Tree falls near school bus in Mississauga, Ontario, 04 May 2018 (Twitter/Peel Regional Police)
A rapidly deepening low pressure system created strong winds gusting to hurricane-strength across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec on Friday knocking down trees and power lines causing massive outages.
Three people were killed by fallen trees and a school bus filled with children in Mississauga had a near miss.
Toronto Pearson Airport had a maximum wind gust of 119 km/h while Montreal Trudeau Airport recorded 117 km/h – both are the windiest days ever in May.
Winds were also powerful on Saturday in Greater Moncton with a wind gust of 100 km/h – the strongest since January.
We know it snows in Canada in April but an astonishing amount of snow remains on the ground for the middle of the month.
The only snow-free areas as of 18 April are mainland Nova Scotia, extreme SW Ontario, southern Manitoba, SW Saskatchewan, SE Alberta, coastal British Columbia and southern valleys of the interior.
Even much of the northeastern United States and the upper Great Lakes region is still covered in white.
In Greater Moncton, the snow has mostly disappeared except for man-made snowbanks but as much as 100 cm remains in northern New Brunswick.
It felt more like mid-spring than late winter across Southern Ontario today.
A mild air mass combined with strengthening February sunshine to set new record highs in the region.
Environment Canada reports April-like maximums for 28 February:
- Sarnia, 16.8 C, old record 15.1 C from 2016
- Toronto Pearson Airport, 16.2 C, old record 14.0 C from 2016
- Windsor, 16.1 C, old record 13.6 C from 2017
- London, 15.1 C, old record 14.2 C from 2016
- Kitchener-Waterloo, 15.0 C, old record 12.4 C from 2016
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.
Icy road on the Acadian Peninsula, 27 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
Canada had the eighth warmest period in 70 years of reporting weather in 2017, with temperatures averaging 1.4°C above normal.
From a list of 100 significant weather events across the country, Environment Canada picked the top 10 weather stories of the year:
1. Long and destructive summer wildfire season in British Columbia
2. Hot and dry summer in the West from Interior BC to Manitoba
3. Spring flooding in Quebec and Ontario
4. Cold and snowy winter in BC including Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island
5. More heavy rain and flooding in Southwestern Ontario during late August
6. Cool and wet summer in Central Canada
7. Heavy snow cripples Ontario and Quebec in mid-March
8. Record heat across Eastern Canada during September
9. Blizzards hit Newfoundland in March and April
10. Lengthy ice storm impacts New Brunswick in late January
Snow in midtown Toronto, 12 Dec 2017 (Habitat Toronto/Instagram)
While the province itself currently basks in warmth, an Alberta Clipper moved through Central Canada dropping the first snow of the season to many parts of Southern Ontario and Quebec.
About 12 cm of snow fell in Windsor, 10 cm at Toronto Pearson Airport and 16 cm in Ottawa.
Environment Canada is forecasting even heavier amounts for Quebec City with up to 50 cm expected.
The system also brought more than 30 cm of snow to northern New Brunswick with a mix of snow and rain in Greater Moncton.
Most Canadians know winter, astronomically speaking, begins around 21 December but we know the season actually gets underway weeks before then.
Meteorologists like to package winter into neat three month blocks which is why 01 December marks the start of meteorological winter and 28 February marks the end.
In its three month outlook, Environment Canada expects most of New Brunswick will have above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
A large swath of the Arctic will likely be warmer than usual while Ontario and the southern Prairies will have higher amounts of rain and snow compared to normal.
Heavy snow in Mount Forest, ON, 10 Nov 2017 (TWN)
Temperatures have felt more like January than November across Ontario as an Arctic air mass brought snow and record cold to many communities.
Both Toronto Pearson and Toronto Island Airports set new lows early Friday and early Saturday near -10 C which in some cases dated back to the mid-1800s.
Police warned drivers to slow down on highways which became slick with the first snowfall of the season.
An intense low pressure system which absorbed the remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe unleashed its fury on Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes after racing through the Northeastern United States.
Environment Canada reports more than 100 mm of rain (a month’s worth) fell in Ottawa turning some streets into rivers in the National Capital (2017 is now its wettest year ever) and neighbouring Gatineau.
Strong winds gusted to 93 km/h at Ile d’Orleans with rainfall amounts of up to 90 mm across Southern Quebec.
Western New Brunswick felt the brunt of this storm in the Maritimes while Greater Moncton recorded 25 mm of rain and a peak wind gust of 69 km/h.