Glorious sunset in NE Moncton, 22 Apr 2019 (Dearing)
Spring can be the most disappointing season of the year in New Brunswick and April 2019 was no exception with cloudy, cool and often wet conditions.
Surprisingly, Greater Moncton was close to normal in temperature but double the average amount of rain fell along with slightly more snow than usual.
Melting snow and heavy precipitation led to more disastrous flooding along the St. John River – almost as bad as last year’s historic water levels.
Only one day was fully below freezing and while nights weren’t that cold, daytime highs often struggled to reach the double digits.
APRIL 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 8.1°C
Average LOW -1.0°C
AVERAGE 3.6°C (near normal)
Extreme HIGH 18.9°C (21 Apr)
Extreme LOW -6.0°C (08 Apr)
RAINFALL 122.5 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 32.8 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A snowy sidewalk in Calgary, 27 April 2019 (Instagram/machadogiselia)
A strong low pressure system brought snow and strong winds to Alberta creating poor visibility and even thunderstorms and a possible tornado were reported.
Emergency officials scrambled to respond to more than 120 road crashes in Calgary on Sunday due to slippery, treacherous conditions after about 15 cm snow fell.
The spring blizzard continued to move across the Prairies where it dumped up to 45 cm on southwestern Saskatchewan including the Cypress Hills area.
The storm crossed into Manitoba with as little as 5 cm in the southeast to about 30 cm in the southwest.
Snow in west end Moncton, 09 April 2019 (Dearing)
Real winter weather in New Brunswick started early – back in mid-November – and the relentless season hangs on.
Greater Moncton recorded 7 cm of snow overnight with more than 10 cm in southwestern New Brunswick and western Nova Scotia.
The strong April sun had melted most it by the end of the day.
But another weak system tonight could bring another 4 cm.
Warmer weather is on the way with Environment Canada forecasting highs in the double digits by the weekend.
Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 31 Mar 2019 (Dearing)
March seemed quite cold overall in Southeast New Brunswick especially given some frigid overnight lows during the first ten days of the month.
Daytime highs improved dramatically after that culminating with a maximum of 16.8°C on the 31st.
However, only two days recorded temperatures with both highs and lows above freezing.
The month was also very dry with less than half of the normal rainfall and snowfall received.
MARCH 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 2.4°C
Average LOW -7.4°C
AVERAGE -2.5°C (about 0.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 16.8°C (31 Mar)
Extreme LOW -18.7°C (08 Mar)
RAINFALL 26.4 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 35.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)
The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.
The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.
To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:
- Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
- Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
- Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)
A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain, flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.
The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.
Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.
Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.
New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.
This has been a very snowy winter across northern New Brunswick with Edmundston and Bas-Caraquet recording 114 cm of snow on the ground as of today (06 March).
Some unofficial reports have indicated a snow depth of more than 160 cm in some mountainous areas.
Southern New Brunswick also has plenty of snow but often it has been mixed with rain, freezing rain or ice pellets which have lowered accumulations.
Greater Moncton now sits at 53 cm (the most so far this season) and snowbanks are getting high enough to cause visibility issues at some intersections.
Plenty of snow near Caraquet, NB (Village Historique Acadian/IG)
Cat enters snowbound backyard in NW Moncton, 04 March 2019 (T. Clow)
A low pressure system approached the Maritimes from the northeastern United States late Sunday night.
Snow began in New Brunswick early Monday and intensified throughout the day before tapering off to freezing drizzle by evening.
About 24 cm fell in Greater Moncton which was the second heaviest snowfall of the season after the storm on 13 February.
The system also brought snow to western and central Newfoundland later on Monday with freezing rain to the Avalon Peninsula.
Snowfall amounts (cm) as of 1AM Tuesday from Environment Canada:
- Sydney: 26
- Saint John Airport: 26
- Greater Moncton Airport: 24
- Deer Lake: 23
- Fredericton: 21
- Miramichi: 21
- Charlottetown: 19
- Greenwood: 19
- Halifax Stanfield Airport: 17
- Bathurst: 14
- Gander: 14
- Yarmouth: 12
It has been quite a winter across Canada with no region reporting a shortage of snow.
Snowfall has been especially heavy in the West this season especially coastal British Columbia which usually sees only scant amounts.
Victoria, BC had almost 70 cm of snow in February – more than what typically falls all winter – even higher than snowy Moncton at nearly 60 cm last month.
While many areas of the West have already exceeded their snowfall amounts for an average winter, much of the East is still falling short of a normal season.
The deepest snowpack can be found in northern New Brunswick, central Quebec, Labrador, the Rockies and B.C.’s mountain ranges.
Wintry weather will undoubtedly continue in New Brunswick for the next few weeks but meteorological winter (December, January and February) is officially over.
In Greater Moncton, winter proved to be slightly colder than normal (0.3 degrees cooler) although the extreme low was not as cold as previous years.
Precipitation was about average for the season with slightly above normal rainfall and slightly below normal snowfall.