Heavy, wet snow creates chaos

An early blast of winter in Moncton, 09 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

Some drivers were prepared when snow entered the forecast for the first time this week and had their winter tires installed.

But many drivers were caught off guard by the heavy, wet – sloppy – snow which fell across Southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, northern Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland.

A low pressure system brought rain on Thursday but snow fell by evening as the temperature dropped to the freezing point.

The snow continued throughout Friday creating slippery roads which left plow operators scrambling to deal with the early blast of winter.

Many minor accidents were reported with vehicles sliding into the ditch.

The Trans Canada Highway at Cobequid Pass was forced to close for several hours Friday night after numerous tractor trailers got stuck in snow and blocked the road.

Snowfall amounts (Thu-Fri) in cm:

  • Corner Brook 19.4
  • Greater Moncton 18.8
  • Fredericton 10-15 (estimate)
  • Deer Lake 13
  • Saint John 8.9
  • Halifax Stanfield 5.8
  • Charlottetown 3.9

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Fast and furious storm

A tree topples over in Halifax, NS, 17 Oct 2019 (Nova Scotia Power/Twitter)

A so-called bomb cyclone with wind and rain moved through the Maritimes in just a few hours today.

The intense low pressure system brought winds gusting up to 89 km/h in Saint John which uprooted some trees already weakened by Hurricane Dorian last month.

Greater Moncton recorded a peak gust of 78 km/h along with 20 mm of rain which caused some localized flooding as leaves clogged storm drains.

The winds were even stronger in Nova Scotia with a gust of 101 km/h at Halifax harbour and 106 km/h in Lunenburg which brought trees down knocking out power.

The highest gust was near Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island at 148 km/h.

Rainfall amounts across New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island ranged from 15 to 30 mm with more than double those amounts in Nova Scotia.

Coolest day since May

Irishtown Nature Park, 05 October 2019 (Dearing)

Chilly temperatures across the Maritimes on Friday made it feel more like early November than early October.

In Greater Moncton, the daytime high for 04 October was only 8.2 C which means it was the coolest day since 22 May when the maximum was only 8.6 C.

Halifax, Charlottetown, Saint John and Fredericton also had highs below 10 C.

The normal high for the first week of October in Southeast New Brunswick is 15 C with an overnight low of 4 C.

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)

Scattered frost!

Geranium with light frost damage in NE Moncton, 19 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

It was a cold morning in the Maritimes and frost advisories were posted for all three provinces.

Scattered frost was recorded in many areas including Greater Moncton where the thermometer fell to -0.4°C at the airport which is close to the 2008 record low of -1.2°C.

However, a minimum of -4.4°C was set in the area in 1945.

This was a light frost and much earlier than the average date of 04 October.

New record lows for 19 September:

Grand Manan
New record  -2.1°C
Old record -1.6°C set in 2008
Records in this area have been kept since 1883

Saint John Airport
New record -0.7°C
Old record -0.5°C set in 2009
Records in this area have been kept since 1871

Port Hawkesbury, NS
New record 0.3°C
Old record 2.0°C set in 1994
Records in this area have been kept since 1875

Summerside, PEI
New record 0.6°C
Old record 2.1°C set in 2014
Records in this area have been kept since 1898

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Dorian packs powerful punch

Dorian damage in Halifax’s West End, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Hurricane Dorian has left a path of destruction across the Maritime Provinces despite being downgraded as it crossed the region.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Dorian was an intense post-tropical storm as it made landfall at 7:15pm ADT Saturday in Sambro, 25 km southwest of Halifax.

Dorian brought destructive winds, flooding rains and powerful storm surges to much of Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

A construction crane collapsed and century old trees toppled onto homes, businesses, vehicles and streets in Halifax.

