The summer solstice officially arrived in New Brunswick at 12:54 pm ADT and it was certainly welcome after a relentlessly cold spring.
Greater Moncton enjoyed 15 hours and 46 minutes of daylight today but unfortunately the sun didn’t make an appearance due to lots of clouds and heavy rain.
The sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer and it will now begin moving south toward the equator which means days will get shorter – ever so slowly starting tomorrow.
As for summer weather predictions, The Weather Network is suggesting warmer than normal temperatures in July and into August with near normal precipitation.
Environment Canada is calling for near normal temperatures and near to slightly above normal precipitation.
It’s been a cold spring in Greater Moncton and the thermometer didn’t reach 20°C until 25 May – so when will it hit 30°C?
According to Environment Canada, the average date since 2013 has ranged from mid-May to late June but mainly late May.
While June has been warmer to date in Southeast New Brunswick, the long range forecast is calling for cooler conditions.
Will we have to wait until July this year?
A thunderstorm with snow is called thundersnow and it struck the British Columbia Interior just two days before the start of summer!
An unstable air mass bringing cold air from Alaska is to blame for the rare thundersnow which covered mountainous terrain in the Okanagan Valley with about 10 cm.
Snow fell above 1500 metres with a snow/rain mix down to 1100 metres and a chilly rain at sea level.
About 10 cm of snow was also expected in the Alberta Rockies from a similar system.
Meteorological spring in Southeast New Brunswick turned out to be colder and much wetter than normal compared to the 30-year average.
While March and April both had above normal temperatures, May was colder by a significant 2.4 degrees which brought down the overall seasonal average.
Rainfall was heavy in April and May and while snowfall was below normal for the three month period, the final snow flurries were spotted as late as 21 May.
After a cold and wet spring in New Brunswick, what will summer be like?
The Weather Network has unveiled its summer 2019 forecast and if you were hoping for warmer temperatures, it appears you may have to wait a little longer.
TWN suggests the season will be changeable and humid with cool weather in June but warmer than normal temperatures arriving in July stretching into August.
Extended periods of dry weather could lead to short term drought in parts of the Maritimes but overall precipitation will likely be near normal.
What about the spring 2019 forecast from The Weather Network?
TWN noted a cold wave in early March would be followed by a warmer pattern later in the month with more consistent spring-like weather by early April.
Both temperatures and precipitation were expected to be near normal.
So was the seasonal forecast accurate?
While early March was cold in Greater Moncton with a bitter low of -20.1 C, a warmer pattern never really developed except for a brief shot of warmth at month end.
April had some warmth in the middle but that fizzled near the end and while May started off strong, a cold pattern held steady for the second half of the month.
Precipitation was below seasonal in March, well above average in April and slightly above normal for May.
Snow in Rexton, 21 May 2019 (S. Hudson/Facebook)
It snowed overnight in Southeast New Brunswick.
About 0.6 cm of wet snow was recorded at the Greater Moncton Airport and even higher accumulations around the region.
In recent history, I can’t recall a snowfall this late in the month of May.
With meteorological summer arriving in 10 days and astronomical summer in barely a month, I’ve concluded that 2019 is the “Year Without Spring”.
The cold, damp weather has impacted farmers who are at least two weeks behind in planting crops due to saturated fields.
Sidewalk patios are eerily empty and winter parkas are still being worn by many.
A frost advisory has been posted for tonight and another one will likely be posted in two days as temperatures drop to near freezing again overnight.
Will the weather improve anytime soon?
A high of 20°C is forecast for Saturday but keep in mind we often hit 30°C before the beginning of June.
Desmoiselles Beach, Hopewell Rocks, 12 May 2019 (Dearing)
The Victoria Day long weekend marks the unofficial start of the summer season in Canada when opening up the cottage or camping are on the agenda.
However, many residents are still wearing heavy, winter jackets and gloves as daytime highs struggle to reach 10°C in Southeast New Brunswick.
The normal maximum in Greater Moncton is about 18°C but the long range forecast shows it won’t be that warm for another six days!
Environment Canada has issued a frost advisory for all of New Brunswick and most of mainland Nova Scotia as the overnight low drops to near freezing.
On the upside, the advisory means the growing season is now officially underway but on the downside, it’s not warm enough to plant anything.
Snowflakes falling in NE Moncton, 14 May 2019 (Dearing)
Sprinter is a portmanteau of spring and winter which aptly describes the recent weather in Southeast New Brunswick.
Already mid-May, Environment Canada indicates Greater Moncton is running about three degrees below normal for the month.
Snow mixed in with rain last night and 0.6 cm was recorded at the airport.
Today’s daytime high was 5.3°C and the forecast shows little change for tomorrow.
The Victoria Day long weekend is expected to bring some sunshine but temperatures will remain below seasonable.
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)
Volunteers filling sandbags in Ottawa, 25 April 2019 (City of Ottawa)
New Brunswick is not the only province experiencing severe flooding this spring – so are Ontario and Quebec.
The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency this week as water levels rose along the Ottawa River.
The military was called in to help with flood mitigation efforts including sandbagging along with thousands of community volunteers.
In the western Laurentian mountains, the Rouge River is threatening to spill over the Bell Falls Dam and at least 60 homes have been evacuated downstream.
Due to the threat of flooding in several areas of the city, Montreal has also declared a state of emergency.