Florence creates historic flooding

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Fallen tree traps residents inside home, Wilmington, NC, USA, 15 Sept 2018 (ABC)


Since making landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence has claimed at least 15 lives.

Strong winds have toppled trees trapping some and even killing others in their own homes.

Now a tropical depression, the storm has been dumping epic amounts of rain (800 mm or more) on North and South Carolina which has caused flash flooding as rivers and streams spill their banks.

First responders have rescued almost 1,000 residents from floodwaters while nearly one million are without power and tens of thousands have sought refuge in emergency shelters.

Many highways have been left impassable and officials are urging drivers to stay at home and off the roads.

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Florence called a ‘monster’

More than two million residents have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence roars toward the Southeastern United States with sustained winds of more than 175 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm is taking aim at North and South Carolina on Thursday.

A life threatening storm surge is expected along the Atlantic coast with an incredible 800 mm (30 inches) rain possible.

Emergency officials call Florence “a monster” and cities like Myrtle Beach have become eerily empty as the hurricane approaches.

Gordon hits U.S. Gulf Coast

Strong waves crashing ashore at Pensacola Beach, Florida, USA, 04 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Tropical Storm Gordon has claimed at least one life after striking the American Gulf Coast late Tuesday near the Alabama-Mississippi border.

Authorities say strong winds caused a tree to fall on a mobile home in Pensacola, Florida where a child was found deceased.

The U.S. National Hurricane Centre says Gordon weakened as it moved inland and was not powerful enough to reach hurricane status.

Tornado warnings were issued after radar showed possible twisters stemming from the storm.

Forecasters say as much as 200 cm of rain (almost 80 inches) could fall and the system could have an impact on Eastern Canada by early next week.

August 2018 – Heat continues!

Tall trees in Irishtown Nature Park, 26 August 2018 (Dearing)

A hot July also translated into a hot August in what has to be one of the warmest summers in Southeast New Brunswick since 1940.

In Greater Moncton, the thermometer climbed to 30 C or higher on 6 days during August and never dropped below 18 C during 9 overnights.

Fans, air conditioners and other cooling units sold out at stores across the region and many weren’t able to reorder more.

Although it seemed rather dry, rainfall was actually slightly above average thanks to a single rain event which delivered nearly 60 mm – 60 percent of the monthly total.

AUGUST 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 26.2°C

Average LOW 14.6°C

AVERAGE 20.4°C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 31.6°C (06 Aug)

Extreme LOW 9.7°C (31 Aug)

RAINFALL 100.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

July 2018 – Record heat!

Five Islands, Colchester County, NS, 24 July 2018 (Dearing)

July was definitely hot and often humid in Greater Moncton with Environment Canada confirming it was the warmest since 1940.

The average daily temperature was 21.4 C which is 2.6 degrees above normal.

An official heat wave in the first week was followed by numerous heat warnings being issued.

The thermometer climbed to 30 C or higher on 11 days during July and never dropped below 18 C during 7 overnights.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal and much of the precipitation fell during thunderstorms.

JULY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  27.8°C

Average LOW  14.8°C

AVERAGE  21.4°C (about 2.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  34.2°C (05 July)

Extreme LOW  8.7°C (13 July)

RAINFALL  63.0 mm (more than 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Chris brushes eastern Newfoundland

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Post-tropical storm Chris quickly moved across eastern Newfoundland late Thursday and early Friday with powerful winds, heavy rainfall and rough surf along the coast.

Gander recorded almost 80 mm of rain (almost a month’s worth), the southern Avalon Peninsula had high water swells of 6 to 8 metres above normal while Bonavista and Cape Pine recorded wind gusts above 100 km/h.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre issued its final bulletin for Chris early Friday as the storm sped off into the North Atlantic.

Chris heads for Avalon Peninsula

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Chris near Newfoundland, 19:30 ADT (courtesy Earth Nullhouse Net)

Chris is now a post-tropical storm with sustained winds of 110 km/h and is expected to make landfall in eastern Newfoundland near Cape St. Mary’s tonight.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says strong winds combined with low pressure will create large waves and pounding surf giving the risk of coastal flooding along the southern Burin and Avalon Peninsulas.

Besides a wind warning, a rainfall warning has been issued with possible amounts of 50 mm or more and 20 mm an hour in the heaviest showers.

The remnants of Chris will drift away into the North Atlantic by early Friday morning.

June 2018 – Cold nights, plenty of rain

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Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 June 2018 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton has endured the coolest June in recent memory and while daytime highs were close to normal – with a few exceptions – overnight lows were cold, even frosty at times during the first half of the month.

A hard frost on 04 June with a record breaking low of -3.2 C was devastating for agriculture across New Brunswick especially in the Southeast.

Farmers suffered major damage – in some cases 50 to 80 percent losses – to crops such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

Oddly enough, the temperature had not been that low in all of May and not since 16 April had it been at least that cold.

Rainfall was about 60 percent above normal and was confined to a handful of major rain events with nine days being completely dry.

JUNE 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  20.3°C

Average LOW  6.6°C

AVERAGE  13.5°C (about 1.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  29.7°C (01 June)

Extreme LOW  -3.2°C (04 June)

RAINFALL  154.0 mm (about 60 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Goodbye Spring!

Dorchester Beach, NB, 17 June 2018 (Dearing)

Spring had its inevitable ups and downs in Southeast New Brunswick but overall the average temperature was close to normal for March, April and May.

March was very stormy with a parade of Nor’easters which led to the highest snow depth of the winter in Greater Moncton by the end of the month.

April was slightly colder than normal with chilly nights until mid-month and the last measurable snow fell on the 21st.

May had slightly above normal temperatures overall thanks to 14 days with daytime highs of 20 C or more but nights remained cold with single digit lows.

So far this June, the mean temperature is running three degrees below average with a hard frost on the 4th which was the coldest minimum since 16 April.

METEOROLOGICAL SPRING at the Greater Moncton International Airport

MARCH 2018
Average -1.7 C (1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Snowfall: well above normal, Rainfall: well below normal

APRIL 2018
Average 3.2 C (0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Snowfall: below normal, Rainfall: above normal

MAY 2018
Average 10.3 C (0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)
Rainfall: below normal, Snowfall: nil

May 2018 – Warm days, cold nights

Magnolia trees in bloom at Moncton City Hall, 16 May 2018 (Dearing)

While daytime highs were near or slightly above normal during May in Greater Moncton, overnight lows were chilly with frost and freezing temperatures throughout the month.

Fourteen days had highs of 20 C or more while eight days had lows near or slightly below freezing.

Precipitation was slightly below normal with most of the rainfall recorded during the first third of the month.

By mid-month, the landscape become more colourful as trees and bushes began to bloom and leaf out.

MAY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  18.1°C

Average LOW  2.5°C

AVERAGE  10.3°C (about 0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  27.8°C (31 May)

Extreme LOW  -2.0°C (12 May)

RAINFALL  82.5 mm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)