Autumn 2018 in review

Autumn2018
Meteorological autumn spanning the months of September, October and November proved to be cooler and much wetter than normal in Greater Moncton.

While September felt more summer-like, it turned decidedly colder by mid-October and a big drop by mid-November with a low within two degrees of a 30-year record.

Precipitation was heavy with more than 100 mm of rain falling above normal and snow first appeared in late October and again in heavy amounts by late November.

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October 2018 – Cool and wet

View from the Sussex Bluffs, Sussex Corner, NB, 14 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

October 2018 proved to be very different from October 2017 in Southeast New Brunswick.

While it was warm and dry last year in Greater Moncton (the second warmest October since 1881), it was the opposite this year – cool and wet.

Temperatures were below normal with only one day reaching 20°C and a hard frost arrived by mid-month.

Only seven days were dry with three major rainfall events and snow fell on three days – briefly settling on the ground twice.

OCTOBER 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 10.5°C

Average LOW 2.2°C

AVERAGE 6.4°C (about 1.2 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.6°C (04 Oct)

Extreme LOW -6.6°C (27 Oct)

RAINFALL 150 mm (estimate; about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 6.2 cm (well ABOVE the normal of 1.2 cm)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Early season snow in N.B.

Radar image of New Brunswick, 17 hrs, 23 Oct 2018 (Intellicast)

Snow has come early for parts of northern and western New Brunswick as a low pressure system brings heavy rain elsewhere in the province.

Fredericton recorded a few centimetres of snow today while Greater Moncton is expecting mostly rain – possibly 15 to 25 mm – starting tonight.

Environment Canada says up to 15 cm of snow could fall by Wednesday night in the north and west with greater amounts over high terrain.

Michael strikes Florida panhandle

Hurricane Michael damage in Panama City, FL, USA, 10 Oct 2018 (Instagram)

Hurricane Michael slammed the coastline of the Florida panhandle making landfall mid-afternoon as a Category 4 storm.

Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Camille in 1969 with winds up to 250 km/h and as much as 300 mm of rain.

Warmer than normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico helped fuel Michael and the accompanying storm surge which submerged communities near Panama City.

Forecasters say the storm was downgraded to a Category 1 as it crossed Georgia.

Michael is expected to weaken to a post-tropical depression by the time it passes south of Nova Scotia on Saturday.

Frost forms under harvest moon

A clear night under a brilliant harvest moon lowered the temperature to -1.9°C in Greater Moncton this morning with some scattered frost.

Most sensitive vegetation survived as the thermometer fell below zero for less than six hours.

Many weather stations across New Brunswick had readings near or a few degrees below freezing.

On average, the first fall frost date in Moncton is 02 October with an growing season of 131 days.

However, a record breaking low of -3.2°C on 04 June brought a late frost (about two weeks later than usual) which proved devastating for farmers and gardeners.

So despite enjoying a long and warm summer, the frost-free season lasted 112 days which is about 19 days shorter than usual.

October 2017 – Second warmest since 1881

Many trees are losing leaves in west end Moncton, 27 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

October often felt like August in Greater Moncton with 12 days reaching daytime highs of 20 C or higher.

Environment Canada says only October 1913 was slightly warmer since records began in 1881.

Temperatures did fall below freezing on 7 days with some scattered frost but the month escaped a hard frost and vegetation continued to flourish.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal in Southeast New Brunswick continuing a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.

OCTOBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 17.7 C

Average LOW 5.0 C

AVERAGE 11.4 C (about 3.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 23.7 C (08 Oct)

Extreme LOW -1.8 C (13 Oct)

RAINFALL 76.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Late October heat wave

Along the Riverfront Trail in Moncton, 21 October 2017 (Dearing)

Nine communities across New Brunswick set new record highs yesterday and the same will likely happen again today.

Greater Moncton was the warmest spot in the province climbing to 23.1 C which broke the old maximum temperature of 22.8 C from 1928.

Greenwood was among six communities in Nova Scotia breaking records with a high of 24.5 C.

Four records fell on Prince Edward Island including Charlottetown at 21.7 C.

Environment Canada says the Maritimes is enjoying a late October heat wave because the region is sandwiched between low pressure and high pressure allowing warm, southerly air to move northward.

Warm Thanksgiving weekend

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 08 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

The jet stream brought warm southerly air into the Maritimes allowing temperatures in Southeast New Brunswick to climb into the 20s this Thanksgiving weekend.

Environment Canada says Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of 20.2 C on 07 October, 23.7 C on 08 October (near the record of 23.9 C from 1970), and 22.9 C on 09 October.

Given the autumn warmth, I couldn’t resist a visit to Aboiteau Beach (and neither could a handful of others) which was near 24 C under a mostly cloudy sky and it was quite windy.

Greenwood, Nova Scotia was the hot spot in Canada hitting 26 C for two days in a row.

Harvest Moon

The almost Full Harvest Moon over Moncton, NB, 04 Oct 2017

Under a mostly cloudy sky, it was difficult to capture the Full Harvest Moon in most of Southeast New Brunswick but I did manage to get a shot last night.

The Harvest Moon derives its name from when farmers used the moon’s bright light to help them gather crops for winter.

The Harvest Moon is the full moon nearest to the autumnal equinox which occurred on 22 September.

Record highs in the Maritimes

Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)


Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.

It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.

The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.