Scattered frost!

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Frost damage on a geranium, 19 Sept 2019 (Dearing)

A clear sky and a cool air mass overnight brought scattered frost to parts of the Maritimes.

The average last spring frost (0°C) in Moncton is 22 May.

The temperature dropped to -0.6°C at the Greater Moncton Airport in Dieppe and it remained near freezing for about two hours.

Further north in Kouchibouguac, the thermometer fell to -2.0°C and stayed below freezing for several hours.

Farmers are reporting minor damage to sensitive crops such as strawberries and blueberries but nothing to the extent of a killing frost in June 2018.

Environment Canada data shows a 10% chance of falling to 0°C or lower after 08 June – so it looks like we beat the odds.

River Watch ends

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Flooding along the St. John River in Maugerville, 23 April 2019 (5th Canadian Division/Facebook)

The annual River Watch in New Brunswick has ended for the 2020 season.

The program was launched in early March and monitors water levels on rivers in the spring with emergency officials providing regular updates on the potential for flooding.

After historic flooding along the St. John River in both 2018 and 2019, thankfully this spring was much quieter with no major events recorded.

It’s a blessing in disguise since the province has been coping with the coronavirus pandemic with a state of emergency in place since 19 March.

Finally 20°C!

First 20

The thermometer finally hit 20°C in Greater Moncton – a benchmark not seen since 26 September (almost eight months!) – and it comes much later compared to recent years.

The temperature reached 20.3°C late this afternoon although Fredericton was the hot spot in New Brunswick at 21.7°C.

It has been an exceptionally cold spring – May is running about four degrees below average to date – and even slightly colder than last year’s chilly season.

Environment Canada is forecasting another cool start to the week but a warming trend could push daytime highs to almost 30°C by Friday.

Record heat in B.C.

Inner Harbour, Victoria, BC, 10 May 2020 (clippervacations/Twitter)

As Eastern Canada shivered under winter-like conditions, residents of British Columbia especially along the Pacific coast have enjoyed summer-like weather.

At least 17 new record highs were set in the province on Sunday alone with many others shattered on Friday and Saturday.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and recent lockdown restrictions, many were anxious to spend time outdoors and soak up some vitamin D.

New record highs set on 10 May:

  • Hope 30.2°C
  • Squamish 30.1°C
  • White Rock 29.1°C
  • Victoria 27.8°C
  • Comox 26.6°C
  • Bella Bella 25.2°C
  • Prince Rupert 24.4°C

Polar vortex brings cold, snow

Snow in Hanwell, NB, 09 May 2020 (Twitter/@marlowcam8)

It’s the middle of May and spring has barely appeared in New Brunswick so far and now an intense low pressure system has brought a wintry blast.

Greater Moncton had strong winds along with a cold rain which later turned to snow and a couple centimetres accumulated on colder surfaces like vehicles.

But the central, western and northern parts of the province got blasted with more than 30 cm of heavy, wet snow in some areas.

Meteorologists say cold air from the polar vortex continues to loom over eastern North America with new record lows set in Ontario this weekend and New York City recorded its latest trace of snow since 1977.

Snowfall amounts, 10 May at 3pm ADT (cm):

  • Woodstock  33
  • New Maryland  24
  • Bouctouche  22
  • Grand Falls  20
  • Miramichi  20
  • Fredericton  9
  • Bathurst  6

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Green up underway

Green up in west end Moncton, 04 May 2020 (Dearing)

Over the past few days, the landscape across Southeast New Brunswick has been greening up and the buds are bursting on the trees.

Recent warm weather and some precipitation – including wet snow today – have finally made it look more like spring.

However, the long range forecast doesn’t have much heat with below average temperatures likely in the next 10 days.

April 2020 – Where’s spring?

First dandelions of spring in Moncton, 30 Apr 2020 (Dearing)

Signs of spring were extremely rare in April with frigid overnight lows in Greater Moncton making it feel like a continuation of March.

Any warmth came in short spurts with only 11 days above 10°C and some nights sank as low as -5°C right up to the end of the month.

Like the previous month, April was also quite dry with both rainfall and snowfall amounts well below average.

APRIL 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 8.3°C

Average LOW -2.4°C

AVERAGE 3.0°C (about 0.5 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 15.7°C (30 Apr)

Extreme LOW -6.3°C (09 Apr)

RAINFALL 19.2 mm (about 70 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 19.8 cm (about 35 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Snow pellets!

Snow pellets or graupel fall in NE Moncton, 22 April 2020 (Dearing)

Many areas of New Brunswick reported intervals of snow pellets mixed with snow on Wednesday including Greater Moncton.

Also known as graupel, snow pellets are tiny super-cooled water droplets which collect on a snowflake and fall to the ground.

Meteorologists say it’s not unusual to see graupel in the spring on cool, unstable days.

A spring snowstorm

Snowy Grant Street in NE Moncton, 10 Apr 2020 (Dearing)

A low pressure system moved up the Bay of Fundy and brought heavy, wet snow to most of New Brunswick with rain as well in some areas.

About 5-10 cm snow fell across the southern part of the province, 20 cm in central areas and up to 30 cm in the north creating messy road conditions.

The mid-April snow was not unusual but was still the heaviest snowfall since early March.

Snow amounts by volunteers (in cm):

  • Miramichi 20
  • Fredericton 13
  • Greater Moncton 13
  • St. Andrews 6
  • Dorchester 6

March 2020 – Warm and dry

Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 15 March 2020 (Dearing)

Much less rain and snow fell in Greater Moncton during March even though precipitation was recorded on 23 days.

Only 10 mm of rain and 32 cm of snow fell with the normals being 49 mm and 65 cm respectively.

Warm daytime highs were scarce – the thermometer failed to reach 10°C – but temperatures were actually slightly above average overall.

The coldest weather occurred during the first few days of spring with a minimum of -13.8°C on 23 March.

MARCH 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -6.3°C

AVERAGE -2.0°C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.4°C (28 Mar)

Extreme LOW -13.8°C (23 Mar)

RAINFALL 10.7 mm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 34.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)