Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)
The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.
The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.
To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:
Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
The Weather Network has unveiled its spring 2019 forecast covering March, April and May – so what can New Brunswick expect?
It’s been a long, cold and stormy winter which began in mid-November but TWN believes after another cold wave in early March, a warmer pattern will develop later in the month.
Meteorologist Michael Carter says more consistent spring-like weather is possible by early April.
Both temperatures and precipitation are expected to be near normal for the season.
Carter adds flooding is a possibility given normal spring run-off combined with any rain or snow that falls.
But he thinks it won’t be as stormy this spring compared to past years.
Wildfires create smoky sky over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)
Here is the annual list from Environment Canada:
Record wildfires and smoky summer skies in the West
Summer heat wave from East to West
Tough growing season in the Prairies
Powerful May winds impact Ontario and Quebec
September tornadoes touch down in Ottawa-Gatineau
Spring flooding in southern British Columbia
Historic spring flooding along the St. John River Valley
August deluge in Toronto
Record cold start to a long winter nationwide
Cold and stormy April for the East
autumn, cold, dry, fire, flooding, heat, rain, smoke, snow, spring, summer, tornado, warm, wind, winter |
Giraffe in the snow, Sneeuberg, Eastern Cape, South Africa, 08 Sept 2018 (Facebook)
An intense cold front has gripped South Africa bringing snowfall to southwestern parts of the country.
Temperatures fell below freezing in the Cape Provinces.
More than 10 cm snow forced the closure of roads through some mountain passes in Eastern Cape when trucks got stranded.
Meantime, as much as 100 mm rain drenched the southern coast.
Keep in mind it is still winter in the Southern Hemisphere with spring officially arriving on 23 September.
It may have been the warmest summer in the Maritimes in almost a century but some parts of the region woke up to below freezing temperatures and frost this morning!
That means some areas had a growing season which barely lasted 100 days since the last spring frost for many was 04 June.
Greater Moncton was definitely chilly with an early morning low of 3.0°C which was close to the record low of 1.1°C from 1956.
Here are some of the nippy overnight lows:
Edmundston, NB -2.0°C
Woodstock, NB -0.8°C
Red Pines, NB -0.7°C
Fredericton, NB 0.1°C
Upper Stewiacke, NS -0.4°C
Maple Plains, PEI 1.4°C
Dorchester Beach, NB, 17 June 2018 (Dearing)
Spring had its inevitable ups and downs in Southeast New Brunswick but overall the average temperature was close to normal for March, April and May.
March was very stormy with a parade of Nor’easters which led to the highest snow depth of the winter in Greater Moncton by the end of the month.
April was slightly colder than normal with chilly nights until mid-month and the last measurable snow fell on the 21st.
May had slightly above normal temperatures overall thanks to 14 days with daytime highs of 20 C or more but nights remained cold with single digit lows.
So far this June, the mean temperature is running three degrees below average with a hard frost on the 4th which was the coldest minimum since 16 April.
METEOROLOGICAL SPRING at the Greater Moncton International Airport
Average -1.7 C (1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Snowfall: well above normal, Rainfall: well below normal
Average 3.2 C (0.3 degrees BELOW normal)
Snowfall: below normal, Rainfall: above normal
Average 10.3 C (0.3 degrees ABOVE normal)
Rainfall: below normal, Snowfall: nil
Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)
Some residents are still recovering from the historic spring flooding along the southern St. John River and its tributaries.
Flood levels were elevated between 27 April and 18 May affecting Fredericton, Saint John and areas in between.
By the numbers (provided by Government of New Brunswick):
12,000 – properties affected by flooding to some degree
2,627 – residents who registered for disaster financial assistance
1,871 – residents who asked for health and safety inspection of properties
1,110 – households registered with the Canadian Red Cross
4,000 – tonnes of debris from flood dumped at landfills
Spring has sputtered in New Brunswick – it was nowhere to be found in March, finally appeared in late April and although May has had a few warm days, the month is still running slightly below normal in Greater Moncton.
So what about summer?
In its seasonal forecast, the Weather Network believes a cool June should give way to more consistent warm weather during July and August.
A humid summer is expected which may result in warmer than normal temperatures at night – overnight lows average about 12 C.
While periods of dry weather are expected, heavy showers and thunderstorms should bring rain totals to near normal for the season.
Highway camera image courtesy NL Government
While not uncommon, the end of May is still late – and record breaking – for a significant snowfall of 36 cm in Gander.
A low pressure system brought strong winds and rain which turned to snow over northeast Newfoundland when the temperature fell to the freezing point.
Burgeo recorded a peak wind gust of 95 km/h as did Bonavista which also picked up 40 mm of rain.
Snowfall totals as of 3:30pm NDT:
Gander 36 cm
Lewisporte 26 cm
Badger 16 cm
Twillingate 11 cm
Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)
When the temperature dropped to -0.3 C early this morning, frost could be found in Greater Moncton.
The coldest low in New Brunswick was -5.9 C at Edmundston!
Thanks to cool, dry air with no cloud cover, Environment Canada has issued another frost advisory for tonight.
But keep in mind it’s not that unusual based on the 30-year average (1981-2010).
The average last spring frost date is 23 May in Greater Moncton and the first fall frost is 2 October for a growing season of 131 days.