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.

TWN unveils summer forecast

TWN Summer 2020
The Weather Network has released its summer forecast for June, July and August.

Here’s the breakdown for Atlantic Canada:

A cool start to the season during June will give way to a warm summer with near to slightly above normal temperatures and abundant sunshine during July and August.

Near normal rainfall is expected, but much of the region will turn rather dry for a while during the summer, especially across northern New Brunswick.

However, the tropics are being watched closely as an active Atlantic hurricane season is expected.

Any system that taps into tropical moisture will have the potential to bring excessive rainfall and bring the final numbers to near normal.

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)

April 2020 – Where’s spring?

First dandelions of spring in Moncton, 30 Apr 2020 (Dearing)

Signs of spring were extremely rare in April with frigid overnight lows in Greater Moncton making it feel like a continuation of March.

Any warmth came in short spurts with only 11 days above 10°C and some nights sank as low as -5°C right up to the end of the month.

Like the previous month, April was also quite dry with both rainfall and snowfall amounts well below average.

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

Average HIGH 8.3°C

Average LOW -2.4°C

AVERAGE 3.0°C (about 0.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 15.7°C (30 Apr)

Extreme LOW -6.3°C (09 Apr)

RAINFALL 19.2 mm (about 70 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 19.8 cm (about 35 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

March 2020 – Warm and dry

Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 15 March 2020 (Dearing)

Much less rain and snow fell in Greater Moncton during March even though precipitation was recorded on 23 days.

Only 10 mm of rain and 32 cm of snow fell with the normals being 49 mm and 65 cm respectively.

Warm daytime highs were scarce – the thermometer failed to reach 10°C – but temperatures were actually slightly above average overall.

The coldest weather occurred during the first few days of spring with a minimum of -13.8°C on 23 March.

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

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -6.3°C

AVERAGE -2.0°C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.4°C (28 Mar)

Extreme LOW -13.8°C (23 Mar)

RAINFALL 10.7 mm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 34.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Winter 2019-20 in Review

Data courtesy Environment Canada

Meteorological winter in Greater Moncton covering the months of December, January and February proved to be almost two degrees above normal compared to the 30-year average.

The warmest temperatures were recorded in December while frigid weather in February saw the coldest low in five years.

Precipitation was about 25 percent below normal with little snow in December and barely any rain in February.

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)