Radar shows snow (blue), ice (red), and rain (green) at 9am 12 Jan 2020 (Microsoft Weather)
Back-to-back low pressure systems brought a messy mix of precipitation to much of the Maritimes over the weekend.
Rain began falling Saturday with a near record warm high of 11 C in Greater Moncton which melted any snow on the ground.
However, the next system brought colder temperatures and more than ten hours of ice pellets (sleet) in Southeast New Brunswick sometimes mixed with snow and freezing rain.
About 15 cm of ice pellets and snow accumulated Sunday which forecasters say is quite rare and it was certainly heavy to move.
Halifax Public Gardens main entrance, 08 Jan 2020 (Storyful/Accuweather)
Just days after the first major snowstorm of the season hit Nova Scotia, another low pressure system intensified as it tracked south of the province on Wednesday.
The eastern mainland and Cape Breton Island received lots of snow – more than 60 cm fell in some areas.
Southeast New Brunswick got off relatively easy with about 10 cm recorded in Greater Moncton.
Here are some snowfall totals (in cm) from 09 January at 5pm AST:
- Pictou area – 63
- Truro – 42
- Ingonish Beach – 38
- Halifax Stanfield Airport – 30
- Dartmouth – 28
- Sydney – 27
- Charlottetown, PE – 23
- Kentville – 20
- Yarmouth – 15
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Heavy snow in St. John’s, NL, 06 Jan 2020 (Twitter/@kelseyhowlett93)
Just days into the new year, a low pressure system has brought mostly snow to Atlantic Canada especially near the ocean.
For most of Nova Scotia, it was winter’s first major snowfall with up to 15 cm at Halifax Stanfield Airport and nearly 40 cm in Sydney.
The storm grazed Greater Moncton with only 3 cm of snow.
After leaving the Maritimes, the system brought 42 cm snow to St. John’s, Newfoundland and 30 cm to the Burin Peninsula with a peak wind gust of 106 km/h in Bonavista.
Meantime, forecasters say another low pressure system is coming midweek.
Along Northumberland Strait, Beaubassin-est, NB, 29 December 2019 (Dearing)
It felt like winter was on pause during December in Southeast New Brunswick.
After significant snow on 07-08 November, many thought winter arrived early again.
But more rain fell and the heaviest snow was a mere 9 cm – paltry by Greater Moncton standards.
Although the temperature remained below freezing on 13 days and most daytime highs were just slightly above zero, the thermometer did climb above 10°C on four occasions.
DECEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 0.9°C
Average LOW -8.0°C
AVERAGE -3.6°C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 13.8°C (15 Dec)
Extreme LOW -15.1°C (27 Dec)
RAINFALL 56.9 mm (slightly ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 26.0 cm (about 60 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A wintry mix falls in NE Moncton, 31 Dec 2019 (Dearing)
The same storm system which impacted Ontario and Quebec is now creating travel havoc in the Maritimes with a mixed bag of precipitation.
Snow along with ice pellets began in Southwest New Brunswick on New Year’s Eve morning and gradually spread to Greater Moncton by early afternoon.
About 14 cm of snow and ice pellets could accumulate in the Southeast before a changeover to rain around midnight as temperatures rise above freezing.
Snowfall warnings have been posted in western and northern New Brunswick with 15 to 30 cm likely with lesser amounts for Prince Edward Island and mostly rain is forecast for mainland Nova Scotia.
Moncton received 5.4 cm of snow, Saint John had 3.4 cm while about 10 cm fell in Fredericton but near 30 cm in Woodstock.
A break in the rain at Irishtown Nature Park reservoir, 15 Dec 2019 (Dearing)
Another intense low pressure system moved through the Maritimes on the weekend bringing a new round of heavy rain and strong winds.
After a bone-chilling start, winds changed direction and a southerly flow pushed the high in Greater Moncton to 13.8°C – close to the record of 13.9°C from 2008.
Winds were strong with gusts up to 87 km/h in Southeast New Brunswick and a peak of 91 km/h reported in Bathurst.
As the storm headed to Newfoundland, cold air plunged into the region and temperatures fell below freezing and may stay that way for several days.
Icy slush in NE Moncton, 03 Dec 2019 (Dearing)
After exiting Ontario, a Colorado Low moved into the Maritimes bringing freezing rain and rain to Nova Scotia along with mixed precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.
The system shut down schools in many parts of the region on Tuesday with icy roads being a major factor.
Greater Moncton had several hours of freezing rain and ice pellets mixing with snow (3 cm) and later rain (15 mm) as the temperature climbed slightly above freezing.
Northern and western New Brunswick received mostly snow with 10 cm in Fredericton, 18 cm in Miramichi and 27 cm in Woodstock.
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)
Although it seems like really cold weather arrived earlier than usual, the chart above shows a drop of -10°C occurred on the same date last year in Greater Moncton – 14 November.
Over the last seven years, the temperature has gotten that cold between mid-November and early December.
The thermometer will likely sink to -15°C sometime later next month.
The last time it dropped that low in Southeast New Brunswick was 10 March.
The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.
Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.
New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.
The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.
The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.