Flooding then flash freeze

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Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.

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Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

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Greater Moncton spared worst of storm

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Powerful storm surge causes flooding along the waterfront in Halifax, NS, 05 Jan 2018 (Twitter)

The ‘bomb cyclone’ or ‘snow hurricane’ – featuring a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure when warm and cold air collided – has left the Maritimes and spared Southeast New Brunswick from the worst of its fury.

While strong winds were a factor throughout the region, Greater Moncton received less snow compared to further north and west.

To the south and east, more rain fell along with hurricane-force winds (up to 200 km/h gusts in western Cape Breton) which created powerful storm surges causing flooding along the coast.

Here are some totals from Environment Canada and local estimates:

  • Greater Moncton Airport  14 cm snow, 10 mm rain, 91 km/h wind gust
  • Bathurst  58 cm snow, 80 km/h wind gust
  • Fredericton  30 cm snow, 78 km/h wind gust
  • Saint John  5 cm snow, 20 mm rain, 87 km/h wind gust
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  40 mm rain, trace snow, 122 km/h wind gust

The storm may have departed but Arctic air has filtered back into the Maritimes which will mean a bitterly cold weekend.

‘Bomb cyclone’ barrels up U.S. East Coast

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Snow accumulates in Tallahassee, Florida, USA, 03 Jan 2018 (Twitter)

For the first time in 28 years, the capital of America’s Sunshine State had measurable snow.

Tallahassee may occasionally see snowflakes in winter but today was only the fourth time since 1950 that snow actually accumulated on the ground.

The wintry blast was thanks to a so-called bomb cyclone which originated off Florida’s east coast and is barreling up the Atlantic toward the Maritimes.

The intense storm system also brought heavy freezing rain to South Carolina and blizzard warnings have been posted from Virginia to Maine.

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick with 30 cm of snow/ice pellets and 10 mm of rain as the temperature finally climbs above freezing.

The thermometer has not risen above zero since Christmas Day and seven straight days have been below -10 C.

December 2017 – Cold and dry

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Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)

December in Southeast New Brunswick started out on a normal note with above freezing daytime highs and chilly but not frigid overnight lows.

But an early Arctic blast settled in over the Maritimes by mid-month and Greater Moncton had five days below -10 C with four nights plunging to -20 C or lower.

After near normal precipitation last month, both rainfall and snowfall were below normal for December.

Two major snow events were recorded on 9-10 Dec (16 cm) and 25 Dec (20 cm) with a significant rainfall on 23 Dec (10 mm).

DECEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  -2.5 C

Average LOW  -10.7 C

AVERAGE  -6.6 C (1.8 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  11.1 C (06 Dec)

Extreme LOW  -21.8 C (31 Dec)

RAINFALL  39.1 mm (almost 30 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL  51.4 cm (almost 20 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Freezing rain creates icy conditions

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Freezing rain (pink) sandwiched between snow (blue) to the north and rain (green) to the south, 23 Dec 2017 (Intellicast)

Streets and highways in Greater Moncton turned into skating rinks early this evening after freezing rain began falling through Central and Southeast New Brunswick.

Social media users mentioned how numerous vehicles were sliding off the roads in icy conditions and Magnetic Hill had become an ice sheet.

A low pressure system from the Northeastern United States brought mixed precipitation which eventually changed to rain.

Meantime, Environment Canada is monitoring a major snowstorm expected Christmas Day which could bring 20 cm snow to parts of New Brunswick.

First snowstorm of season

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Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)

A classic snowstorm brought heavy, moisture-laden snow to much of New Brunswick this weekend.

Environment Canada says the heaviest amounts fell in northeast areas of the province with 27 cm at Bathurst and 24 cm at Miscou Island.

Greater Moncton received 15 cm which was exactly what was being forecasted for Southeast New Brunswick.

The same system brought rain and warm temperatures to eastern mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the island of Newfoundland with a high of 18 C in St. John’s.

First significant snow coming…

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An approaching low pressure system could bring the first significant snow of the season to much of New Brunswick this weekend.

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning with at least 15 cm and Accuweather is suggesting 8-15 cm could fall in Greater Moncton by Sunday.

Strong northeasterly winds are also in the forecast which may cause higher than normal water levels along the coastlines.

Nova Scotia is expected to receive mostly rain and there is some mixing of rain and snow possible for Southeast New Brunswick.

The same system also brought rare snow to northern Mexico and across the American South.

November 2017 – Seesaw temperatures

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Wildflowers and annuals in northeast Moncton, 03 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

As dark and dreary as November seems in Southeast New Brunswick, temperatures can often be volatile and this month was no exception.

Greater Moncton had at least five dramatic temperature swings starting on 10-11 November with a high of 10 C falling to -7 C with strong winds gusting up 69 km/h and the first snow flurries of the season.

The monthly mean of 1.9 C was exactly normal with highs near 20 C on two days early in the month while two days remained below freezing.

Overall precipitation was near normal for the first time since May although snowfall at 3.2 cm was well below normal.

NOVEMBER 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  7.2 C

Average LOW  -3.3 C

AVERAGE  1.9 C (Normal)

Extreme HIGH  19.8 C (06 Nov)

Extreme LOW  -10.6 C (28 Nov)

RAINFALL  101.8 mm (NEAR normal)

SNOWFALL  3.2 cm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Mild for Santa’s arrival

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Santa Claus in downtown Moncton (City of Moncton/Facebook)


The Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is the unofficial start to the Christmas season in Southeast New Brunswick.

The weather was cooperative for Santa’s arrival this year with a mild 10 C when the parade started at 5pm with light winds under clear and dry conditions.

It was a different story last year with a chilly 3 C under a mostly cloudy sky with damp conditions.

An estimated 100,000 spectators come out to see the parade every year and this year the crowd seemed even larger.

Rain turns to snow!

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Snow covering grassy areas in NE Moncton, 23 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

After an intense late fall storm moved through the Maritimes, strong winds and colder air followed changing rain to snow.

Wind gusts were clocked as high as 139 km/h on the Confederation Bridge prompting a closure this morning.

Rainfall amounts were heavy in many areas including Greater Moncton at 43 mm, Saint John at 56 mm and Halifax Stanfield Airport recorded 33 mm.

Southeast New Brunswick also had several centimetres of snow earlier today which mainly stuck to grassy areas.