Spring-like record breaker!

Warm spring-like sunshine could be felt on my western facing balcony this afternoon in northeast Moncton and for few precious minutes it almost felt like winter was over.

The thermometer climbed to 12.9 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport which just barely eclipsed the record high of 12.8 C from 1953.

Other record highs were set across the Maritimes including 13.8 C in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia and 10.4 C in Edmundston.

But further to the west, the temperature climbed to a balmy 17.6 C in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

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January 2018 – Turbulent!

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The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)

The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.

Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.

A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.

Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.

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

Average HIGH  -2.0 C

Average LOW  -12.6 C

AVERAGE  -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 Jan)

RAINFALL  53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  77.2 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Flooding then flash freeze

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Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.

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Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

Record January thaw

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Icy conditions in a parking lot of NE Moncton, 11 Jan 2018 (Dearing)

A few days ago it was extremely cold in Greater Moncton and today it felt like spring.

The unofficial high was 14.3 C which beats the record of 11.2 C from 2014 according to Environment Canada.

But emergency measures officials are warning New Brunswickers to be prepared for possible flooding this weekend with 50 to 100 mm of rain possible and a flash freeze warning.

The ground is mostly frozen and has a reduced ability to absorb heavy rainfall.

The temperature is forecast to fall below freezing by late Saturday which will lead to icy conditions.

Record highs in Alberta

Residents of Alberta were golfing rather than skiing this weekend as chinook-like weather brought record high temperatures.

On 09 December, Calgary set a new record of 15.4 C which broke the old record by one full degree from 1890.

The normal daytime high for Calgary is -1 C with an overnight low of -13 C.

Other records were set in Claresholm which hit a summer-like 20.3 C while Sundre reached 16.3 C.

Environment Canada says double digit highs are likely for at least the next few days.

October 2017 – Second warmest since 1881

Many trees are losing leaves in west end Moncton, 27 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

October often felt like August in Greater Moncton with 12 days reaching daytime highs of 20 C or higher.

Environment Canada says only October 1913 was slightly warmer since records began in 1881.

Temperatures did fall below freezing on 7 days with some scattered frost but the month escaped a hard frost and vegetation continued to flourish.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal in Southeast New Brunswick continuing a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.

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

Average HIGH 17.7 C

Average LOW 5.0 C

AVERAGE 11.4 C (about 3.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 23.7 C (08 Oct)

Extreme LOW -1.8 C (13 Oct)

RAINFALL 76.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Warmest high of 2017

Sunflowers flourishing during heat wave, Salisbury, NB, 24 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

Having a heat wave in late September is unusual for Southeast New Brunswick but even more so is that the highest temperature of 2017 has occurred in early autumn.

The thermometer soared to 31.1 C yesterday (26 September) at the Greater Moncton International Airport which breaks the previous maximum of 29.6 C from 2007 and records date back to 1881.

The previous high for the year had been 30.6 C recorded on 04 August.

At least 10 other New Brunswick communities set new record highs yesterday including Fredericton at 32.8 C, Woodstock at 32.3 C and Bouctouche at 31.8 C.

Environment Canada says temperatures will return to more seasonable values by the weekend with highs between 16 and 18 C.

September heat

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Flowers are flourishing in the September heat, 16 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September usually doesn’t disappoint in Southeast New Brunswick when it comes to warm weather and so far this month is no exception.

Environment Canada reports on 14 September, the thermometer climbed to 27.8 C in Greater Moncton which ties the record high from 2003.

St. Stephen was the hot spot in the province and all of Canada with a high of 29.2 C which eclipsed the old record from 1903.

As we approach the first day of autumn on 22 September, temperatures in Greater Moncton can still climb into the 30s Celsius with a record high of 32.8 C in 1965.

Record heat in California

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Sunset over San Francisco, CA, USA, 01 Sept 2017 (Twitter)

San Francisco rarely suffers from hot weather which is why many residents are struggling to stay cool during a heat wave since most homes don’t have air conditioners.

The U.S. National Weather Service says the thermometer climbed to an all-time record-breaking 41.1 C (106 F) on 01 September and another record of 38.9 C (102 F) was set the following day.

Those sizzling highs are a far cry from the average of 21 C for the northern California city.

Numerous wildfires in the region have produced smoke and haze which has added to air quality concerns.

The heat has also stretched northward to Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia where temperatures could exceed 30 C on Vancouver Island.

Heat warnings issued in the West

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Weather watches, warnings, statements re: heat and thunderstorms, 08 July 2017 (Environment Canada)

A strong ridge of high pressure over Western Canada has pushed the thermometer into record high territory for British Columbia and Alberta.

On 07 July, dozens of communities set new maximum temperatures with the highest at 39.4 C in Warfield and 38.3 C in Nelson but the hot spot in Canada was Garden River in northern Alberta at 40.3 C.

The major cities were warm too with Calgary reaching 33 C and Edmonton 30 C.

Heat warnings have been issued for most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan where temperatures will be near 29 C or higher for the next few days and residents are urged to take precautions.