Warm spring-like sunshine could felt on my western facing balcony this afternoon in northeast Moncton and for few precious minutes it almost felt like winter was over.
The thermometer climbed to 12.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which just barely eclipsed the record high of 12.8 C from 1953.
Other record highs were set across the Maritimes including 13.8 C in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia and 10.4 C in Edmundston.
But further to the west, the temperature climbed to a balmy 17.6 C in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
Environment Canada issued a flash freeze warning for much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island early today.
A low pressure system brought snow, later rain and then snow again after the temperature plummeted as Arctic air pushed back into the region.
The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 3.0 C at 11am and pooling water began freezing when the thermometer dropped below freezing by 3pm.
By early Saturday, forecasters say the low could drop to -20 C but temperatures will moderate on Sunday before falling again on Monday.
The track of the latest Nor’easter hugged the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia which ultimately led to more snow in Southeast New Brunswick than forecasters first thought.
Environment Canada originally predicted 10 cm but more than double fell in Greater Moncton which ended up with the highest snow total in the Maritimes.
This was a classic Nor’easter with strong winds reaching a peak gust of 78 km/h creating blowing and drifting snow in open areas.
Here are some regional totals as of 8am ADT on 31 January:
- Greater Moncton Airport: 25 cm
- Halifax International Airport: 23 cm
- Greenwood: 20
- Sydney: 20
- Halifax (downtown): 19
- Charlottetown: 19
- Bathurst: 18
- CFB Gagetown: 14
- Yarmouth: 13
- Saint John Airport: 11
Freshly fallen snow in west end Moncton, 18 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
Almost 20 cm of snow fell in Greater Moncton yesterday and it came without any official weather warnings.
Some media outlets were suggesting more than 20 cm while Environment Canada was calling for between 10 and 14 cm.
The snowfall turned out to be the second heaviest of the season so far after the Christmas Day storm.
The low pressure system also brought 14 cm to Saint John, 17 cm in the Fredericton area and about 20 cm in Grand Manan and Alma.
Even higher amounts were recorded in eastern Prince Edward Island, northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island.
Before a cold front swept through the Maritimes, all-time record January highs were set across the region yesterday including 16.7 C at Greater Moncton International Airport.
New Brunswick’s all-time January high was set in Sussex at 17.3 C, narrowly beating the previous provincial record of 17.2 C in Moncton from 08 January 1930.
Nova Scotia’s all-time January record was set yesterday in Greenwood at 19.0 C followed closely by Cheticamp at 18.9 C while on Prince Edward Island, Summerside hit a new monthly high of 13.8 C and St. Peters reached a provincial high of 17.8 C.
Environment Canada says while the latest storm delivered almost 28 mm of rain in Moncton, more than a month’s worth fell in Mechanic Settlement at 128 mm and Bouctouche at 98 mm.
The peak wind gust was clocked in Saint John at 96 km/h.
“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)
An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.
Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.
In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.
Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.
Several weather outlets are forecasting a major winter storm will hit the Maritimes bringing heavy snow and strong winds to New Brunswick just days into 2018.
Blizzard conditions are possible along with large waves and high water levels along the coast.
Nova Scotia may get more rain along the Atlantic coast while a rain/snow mix is likely inland.
Until the storm arrives, Arctic air remains firmly in place with several cities in Ontario setting new record lows on New Year’s Day including -22.6 C at Toronto Pearson Airport and -28.6 C at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport.
Barely white on Christmas morning in Truro, NS, 25 December 2017 (Dearing)
Technically in Truro, Nova Scotia, it wasn’t a White Christmas with snow falling later in the morning which changed to freezing rain, ice pellets and eventually rain.
But by late afternoon, winds gusted to almost 100 km/h which knocked down trees and power lines leaving thousands in the dark on Christmas Day.
In Greater Moncton, snow and blowing snow were factors on December 25 with about 20 cm accumulating – the heaviest snowfall so far this season.
Across Canada, Vancouver had a trace of white for Christmas while Victoria had 3 cm of snow.
Calgary is still digging out from a 30 cm snowfall a few days ago, Winnipeg had its coldest Christmas in 20 years plunging to -30 C and Toronto picked up 10 cm during the day.
A ridge of clouds as the sun rises over northern Nova Scotia near Truro, 15 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
A ridge of clouds as the sun rose over northern Nova Scotia was an awesome sight to behold during a trip from Moncton to Halifax on Friday.
Although Greater Moncton lost most of its snow cover due to rain a few days ago, Truro picked up some snow early Friday (5-10 cm) but Halifax was snow-free.
The Nova Scotia capital did pick up a few centimetres early Saturday but Truro and Moncton didn’t.
But the entire Maritimes is under an Arctic air mass which has brought cold wind chills to -25 and daytime highs well below freezing.
Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)
A classic snowstorm brought heavy, moisture-laden snow to much of New Brunswick this weekend.
Environment Canada says the heaviest amounts fell in northeast areas of the province with 27 cm at Bathurst and 24 cm at Miscou Island.
Greater Moncton received 15 cm which was exactly what was being forecasted for Southeast New Brunswick.
The same system brought rain and warm temperatures to eastern mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the island of Newfoundland with a high of 18 C in St. John’s.