Frost free season approaches

May is here which means it won’t be long before Jack Frost visits Atlantic Canada for the last time this spring.

Mid to late May is typically when the last frost arrives in Greater Moncton, early in the month for Halifax and late April for Yarmouth.

Early to mid June dates are normal for most of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Last year in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, frost appeared as late as early June which proved disastrous for grape, blueberry and strawberry farmers.

June 2018 – Cold nights, plenty of rain

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Ogilvie Brook, Irishtown Nature Park, 24 June 2018 (Dearing)

Greater Moncton has endured the coolest June in recent memory and while daytime highs were close to normal – with a few exceptions – overnight lows were cold, even frosty at times during the first half of the month.

A hard frost on 04 June with a record breaking low of -3.2 C was devastating for agriculture across New Brunswick especially in the Southeast.

Farmers suffered major damage – in some cases 50 to 80 percent losses – to crops such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries.

Oddly enough, the temperature had not been that low in all of May and not since 16 April had it been at least that cold.

Rainfall was about 60 percent above normal and was confined to a handful of major rain events with nine days being completely dry.

JUNE 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  20.3°C

Average LOW  6.6°C

AVERAGE  13.5°C (about 1.7 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH  29.7°C (01 June)

Extreme LOW  -3.2°C (04 June)

RAINFALL  154.0 mm (about 60 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Risk of frost!

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Frost covers a maple leaf (Twitter)

New Brunswick and most of Nova Scotia are under a frost advisory for tonight and tomorrow night.

Cold air, light winds and few clouds will allow temperatures to fall near the freezing point and patchy frost is expected.

The average last frost date in spring for Greater Moncton is 23 May.

Farmers are already suffering from tremendous losses in the region with crops such as grapes, strawberries, blueberries and apples being hit by a recent hard frost with a low of -4 C in some areas.

June has gotten off to cold start with snow flurries reported in Charlottetown this week and accumulating snow in the highlands of Cape Breton and St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Harvest moon 2014

Harvest moon over Greater Moncton, 23 Sept 10

Harvest moon over Greater Moncton, 23 Sept 10

The harvest moon – the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox – was actually last night but it is noteworthy since it is the third and final of the so-called supermoons this year.

The clear sky also brought cool conditions across New Brunswick early this morning.

Greater Moncton fell to 3.6 C and although there was a frost scare my tomatoes and strawberries were fine.

Perhaps that wasn’t the case at the Saint John Airport where it fell to 1.0 C.