Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)
Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.
The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.
A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.
Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.
APRIL 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 10.5 C
Average LOW -0.8 C
AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)
Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)
RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)
Good news… spring may finally be arriving!
Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.
Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!
Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.
Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.
Snow nearly buries two-storey homes in Gander, NL, 04 April 2017 (Twitter)
Residents of Gander might be asking, what have we done to deserve this Mother Nature?
Snow has finally stopped falling central Newfoundland after an exceptional stretch of blizzards which have brought a record 135 cm in just six days.
Drivers were being urged to stay off highways in the region as the plows struggled and often got stuck keeping up with the heavy snow.
Schools were closed for a third day and many businesses and government offices were shuttered.
Meteorologists say Gander now has 241 cm of snow on the ground which is an all-time record beating 174 cm from 2004.
Rain and milder temperatures are in the forecast which raises concerns about rapid snow melt and possible flooding by next week.
For the first time since 2013, Southeast New Brunswick will have a White Christmas.
Although it was mild and rainy on Christmas Eve, not enough showers will fall to wash away the roughly 10 cm of lying snow in Greater Moncton.
Christmas Day is expected to be sunny with seasonal temperatures.
The only two parts of Canada that will not have a White Christmas are the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia or the Pacific coast of British Columbia.
Snow in Saskatoon, SK, 05 Oct 2016 (Twitter)
A storm being dubbed Snowtober – Snow in October – has dropped as much as 40 cm of snow on parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Saskatoon received about 20 cm of snow which broke a 100-year-old record yesterday of 5.6 cm while Cypress Hills Park got 40 cm.
Forecasters say the snow cover may stick around for a few days with single digit highs in the long range outlook.
The normal daytime high in Saskatoon for early October is 14 C.
Environment Canada data shows the seasonal snow cover officially melted on 27 April in Greater Moncton – just prior to almost 14 cm of heavy, wet snow falling in Southeast New Brunswick.
A permanent snow cover began later in the season than usual – 04 January – which means the ground was covered in white for 114 days.
The period was actually longer during the 2013-14 season, when snow covered the ground from 12 December to 17 April which is a total of 127 days.
Snowbank in NE Moncton, 20 April 2015 (Dearing)
After the snow cover officially melts in Greater Moncton, the region will have logged more than 100 days with the ground covered in white.
A white blanket appeared later than usual this winter – early January – but a series of major snow events over the following several weeks would come close to breaking a seasonal snow record.
As of today, 20 April, about 6 cm of snow is still lying on the ground but rain in the forecast for tomorrow will likely take care of that.
A robin in Moncton, 15 April 2015 (TWN)
The snow cover is rapidly melting in Greater Moncton this week thanks to sunshine and above normal temperatures.
Birds are now finding it much easier to find food with more grass and insects reappearing for the season.
New Brunswick River Watch officials are concerned about flooding as waterways rise from melting snow.
Migratory birds are returning to the Maritimes this spring and many are finding it difficult to find food sources given the deep snow cover.
The delayed start to the season is hindering birds from getting to the bugs, worms and seeds they typically eat at this time of year.
Robins, sparrows and woodcocks are among those being found starving or even dead by residents.
Owls are also being affected since mice are scarce because of snow cover and cold.
Veterinarians are asking residents to help by spreading seeds and fruit and clearing snow on lawns to allow the ground to thaw so birds can find a natural food source.
A huge mountain of snow next to the VIA Rail station, Moncton, NB, 04 March 2015 (Dearing)
Greater Moncton enjoyed its warmest high temperature today (11 March) since Christmas Day.
Environment Canada says the thermometer climbed to 8.8 C and the last time it was that warm was 25 December when the high reached a record-breaking 15.6 C!
With 119 cm of snow still on the ground, more days like this will be needed to melt the deep snow cover.
The warm spot in New Brunswick today was St. Stephen where it reached 11.4 C.