Late spring snowstorm strikes Newfoundland

NL snow

Highway camera image courtesy NL Government

While not uncommon, the end of May is still late – and record breaking – for a significant snowfall of 36 cm in Gander.

A low pressure system brought strong winds and rain which turned to snow over northeast Newfoundland when the temperature fell to the freezing point.

Burgeo recorded a peak wind gust of 95 km/h as did Bonavista which also picked up 40 mm of rain.

Snowfall totals as of 3:30pm NDT:

  • Gander  36 cm
  • Lewisporte  26 cm
  • Badger  16 cm
  • Twillingate  11 cm
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Snow in late May!!!

While a snowflake or two is common in early May in New Brunswick, accumulating snow is rare in the latter part of the month.

A cold front pushed through the province today and with a change in wind direction from south to north, precipitation changed from rain to snow and the thermometer plummeted.

Bathurst and Miramichi both reported snow today and in some areas it began to stick to the ground while thunderstorms rolled through further south.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature drop was dramatic with a high of 16 C at 11am and by 4pm it was only 5 C.

Meantime, parts of central Newfoundland are under a snowfall warning with 15 to 30 cm in the forecast.

April 2018 – Spring sputters

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Tree is budding at Fairview Knoll Park, NE Moncton, 28 April 2018 (Dearing)

Spring was mostly absent during the first two-thirds of April in Greater Moncton with daytime highs often barely above freezing and overnight lows which were much colder than normal.

Suddenly spring arrived during the last third of the month when temperatures jumped to 20 C and higher by day and above freezing by night.

While more rain fell during April compared to average, snowfall was scant which led to below normal precipitation overall.

The seasonal snow cover finally melted by mid-month but it had disappeared twice (late January and early March) since mid-December.

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

Average HIGH  8.1 C

Average LOW  -1.8 C

AVERAGE  3.2 C (about 0.3 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  21.2 C (24 April)

Extreme LOW  -9.6 C (16 April)

RAINFALL  73.4 mm (slightly ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  8.4 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Newfoundland nailed!

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Heavy snow in Corner Brook, NL, 09 April 2018 (Smallwood/Twitter)

After delivering a punch to eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, a low pressure system rapidly intensified over Newfoundland with strong winds and heavy snow creating blizzard conditions.

Snowfall was heaviest in western Newfoundland while the eastern island received freezing rain, ice pellets and rain.

Snowfall totals as of 9am NDT, 10 April:

  • St. Anthony  42 cm
  • Corner Brook  37 cm
  • Deer Lake  27 cm
  • Gander  18 cm

Rainfall totals:

  • Cape Race  32 mm
  • St. John’s  24 mm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Bonavista  126 km/h
  • St. Anthony  120 km/h
  • Gander  119 km/h
  • St. John’s  115 km/h

Snow swipes Nova Scotia

NShwyApr09

Courtesy NS Department of Transportation

An intense low pressure system off the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia brushed the eastern portion of the province and Cape Breton Island with heavy snow.

New Brunswick, northern Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were spared from this storm.

The eastern part of Cape Breton was the hardest hit with almost 35 cm of snow recorded in the Sydney area.

Here are snowfall totals as of 9am ADT, 09 April (in cm):

  • Sydney  34.6
  • Cheticamp  22
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  23.4
  • Dartmouth  14
  • Bedford  10

Nor’easter number four!

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Moncton’s west end after the latest Nor’easter, 23 March 2018 (Dearing)

It seems a bit strange the largest single snowfall this winter in Greater Moncton actually occurred on the second full day of spring.

Environment Canada says Southeast New Brunswick hit the snow jackpot from the fourth Nor’easter this month with more than 30 cm recorded.

A storm on 30 January was the previous snowfall event winner with almost 25 cm.

Strong winds were also a factor in this storm gusting at times to 82 km/h.

Here are some other snowfall totals:

  • Kentville, NS  24 cm
  • Alma, NB  20 cm
  • Yarmouth, NS  18 cm
  • Sussex, NB  17 cm
  • Charlottetown, PEI  12 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  11 cm
  • Bathurst, NB  8 cm
  • Saint John, NB  6 cm

Another Nor’easter nails U.S. Northeast

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A snowbound U.S. Capitol building, Washington DC, 21 March 2018 (Twitter)

The fourth snowstorm this March struck the American Northeast during the first full day of spring with its biggest fury in a stretch from Washington, DC to New York City.

About 10 to 15 centimetres of snow fell in the American capital which was the heaviest this winter and the latest March storm since 1964.

New York City’s Central Park recorded almost 20 cm which pushed the seasonal total above 75 cm for the fifth straight winter.

The Nor’easter didn’t pack much of a punch for Boston – less than 5 cm – but it is heading toward the Maritimes.

Beast from the East 2.0

UK snowy

Snow covered highway near Okehampton, Devon, UK, 19 March 2018 (Keene/PA)


A blast of cold Siberian air – dubbed “Beast from the East 2.0” – has invaded the United Kingdom bringing heavy snow and icy conditions for the second time this month.

More than 10 cm snow fell in southwest England where a 100 km stretch of the A30 Highway was shut down forcing travellers to seek emergency shelter at a school in Okehampton.

Devon and Cornwall Police warned drivers to stay off the highways until snowplows cleared them and hundreds of schools were closed today.

Forecasters are watching for another wintry cold snap which could affect the UK during Easter weekend.

Strike number 3!

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Wet, heavy snow in NE Moncton, 14 March 2018 (Dearing)

The third Nor’easter in a week to strike Southeast New Brunswick packed less punch than the other two despite predictions it would be the strongest.

Temperatures remained near freezing in Greater Moncton during the snowfall which made it extremely heavy and wet and strong winds gusted to 85 km/h.

The western and northeastern parts of the province were hardest hit from this storm.

Snowfall totals as of 9pm ADT, 14 March:

  • Miramichi  46 cm
  • Bathurst  40 cm
  • Fredericton  38 cm
  • Saint John  27 cm
  • Greater Moncton  16 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  12 cm
  • Charlottetown  5 cm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Grand Etang  146 km/h
  • Lunenburg  104 km/h
  • Sydney  85 km/h
  • Halifax Stanfield  83 km/h

Winter storm 2 of 3

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Traffic on a snowy West Main Street, Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The second of three winter storms in less than a week has delivered another dumping of snow but this time it was more evenly distributed throughout the Maritimes.

The snow was heavy and wet especially in Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow totals courtesy of Environment Canada as of 8:30am Saturday, 10 March:

  • Caraquet, 29 cm
  • Shediac, 27 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, 23 cm
  • Bathurst, 20 cm
  • Miramichi, 17 cm
  • Saint John, 17 cm
  • Truro, 17 cm
  • Greater Moncton, 16 cm
  • Summerside, 16 cm
  • Greenwood, 15 cm
  • Charlottetown, 12 cm
  • Halifax Downtown, 9 cm
  • CFB Gagetown, 7 cm

Strong winds were also a factor with peak gusts in km/h:

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, 154
  • East Point, PEI, 82
  • Caraquet, 78