Bitter cold, snow in the West

Snow falls in Vancouver, BC, 15 January 2020 (Vancouver PD/Twitter)

Extremely cold Arctic air has enveloped Western Canada.

Temperatures have dropped into the -30s Celsius with bitter wind chills in the -40s on the Prairies and near -50 in the northern territories.

Even the normally mild Pacific coast has not escaped a so-called Arctic outflow.

About 15 to 20 cm snow fell in Vancouver and Victoria.

Schools closed, traffic was snarled and public transit buses got stuck in a region ill-equipped to handle wintry weather.

Coastal B.C. gets winter wallop

Victoria BC

Victoria, BC, 12 Feb 2019 (Royal BC Museum Inner Harbour Webcam)

Wintry weather doesn’t visit the coast of British Columbia very often but it certainly causes disruption when it arrives.

Following back to back snow days, Vancouver has picked up almost 25 cm of snow with higher amounts in the Fraser Valley and Victoria has recorded more than 40 cm.

An Arctic outflow pushing temperatures below freezing combined with low pressure off Vancouver Island is creating snowy rather than more typical rainy conditions.

Traffic and transit services were snarled, schools were cancelled and scattered power outages kept crews busy in the region.

Willa wallops Mexico’s Pacific coast

Willa

A boat rests on a street in Teacapan, Sinaloa, Mexico following Hurricane Willa, 24 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

Crashing into the Pacific coast of Mexico between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, Hurricane Willa was a Category 3 storm packing wind gusts up to 193 km/h.

The eye of the hurricane struck the town of Teacapan where roofs were ripped off buildings and the streets were turned into a muddy mess.

Roads leading into Teacapan were littered with dozens of fallen utility poles.

A massive evacuation effort moved thousands into temporary shelters inland and no deaths were reported.

Cherry blossoms brighten B.C. coast

cherryvan15apr

Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)

Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.

After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.

So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.

The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.

White Christmas guaranteed

24dec

For the first time since 2013, Southeast New Brunswick will have a White Christmas.

Although it was mild and rainy on Christmas Eve, not enough showers will fall to wash away the roughly 10 cm of lying snow in Greater Moncton.

Christmas Day is expected to be sunny with seasonal temperatures.

The only two parts of Canada that will not have a White Christmas are the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia and the Pacific coast of British Columbia.

Manuel and Ingrid prove deadly in Mexico

A car buried in mud after flooding in Chilpancingo, Mexico, 19 Sept 2013 (AP)

A car buried in mud after flooding in Chilpancingo, Mexico, 19 Sept 2013 (AP)

The rare one-two punch from Hurricane Manuel and Hurricane Ingrid have left a death toll of more than 100 people in Mexico according to the Reuters news agency.

Manuel has broken down and is now simply a low pressure system heading for Texas, USA which is actually welcome news for the drought-stricken state.

However, it brought astounding rainfall amounts of between 200 and 300 mm which caused widespread flooding and mudslides over mountainous terrain.

The Pacific coast resort cities of Acapulco and Mazatlan were among the hardest hit regions of the country and the cleanup is now underway.

Ingrid began strengthening in the Bay of Campeche after crossing the Yucatan Peninsula and slammed communities along the Gulf of Mexico as a strong tropical storm.

Hurricane Jova slams Mexico’s Pacific coast

Flooding in Manzanillo, Mexico, 12 Oct 2011 (AP)

Hurricane Jova flooded the streets of Mexico’s main Pacific port of Manzanillo¬†with torrential rain today, inundating popular beach resorts and killing at least two people in a mudslide.

Streets in Manzanillo were underwater, coastal communities flooded and roads blocked due to fallen trees and washouts after Jova, now a tropical depression, hit the coast as a Category Two hurricane late Tuesday.

The Red Cross says the streets of Manzanillo are impassable, as are the highways connecting Manzanillo with the south of Jalisco state.

Meanwhile, the popular resort town of Puerto Vallarta, further to the north, was largely spared from the storm.

While Jova ravaged the coast, a tropical depression farther to the southeast prompted thousands of evacuations in Mexico as well as flooding and mudslides that have killed 18 in Central America since the start of this week.