Dangerous whiteout conditions across N.B.

Open areas like West Main Street were prone to drifting snow, 26 Feb 2019 (Dearing)

Strong winds created blowing and drifting snow across New Brunswick today which caused whiteout conditions on highways.

RCMP say a multi-vehicle pileup on Highway 11 near Cocagne late this morning involved 15 vehicles in a series of collisions.

Visibility was poor in whiteouts near the Cocagne Bridge.

The highway was closed as emergency responders cleared the wreckage and waited for the weather to improve.

Winds gusted as high as 85 km/h in Greater Moncton which created a bitterly cold wind chill giving a risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

Winter hits northern NB

Bathurst snow

NB Route 8 between Bathurst and Allardville, 17 Nov 2017 (Facebook/RCMP)

A fall storm brought heavy rain to Southern New Brunswick but rain changed to snow in northern New Brunswick today giving the region its first taste of winter this season.

RCMP were asking drivers to slow down and pay attention to the conditions as snow accumulated on highways.

Up to 10 cm of snow fell in some parts of the north with Bathurst reporting about 4 cm.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 8 C in the morning and fell to 3 C by mid-afternoon when snow mixed in with rain.

Wildfire engulfs Fort McMurray


RCMP among few left in Fort McMurray enforcing evacuation, 04 May 2016 (RCMP/Twitter)

About 1,600 buildings have burned to the ground in Fort McMurray as a wildfire engulfed the southwest portion of the city late yesterday.

Alberta has declared a state of emergency as the government confirms many homes in the Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods have been destroyed.

The wildfire cut the city in two forcing 10,000 people to evacuate north to oil sands camps and at least 80,000 had to head south.

Traffic became gridlocked on Highway 63 as dozens of drivers abandoned their vehicles after breaking down or running out of gas.

Heading further south to Edmonton, drivers faced a slow, tense trip with bumper-to-bumper traffic and long lineups at the few gas stations available.

The military has been called in to help firefighters and hundreds of additional RCMP officers are being deployed to the region.

Storm packs a punch


A snow covered highway near Oromocto NB, 13 January 2016 (Twitter)

The most powerful winter storm of the season to date dropped almost 40 cm of snow in the Fredericton area and brought strong winds gusting up to 70 km/h in eastern New Brunswick.

Highway travel was considered hazardous throughout the province and RCMP urged drivers to stay home if possible.

Schools shut down and many businesses either closed for the day or opened in late afternoon.

Greater Moncton reported almost 30 cm of snow and winds gusting up to 60 km/h.

Heavy rain wreaks havoc in N.B.

Flooding along Route 148 near Fredericton, 01 Oct 2015 (Global/Facebook)

Flooding along Route 148 near Fredericton, 01 Oct 2015 (Global/Facebook)

A moisture-laden storm soaked New Brunswick in a swath from the southwest to the northeast with more than 200 mm of rain in some communities.

Environment Canada says Greater Moncton got off relatively easy at just over 100 mm of precipitation in only 24 hours.

The hardest hit region for flash flooding and road washouts appeared to be a triangle roughly between Fredericton and Saint John and Sussex.

RCMP say one man died in the Sussex area in an accident while trying to protect his home, a group of six duck hunters needed help after their boat sank in Grand Lake and numerous vehicle collisions were reported due to hydroplaning and road washouts.

(Courtesy Twitter/Global)

(Courtesy Twitter/Global)

A slushy, wintry mess!

National Day of Mourning ceremony, Moncton, 28 April 2015 (Dearing)

National Day of Mourning ceremony, Moncton, 28 April 2015 (Dearing)

A stubborn low pressure system in the Atlantic Ocean off the Maritimes is responsible for the recent rainy – and today snowy! – conditions.

By early this afternoon, rain turned to wet, heavy snow in Greater Moncton which quickly turned to slush on roadways.

RCMP say slushy road conditions were likely behind a fatal collision between a car and a snow plow in Stoney Creek.

Based on an estimate and data from Environment Canada, Greater Moncton has now surpassed 500 cm for 2014-15 which is still a distance from the 1974-75 record of 531 cm.

Blizzard shuts down Greater Moncton

Blizzard rages in NE Moncton, 15 February 2015 (Dearing)

Blizzard rages in NE Moncton, 15 February 2015 (Dearing)

The third blizzard of the winter season slammed Greater Moncton early Sunday morning but many businesses including Champlain Mall had already announced they would be closed the night before the latest storm hit.

Highway travel was virtually impossible in Southeast New Brunswick today with RCMP closing a number of highways including the Trans Canada between Moncton and Amherst due to extremely poor visibility in blowing snow.

Freezing rain turns Moncton roads into rinks

Ice on car windshield in NE Moncton, NB, 03 Dec 2014 (Dearing)

Ice on car windshield in NE Moncton, NB, 03 Dec 2014 (Dearing)

Freezing rain started falling in Greater Moncton by mid-morning during a changeover from snow to rain and that is when the trouble began.

Many drivers were caught off guard and some vehicles spun out, others simply slid off the road while transport trucks jack-knifed as icy conditions quickly developed.

Around midday, roads became so treacherous that RCMP closed portions of the Trans Canada Highway across Southeast New Brunswick.

Once temperatures rose and rain began falling, road conditions improved but police were still telling drivers to slow down and use caution.

Moncton Spirit

Candlelight vigil outside RCMP headquarters in Moncton, 06 June 2014.  (Canadian Press)

Candlelight vigil outside RCMP headquarters in Moncton, 06 June 2014. (Canadian Press)

Although this is a weather blog, I feel the need to mention the tragedy in Moncton this week.

On Wednesday evening, a heavily-armed gunman opened fire on police in northwest Moncton which resulted in the deaths of three Codiac RCMP officers and two other officers being injured.

After a 30 hour manhunt and an extensive security lockdown in that part of the city, the Mounties finally got their man and great relief poured over the community.

Now the grieving process begins, not only for the family and friends of the slain officers but also for the RCMP community and the region, province and country at large.

I have lived in the “Hub City of the Maritimes” for the past nine years but after the tremendous outpouring of community cooperation and spirit, I now feel that Moncton is truly my home and I am so proud to call myself a resident.

Along comes winter storm number two

Just three days after New Brunswick’s first major snowstorm of the season comes another blast of winter.

Environment Canada reports 28 cm of snow fell in Greater Moncton with winds gusting up to 50 km/h creating blowing and drifting snow.

Schools were closed and due to treacherous driving conditions, RCMP were not recommending travel on the Trans Canada Highway throughout the region.