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)

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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.

Another roller coaster ride!

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

A low pressure system from the west is bringing another mixed bag of precipitation to the Maritimes and once it departs more cold air will filter in behind it.

Schools were cancelled in New Brunswick today as snow began in the morning followed by a changeover to ice pellets and freezing rain and eventually to rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Flooding is possible again since the partially frozen ground is less able to absorb heavy rainfall.

Environment Canada issued a freezing rain warning for Greater Moncton but it was dropped later in the day with less than an hour of ice pellets/freezing rain recorded.

The temperature is expected to reach 10 C by early Wednesday before plunging to -13 C by early Thursday – a difference of 23 degrees in less than a day.

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)

Freezing rain creates icy conditions

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Freezing rain (pink) sandwiched between snow (blue) to the north and rain (green) to the south, 23 Dec 2017 (Intellicast)

Streets and highways in Greater Moncton turned into skating rinks early this evening after freezing rain began falling through Central and Southeast New Brunswick.

Social media users mentioned how numerous vehicles were sliding off the roads in icy conditions and Magnetic Hill had become an ice sheet.

A low pressure system from the Northeastern United States brought mixed precipitation which eventually changed to rain.

Meantime, Environment Canada is monitoring a major snowstorm expected Christmas Day which could bring 20 cm snow to parts of New Brunswick.

Meteorological winter begins

EC winter

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.

November 2017 – Seesaw temperatures

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Wildflowers and annuals in northeast Moncton, 03 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

As dark and dreary as November seems in Southeast New Brunswick, temperatures can often be volatile and this month was no exception.

Greater Moncton had at least five dramatic temperature swings starting on 10-11 November with a high of 10 C falling to -7 C with strong winds gusting up 69 km/h and the first snow flurries of the season.

The monthly mean of 1.9 C was exactly normal with highs near 20 C on two days early in the month while two days remained below freezing.

Overall precipitation was near normal for the first time since May although snowfall at 3.2 cm was well below normal.

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

Average HIGH  7.2 C

Average LOW  -3.3 C

AVERAGE  1.9 C (Normal)

Extreme HIGH  19.8 C (06 Nov)

Extreme LOW  -10.6 C (28 Nov)

RAINFALL  101.8 mm (NEAR normal)

SNOWFALL  3.2 cm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Rainfall warning for southern NB

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Heavy rain falls in northeast Moncton, 22 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

A low pressure system from the southwest brought significant rainfall for southern New Brunswick.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning with up to 50 mm expected along the Fundy coast, Greater Moncton and the Kennebecasis Valley.

Drivers are being warned about water pooling on roads and flash flooding.

Falling from a daytime high of 13 C to an overnight low of zero, rain could turn to snow with a slight accumulation possible.

October 2017 – Second warmest since 1881

Many trees are losing leaves in west end Moncton, 27 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

October often felt like August in Greater Moncton with 12 days reaching daytime highs of 20 C or higher.

Environment Canada says only October 1913 was slightly warmer since records began in 1881.

Temperatures did fall below freezing on 7 days with some scattered frost but the month escaped a hard frost and vegetation continued to flourish.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal in Southeast New Brunswick continuing a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.

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

Average HIGH 17.7 C

Average LOW 5.0 C

AVERAGE 11.4 C (about 3.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 23.7 C (08 Oct)

Extreme LOW -1.8 C (13 Oct)

RAINFALL 76.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

September 2017 – Summer continues

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Maple leaves changing colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September turned out to be a continuation of summer in Southeast New Brunswick right up until month end.

Daytime highs in Greater Moncton climbed above 25 C on ten days and a monthly maximum of 31.1 C turned out to be the warmest of 2017 set in early fall (26 Sept).

Although hurricanes never directly affected the province, meteorologists say much of the warmth last month came from tropical air pushed northward from these storms.

Rainfall was exactly normal but almost all of the precipitation fell during a single rain event spread over two days (6-7 Sept).

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

Average HIGH  22.3 C

Average LOW  9.4 C

AVERAGE  15.8 C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  31.1 C (26 Sept, warmest high of 2017)

Extreme LOW  0.6 C (30 Sept)

RAINFALL  93.5 mm (Exactly NORMAL)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)