November 2019 – Colder and snowier

Ice forms on Irishtown Reservoir after cold night, 13 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

November got off to a mild start in Greater Moncton – the monthly high 19.4 C was actually 0.1 degrees warmer than October’s maximum – but temperatures quickly tumbled especially overnight.

Only two nights were actually above freezing with the coldest weather around the middle of the month.

The first measurable snow was recorded on 07-8 (18.8 cm) which was more than half of the November total and rainfall was lighter than usual.

Daytime highs struggled to climb above freezing especially during the last two weeks which led to a below normal monthly average.

NOVEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 4.6°C

Average LOW -3.7°C

AVERAGE 0.5°C (about 1.4 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.4°C (01 Nov)

Extreme LOW -10.9°C (17 Nov)

RAINFALL 66.7 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 32.5 cm (almost double, well ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Colorado Low impacts Maritimes

Snowy Highway 102 in Bedford, NS (NS Highway Cameras)

A Colorado Low tracked through the Maritimes today bringing mixed precipitation and strong winds.

The system brought the first major snowfall to Nova Scotia with 23 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and lesser amounts in the city but it caught drivers and plow operators off guard creating gridlock.

About 10 to 20 cm of snow also fell in central and southwestern New Brunswick where some schools closed with slippery road conditions.

Greater Moncton had a rain/snow mix this morning with 2 cm before it changed to rain.

As this system moves off to Newfoundland, brisk winds behind it will produce gusts up to 90 km/h with snow squalls expected along coastal areas.

Early snow for southern Ontario & Quebec

A snowy Gore Park, Hamilton, ON, 11 Nov 2019 (City of Hamilton)

An early winter storm tracked south of the Great Lakes on Monday and brought snow to Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec.

Snowfall amounts generally ranged between 10 and 30 cm.

Environment Canada says Toronto marked its earliest major snowfall on record with about 15 cm.

Arctic air has filtered in behind the storm prompting the city to issue an extreme cold weather alert with a possible overnight low of -15°C.

Snowfall amounts (cm), Tuesday 5pm EST:

  • Montreal 20
  • Quebec City 20
  • Windsor 19
  • Hamilton 17
  • Toronto (downtown) 15
  • Ottawa 13

First snow of the season

Snow
A low pressure system moving through the Maritimes brought the first snow of the season to Southeast New Brunswick today.

A cold rain eventually turned to snow in Greater Moncton and 7.2 cm fell with Environment Canada calling for up to 10 cm tomorrow.

As the above chart shows, the first measurable snow in the region is typically recorded from late October to late November.

Tire shops have reportedly been busy this week as drivers scramble to get their snow tires installed.

Manitoba declares state of emergency

A wintry scene in Winnipeg, 12 Oct 2014 (Facebook/Winnipeg)

The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a powerful storm dumped heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and wind to southern portions of the province this week.

Amid the early winter blast, Manitoba Hydro is trying to restore electricity to thousands of residents after numerous trees and branches – many still covered in leaves – fell onto power lines with winds gusting up to 100 km/h.

The storm was so bad it forced the temporary closure of the Trans Canada Highway from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan border.

Southern Manitoba got blasted after a Colorado Low moved in from the United States where it brought dramatic temperature drops and heavy snow to the Great Plains states.

The next concern for local emergency measures officials will be flooding as the snow melts given the rising temperatures forecasted over the next few days.

Snowfall totals as of 1pm CDT on Saturday, October 12th:

  • Carberry  74 cm
  • Morden  64 cm
  • Winnipeg  34 cm
  • Dauphin  30 cm
  • Brandon  29 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

September snow in the West!

A snowy rooftop patio in Calgary, AB, 29 September 2019 (gbenlucas/Instagram)

Autumn began just a few days ago but it already looks and feels like winter in parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A strong low pressure system prompted snowfall and winter storm warnings as up to 100 cm of snow fell across southern Alberta.

Gusty winds behind the system created blowing and drifting snow making highway travel treacherous.

Many early season snowfall records have been broken.

Snowfall amounts (in cm) as of 1pm MDT, 30 September:

  • Calgary 32
  • Claresholm  40-45
  • Lethbridge  50-60
  • Taber  60
  • Cardston area  70-90
  • Waterton Park  95

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

August snow in northern BC!

Ft Nelson snow

BC Highway 97 near Fort Nelson, 19 Aug 2019 (Drive BC/Twitter)


Residents of northern British Columbia were shocked to wake up to snow this morning – an estimated 50 cm in some areas.

Environment Canada says cold Arctic air combined with moisture from the Pacific was responsible for the winter-like conditions in late summer.

Fort Nelson received a mix of rain and snow while higher elevations of 1,000 metres or more saw mainly snow.

Historical data shows measurable snow is likely in Fort Nelson in every month except July.

By contrast on Monday, Kamloops in the Okanagan Valley – about 1300 km south – reached a daytime high of 31°C.

Thundersnow in B.C.!

A thunderstorm with snow is called thundersnow and it struck the British Columbia Interior just two days before the start of summer!

An unstable air mass bringing cold air from Alaska is to blame for the rare thundersnow which covered mountainous terrain in the Okanagan Valley with about 10 cm.

Snow fell above 1500 metres with a snow/rain mix down to 1100 metres and a chilly rain at sea level.

About 10 cm of snow was also expected in the Alberta Rockies from a similar system.

Spring 2019 in review

Spring 2019
Meteorological spring in Southeast New Brunswick turned out to be colder and much wetter than normal compared to the 30-year average.

While March and April both had above normal temperatures, May was colder by a significant 2.4 degrees which brought down the overall seasonal average.

Rainfall was heavy in April and May and while snowfall was below normal for the three month period, the final snow flurries were spotted as late as 21 May.

The Year Without Spring

Snow in Rexton, 21 May 2019 (S. Hudson/Facebook)

It snowed overnight in Southeast New Brunswick.

About 0.6 cm of wet snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton Airport and even higher accumulations around the region.

In recent history, I can’t recall a snowfall this late in the month of May.

With meteorological summer arriving in 10 days and astronomical summer in barely a month, I’ve concluded that 2019 is the “Year Without Spring”.

The cold, damp weather has impacted farmers who are at least two weeks behind in planting crops due to saturated fields.

Sidewalk patios are eerily empty and winter parkas are still being worn by many.

A frost advisory has been posted for tonight and another one will likely be posted in two days as temperatures drop to near freezing again overnight.

Will the weather improve anytime soon?

A high of 20°C is forecast for Saturday but keep in mind we often hit 30°C before the beginning of June.