Rain, freezing rain cause flooding

Creek Road near Sussex, NB is washed out by flooding, 25 Jan 2019 (SussexArea/Facebook)

It’s been quite a week for stormy weather in New Brunswick.

The latest system brought heavy rain and a period of freezing rain to the province.

Ice-clogged storm drains caused the water to backup turning streets into rivers in areas such as downtown Moncton.

Municipalities were urging residents to help public works crews by trying to clear drains near their homes.

Mild temperatures contributed to snowmelt and the added rush of water was enough to washout some roads and bridges.

Strong winds along the coast also gusted to more than 100 km/h.

Rainfall amounts (mm):

  • Mechanic Settlement 68
  • Miramichi 61
  • Sussex area 55
  • Kouchibouguac 44
  • Fredericton 34
  • Saint John 25
  • Moncton 13
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Risk of frostbite

Hoar frost on trees in west end Moncton, 14 Jan 2019 ( Dearing)

A good old fashioned January cold snap continues in New Brunswick with well below normal temperatures since last weekend.

Wind chill values have dropped to -30 giving the risk of frostbite on exposed skin.

After a frosty -21.4°C in Greater Moncton earlier this week, forecasters say a further tumble to -23°C is likely before a potent winter storm arrives on Sunday.

Environment Canada is tracking a system moving across the U.S. which is expected to bring at least 30 cm of snow, 50 mm of rain, a period of freezing rain and strong winds to the Maritimes.

Winter storm stretches across central, eastern U.S.

Cross country skiing near US Capitol, Washington, DC, USA, 13 Jan 2018 (Twitter/Nathanaj80)

A major winter storm brought heavy snow and mixed precipitation from the American Midwest to the mid-Atlantic states over the weekend.

The snow began falling in Kansas and Missouri with some areas getting almost 50 cm.

The storm knocked out power, disrupted air travel and created slippery highways with numerous collisions including an Illinois crash which killed a police officer.

Freezing rain led to a build-up of ice on surfaces in North Carolina and Virginia.

Between 15 and 30 cm of snow fell over the Washington, DC area – its heaviest snowfall in three years – which closed schools and federal government offices on Monday.

Forecasters say melting during the day would create hazardous black ice after sunset as temperatures fell back below freezing.

The storm system has moved out into the Atlantic but will brush Cape Breton Island and eastern Newfoundland on Tuesday.

1-2-3 New Year Punch

Snow falling in west end Moncton, 09 Jan 2019 (Dearing)

For the third time since the start of 2019, Southeast New Brunswick was hit with snow.

Another low pressure system initially brought snow with 21 cm recorded in Greater Moncton following briefly by ice pellets and then 5 mm of rain as the temperature climbed above freezing.

Higher amounts of snow fell in central and northern New Brunswick while more rain fell over mainland Nova Scotia with localized flooding in the Halifax region.

Environment Canada expects calmer but colder conditions over the next few days.

UPDATE – Storm summary for New Brunswick:

Snowfall (cm)

  • Miramichi  up to 55
  • Caraquet  up to 44
  • Bathurst  28
  • Kouchibouguac  28
  • Shediac  27
  • Alma  26
  • Greater Moncton  21
  • Fredericton  15
  • Saint John  5

Rainfall  (mm)

  • Grand Manan  30
  • Saint John  25
  • Alma  19
  • St. Stephen  13
  • Fredericton  5
  • Greater Moncton  5

Storm ravaged B.C. to get more active weather

Power crews working on restoration efforts in Nanaimo, BC, 25 Dec 2018 (BC Hydro)

Almost 7,000 customers are still without electricity in British Columbia after the most powerful windstorm in 20 years struck the province a week ago.

BC Hydro says most of the remaining outages are in the southern Gulf Islands and those customers should be back on the grid by New Year’s Eve.

At the storm’s peak about 700,000 customers were in the dark after wind gusts of between 90 and 123 km/h were recorded on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

After a brief quiet period over Christmas, the next system is coming this weekend bringing more active weather including rain, snow, and gusty winds.

Snowstorm departs, rainstorm coming

Reservoir at Irishtown Nature Park, 16 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

More than 24 hours after it started, snow finally stopped falling in Southeast New Brunswick and a slow moving low pressure system headed to western Newfoundland.

Greater Moncton picked up between 20 and 25 cm and schools in the region were closed for two days.

Higher amounts of snow fell in western New Brunswick, western Prince Edward Island and the Cape Breton Highlands.

Environment Canada says the next major weather should arrive Friday with warm, moist air boosting temperatures and bringing significant rainfall.

Calm before the storm

Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 16 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

The first half of December has been cold in Southeast New Brunswick and relatively calm but that is about to change.

Environment Canada says a slow moving low pressure system will bring rain and snow to most of the Maritimes.

The snow will begin Monday afternoon in Greater Moncton and continue into Tuesday with up 20 cm in total expected.

The latest storm follows three days with above freezing temperatures after a lengthy early winter cold snap.

Back-to-back systems batter N.B.

Freshly fallen snow in west end Moncton, 29 Nov 2018 (Dearing)

Southeast New Brunswick has been under a gloomy, grey sky all week thanks to a couple of low pressure systems.

The first one brought rain, drizzle and fog while the second brought heavy, wet snow to make this November one of the snowiest in recent memory.

Eastern New Brunswick got the brunt of the snow with Miramichi picking up a whopping 43 cm of snow while Greater Moncton had a hefty 28 cm.

Most of the snow in Nova Scotia fell over northern and eastern areas with heavy rain falling elsewhere.

Strong winds up to 89 km/h caused a storm surge along the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast.

Gusts of more than 100 km/h were reported on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island.

Bitter cold ahead of more snow

Temperatures sunk early Monday across the Maritimes with some New Brunswick locations shattering records by almost five degrees dating back to the 1880’s.

The bitter cold precedes another storm system which could bring up to 25 cm of snow to southern New Brunswick, most of Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia.

While it plunged to -14.7°C in Greater Moncton, the 1936 record still stands at -16.7°C.

Here are some of the new record lows set in the region on 19 November:

  • Bathurst, NB -22.5°C
  • Woodstock, NB -21.4°C
  • Miramichi, NB -20.2°C
  • Kouchibouguac, NB -20.0°C
  • Summerside, PE -15.7°C
  • Charlottetown, PE -15.2°C

November snow 2008-17

NOVEMBER snowfalls in Greater Moncton
Year Snow event Total monthly snowfall
2017 3.2 cm
2016 Nov. 30 had 26 cm 37.4 cm
2015 4.0 cm
2014 Nov. 26-27 had 32 cm 55.8 cm
2013 3.4 cm
2012 No measurable snow
2011 Nov. 23 had 21.6 cm 25.0 cm
2010 Nov. 27 had 10.6 cm 26.2 cm
2009 7.4 cm
2008 Nov. 22 had 32.7 cm

42.1 cm

November can often be a hard month to predict when it comes to how much snow may fall in New Brunswick.

As the chart above shows for Greater Moncton, some years may have only a few centimetres or even barely a snowflake as was the case in 2012.

However, it only takes one major storm to push up the totals such as in 2014 with almost 56 cm of snow.

Much of the month’s accumulation tends to come from several snowfalls of just a couple centimetres each and often there are no major snow events.

The thirty year snowfall average (1981-2010) for November at the Greater Moncton Airport is 19.4 cm.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)