Winter storm sweeps Eastern Canada

Snow falls in NE Moncton, 27 Feb 2020 (Dearing)

A major winter storm moved across Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada delivering snow, rain, freezing rain, strong winds and ice pellets.

Police told drivers to stay off the roads, many flights were grounded, schools closed and some businesses shut down.

Almost 17 cm of snow/ice pellets fell in Greater Moncton which made roads treacherous and forced the transit system to cancel service by late afternoon.

Snowfall amounts (in cm):

  • Mont-Laurier, QC 49
  • Pembroke, ON 34
  • Gaspe, QC 25 to 45
  • Ingonish Beach, NS 25
  • Miramichi, NB 22
  • Quebec City area 20 to 40
  • Edmundston, NB 18
  • Greater Moncton 17
  • Ottawa 17
  • Fredericton 16
  • Toronto Pearson 15
  • London 12
  • Greater Montreal 5 to 15
  • St. John’s 11

Duration of freezing rain (in hours):

  • CFB Trenton 7
  • Kingston 5
  • Ottawa 1.5

Rainfall (in mm):

  • Western Head, NS 47
  • Shelburne, NS 34

Wind gusts (in km/h):

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, NS 181
  • Wreckhouse, NL 181
  • Yarmouth, NS 118
  • Port aux Basques, NL 123
  • Quebec City 102
  • Stephenville, NL 100
  • Picton area, ON 101
  • Sydney, NS 93
  • Halifax Stanfield 89
  • Toronto Billy Bishop 82

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Spring-like weather ends

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File photo (Dearing)

The last few days have felt like spring in New Brunswick but the warm spell is about to end.

Temperatures have soared as high as 10°C in some areas.

The normal maximum for late February is about 0°C in Greater Moncton.

Recent daytime highs:

  • 6.1°C on 23 Feb
  • 7.3°C on 24 Feb
  • 6.0°C on 25 Feb
  • 4.0°C on 26 Feb

However, winter is returning as a low pressure system brings mixed precipitation to Ontario and Quebec with the Maritimes next in its path.

Environment Canada has issued various weather warnings and up to 25 cm of snow and ice pellets could fall starting late Thursday into Friday.

Coldest, snowiest yet this winter

Snow covered steps in NE Moncton, 19 Jan 2020 (Dearing)

On the heels of the coldest weather so far this winter in Greater Moncton with lows of -21°C comes the heaviest snowfall to date.

A Colorado Low arrived in the Maritimes on Sunday after delivering a blow to the middle of the continent including Ontario and Quebec.

Since it was already very cold across Southern New Brunswick, the snow that fell was light and dry – unlike so-called “heart attack” snow which is heavy and wet.

Snowfall totals (in cm):

  • Minto area  31
  • Greater Moncton Airport  25
  • Fredericton area  16
  • Saint John Airport  13
  • Miramichi  10
  • Bathurst  4

(Data courtesy volunteer observations)

Storm brings snow to Ontario & Quebec


A Colorado Low tracked across Lake Huron on Saturday and brought snow to nearly all of Ontario and Southern Quebec with the first major amounts this winter.

Strong gusty winds up to 100 km/h in some areas also created blowing snow.

The low pressure system continued through the Northeastern United States and impacted the Maritimes on Sunday.

Snowfall amounts (in cm):

  • Marathon  30
  • Thunder Bay  21
  • Ottawa  20 (new daily record for 18 January)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo  19
  • Toronto Pearson Airport  17.2 (new daily record for 18 January)
  • Montreal  17
  • London  16
  • Kenora  15

(Data courtesy Environment Canada and volunteer observations)

Wintry mix for New Year’s Eve

A wintry mix falls in NE Moncton, 31 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

The same storm system which impacted Ontario and Quebec is now creating travel havoc in the Maritimes with a mixed bag of precipitation.

Snow along with ice pellets began in Southwest New Brunswick on New Year’s Eve morning and gradually spread to Greater Moncton by early afternoon.

