Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.
Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:
- Another record Ottawa River flood
- Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
- Snowy Prairie autumn
- Bitterly cold February nationwide
- Record heat continues in the Arctic
- Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
- Blustery Halloween in the East
- Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
- More flooding along the St. John River
- Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned
Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:
- New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
- January Maritime storm included every type of weather
- Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
- February storm causes road closures in Labrador
- Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
- March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
- October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain
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.
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)
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.
Victoria, BC, 12 Feb 2019 (Royal BC Museum Inner Harbour Webcam)
Wintry weather doesn’t visit the coast of British Columbia very often but it certainly causes disruption when it arrives.
Following back to back snow days, Vancouver has picked up almost 25 cm of snow with higher amounts in the Fraser Valley and Victoria has recorded more than 40 cm.
An Arctic outflow pushing temperatures below freezing combined with low pressure off Vancouver Island is creating snowy rather than more typical rainy conditions.
Traffic and transit services were snarled, schools were cancelled and scattered power outages kept crews busy in the region.
Man cuts fallen tree blocking a road in South Carolina, 09 Dec 2018 (Reuters)
Several deaths have been reported after a massive snowstorm buried parts of the Southeastern United States with more than 30 cm falling in several major cities to as much as 60 cm in the Appalachian Mountains.
North Carolina and Virginia were especially hard hit by the storm system which slowly moved out into the Atlantic Ocean today.
Highways became hazardous as snowy, icy conditions led to hundreds of collisions, dozens of flights were cancelled and schools and businesses shut down.
About 300,000 customers also lost electricity during the peak as the storm knocked trees onto power lines.
Snow settles in NE Moncton before changeover to rain, 10 Nov 2018 (Dearing)
About twice the normal amount of precipitation fell in Southeast New Brunswick during November which began as heavy rain and became heavy snow when it turned colder.
Two major rain events which included hurricane force winds were followed by the first snowfall of the season on the 10th and three more snow events to round out the month.
Greater Moncton had snow cover starting on the 14th and by the 30th, about 31 cm of snow was lying on the ground – almost eight times more than normal.
Temperatures were mild during the first third of the month and became decidedly frigid by the middle with lows near -15 C accompanied by bitterly cold wind chills.
NOVEMBER 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 3.2°C
Average LOW -4.0°C
AVERAGE -0.4°C (about 2.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 17.1°C (03 Nov)
Extreme LOW -15.3°C (22 Nov)
RAINFALL 141.4 mm (about 50 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 75.0 cm (about 4 times ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Heavy snow covers cars in Calgary, AB, 02 Oct 2018 (Twitter)
Late summer and early autumn have been cold in southern Alberta but a big snowfall suddenly made it seem like winter.
Heavy snow moved across the Rockies and the foothills today dumping between 20 and 40 cm of snow (including over 30 cm at Calgary International Airport).
Environment Canada warns the snow will continue into Wednesday morning with a few more centimetres expected.
Traffic also ground to a halt as vehicles became stranded on snowy and icy highways.
Heavy snow in Cartwright, Labrador, NL, 21 May 2017 (Twitter)
The Victoria Day long weekend is considered the unofficial start to summer in most of Canada but not Newfoundland and Labrador this year.
More than 50 cm of snow fell in southeastern Labrador and between 20 and 30 cm was recorded in western Newfoundland and the Northern Peninsula.
Campers in Gros Morne National Park had fires one evening and then woke up to white the next morning.
St. John’s also picked up about 4 cm of snow which was the snowiest May long weekend since 1991.
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)