Conditions in the Atlantic basin are favourable for fueling storms according to a mid-season update on the 2020 hurricane season.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls this an “extremely active” season and has increased the odds for above normal activity and the number of named storms since its May forecast.
Historically by early August, only two named storms form on average but we already have a record-setting nine named storms in the books.
An average Atlantic season produces 12 named storms including six hurricanes of which three become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).
After a hot and windy day across southern Manitoba, severe thunderstorms developed late Friday afternoon with heavy rain, hail and lightning strikes causing at least one grass fire.
Daytime highs soared to 36.6°C in Winnipeg and 37.3°C in Carman which was the hot spot in Canada.
Temperatures dropped dramatically after the storms rolled through and damaging winds up to 100 km/h were reported in some areas along with nickel-sized hail.
The heat and thunderstorms moved east into northwestern Ontario with Kenora reaching 33.0°C yesterday and Armstrong climbing to 32.3°C today.
Today marks the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season which will run until the end of November.
For a record fifth consecutive year, storm activity began before the 01 June official start date when Subtropical Storm Andrea formed on 20 May.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting a near normal season with 9–15 named systems, 4–8 hurricanes, and 2–4 major hurricanes.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre begins issuing statements when a storm is within three days of entering a response zone covering Eastern Canada and adjacent waters.
Aftermath of ice storm in NE Moncton, 08 Feb 2019 (Dearing)
February may be the shortest month but it certainly seemed a lot longer this year with bitterly cold and stormy conditions.
While January was snowy in Greater Moncton, all was quiet until the largest single snowfall of the year arrived at mid-month.
After several freeze-thaw cycles which produced icy conditions, the latter half became decidedly colder with bitter overnight lows and wind chills.
Strong winds and blowing snow created dangerous whiteout conditions during the last week wreaking havoc with transportation across New Brunswick.
FEBRUARY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -3.5°C
Average LOW -12.9°C
AVERAGE -8.3°C (about 0.7 degrees BELOW normal)
Extreme HIGH 7.2°C (05 Feb)
Extreme LOW -18.7°C (27 Feb)
RAINFALL 25.2 mm (just slightly BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 58.8 cm (about 10 percent BELOW normal)
(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.
Flooding at Plumweseep Covered Bridge near Sussex, 25 Jan 2019 (Sussex and Area Events/Facebook)
The beginning of 2019 proved to be wild and crazy in New Brunswick.
Precipitation was well above normal for January as storm after storm brought rain, freezing rain, snow and ice pellets with rapidly fluctuating temperatures.
Ice and snow often blocked storm drains which created flooding during heavy rain and when the thermometer plunged, it all froze.
The average monthly temperature was actually about one degree above normal although it didn’t seem like it given the roller coaster of highs and lows.
JANUARY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.5°C
Average LOW -13.7°C
AVERAGE -8.1°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 10.5°C (24 Jan)
Extreme LOW -21.4°C (14 Jan)
RAINFALL 48.9 mm (above 60 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 101.3 cm (about 30 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Damage from a tornado in west end Ottawa, ON, 22 Sept 2018 (Instagram)
Environment Canada has confirmed two powerful tornadoes ripped through west end Ottawa before touching down again in Gatineau across the Ottawa River.
Officials say dozens were hurt and at least two residents are in hospital with critical injuries.
Tens of thousands were left without power after at least 80 utility poles either snapped or were damaged.
Meteorologists say severe thunderstorms spawned one twister classified as an EF-3 with winds up to 265 km/h while another tornado was an EF-2 with winds up to 220 km/h.
Tornadoes are not uncommon in Southern Ontario but storms of this strength are rare.
Fallen tree traps residents inside home, Wilmington, NC, USA, 15 Sept 2018 (ABC)
Since making landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence has claimed at least 15 lives.
Strong winds have toppled trees trapping some and even killing others in their own homes.
Now a tropical depression, the storm has been dumping epic amounts of rain (800 mm or more) on North and South Carolina which has caused flash flooding as rivers and streams spill their banks.
First responders have rescued almost 1,000 residents from floodwaters while nearly one million are without power and tens of thousands have sought refuge in emergency shelters.
Many highways have been left impassable and officials are urging drivers to stay at home and off the roads.
From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes this year.
One to four hurricanes is likely to be major with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h.
But 2018 is not expected to be as busy as 2017 which had 17 named storms with 10 hurricanes including a trio of destructive cyclones – Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Three storms made it into Canada’s response zone but none made landfall.
Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, a subtropical storm named Alberto has already formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and will churn north across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward the U.S Gulf Coast.
Whiteout conditions during a winter storm, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)
Although March came in like a lamb, it behaved like a lion in the days to follow with four Nor’easters over two weeks in Southeast New Brunswick.
The first storm brought 15 cm, the second and third storms each delivered 16 cm and the fourth packed the biggest punch with 30 cm.
By 23 March, the snow cover in Greater Moncton had reached 40 cm which was the heaviest of the winter even though it was already spring.
Temperatures during the first half were mild averaging near the freezing point with brief cold snaps around the middle and near the end of the month.
MARCH 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 1.3 C
Average LOW -4.7 C
AVERAGE -1.7 C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 9.1 C (29 Mar)
Extreme LOW -15.4 C (26 Mar)
RAINFALL 11.0 mm (almost 80 percent BELOW normal)
SNOWFALL 102.3 cm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)