About 14 cm of snow and ice pellets could accumulate in the Southeast before a changeover to rain around midnight as temperatures rise above freezing.

Snowfall warnings have been posted in western and northern New Brunswick with 15 to 30 cm likely with lesser amounts for Prince Edward Island and mostly rain is forecast for mainland Nova Scotia.

UPDATE

Moncton received 5.4 cm of snow, Saint John had 3.4 cm while about 10 cm fell in Fredericton but near 30 cm in Woodstock.

Early snow for southern Ontario & Quebec

A snowy Gore Park, Hamilton, ON, 11 Nov 2019 (City of Hamilton)

An early winter storm tracked south of the Great Lakes on Monday and brought snow to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec.

Snowfall amounts generally ranged between 10 and 30 cm.

Environment Canada says Toronto marked its earliest major snowfall on record with about 15 cm.

Arctic air has filtered in behind the storm prompting the city to issue an extreme cold weather alert with a possible overnight low of -15°C.

Snowfall amounts (cm), Tuesday 5pm EST:

  • Montreal 20
  • Quebec City 20
  • Windsor 19
  • Hamilton 17
  • Toronto (downtown) 15
  • Ottawa 13

Windy start to November

Tree leaning on power lines, 01 Nov 2019 (NB Power)

Blustery but mild weather on Halloween continued throughout the first day of November in Southeast New Brunswick.

A cold front created strong winds with a sustained high of 64 km/h and a peak gust of 94 km/h at the Greater Moncton Airport.

Many trees and branches – already weakened by Dorian earlier this fall – came down onto power lines with NB Power dealing with almost 60,000 customers without electricity by late Friday.

Environment Canada warned of gusts up to 110 km/h in the Tantramar Marsh which forced the shutdown of the Trans Canada Highway between Amherst and Sackville until winds subsided.

The daytime high on 01 November was 19.4°C which was slightly warmer than the October maximum of 19.3°C.

The same storm system also hit Quebec where more than one million customers lost power, one man was killed by a falling tree and a canopy collapsed at a service station.

Here comes the heat!

The view from Economy Point, NS, 03 July 2019 (Dearing)

After a cool and wet start to summer, a blast of heat is heading to the Maritime Provinces over the next few days.

Environment Canada has issued heat warnings for most of New Brunswick – excluding the Fundy coast – and western Nova Scotia while other areas under a special weather statement.

A warm, humid air mass is moving into the region today raising daytime temperatures to 30°C or more.

Humidex values near 40 are expected and overnight lows may not fall below 18°C providing little relief from the heat.

Near normal values will return late Saturday as a cold front arrives.

Heat warnings are also in place for parts of Ontario and Quebec where it climbed into the low 30s yesterday.

Tornado hits National Capital Region

 

A tornado developed about 10 kilometres southeast of Gatineau Airport, Quebec early Sunday evening.

The tornado moved east along the Ottawa River before coming ashore on the Ontario side.

In the suburban Ottawa neighbourhood of Orléans, strong winds brought down trees and removed shingles on many homes with one person reportedly injured.

A thunderstorm also produced 2 centimetre hail in the area.

Environment Canada says the tornado was a low end EF-1 suggesting peak winds of 135 km/h and had a path length of at least 25 kilometres.

Flooding plagues Ontario & Quebec

Ottawa flood

Volunteers filling sandbags in Ottawa, 25 April 2019 (City of Ottawa)


New Brunswick is not the only province experiencing severe flooding this spring – so are Ontario and Quebec.

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency this week as water levels rose along the Ottawa River.

The military was called in to help with flood mitigation efforts including sandbagging along with thousands of community volunteers.

In the western Laurentian mountains, the Rouge River is threatening to spill over the Bell Falls Dam and at least 60 homes have been evacuated downstream.

Due to the threat of flooding in several areas of the city, Montreal has also declared a state of emergency.