Mild but stormy conditions

A break in the rain at Irishtown Nature Park reservoir, 15 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Another intense low pressure system moved through the Maritimes on the weekend bringing a new round of heavy rain and strong winds.

After a bone-chilling start, winds changed direction and a southerly flow pushed the high in Greater Moncton to 13.8°C – close to the record of 13.9°C from 2008.

Winds were strong with gusts up to 87 km/h in Southeast New Brunswick and a peak of 91 km/h reported in Bathurst.

As the storm headed to Newfoundland, cold air plunged into the region and temperatures fell below freezing and may stay that way for several days.

New all-time record highs across Europe

Paris (AP)

Cooling off in Paris near Eiffel Tower, 25 July 2019 (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

The second summer heat wave gripping Europe peaked on Thursday with new all-time record highs set in several countries.

Paris climbed to a stifling 42.6 C breaking the French capital’s previous record high of 40.4 C from July 1947.

The temperature climbed above 40 C in the Netherlands at Gilzen-Rijen for the first time ever when it reached 40.7 C and Lingen, Germany set a new country record of 42.6 C.

Records were also set in Belgium (41.8 C) and Luxembourg (40.8 C).

The UK Met Office is verifying whether a high of 38.7 C at Cambridge is the warmest temperature ever for the United Kingdom.

Historic heat in Western Europe

The jet stream has carried hot air from northern Africa across western Europe which is shattering all-time record highs in numerous countries.

The second extreme heat wave this summer has set new maximums in Belgium at 38.9 C, the Netherlands at 39.2 C and Germany at 40.5 C.

Bordeaux, France reached 41.2 C on Tuesday which was its highest temperature ever.

Thanks to the urban heat island effect, major cities are more prone to hot weather than rural areas and don’t cool down that much overnight.

On Thursday, the UK Met Office believes Britain could smash its current historic high of 38.5 C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.

Thunderstorms cool off Eastern Canada

Thunderstorms rolling across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec this weekend brought an end to oppressive heat and humidity.

Toronto residents were trying to keep cool Saturday when the mercury soared to 33.0°C with a stifling humidex of 44 and Montreal reported similar conditions.

In the Maritimes, even typically cooler coastal areas were warm with new record highs set in Saint John and Grand Manan.

The temperature in Greater Moncton peaked at 32.4°C which fell short of the record of 33.5°C from 1991.

A brief, violent thunderstorm hit Halifax on Sunday afternoon with flash flooding and strong winds knocking out power to more than 44,000 Nova Scotians.

Record heat at top of the world

The most northerly community in Canada – and the world for that matter – has set new all-time record highs for two days in a row.

Alert, Nunavut enjoyed the unusual heat thanks to a strong high pressure system over Greenland which moved into the Arctic Ocean.

Environment Canada notes Alert, population 62, normally sees highs of 6°C and lows of 1°C during July and more snow typically falls than rain.

Hello Spring!

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Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)

The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.

The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.

To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:

  • Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
  • Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
  • Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Spring arrives early in the North

A warm air mass has surged into Western Canada this week bringing record temperatures to the region and also to the North.

Many communities from Yukon to Nunavut were well above freezing and into the double digits breaking March records.

Yohin Lake hit a record high of 18.8°C Monday and spiked to 20.2°C Tuesday marking the first time in March the thermometer has climbed above 20°C in Northwest Territories.

Daytime highs in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley hit the mid 20’s while Alberta residents enjoyed maximums in the high teens.

Freaky heat in the U.K.

 
Never before has the temperature climbed above 20 C during the winter in the United Kingdom – until this week.

The record U.K. temperature for February has actually been broken twice over the past few days.

On social media, users were posting photos of a snowy wonderland at the same time last year compared to spring-like scenes this year.

France has also been exceptionally warm with a record high of 19 C in Paris and a scorching maximum of 28 C in the southwestern part of the country.

Meantime, the high in London today is cooler at 14 C which is still about four degrees above average for late February.

Furnace Friday

HotUK

Forecast highs in the UK for 27 July 2018 (Met Office)

The British, like Canadians, often give names to extreme weather events and ‘Furnace Friday’ is a fine example.

Meteorologists were expecting the all-time heat record of 38.5 C from 2003 would fall yesterday but thunderstorms rolled through and cooled things down.

Nevertheless, the UK Met Office reports a maximum of 34.7 C at Tibenham Airfield, Norfolk while it reached 35.3 C in Faversham, Kent – the hottest high of 2018 so far.

The heat wave has turned grass brown, triggered water restrictions, disrupted rail services and prompted a warning from officials to stay out of the sun.

Heat warning!

Bouctouche Dunes coastline, NB, 01 July 2018 (Dearing)

Record highs could be broken in Greater Moncton over the next couple of days if forecast highs in the low to mid 30s C are reached on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Environment Canada has issued a rare heat warning for New Brunswick, mainland Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island with cooler conditions along the coast.

A warm, humid airmass is expected to push humidex values about 40 during the day and barely falling below 18 C at night – dangerous levels for those susceptible to heat.

Forecasters believe warm, humid weather will persist until later this week when a cold front brings temperatures closer to normal for the weekend.