From cold to hot

Leaves are finally bursting out, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 May 2020 (Dearing)

Numerous record lows were set across the Maritimes early Sunday morning as temperatures plummeted under clear skies and light winds.

But the cold will be replaced by heat as the jet stream surges north over Eastern Canada this week.

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for New Brunswick with unseasonably warm weather expected for late May.

Records will be challenged in Greater Moncton as daytime highs soar to 30°C and humidex values reach the mid-30’s.

New record lows set on 24 May:

  • Woodstock -4.7°C
  • Edmundston -3.0°C
  • Grand Manan -2.8°C
  • Bouctouche -1.9°C
  • Saint John -1.6°C
  • Kejimkujik NP -1.6°C
  • Summerside -1.4°C

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record heat in B.C.

Inner Harbour, Victoria, BC, 10 May 2020 (clippervacations/Twitter)

As Eastern Canada shivered under winter-like conditions, residents of British Columbia especially along the Pacific coast have enjoyed summer-like weather.

At least 17 new record highs were set in the province on Sunday alone with many others shattered on Friday and Saturday.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and recent lockdown restrictions, many were anxious to spend time outdoors and soak up some vitamin D.

New record highs set on 10 May:

  • Hope 30.2°C
  • Squamish 30.1°C
  • White Rock 29.1°C
  • Victoria 27.8°C
  • Comox 26.6°C
  • Bella Bella 25.2°C
  • Prince Rupert 24.4°C

Remember the Great March Heat Wave?

Parlee Beach, NB, 22 March 2012

Early spring is not known as being particularly warm in New Brunswick, but the early days of spring in March 2012 were a rare exception.

For three consecutive days, the thermometer soared into the 20’s Celsius in Southeast New Brunswick breaking record highs and culminating in an unbelievable all-time monthly maximum of 26.1°C on 22 March 2012.

Beachgoers flocked to the coast to take advantage of the summer-like conditions and some at Parlee Beach even took a dip in the Northumberland Strait despite ice patches still floating in the water.

Although temperatures have been near normal so far this month, Greater Moncton has yet to crack 10°C.

Warm front brings record highs

Radar image at 9pm ADT, 10 March 2020 (Microsoft)

A slow moving warm front has brought precipitation and varying temperatures to the Maritimes.

About 15 cm of snow was expected in the north, while freezing rain and ice pellets fell in central areas and rain in the south.

Temperatures also ranged from well below freezing in northwestern New Brunswick to as high as 15°C in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Meantime, the thermometer has been rising in Greater Moncton over the past 24 hours with snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and now rain.

Record highs from 09 March (courtesy Environment Canada):

  • Kejumkujik National Park, 14.9°C beats old record 14.3°C from 2002.
  • Grand Manan Island, 10.4°C beats old record 9.9°C from 2012.

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!

img_1775

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)