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!


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


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

Winter storms target N.B.

Winter storm

Whiteout conditions in the first of three winter storms, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The first of three successive snow events dropped 15.3 cm and slight amounts of rain on Greater Moncton yesterday.

However, the intermission is a short one with Environment Canada issuing another snowfall warning for most of New Brunswick.

The next low pressure system arrives tonight and will persist into Saturday with flurries still possible on Sunday as the storm stalls in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Up to 25 cm could fall by the time it finally leaves the province and even more is expected in northern New Brunswick.

Monday is expected to be partly sunny before another system with more snow arrives on Tuesday.

Snow barely brushes Greater Moncton

A low pressure system passed south of New Brunswick on Thursday and brought snow to the northern part of the province.

The same storm also delivered snow to eastern Quebec including Quebec City and Saguenay late Wednesday.

Greater Moncton was left relatively unscathed with about 6 cm of snow and freezing rain just in time to make the evening commute rather slippery.

Updated summary of snowfall as of 8:00 A.M. Friday:

  • Edmundston  20 cm
  • Bathurst  19 cm
  • Miramichi  17 cm
  • Kouchibouguac  15 cm
  • Charlo  10 cm
  • Bouctouche  8 cm
  • Shediac  8 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Winter 2017/18 – Riding a Rollercoaster!


A view of downtown Moncton from city hall, 23 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Meteorological winter 2017/18 is now in the books since the three month period of December, January and February is over but we all know winter is not over yet in Southeast New Brunswick.

What a ride it has been in Greater Moncton with temperatures fluctuating wildly from very mild to extremely cold in just hours and in one case in mere minutes.

Snowfall was lighter compared to normal especially in February but the bigger concern were frequent periods of mixed, icy precipitation such as freezing rain and ice pellets.

WINTER ALMANAC 2017/18 at the Greater Moncton International Airport

Average HIGH  -1.2 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Average LOW  -11.0 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

AVERAGE  -6.1 C (about 1 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 January – highest temperature ever recorded in January)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 February)

RAINFALL  134.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  177.8 cm (about 15 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)


February 2018 – Warm with more rain

Shubie Sam

Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring, 02 Feb 2018 (Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, NS)

The first half of February in Southeast New Brunswick was decidedly winter with frigid overnight lows dropping to a numbing -21 C in the first few days alone.

But the second half of the month was spring-like with most daytime highs above freezing and more tolerable minimums.

The average monthly temperature for Greater Moncton was about 3.2 degrees above normal and anything above 2 degrees is considered significant in meteorology.

Precipitation was slightly above average with more rain than snow falling compared to normal.

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

Average HIGH  1.0 C

Average LOW  -9.7 C

AVERAGE  -4.4 C (about 3.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  12.9 C (21 Feb)

Extreme LOW  -20.5 C (03 Feb)

RAINFALL  42.0 mm (more than 30 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  49.2 cm (about 25 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

TWN unveils spring forecast

TWN spring

The Weather Network has taken a look ahead at the months of March, April and May for Atlantic Canada…

While it has been a relatively mild winter across the region, winter will still have several parting shots, including the threat for a few Nor’easters.

For some places, the biggest snowfall of the year could still be on the horizon (keep in mind the context – some areas have not had a classic winter storm).

Back and forth temperature swings should come close to offsetting, but with more potential for warmth to outweigh the periods of colder weather.

An active storm track will tap into subtropical moisture at times and bring above normal precipitation to most of the region through the spring season.

Snow falls in Rome

Screenshot (205)

Man on skis at St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City, 26 Feb 2018 (Casilli/Reuters)

Thanks to a cold Siberian air mass dubbed “Beast from the East”, about 10 cm of snow fell in Rome prompting Italian authorities to call in the army and help clear streets.

In St. Peter’s Square, priests from the Vatican threw snowballs at each other and students skied on a hill near the Colosseum.

The heaviest snowfall in Rome in six years forced schools to close, cancelled flights and drivers were urged to stay home.

While Rome barely climbed above freezing, temperatures fell as low as -35 C in the Italian Alps early today.

January 2018 – Turbulent!


The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)

The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.

Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.

A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.

Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.

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

Average HIGH  -2.0 C

Average LOW  -12.6 C

AVERAGE  -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)

Extreme LOW  -22.3 C (07 Jan)

RAINFALL  53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  77.2 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)