June 2018 – Cold nights, plenty of rain

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Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 June 2018 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton has endured the coolest June in recent memory and while daytime highs were close to normal – with a few exceptions – overnight lows were cold, even frosty at times during the first half of the month.

A hard frost on 04 June with a record breaking low of -3.2 C was devastating for agriculture across New Brunswick especially in the Southeast.

Farmers suffered major damage – in some cases 50 to 80 percent losses – to crops such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

Oddly enough, the temperature had not been that low in all of May and not since 16 April had it been at least that cold.

Rainfall was about 60 percent above normal and was confined to a handful of major rain events with nine days being completely dry.

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

Average HIGH  20.3°C

Average LOW  6.6°C

AVERAGE  13.5°C (about 1.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  29.7°C (01 June)

Extreme LOW  -3.2°C (04 June)

RAINFALL  154.0 mm (about 60 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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TWN unveils summer forecast

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Spring has sputtered in New Brunswick – it was nowhere to be found in March, finally appeared in late April and although May has had a few warm days, the month is still running slightly below normal in Greater Moncton.

So what about summer?

In its seasonal forecast, the Weather Network believes a cool June should give way to more consistent warm weather during July and August.

A humid summer is expected which may result in warmer than normal temperatures at night – overnight lows average about 12 C.

While periods of dry weather are expected, heavy showers and thunderstorms should bring rain totals to near normal for the season.

Snow in late May!!!

While a snowflake or two is common in early May in New Brunswick, accumulating snow is rare in the latter part of the month.

A cold front pushed through the province today and with a change in wind direction from south to north, precipitation changed from rain to snow and the thermometer plummeted.

Bathurst and Miramichi both reported snow today and in some areas it began to stick to the ground while thunderstorms rolled through further south.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature drop was dramatic with a high of 16 C at 11am and by 4pm it was only 5 C.

Meantime, parts of central Newfoundland are under a snowfall warning with 15 to 30 cm in the forecast.

Icy weekend in Central Canada

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A tree falls onto an SUV in an ice storm, East York, Toronto, ON, 15 April 2018 (R. Johnston/Toronto Star)

A slow moving low pressure system brought a wintry mix of snow, ice pellets, freezing rain, rain and strong winds to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec over the weekend.

Icy conditions led to more than 1,600 highway crashes, numerous power outages from falling trees and downed lines, cancelled flights, transit delays and school closures.

Officials were forced to close the CN Tower due to falling ice from the structure.

Here are some totals from the spring storm as of 16 April at 2pm EDT:

  • Toronto Pearson Airport – 18 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain, 12 cm ice pellets.
  • Toronto Billy Bishop Airport – Peak wind gust of 96km/h
  • London – 14 hours of freezing rain with ice pellets
  • Windsor – 6 hours of freezing rain
  • Hamilton – 11 hours of ice pellets, 6 hours of freezing rain and ice pellets, 8 hours of freezing rain
  • Ottawa – 9 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 6 hours of freezing rain Monday, wind gusts to 70 km/h
  • Montreal – 9 hours of freezing rain Saturday, 4 hours of freezing rain Sunday, 3 hours freezing rain Monday
  • Quebec City – 5 hours of freezing rain Monday

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Winter 2017/18 – Riding a Rollercoaster!

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A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.

What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.

Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.

WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Average LOW  -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

AVERAGE  -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 February)

RAINFALL  134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

 

February 2018 – Warm with more rain

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Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring, 02 Feb 2018 (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, NS)

The first half of February in Southeast New Brunswick was decidedly winter with frigid overnight lows dropping to a numbing -21 C in the first few days alone.

But the second half of the month was spring-like with most daytime highs above freezing and more tolerable minimums.

The average monthly temperature for Greater Moncton was about 3.2 degrees above normal and anything above 2 degrees is considered significant in meteorology.

Precipitation was slightly above average with more rain than snow falling compared to normal.

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

Average HIGH  1.0 C

Average LOW  -9.7 C

AVERAGE  -4.4 C (about 3.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  12.9 C (21 Feb)

Extreme LOW  -20.5 C (03 Feb)

RAINFALL  42.0 mm (more than 30 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  49.2 cm (about 25 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

TWN unveils spring forecast

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The Weather Network has taken a look ahead at the months of March, April and May for Atlantic Canada…

While it has been a relatively mild winter across the region, winter will still have several parting shots, including the threat for a few Nor’easters.

For some places, the biggest snowfall of the year could still be on the horizon (keep in mind the context – some areas have not had a classic winter storm).

Back and forth temperature swings should come close to offsetting, but with more potential for warmth to outweigh the periods of colder weather.

An active storm track will tap into subtropical moisture at times and bring above normal precipitation to most of the region through the spring season.

Escaping a strange winter

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The beaches of Varadero, Cuba, 15 February 2018 (Dearing)

Let’s face it, winter in Southeast New Brunswick has been a volatile roller coaster ride with wildly fluctuating temperatures and unusual amounts of mixed precipitation.

I wanted an escape, so a two-week vacation getaway to Cuba was in order.

From 06-20 February, the island’s most popular beach destination of Varadero enjoyed daytime highs in the upper 20s C with glorious sunshine and just a few passing clouds.

Winter is the dry season in Cuba and precipitation was light except for a lengthy downpour of rain during just one early morning.

Varadero has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and millions of international visitors – mostly Canadians – flock there every year.

January 2018 – Turbulent!

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The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)

The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.

Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.

A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.

Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.

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

Average HIGH  -2.0 C

Average LOW  -12.6 C

AVERAGE  -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 Jan)

RAINFALL  53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  77.2 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Snow vanishes!

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Bare ground in west end Moncton after rain washes away snow cover, 24 Jan 2018 (Dearing)

The snow cover in Greater Moncton has disappeared after the latest storm system rolled through with mixed precipitation and mild temperatures.

Rainfall amounts varied from 20 to 70 mm across New Brunswick, up to 8 hours of freezing rain fell in Gagetown and 20 cm of snow was recorded in Bathurst and Edmundston.

Record highs for 23 January were set in Saint John at 10.4 C and St. Stephen reached 11.3 C.

Since a consistent snow cover began on 09 December in Southeast New Brunswick, the ground has been bare a couple of times for short periods.