Budding trees in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 30 April 2017 (Dearing)
Spring seldom arrives on time in New Brunswick and this year is no exception even though April was actually warmer than normal in Greater Moncton.
The month can be broken into four segments – cold in the beginning, then warm, turning cold again and finally warm again near the end.
A consistent snow cover began on 27 November and disappeared briefly in late January before finally melting for the season by 10 April.
Precipitation overall was below average with much less snow than normal.
APRIL 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 10.5 C
Average LOW -0.8 C
AVERAGE 4.9 C (about 1.4 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 21.8 C (27 April)
Extreme LOW -7.7 C (01, 19 April)
RAINFALL 42.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 6.8 cm (about 75 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)
Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.
After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.
So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.
The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.
Ice jam on Middle River causes flooding, 16 April 2016 (NB-EMO)
Emergency measures officials with River Watch in New Brunswick are closely monitoring the St. John River and say the only area currently above flood stage is near Jemseg.
Even with rain being forecasted by Environment Canada, water levels are expected to remain below flood stage for the rest of the week.
So far this spring, it has been relatively quiet along flood-prone areas of the St. John River system.
Along the Middle River, south of Bathurst, an ice jam created localized flooding and forced a road closure but water levels are receding.
Outdoor thermometer in NE Moncton, 07 April 2017 (Dearing)
Astronomical spring officially arrived almost three weeks ago but it finally arrived in the Maritimes today with record highs throughout the region.
In Greater Moncton, the temperature climbed to 17.3 C – the warmest high of 2017 – which surpassed the previous record of 15.6 C from 1962.
It hasn’t been this warm since 22 October when the thermometer reached 20.5 C.
The hot spot in New Brunswick was 17.7 C in Kouchibouguac, it reached 16.7 C in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island and 21.1 C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.
The highest temperatures in Canada were found in Saskatchewan today with a high of 24 C in Regina.
Snow finally melting in NE Moncton, 05 April 2017 (Dearing)
Good news… spring may finally be arriving!
Environment Canada says the recent winter-like grip over Southeast New Brunswick will finally give way to milder temperatures and rain beginning later this week.
Temperatures will finally climb into the double digits Celsius by Friday for the first time since 01 March!
Localized flooding is possible over ground which may still be frozen and in areas with a significant snow cover.
Another sign of a change in seasons is the return of many migratory birds in Greater Moncton this week with chirping sounds not heard in months.
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)
Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, 18 March 2017 (Dearing)
The first week of spring has felt more like the dead of winter in Southeast New Brunswick.
Greater Moncton may have missed the brunt of two storms this week but extreme cold settled in behind them with a frigid -13.7 C on 23 March.
Half of the days so far this March have recorded well below freezing average temperatures.
Environment Canada is forecasting more chilly weather for the upcoming final week with even a chance of accumulating snow.
Ice melting in Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 18 Mar 2017 (Dearing)
After a stormy, rollercoaster winter in Southeast New Brunswick, spring will be especially welcomed today at 7:28am ADT.
The vernal or spring equinox is when the sun’s direct rays move north of the equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere.
At this time, the length of day and night are about equal and days will continue to lengthen until the summer solstice in June.
But winter is not over yet as Environment Canada says a low pressure system will bring snow to Nova Scotia and the possibility of freezing rain for Greater Moncton.
A great deal of snow has melted in Southeast New Brunswick recently thanks to some spring-like temperatures.
But what does the upcoming spring season really have in store for us?
In its forecast for March, April and May, the Weather Network says we can expect slightly above normal temperatures overall.
Meteorologist Michael Carter says spring is a transitional season which means a back and forth between cold and warm.
Carter says precipitation is expected to be near normal for our region.
“We certainly are not out of the woods yet when it comes to snowfall. We’ll still have a few opportunities for impactful snowfall as we move into March and early April we can certainly see that continuing,” he notes.
Carter says we expect spring rain to really ramp up in late April and May but the amounts should not be excessive.
RCMP officer in burnt neighbourhood, Fort McMurray, AB, 05 May 2016 (Alberta RCMP)
From the horrible wildfires which destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alberta to the winter that wasn’t to a warm, dry summer which led to drought in areas of Eastern Canada, 2016 was certainly noteworthy for major weather events.
- Fort McMurray’s “Fire Beast”
- Super El Niño Cancels Winter – 2nd warmest Canada-wide ever
- August Long Weekend Storm on the Prairies… Big and Costly
- A Summer to Remember in the East
- November’s Heat Wave and December’s Deep Freeze
- Arctic Sea Ice Going, Going… Break-up earlier/Freeze-up later
- Wild Summer Prairie Weather
- A Tale of Two Springs – Cold East and Warm West
- Thanksgiving Day Atlantic Weather Bomb
- Southwest Ontario’s $100 Million September Gusher (Courtesy Environment Canada)