Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.
Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:
- Another record Ottawa River flood
- Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
- Snowy Prairie autumn
- Bitterly cold February nationwide
- Record heat continues in the Arctic
- Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
- Blustery Halloween in the East
- Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
- More flooding along the St. John River
- Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned
Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:
- New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
- January Maritime storm included every type of weather
- Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
- February storm causes road closures in Labrador
- Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
- March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
- October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain
Dorian damage in Halifax’s West End, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Hurricane Dorian has left a path of destruction across the Maritime Provinces despite being downgraded as it crossed the region.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre says Dorian was an intense post-tropical storm as it made landfall at 7:15pm ADT Saturday in Sambro, 25 km southwest of Halifax.
Dorian brought destructive winds, flooding rains and powerful storm surges to much of Nova Scotia, southern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
A construction crane collapsed and century old trees toppled onto homes, businesses, vehicles and streets in Halifax.
Public works staff are scrambling to clean up the mess and power crews are trying to restore electricity to the tens of thousands without it.
Crews clean up storm damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)
Rainfall totals (mm) as of 11am ADT Sunday:
- Oxford, NS. 138
- Halifax (Lower Sackville), NS. 138
- Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 121
- Miramichi, NB. 115
- Kentville, NS. 110
- Summerside, PEI. 90
- Saint John, NB. 82
- Fredericton, NB. 75
Peak wind gusts (km/h) as of 11am ADT Sunday:
- Beaver Island (eastern shore), NS. 145
- Yarmouth, NS. 130
- North Cape, PEI. 122
- Halifax (city), NS. 120
- Miscou Island, NB. 106
- Sydney, NS. 104
- Saint John, NB. 102
- Greater Moncton Airport, NB. 100
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Tropical cyclone activity is heating up and the latest named storm is tracking northeastward toward the Maritimes.
Tropical Storm Erin is currently off the coast of the Southeastern United States and is expected to be downgraded to a post-tropical system before reaching the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia by early Friday.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre says the heaviest rain, possibly 50 to 100 mm, will fall north and west of Erin’s track while the strongest winds will be to the east up to 90 km/h.
Meantime, Hurricane Dorian is churning in the Caribbean and forecasters say it will hit eastern Puerto Rico late Wednesday with heavy rain potentially causing flooding and landslides.
BC Highway 97 near Fort Nelson, 19 Aug 2019 (Drive BC/Twitter)
Residents of northern British Columbia were shocked to wake up to snow this morning – an estimated 50 cm in some areas.
Environment Canada says cold Arctic air combined with moisture from the Pacific was responsible for the winter-like conditions in late summer.
Fort Nelson received a mix of rain and snow while higher elevations of 1,000 metres or more saw mainly snow.
Historical data shows measurable snow is likely in Fort Nelson in every month except July.
By contrast on Monday, Kamloops in the Okanagan Valley – about 1300 km south – reached a daytime high of 31°C.
Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)
A wet, cold spring and a dry, humid July have led to one of the quietest forest fire seasons in recent memory in New Brunswick.
Statistics show 152 fires for the season to date which compares to 206 fires over the past ten years.
Last year was also much busier with 242 fires recorded by the middle of August.
Provincial wildfire officials say although July was warmer than normal, high humidity levels helped prevent fires from starting and from spreading.
Ominous sky over Moncton, 10 Aug 2019 (B. Smith-Peterson/Facebook)
A line of strong thunderstorms moved across New Brunswick, western Prince Edward Island and eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday bringing heavy downpours, hail and strong winds.
Greater Moncton was under a severe thunderstorm warning for a few hours with hail about 1 cm in diameter being reported outside the city.
Heavy rain also caused flash flooding in downtown Shediac with social media posts showing vehicles making their way through water clogged streets.
Temperatures also plunged from the low 20s to the mid-teens as the storms passed.
Although the rain is needed, concert goers might disagree with the first show being staged on Magnetic Hill today in four years.
Greater Moncton recorded an average temperature of 20.0°C last month but how did it compare to previous July’s going back to 2012?
According to the 30-year average (1981-2010) at the Greater Moncton International Airport, the July normal is 18.8°C.
Of the past eight July’s, only one was actually below average in 2015 while the others were above normal.
The historic warmest July was in 2018 while 2014 was not too far behind.
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
A fiery looking sunset in Moncton, 27 July 2019 (Dearing)
After a cold start to July in Greater Moncton, temperatures climbed rapidly and hit a monthly high of 34.0°C within the first week.
Environment Canada says the temperature reached 30°C or higher on eight days during the month.
The monthly average was 20.0°C or 1.2 degrees above normal.
July 2018 was still warmer in Moncton with a historic average of 21.4°C.
Besides being warm, it was also dry with less than half of the 92 millimetres of rain which typically falls.
JULY 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 27.8°C
Average LOW 14.8°C
AVERAGE 20.0°C (about 1.2 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 34.0°C (05 July)
Extreme LOW 8.7°C (13 July)
RAINFALL 44.2 mm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
The jet stream has carried hot air from northern Africa across western Europe which is shattering all-time record highs in numerous countries.
The second extreme heat wave this summer has set new maximums in Belgium at 38.9 C, the Netherlands at 39.2 C and Germany at 40.5 C.
Bordeaux, France reached 41.2 C on Tuesday which was its highest temperature ever.
Thanks to the urban heat island effect, major cities are more prone to hot weather than rural areas and don’t cool down that much overnight.
On Thursday, the UK Met Office believes Britain could smash its current historic high of 38.5 C recorded in Faversham in August 2003.
Saint John River at Perth-Andover, NB, 16 July 2019 (Dearing)
The next heat wave across Eastern Canada could be the warmest period yet this summer with daytime highs in the low 30’s C and humidex values near 40.
Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec have been blanketed with heat warnings from Environment Canada with hot, humid days and warm nights expected this weekend.
Temperatures in the Maritimes for Saturday and Sunday could reach 30 C but a cold front will bring cooler and drier air by Monday.
A mini heat wave already brought highs of 29 C and 30 C earlier this week in Greater Moncton.