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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
It felt more like mid-spring than late winter across Southern Ontario today.
A mild air mass combined with strengthening February sunshine to set new record highs in the region.
Environment Canada reports April-like maximums for 28 February:
- Sarnia, 16.8 C, old record 15.1 C from 2016
- Toronto Pearson Airport, 16.2 C, old record 14.0 C from 2016
- Windsor, 16.1 C, old record 13.6 C from 2017
- London, 15.1 C, old record 14.2 C from 2016
- Kitchener-Waterloo, 15.0 C, old record 12.4 C from 2016
Bare ground in west end Moncton after rain washes away snow cover, 24 Jan 2018 (Dearing)
The snow cover in Greater Moncton has disappeared after the latest storm system rolled through with mixed precipitation and mild temperatures.
Rainfall amounts varied from 20 to 70 mm across New Brunswick, up to 8 hours of freezing rain fell in Gagetown and 20 cm of snow was recorded in Bathurst and Edmundston.
Record highs for 23 January were set in Saint John at 10.4 C and St. Stephen reached 11.3 C.
Since a consistent snow cover began on 09 December in Southeast New Brunswick, the ground has been bare a couple of times for short periods.
Before a cold front swept through the Maritimes, all-time record January highs were set across the region yesterday including 16.7 C at Greater Moncton International Airport.
New Brunswick’s all-time January high was set in Sussex at 17.3 C, narrowly beating the previous provincial record of 17.2 C in Moncton from 08 January 1930.
Nova Scotia’s all-time January record was set yesterday in Greenwood at 19.0 C followed closely by Cheticamp at 18.9 C while on Prince Edward Island, Summerside hit a new monthly high of 13.8 C and St. Peters reached a provincial high of 17.8 C.
Environment Canada says while the latest storm delivered almost 28 mm of rain in Moncton, more than a month’s worth fell in Mechanic Settlement at 128 mm and Bouctouche at 98 mm.
The peak wind gust was clocked in Saint John at 96 km/h.
A slow moving frontal system brought heavy rain to western New Brunswick with about 20 mm falling per hour in the southwest.
Environment Canada reported 174 mm of rain in St. Stephen over a two day period which is a shocking amount considering about 180 mm fell from June to September.
Other amounts include 112 mm in Edmundston, 93 mm in Woodstock and 74 mm in Fredericton.
Rainfall totals were much lower in Southeast New Brunswick where only 27 mm fell at the Greater Moncton International Airport.
Tropical air with this system broke more record highs in Atlantic Canada with a maximum of 23.4 C in Moncton and Bouctouche, 23.5 C in Cheticamp, 22.0 C in Deer Lake and 21.2 C in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.