April 2017 – Spring sputters

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)

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March 2017 – Cold and snowy

Walking trail in Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)

Winter just wouldn’t let go of its grip on Southeast New Brunswick during March. 

Overnight lows were extremely cold especially during the first half of the month. 

Daytime highs were often very chilly and barely climbed above freezing even during the last week. 

Oddly enough, the maximum temperature in February was actually warmer than all of March. 

Precipitation was below normal overall but snow did fall on 22 of 31 days. 

MARCH 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 0.3 C

Average LOW -9.0 C
AVERAGE -4.4 C (about 1.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.7 C (01 March)

Extreme LOW -20.1 C (11 March)

RAINFALL 17.6 mm (about 65 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 53.1 cm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(courtesy Environment Canada)

Nor’easter not as bad as expected

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Snow begins falling in NE Moncton, 14 March 2017 (Dearing)

An intense Nor’easter moved into New Brunswick last night from the U.S.Eastern Seaboard with heavy, wet snow and high winds creating blowing snow and poor visibility.

Snow switched over to rain over southern and central New Brunswick with a
brief period of freezing rain and ice pellets.

Forecasters had originally said up to 45 cm of snow could fall in parts of the province.

Summary of snowfall in centimetres:

Bathurst 30
Kouchibouguac 26
Fredericton 20
Edmundston 18
Moncton 17
Miramichi 16
Saint John 15

Summary of maximum winds in kilometres per hour:

Grand Manan 102
Saint John 102
Miramichi 81
Fredericton 80
Moncton 78
CFB Gagetown 72
Kouchibouguac 61

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Weather Network unveils spring forecast

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A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.

But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?

In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.

Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.

Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.

“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.

Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.

February 2017 – Lots of snow then mild

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Spillway at Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 26 Feb 2017 (Dearing)

Three major winter storms including a blizzard were part of a very active weather pattern in Greater Moncton during February.

While snowfall was below normal in January, it made up for it in February with more than double the average amount recorded.

Temperatures were above normal but oddly enough it was still warmer in January which is typically the coldest month.

The final week felt like spring with mild temperatures climbing above 10 C which was enough to melt most of the snow which had fallen during the previous three weeks.

FEBRUARY 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -1.2 C

Average LOW  -10.9 C

AVERAGE  -6.2 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  11.5 C (24 February)

Extreme LOW  -22.6 C (12 February)

RAINFALL  19.7 mm (slightly BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  124.1 cm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Nor’easter nails Maritimes

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Snow plow clearing streets in Moncton, 10 Feb 2017 (Twitter/CityofMoncton)

The latest Nor’easter moved up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard with lots of energy as it headed for the Maritimes.

The winter storm brought heavy snow and strong northeast winds to the region.

Snowfall totals as of midday:

St. Stephen: 38 cm

Greater Moncton: 24 cm

Charlottetown: 24 cm

Fredericton: 23 cm

Saint John: 19 cm

Kentville: 19 cm

Yarmouth: 17 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport: 15 cm

Heavy snow hammers Maritimes

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Vehicles covered in snow, NE Moncton, 08 Jan 2017 (Dearing)

An intense low pressure system is now over Newfoundland after dumping up to 40 cm of snow on parts of the Maritimes overnight.

Snowfall was heaviest over central Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley and Prince Edward Island.

For Greater Moncton, this storm delivered the most snow since 30 November when more than 25 cm was recorded.

Fortunately this is light, dry snow since it fell when temperatures were cold (about -10 C or so) and it is much easier to move than wet, moisture-laden snow.

As expected, northern New Brunswick got off easy this time with only 3 cm reported in Bathurst.

Snow totals as of 8am AST:

Greater Moncton Airport 22 cm

Gagetown 23 cm

Saint John Airport 21 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport 33 cm

Halifax downtown 26 cm

Yarmouth 26 cm

Greenwood 36 cm

Sydney 27 cm

Charlottetown 35 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada and local estimates)

December 2016 -Weather rollercoaster

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A cold late afternoon in downtown Moncton, 16 Dec 2016 (Facebook)

So many ups and downs occurred during December in Southeast New Brunswick, one might say we were riding a weather rollercoaster.

Early on 17 December in Greater Moncton, the thermometer fell to a monthly (and almost record) low of -22.1 C which then rose to a monthly high of 10.6 C only 36 hours later before eventually dropping again to -18.6 by late on 19 December.

Although many nights were extremely cold (eight below -15 C), daytime highs were often slightly above or below freezing which overall led to a slightly below average monthly temperature.

Most snow fell during the first half of the month (three snowfalls were 12 cm or higher) and although rainfall was below normal, overall precipitation was about average.

DECEMBER 2016 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -0.8 C

Average LOW  -9.5 C

AVERAGE  -5.1 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  10.6 C (18 December)

Extreme LOW  -22.1 C (17 December)

RAINFALL  37.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  85.2 cm (about 25 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Snow falls in Sahara Desert

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Snow covers red sand dunes, Ain Sefra, Algeria, 19 Dec 2016 (Karim Bouchetata/Geoff Robinson)

One of the hottest places on Earth has recorded a light snowfall for the first time in 37 years – since February 1979.

In the normally dry, hot Sahara desert, snow fell in the town of Ain Sefra, Algeria on 19 December.

The snow stayed for almost a day before it melted away.

A “Gateway to the Desert,” Ain Sefra is 1,078 metres above sea level and is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains.

Meteorological winter begins

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NE Moncton after first major snowfall of season, 30 Nov 2016 (Dearing)

It’s beginning to look like winter in Greater Moncton so it’s timely 01 December marks the start of meteorological winter which also includes January and February.

The Old Farmers Almanac and The Weather Network have suggested much of the country including Atlantic Canada can expect a “classic Canadian winter.”

Let’s look back at the last three meteorological winters to see how they compare:

2015-16 in Greater Moncton

December 2015, average temperature -0.4°C (4.4°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 96.4 cm, rainfall 56.3 mm

January 2016, average temperature -6.1°C (2.8°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 53.6 cm, rainfall 23.8 mm

February 2016, average temperature -4.4°C (3.4°C ABOVE normal), snowfall 79.6 cm, rainfall 33.3 mm

2014-2015 in Greater Moncton

December 2014, average temperature -2.1°C (2.7°C ABOVE normal), snowfall  10.9 cm, rainfall  246.6 mm (new December record)

January 2015, average temperature -10.2°C (1.3°C BELOW normal), snowfall 153.0 cm, rainfall 33.7 mm

February 2015, average temperature -13.6°C (6°C BELOW normal), snowfall 168.6 cm, rainfall 3.2 mm

2013-2014 in Greater Moncton

December 2013, average temperature -7.4°C (2.6°C BELOW normal), snowfall 130.8 cm, rainfall 62.6 mm

January 2014, average temperature -7.3°C (1.6°C ABOVE normal), snowfall  32.8 cm, rainfall 83.6 mm

February 2014, average temperature -7.1°C (0.5°C ABOVE normal),  snowfall  92.7 cm, rainfall 39.4 mm