December starts icy in Ontario

OPP Hwy 401 crash

Highway 401 multi-vehicle crash near Kingston, ON, 01 Dec 2019 (OPP/Twitter)

A low pressure system delivered an icy mix of precipitation to Southern Ontario on Sunday with freezing rain and ice pellets turning highways and walkways into ice rinks.

Ontario Provincial Police say heavy snow shut down a section of Highway 401 near Kingston after a 30 to 40 vehicle pileup with more than a dozen injured and one fatality.

At least 500 road crashes were reported in the Greater Toronto Area and numerous flights were either cancelled or delayed at Pearson Airport.

Tens of thousands lost electricity after ice-laden tree branches fell onto power lines,

Several towns and cities were forced to cancel their Santa Claus Parades due to the extreme weather.

Manitoba declares state of emergency

A wintry scene in Winnipeg, 12 Oct 2014 (Facebook/Winnipeg)

The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a powerful storm dumped heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and wind to southern portions of the province this week.

Amid the early winter blast, Manitoba Hydro is trying to restore electricity to thousands of residents after numerous trees and branches – many still covered in leaves – fell onto power lines with winds gusting up to 100 km/h.

The storm was so bad it forced the temporary closure of the Trans Canada Highway from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan border.

Southern Manitoba got blasted after a Colorado Low moved in from the United States where it brought dramatic temperature drops and heavy snow to the Great Plains states.

The next concern for local emergency measures officials will be flooding as the snow melts given the rising temperatures forecasted over the next few days.

Snowfall totals as of 1pm CDT on Saturday, October 12th:

  • Carberry  74 cm
  • Morden  64 cm
  • Winnipeg  34 cm
  • Dauphin  30 cm
  • Brandon  29 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

September 2019 – Dorian’s fury

Fallen leaves on a trail in Irishtown Nature Park, 23 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

Hurricane Dorian defined September for Southeast New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Although downgraded before making landfall near Halifax, Dorian was still a very destructive storm.

Powerful winds toppled century-old trees onto power lines, a month’s worth of rain drenched the region in hours and a vicious storm surge tossed boats around like toys.

If it hadn’t been for Dorian, the month would have been quite dry in Greater Moncton.

September also lacked heat with slightly below normal temperatures thanks to chilly nights and cool daytime highs which often struggled to reach 20°C.

SEPTEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 18.9°C

Average LOW 7.3°C

AVERAGE 13.1°C (about 0.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 26.0°C (22 Sept)

Extreme LOW -0.4°C (19 Sept)

RAINFALL 187.5 mm (more than DOUBLE the normal amount)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Storm cleanup continues

Dorian crane (Coastal Elite Wikipedia)

Construction crane collapses during Dorian in south end Halifax, NS, 10 Sept 2019 (Coastal Elite/Wikipedia)

No one expected Dorian to batter Southeast New Brunswick with such intensity.

Hurricane-force winds and a powerful storm surge along the Northumberland Strait wrecked wharves and fishing boats, tossed yachts like toys at a marina, flooded campgrounds and destroyed camper trailers.

For the first time in its history, Parlee Beach has been closed to the public after boardwalks and ramps were damaged posing safety risks for visitors.

The cleanup at Murray Beach may take weeks where dozens of fallen trees closed the campground, kitchen shelters were flattened and the beach itself was heavily eroded.

Torrential rain washed out sections of some roads including in Salisbury where a car plunged into a gaping hole.

Public works crews in Greater Moncton have been clearing away downed trees and branches which were responsible for most power outages.

Five days after Dorian, thousands are still without electricity in Nova Scotia where century old trees toppled onto homes and vehicles.

Many city parks remain closed in Halifax due to debris and efforts begin to dismantle a construction crane which collapsed during the strong winds.

Snowstorm sweeps Southeastern U.S.

Southeast USA snowstorm

Man cuts fallen tree blocking a road in South Carolina, 09 Dec 2018 (Reuters)

Several deaths have been reported after a massive snowstorm buried parts of the Southeastern United States with more than 30 cm falling in several major cities to as much as 60 cm in the Appalachian Mountains.

North Carolina and Virginia were especially hard hit by the storm system which slowly moved out into the Atlantic Ocean today.

Highways became hazardous as snowy, icy conditions led to hundreds of collisions, dozens of flights were cancelled and schools and businesses shut down.

About 300,000 customers also lost electricity during the peak as the storm knocked trees onto power lines.

Wildfires tear through Tennessee

Burned buildings and cars aftermath of wildfire in Gatlinburg Tennessee

Wildfire devastation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA, 29 Nov 2016 (Reuters)

It sounds all too familiar in 2016 – wildfires devastate a community.

This time it’s autumn in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and last time it was spring in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

About 1,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed by wildfires in the eastern part of the southern U.S. state of Tennessee.

Officials believe the fire was human-caused and began earlier this week in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Strong winds toppled trees and power lines and spread embers to nearby Gatlinburg where 14,000 people had to be evacuated.

Rain has helped fire crews but months of drought has left the ground bone-dry.

At least two Canadians are among 13 people who have died in the wildfires.