Public works staff are scrambling to clean up the mess and power crews are trying to restore electricity to the tens of thousands without it.

img_0660

Crews clean up storm damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Rainfall totals (mm) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Oxford, NS. 138
  • Halifax (Lower Sackville), NS. 138
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 121
  • Miramichi, NB. 115
  • Kentville, NS. 110
  • Summerside, PEI. 90
  • Saint John, NB. 82
  • Fredericton, NB. 75

Peak wind gusts (km/h) as of 11am ADT Sunday:

  • Beaver Island (eastern shore), NS. 145
  • Yarmouth, NS. 130
  • North Cape, PEI. 122
  • Halifax (city), NS. 120
  • Miscou Island, NB. 106
  • Sydney, NS. 104
  • Saint John, NB. 102
  • Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 100

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Hurricane Dorian landfall expected near Halifax

Dorian update

Emergency measures organizations in the Maritimes have been preparing for Hurricane Dorian which is approaching southwestern Nova Scotia with maximum winds of 148 km/h (as of 12pm ADT).

The Canadian Hurricane Centre expects Dorian will make landfall near Halifax on Saturday evening as a Category 1 hurricane.

Residents who live along the Atlantic coast, such as Peggys Cove for example, are being urged to evacuate and move inland.

Long lines were reported at stores and gas stations on Friday as residents scrambled to stock up on food and other supplies.

Hurricane warnings and tropical storm warnings have been issued for all of Nova Scotia including Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island and southeast New Brunswick.

Strong winds gusting up to 120 km/h are in the forecast, rainfall amounts could exceed 100 mm and large waves and storm surges are likely along coastlines.

As of 2pm ADT, about 75,000 customers were without electricity in Nova Scotia with some trees toppled over along the province’s south shore.

Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick (warnings as of 2pm ADT)

  • Tropical Storm Warning – heavy rain, strong winds, storm surges along the coast
  • Wind Warning – gusts up to 90 km/h which could cause damage, uproot trees
  • Rainfall Warning – 50 to 100 mm rain (a month’s worth) could cause flooding

Erin drenches Maritimes

Post-tropical depression Erin interacted with an incoming low pressure system to produce lots of rain in the Maritimes.

Environment Canada says the heaviest amounts were recorded in northern Nova Scotia and the Annapolis Valley – Parrsboro and Greenwood each had more rain from this storm than all of July and August combined.

Some roads were damaged and even washed out by surface runoff or flooding.

Erin’s direct path along Nova Scotia’s south shore produced wind gusts up to 80 km/h.

The storm brought tropical air with a high of 23°C in Greater Moncton on Friday but a humidex of 32.

Rainfall totals (mm):

  • Parrsboro 162
  • Greenwood 127
  • Kentville 115
  • Summerside 67
  • Fredericton 56
  • Moncton 50
  • Halifax (city) 48

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Stormy Saturday in Maritimes

Ominous sky over Moncton, 10 Aug 2019 (B. Smith-Peterson/Facebook)

A line of strong thunderstorms moved across New Brunswick, western Prince Edward Island and eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday bringing heavy downpours, hail and strong winds.

Greater Moncton was under a severe thunderstorm warning for a few hours with hail about 1 cm in diameter being reported outside the city.

Heavy rain also caused flash flooding in downtown Shediac with social media posts showing vehicles making their way through water clogged streets.

Temperatures also plunged from the low 20s to the mid-teens as the storms passed.

Although the rain is needed, concert goers might disagree with the first show being staged on Magnetic Hill today in four years.

Heat building in the Maritimes

Beach

A fine day at Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)

A heat warning has been in place since the start of the weekend in much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (except for Cape Breton) and Prince Edward Island.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 30 C on Saturday and 29 C today but the forecast calls for 30 C on Monday and 31 C for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Overnight lows are not expected to drop that much either hovering around 18 to 19 C.

While humidity has been relatively low this weekend at around 50 percent or less, Environment Canada says the warm air mass will become more humid this week.

The only relief will be along the Fundy coast where temperatures will stay in the low 20s.