Autumn 2018 in review

Autumn2018
Meteorological autumn spanning the months of September, October and November proved to be cooler and much wetter than normal in Greater Moncton.

While September felt more summer-like, it turned decidedly colder by mid-October and a big drop by mid-November with a low within two degrees of a 30-year record.

Precipitation was heavy with more than 100 mm of rain falling above normal and snow first appeared in late October and again in heavy amounts by late November.

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November 2018 – Cold & snowy

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Snow settles in NE Moncton before changeover to rain, 10 Nov 2018 (Dearing)

About twice the normal amount of precipitation fell in Southeast New Brunswick during November which began as heavy rain and became heavy snow when it turned colder.

Two major rain events which included hurricane force winds were followed by the first snowfall of the season on the 10th and three more snow events to round out the month.

Greater Moncton had snow cover starting on the 14th and by the 30th, about 31 cm of snow was lying on the ground – almost eight times more than normal.

Temperatures were mild during the first third of the month and became decidedly frigid by the middle with lows near -15 C accompanied by bitterly cold wind chills.

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

Average HIGH 3.2°C

Average LOW -4.0°C

AVERAGE -0.4°C (about 2.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 17.1°C (03 Nov)

Extreme LOW -15.3°C (22 Nov)

RAINFALL 141.4 mm (about 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL 75.0 cm (about 4 times ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Bitter cold ahead of more snow

Temperatures sunk early Monday across the Maritimes with some New Brunswick locations shattering records by almost five degrees dating back to the 1880’s.

The bitter cold precedes another storm system which could bring up to 25 cm of snow to southern New Brunswick, most of Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia.

While it plunged to -14.7°C in Greater Moncton, the 1936 record still stands at -16.7°C.

Here are some of the new record lows set in the region on 19 November:

  • Bathurst, NB -22.5°C
  • Woodstock, NB -21.4°C
  • Miramichi, NB -20.2°C
  • Kouchibouguac, NB -20.0°C
  • Summerside, PE -15.7°C
  • Charlottetown, PE -15.2°C

November snow 2008-17

NOVEMBER snowfalls in Greater Moncton
Year Snow event Total monthly snowfall
2017 3.2 cm
2016 Nov. 30 had 26 cm 37.4 cm
2015 4.0 cm
2014 Nov. 26-27 had 32 cm 55.8 cm
2013 3.4 cm
2012 No measurable snow
2011 Nov. 23 had 21.6 cm 25.0 cm
2010 Nov. 27 had 10.6 cm 26.2 cm
2009 7.4 cm
2008 Nov. 22 had 32.7 cm

42.1 cm

November can often be a hard month to predict when it comes to how much snow may fall in New Brunswick.

As the chart above shows for Greater Moncton, some years may have only a few centimetres or even barely a snowflake as was the case in 2012.

However, it only takes one major storm to push up the totals such as in 2014 with almost 56 cm of snow.

Much of the month’s accumulation tends to come from several snowfalls of just a couple centimetres each and often there are no major snow events.

The thirty year snowfall average (1981-2010) for November at the Greater Moncton Airport is 19.4 cm.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

First snowfall warning for Southeast N.B.

While other parts of New Brunswick have already had significant snow this fall, the first snowfall warning of the season has been issued for Greater Moncton and the Southeast region.

Fresh from impacting Southern Ontario, Southern Quebec and the U.S. Northeast, Environment Canada says this storm will bring up to 15 cm of snow with ice pellets and rain mixing in before tapering off later tonight.

Schools were cancelled in anticipation of the storm with snow beginning to fall by midmorning.

Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island are expecting 15 to 20 cm with lesser amounts for mainland Nova Scotia.

U.S. Northeast hit by early season snow

Snow falling in Washington, DC, USA, 15 Nov 2018 (Instagram)

A significant November snowstorm took meteorologists by surprise yesterday when more snow fell and for longer than originally forecast.

A Nor’easter moved up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard dropping 16 cm of snow on New York City which created commuter chaos with train delays and dozens of drivers trapped in their vehicles on treacherous highways.

While Washington, DC only picked up about 4 cm – the biggest November snowfall in three decades – it was to take road crews by surprise and some schools were closed.

The precipitation also included ice pellets and freezing rain with an eventual changeover to rain.

The storm also brought between 10 and 20 cm of snow across Southern Ontario with Toronto Pearson Airport picking up 11 cm.

The same system is now impacting the Maritimes.

Say it isn’t snow!

Snow settles on grass, vehicles and rooftops in NE Moncton, 25 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

Even by New Brunswick standards, snow in October is not very common.

But a low pressure system dropped more than 15 cm of heavy, wet snow over western and northern parts of the province creating commuter chaos in Fredericton yesterday.

After getting drenched with 38 mm of rain, Greater Moncton received a light coating of snow this morning which stuck to rooftops, vehicles and grassy areas but it melted by midday.

Here are some snowfall totals (in cm) from volunteer observations:

  • Charlo/Belledune area. 23 cm
  • Woodstock. 16 cm
  • Fredericton. 15 cm
  • Miramichi. 13 cm
  • Grand Falls. 10 cm
  • Moncton. 3.4 cm

Early season snow in N.B.

Radar image of New Brunswick, 17 hrs, 23 Oct 2018 (Intellicast)

Snow has come early for parts of northern and western New Brunswick as a low pressure system brings heavy rain elsewhere in the province.

Fredericton recorded a few centimetres of snow today while Greater Moncton is expecting mostly rain – possibly 15 to 25 mm – starting tonight.

Environment Canada says up to 15 cm of snow could fall by Wednesday night in the north and west with greater amounts over high terrain.

Heavy snow hits Calgary

Heavy snow covers cars in Calgary, AB, 02 Oct 2018 (Twitter)

Late summer and early autumn have been cold in southern Alberta but a big snowfall suddenly made it seem like winter.

Heavy snow moved across the Rockies and the foothills today dumping between 20 and 40 cm of snow (including over 30 cm at Calgary International Airport).

Environment Canada warns the snow will continue into Wednesday morning with a few more centimetres expected.

Traffic also ground to a halt as vehicles became stranded on snowy and icy highways.

September snow in Alberta!

Snow falls in Edmonton, AB, 12 Sept 2018 (Instagram)

Cold Arctic air has combined with moisture moving over the Rockies to give Alberta a taste of winter in late summer.

Forecasters say northern Alberta including Edmonton could receive at least 8 cm snow with up to 15 cm in Jasper.

Temperatures are hovering near or slightly below freezing with a plunge to -6°C in northern British Columbia.

Environment Canada says more seasonable weather is not expected to return until early next week.