Finally some rain!

Radar image showing thunderstorms across NB, 02 July 2020 (Environment Canada)

A cold front moved across New Brunswick on Thursday bringing thunderstorms with much needed rain and ushering out the heat and high humidity.

The temperature climbed to 30°C in Greater Moncton during the noon hour but dropped to 22°C by 2pm and 17°C by 6pm.

A severe thunderstorm watch was posted for a couple hours and 16 mm of rain fell which was good news considering the current drought conditions.

The last decent rainfall was on 12 June when 21 mm fell.

Environment Canada is forecasting possible showers or thundershowers this weekend.

June 2020 – Suddenly it’s hot!

Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 16 June 2020 (Dearing)

The first half of June was cold and dry similar to May and April.

But by mid-month, after struggling to reach the 20s, temperatures suddenly began climbing into the 30s.

On 19 June, Greater Moncton hit a sizzling 35.6°C (humidex 40) which is the hottest June temperature in recorded history.

The thermometer climbed above 30°C six times and the average is only once.

Before the heat arrived, a light frost occurred on 10 June which damaged some sensitive crops like strawberries.

Farmers and gardeners also lamented a lack of rain with only one-third of the normal monthly amount recorded.

JUNE 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 23.8°C

Average LOW 10.0°C

AVERAGE 16.9°C (about 1.7 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 35.6°C (19 June, new monthly record)

Extreme LOW -0.6°C (10 June)

RAINFALL 34.3 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

How dry is it?

Drought

Yellow/brown areas show dry to moderate drought conditions, 01 June 2020 (Agriculture Canada)

Most of New Brunswick is extremely dry and has been for months which is a big concern for agriculture.

Environment Canada data shows winter snowfall was about 20 percent below normal in Greater Moncton and precipitation has been below average every month since March.

June rainfall was only one-third of normal and the last major amount – 21.3 mm – fell on 12 June which was just prior to a prolonged heat wave.

Prior to that, 09 May is the previous date with appreciable precipitation – 14.1 mm – which also included some snow!

Farmers in Southeast New Brunswick – already coping with a pandemic – say the drought has put many crops including potatoes in danger and without irrigation total losses can be expected.

In addition, a strawberry farmer notes how a light frost earlier this month (10 June) caused some damage with many berries in bloom at the time.

Severe weather slams Alberta

Severe weather damaged homes in Calgary, AB, 14 June 2020 (Twitter/CityofCalgary)

Severe thunderstorms moved across Alberta over the weekend producing heavy downpours, strong winds and hail as large as grapefruit.

Calgary was hard hit as flash flooding inundated major highways stranding drivers in their vehicles.

Hail of various sizes damaged the siding on homes, smashed windows, dented vehicles and it looked like snow as it piled up.

Some tornadoes were also reported but Environment Canada could not provide confirmation of any touching down.

Wind gusts as high as 128 km/h were clocked just west of Calgary and as much as 75 mm of rain fell in just a few hours.

UPDATE – Environment Canada has confirmed a tornado did touch down in Barnwell, east of Lethbridge, on 13 June.

Severe weather strikes Fredericton

Tree down near Charlotte and Carleton, Fredericton, NB, 05 June 2020 (Twitter/@KarlieFooter)

Strong clusters of thunderstorms rolled across central New Brunswick Friday night bringing heavy downpours, hail and damaging winds to the Fredericton area.

Environment Canada estimates winds gusted to more than 90 km/h which uprooted trees and downed power lines causing widespread outages.

Flash flooding became an issue when about 20-30 mm of rain fell in a brief period.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in place for Southeast New Brunswick for almost an hour with only dark clouds and sprinkles of rain.

May 2020 – Cool and dry

Irishtown Nature Park reservoir, 05 May 2020 (Dearing)

For the last few years, the month of May in Southeast New Brunswick has been colder than normal and this year was no exception.

A new record high was set during a mini heat wave at month’s end which was enough to boost temperatures to just slightly below average.

Snow fell as late as the 12th and rain was scant which led to a dry month overall.

Frost was recorded on the 24th which is close to the last average date in Greater Moncton – if it turns out to the last frost of spring.

MAY 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 16.6°C

Average LOW 3.0°C

AVERAGE 9.8°C (slightly BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 31.5°C (28 May)

Extreme LOW -1.3°C (23 May)

RAINFALL 40.4 mm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 4.5 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Polar vortex brings cold, snow

Snow in Hanwell, NB, 09 May 2020 (Twitter/@marlowcam8)

It’s the middle of May and spring has barely appeared in New Brunswick so far and now an intense low pressure system has brought a wintry blast.

Greater Moncton had strong winds along with a cold rain which later turned to snow and a couple centimetres accumulated on colder surfaces like vehicles.

But the central, western and northern parts of the province got blasted with more than 30 cm of heavy, wet snow in some areas.

Meteorologists say cold air from the polar vortex continues to loom over eastern North America with new record lows set in Ontario this weekend and New York City recorded its latest trace of snow since 1977.

Snowfall amounts, 10 May at 3pm ADT (cm):

  • Woodstock  33
  • New Maryland  24
  • Bouctouche  22
  • Grand Falls  20
  • Miramichi  20
  • Fredericton  9
  • Bathurst  6

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Green up underway

Green up in west end Moncton, 04 May 2020 (Dearing)

Over the past few days, the landscape across Southeast New Brunswick has been greening up and the buds are bursting on the trees.

Recent warm weather and some precipitation – including wet snow today – have finally made it look more like spring.

However, the long range forecast doesn’t have much heat with below average temperatures likely in the next 10 days.

A spring snowstorm

Snowy Grant Street in NE Moncton, 10 Apr 2020 (Dearing)

A low pressure system moved up the Bay of Fundy and brought heavy, wet snow to most of New Brunswick with rain as well in some areas.

About 5-10 cm snow fell across the southern part of the province, 20 cm in central areas and up to 30 cm in the north creating messy road conditions.

The mid-April snow was not unusual but was still the heaviest snowfall since early March.

Snow amounts by volunteers (in cm):

  • Miramichi 20
  • Fredericton 13
  • Greater Moncton 13
  • St. Andrews 6
  • Dorchester 6

Return to winter

A strong low pressure system is expected to bring a lot of snow, some rain and wind to Southeast New Brunswick starting Thursday night.

About 15 cm could fall in Greater Moncton prompting Environment Canada to issue a snowfall warning.

Strong winds will coincide with high tide along the Northumberland Strait creating storm surge.

This could be the heaviest snowfall event since 01 March when 14 cm fell.