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.
Courtesy NB Highway Cameras, 13 Feb 2019
Lots of rain, freezing rain and ice pellets have been recorded so far this year in Southeast New Brunswick but snow has been somewhat scarce – until today.
A Colorado Low made its way across the continent this week bringing lots of snow to the American Midwest, Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec before arriving in the Maritimes.
Greater Moncton received 26 cm of snow followed by ice pellets and some freezing rain/drizzle along with strong winds which created poor visibility.
Snowfall amounts were fairly consistent across most of Nova Scotia with 22 cm at Greenwood and Halifax Stanfield Airport, 21 cm in Sydney but only 11 cm in Yarmouth.
Environment Canada says cold weather will replace the snow for late week with a brief warmup and rain expected this weekend.
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)
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
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
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.