Sunshine and dandelions 

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Dandelions growing in NE Moncton, 13 May 2017 (Dearing)

The dandelions are out in full force as Southeast New Brunswick welcomed a beautiful, sunny day following a cold, grey and rainy week.

The normal high in Greater Moncton for mid-May is 17 C and temperatures didn’t even reach 10 C for two days in a row.

Rainfall has already reached 87 mm and the normal monthly total is 93 mm.

Forecasters are calling for 20-30 mm rain early next week thanks to another low pressure system.

April 2017 – Spring sputters

Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)

Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.

The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.

A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.

Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.

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

Average HIGH 10.5 C

Average LOW -0.8 C

AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)

Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)

RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

March 2017 – Cold and snowy

Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)

Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March. 

Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month. 

Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week. 

Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March. 

Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days. 

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

Average HIGH 0.3 C

Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)

Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)

RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(courtesy Environment Canada)

Weather Network unveils spring forecast

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A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.

But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?

In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.

Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.

Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.

“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.

Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.

February 2017 – Lots of snow then mild

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Spillway at Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 26 Feb 2017 (Dearing)

Three major winter storms including a blizzard were part of a very active weather pattern in Greater Moncton during February.

While snowfall was below normal in January, it made up for it in February with more than double the average amount recorded.

Temperatures were above normal but oddly enough it was still warmer in January which is typically the coldest month.

The final week felt like spring with mild temperatures climbing above 10 C which was enough to melt most of the snow which had fallen during the previous three weeks.

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

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -10.9 C

AVERAGE  -6.2 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  11.5 C (24 February)

Extreme LOW  -22.6 C (12 February)

RAINFALL  19.7 mm (slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  124.1 cm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

December 2016 -Weather rollercoaster

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A cold late afternoon in downtown Moncton, 16 Dec 2016 (Facebook)

So many ups and downs occurred during December in Southeast New Brunswick, one might say we were riding a weather rollercoaster.

Early on 17 December in Greater Moncton, the thermometer fell to a monthly (and almost record) low of -22.1 C which then rose to a monthly high of 10.6 C only 36 hours later before eventually dropping again to -18.6 by late on 19 December.

Although many nights were extremely cold (eight below -15 C), daytime highs were often slightly above or below freezing which overall led to a slightly below average monthly temperature.

Most snow fell during the first half of the month (three snowfalls were 12 cm or higher) and although rainfall was below normal, overall precipitation was about average.

DECEMBER 2016 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -0.8 C

Average LOW  -9.5 C

AVERAGE  -5.1 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  10.6 C (18 December)

Extreme LOW  -22.1 C (17 December)

RAINFALL  37.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  85.2 cm (about 25 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Meteorological winter begins

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NE Moncton after first major snowfall of season, 30 Nov 2016 (Dearing)

It’s beginning to look like winter in Greater Moncton so it’s timely 01 December marks the start of meteorological winter which also includes January and February.

The Old Farmers Almanac and The Weather Network have suggested much of the country including Atlantic Canada can expect a “classic Canadian winter.”

Let’s look back at the last three meteorological winters to see how they compare:

2015-16 in Greater Moncton

December 2015, average temperature -0.4°C (4.4°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 96.4 cm, rainfall 56.3 mm

January 2016, average temperature -6.1°C (2.8°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 53.6 cm, rainfall 23.8 mm

February 2016, average temperature -4.4°C (3.4°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 79.6 cm, rainfall 33.3 mm

2014-2015 in Greater Moncton

December 2014, average temperature -2.1°C (2.7°C ABOVE normal), snowfall  10.9 cm, rainfall  246.6 mm (new December record)

January 2015, average temperature -10.2°C (1.3°C BELOW normal), snowfall 153.0 cm, rainfall 33.7 mm

February 2015, average temperature -13.6°C (6°C BELOW normal), snowfall 168.6 cm, rainfall 3.2 mm

2013-2014 in Greater Moncton

December 2013, average temperature -7.4°C (2.6°C BELOW normal), snowfall 130.8 cm, rainfall 62.6 mm

January 2014, average temperature -7.3°C (1.6°C ABOVE normal), snowfall  32.8 cm, rainfall 83.6 mm

February 2014, average temperature -7.1°C (0.5°C ABOVE normal),  snowfall  92.7 cm, rainfall 39.4 mm

October 2016 – Mild then cold

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Fall colours past peak, Centennial Park, Moncton, 16 Oct 2016 (Dearing)

It’s not surprising the days gradually get cooler in October but it was a sudden change in Greater Moncton when temperatures went from mild to cold during the last week of the month.

A warm, humid daytime high of 20.5 C on 22 October will undoubtedly be the last time the thermometer climbs above 20 C in this calendar year.

Although a couple overnight lows fell below freezing early in the month, a hard frost was not reported until 27 October.

Almost 50 mm of rain fell on Thanksgiving weekend in Southeast New Brunswick – far less than other parts of the Maritimes such as Cape Breton Island with over 220 mm.

OCTOBER 2016 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  14.5 C

Average LOW  3.6 C

AVERAGE  9.0 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  24.4 C (07 October)

Extreme LOW  -2.8 C (28 October)

RAINFALL  99.8 mm (about 10 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Heavy rain hits SW Ontario

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Flooding in Windsor, ON, 29 Sept 2016 (Windsor Star/Twitter)

Upwards of two months worth of rain has fallen in just a few days in a corner of Southwestern Ontario which includes Windsor and Tecumseh.

The normal September rainfall in the region is just under 100 mm with as much as 195 mm falling in some areas this week prompting a state of emergency.

Environment Canada says a strong and slow moving low pressure system brought heavy rain which led to flooding.

More than 1,500 Windsor residents reported basement flooding and many streets were inundated with water leaving vehicles stuck.

SW Nova Scotia hit by drought

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Dry pond, Arcadia, Yarmouth Co., NS, 14 Sept 2016 (Comeau/Yarmouth Vanguard)

While it has been dry this summer in parts of New Brunswick, no where has it been drier in the Maritimes than in southwest Nova Scotia.

Meteorologists say while the jet stream normally flows through the middle of the region providing adequate amounts of rain, it was pushed farther north this summer due to the Bermuda High which has been northwest of its usual position.

As a result, rainfall in northern New Brunswick has been above average while southwest Nova Scotia has only received 32 percent of its normal summer precipitation.

For example, Yarmouth had 87 mm of rain during June, July and August which is well below the average of 268 mm.

Emergency management officials say at least 1,000 households have run out of water and bottled water donations from major retailers are being shipped to affected communities.