Sizzling heat Down Under

AUSheatwave

Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)


A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.

The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.

Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.

While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.

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December 2017 – Cold and dry

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Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)

December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.

But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.

After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.

Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).

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

Average HIGH  -2.5 C

Average LOW  -10.7 C

AVERAGE  -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  11.1 C (06 Dec)

Extreme LOW  -21.8 C (31 Dec)

RAINFALL  39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record highs in Alberta

Residents of Alberta were golfing rather than skiing this weekend as chinook-like weather brought record high temperatures.

On 09 December, Calgary set a new record of 15.4 C which broke the old record by one full degree from 1890.

The normal daytime high for Calgary is -1 C with an overnight low of -13 C.

Other records were set in Claresholm which hit a summer-like 20.3 C while Sundre reached 16.3 C.

Environment Canada says double digit highs are likely for at least the next few days.

Meteorological Summer in Greater Moncton

Maple tree turning colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, NB, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)


If you were looking for great summer weather in the province, Environment Canada says Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick was the place to find it this year. 

The average temperature for meteorological summer – June, July and August – was 18.1 C which is 0.7 degrees above normal. 

The weather office says humidity was often low, overnight lows were comfortable but 8 days hit 30 C or higher compared to a typical 4 to 5. 

The downside was a lack of precipitation with 155 mm of rain recorded which is 40 percent less than the summer average of 268 mm. 

August 2017 – Dry summer persists

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Extremely dry ground and brown grass in NE Moncton, 30 Aug 2017 (Dearing)

The dry summer in Southeast New Brunswick continued in August with a dangerous forest fire hazard and little precipitation to soak the parched ground.

A dry trend which began in late June continued during the month with less than 50 mm of rain falling in Greater Moncton.

Temperatures were above normal with daytime highs consistently in the high 20’s Celsius but a string of single digit overnight lows during the final week brought down the overall monthly average.

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

Average HIGH 25.6 C

Average LOW 11.9 C

AVERAGE 18.9 C (about 0.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.6 C (04 Aug)

Extreme LOW 7.2 C (28 Aug)

RAINFALL 46.8 mm (about 40 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

July 2017 – Warm and dry

Upper Salmon River, Alma, NB, 30 July 2017 (Dearing)

As the month of July progressed in Southeast New Brunswick, lawns turned brown and forests became extremely dry as temperatures soared and little rain fell.

Greater Moncton only received one-third of its normal monthly rainfall and 15 days had no precipitation at all.

The heat was steady throughout July with 20 days reaching 25 C or higher and four days climbing to 30 C or more.

A brief cool down near month end lowered daytime highs to the low 20s Celsius and brought a chilly overnight low of 6.9 C.

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

Average HIGH 26.0 C

Average LOW 12.3 C

AVERAGE 19.2 C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (31 July)

Extreme LOW 6.9 C (23 July)

RAINFALL 30.0 mm (about 67 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Unusual mid-summer cool snap

Sunset at Parlee Beach, NB, 18 July 2017 (Dearing)


Late July is typically the warmest period of summer in Greater Moncton but a recent cool down has brought September-like days and a record overnight low. 

On 23 July, the temperature fell to 6.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which broke a record low of 7.2 C from 1962. 

A frost advisory was posted in northwest New Brunswick with a chilly low of 2.4 C in Edmundston. 

The short term forecast calls for more seasonal highs in the mid-20’s C and lows near 13 C. 

Decent first half of July

An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)


For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July. 

After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal. 

Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on  05 July. 

The only concern is a lack of rainfall. 

The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick. 

(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)

June 2017 – Warm and unsettled

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Ominous clouds near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Thunderstorm activity was common throughout Southeast New Brunswick in June and all but ten days had at least a trace of rainfall.

But precipitation amounts were generally light in Greater Moncton except for two major rain events – 36.6 mm fell on 09 June along with a peak wind gust of 102 km/h and 21.2 mm fell on 24 June.

Temperatures were cool during the first week of the month with an overnight low dropping to the freezing point although frost was generally avoided thanks to cloudy skies.

Summer-like conditions arrived by mid-month and many daytime highs climbed well into the 20’s C and reached 30 C or higher three times.

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

Average HIGH  22.4 C

Average LOW  9.9 C

AVERAGE 16.2 C (about 1.0 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  30.8 C (11 June)

Extreme LOW  0.0 C (06 June)

RAINFALL  77.8 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

March 2017 – Cold and snowy

Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)

Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March. 

Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month. 

Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week. 

Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March. 

Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days. 

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

Average HIGH 0.3 C

Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)

Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)

RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(courtesy Environment Canada)