early today which means another six weeks of winter.

However, Ontario’s Wiarton Willie and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see their respective shadows hence an early spring is expected.

So which groundhog do we believe?

The annual tradition originated in Germany and traces its roots to religion rather than science.

Environment Canada notes how data over the last 30 to 40 years shows that the groundhogs have only been correct about 37 percent of the time.

But admittedly, it’s a fun way to mark the midpoint of winter whether or not it wraps up early or drags on into spring.

Nova Scotia hit with heavy snow

Halifax Public Gardens main entrance, 08 Jan 2020 (Storyful/Accuweather)

Just days after the first major snowstorm of the season hit Nova Scotia, another low pressure system intensified as it tracked south of the province on Wednesday.

The eastern mainland and Cape Breton Island received lots of snow – more than 60 cm fell in some areas.

Southeast New Brunswick got off relatively easy with about 10 cm recorded in Greater Moncton.

Here are some snowfall totals (in cm) from 09 January at 5pm AST:

  • Pictou area – 63
  • Truro – 42
  • Ingonish Beach – 38
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport – 30
  • Dartmouth – 28
  • Sydney – 27
  • Charlottetown, PE – 23
  • Kentville – 20
  • Yarmouth – 15

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

First storm of 2020

Heavy snow in St. John’s, NL, 06 Jan 2020 (Twitter/@kelseyhowlett93)

Just days into the new year, a low pressure system has brought mostly snow to Atlantic Canada especially near the ocean.

For most of Nova Scotia, it was winter’s first major snowfall with up to 15 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and nearly 40 cm in Sydney.

The storm grazed Greater Moncton with only 3 cm of snow.

After leaving the Maritimes, the system brought 42 cm snow to St. John’s, Newfoundland and 30 cm to the Burin Peninsula with a peak wind gust of 106 km/h in Bonavista.

Meantime, forecasters say another low pressure system is coming midweek.

Wintry mix for New Year’s Eve

A wintry mix falls in NE Moncton, 31 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

The same storm system which impacted Ontario and Quebec is now creating travel havoc in the Maritimes with a mixed bag of precipitation.

Snow along with ice pellets began in Southwest New Brunswick on New Year’s Eve morning and gradually spread to Greater Moncton by early afternoon.

About 14 cm of snow and ice pellets could accumulate in the Southeast before a changeover to rain around midnight as temperatures rise above freezing.

Snowfall warnings have been posted in western and northern New Brunswick with 15 to 30 cm likely with lesser amounts for Prince Edward Island and mostly rain is forecast for mainland Nova Scotia.

UPDATE

Moncton received 5.4 cm of snow, Saint John had 3.4 cm while about 10 cm fell in Fredericton but near 30 cm in Woodstock.

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%