Decent first half of July

An ominous afternoon sky over Greater Moncton, 17 July 2017 (Dearing)


For whatever reason, summer seems to go by faster than the other seasons and here we are already at the midway point of July. 

After 16 days, Greater Moncton has been having a decent month with an average temperature of 19.3 C which is 0.5 degrees above normal. 

Daytime highs have been warm but not hot with a peak of 29.4 C on 16 July while overnight lows have been mild except for a chilly low of 8.9 C on  05 July. 

The only concern is a lack of rainfall. 

The tally is 19.8 mm so far – less than a quarter of the monthly total – but keep in mind we are entering what is traditionally the driest period of the year in Southeast New Brunswick. 

(Stats courtesy Environment Canada)

Firefighters make progress in B.C. wildfires

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Active wildfires burning in BC, 13 July 2017 (BC Wildfire Service/Google)

More than 300 firefighters from across Canada including New Brunswick are now in British Columbia to relieve those already on the ground battling over 180 wildfires.

Some progress has been made thanks to recent cooler weather but 14,000 residents have been evacuated and thousands more are on alert to leave their homes at short notice.

Forecasters say gusty winds expected this weekend could fan the flames even further and the heat is also expected to return.

The economy of the B.C. Interior is taking a hit this summer with many campgrounds and provincial parks forced to close due to the wildfires and related road closures.

June 2017 – Warm and unsettled

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Ominous clouds near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, 03 June 2017 (Dearing)

Thunderstorm activity was common throughout Southeast New Brunswick in June and all but ten days had at least a trace of rainfall.

But precipitation amounts were generally light in Greater Moncton except for two major rain events – 36.6 mm fell on 09 June along with a peak wind gust of 102 km/h and 21.2 mm fell on 24 June.

Temperatures were cool during the first week of the month with an overnight low dropping to the freezing point although frost was generally avoided thanks to cloudy skies.

Summer-like conditions arrived by mid-month and many daytime highs climbed well into the 20’s C and reached 30 C or higher three times.

JUNE 2017 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  22.4 C

Average LOW  9.9 C

AVERAGE 16.2 C (about 1.0 degree ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  30.8 C (11 June)

Extreme LOW  0.0 C (06 June)

RAINFALL  77.8 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Weather Network unveils summer forecast

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The Weather Network has released its summer 2017 forecast covering June, July and August.

A changeable summer is expected across Atlantic Canada with extended periods of above seasonal and below seasonal weather.

The southern Maritimes which includes Greater Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick and possibly into southern Newfoundland have the best chance of seeing temperatures tip to the warm side of normal.

Meanwhile, cooler than normal temperatures are expected to be more persistent across eastern Labrador and northern Newfoundland.

Near normal rainfall is expected this summer except for western and northern New Brunswick.

There is the potential for a couple of systems to tap into subtropical or tropical moisture and bring above normal rainfall to parts of the region.

Canada’s Top 10 of 2016

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RCMP officer in burnt neighbourhood, Fort McMurray, AB, 05 May 2016 (Alberta RCMP)

From the horrible wildfires which destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, Alberta to the winter that wasn’t to a warm, dry summer which led to drought in areas of Eastern Canada, 2016 was certainly noteworthy for major weather events.

  1. Fort McMurray’s “Fire Beast”
  2. Super El Niño Cancels Winter – 2nd warmest Canada-wide ever
  3. August Long Weekend Storm on the Prairies… Big and Costly
  4. A Summer to Remember in the East
  5. November’s Heat Wave and December’s Deep Freeze
  6. Arctic Sea Ice Going, Going… Break-up earlier/Freeze-up later
  7. Wild Summer Prairie Weather
  8. A Tale of Two Springs – Cold East and Warm West
  9. Thanksgiving Day Atlantic Weather Bomb
  10. Southwest Ontario’s $100 Million September Gusher                                               (Courtesy Environment Canada)

Autumn officially arrives

Spring equinox

Courtesy Accuweather.com

Autumn arrived in New Brunswick at 11:21 AM (Atlantic Time) today.

The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun is directly overhead at the equator and days and nights are about equal in length.

The sun continues to move south of the equator and the amount of daylight decreases until the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) on 21 December.

The leaves are just starting to change colour in Greater Moncton.

Given the dry summer in much of the Maritimes, experts say the fall colours may not be as vibrant and the leaves could drop off earlier than usual.

Last weekend of summer

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Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 17 Sept 2016 (Dearing)

I had to make at least one more trip to Aboiteau Beach in Cap-Pele yesterday before the official end of astronomical summer.

It turned out to be a beautiful day with just a few clouds, an afternoon high near 24 C and the water of the Northumberland Strait was still warm.

The beach was quiet with only a handful of sunbathers and many who arrived chose to go for a stroll along the water’s edge.

Much needed rain fell today but it was still warm and humid with a high near 20 C.

SW Nova Scotia hit by drought

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Dry pond, Arcadia, Yarmouth Co., NS, 14 Sept 2016 (Comeau/Yarmouth Vanguard)

While it has been dry this summer in parts of New Brunswick, no where has it been drier in the Maritimes than in southwest Nova Scotia.

Meteorologists say while the jet stream normally flows through the middle of the region providing adequate amounts of rain, it was pushed farther north this summer due to the Bermuda High which has been northwest of its usual position.

As a result, rainfall in northern New Brunswick has been above average while southwest Nova Scotia has only received 32 percent of its normal summer precipitation.

For example, Yarmouth had 87 mm of rain during June, July and August which is well below the average of 268 mm.

Emergency management officials say at least 1,000 households have run out of water and bottled water donations from major retailers are being shipped to affected communities.

Warm September expected in N.B.

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Sunset at Parlee Beach, NB, 05 Sept 2016 (Dearing)

The warmth of summer is expected to continue well into September in Southeast New Brunswick according to Environment Canada.

Meteorologists say the waters surrounding the Maritimes (Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Ocean, Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St.Lawrence) are about 2-3 Celsius above normal for this time of year.

Warm water generates energy which will help elevate temperatures throughout the region.

Precipitation is difficult to predict at this time of year since remnants of a post-tropical storm could easily deliver a hefty rainfall in just a few hours.

August 2016 – Warm and humid

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Irishtown Park Reservoir, 28 Aug 2016 (Dearing)

A warm, dry trend which began in July continued in August in Southeast New Brunswick.

Although the temperature only climbed above 30 C once, there were 20 days with highs between 25 and 30 C often with high humidity and the overall monthly average was almost one degree above normal.

Rainfall was actually slightly above normal although a single rain event on 17 August delivered 35.4 mm which was more than one third the monthly total.

AUGUST 2016 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 25.0 C

Average LOW 13.2 C

AVERAGE 19.1 C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.2 C (10 August)

Extreme LOW 8.9 (28 August)

RAINFALL 95.6 mm (about 15 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)