The summer solstice officially arrived in New Brunswick at 12:54 pm ADT and it was certainly welcome after a relentlessly cold spring.
Greater Moncton enjoyed 15 hours and 46 minutes of daylight today but unfortunately the sun didn’t make an appearance due to lots of clouds and heavy rain.
The sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer and it will now begin moving south toward the equator which means days will get shorter – ever so slowly starting tomorrow.
As for summer weather predictions, The Weather Network is suggesting warmer than normal temperatures in July and into August with near normal precipitation.
Environment Canada is calling for near normal temperatures and near to slightly above normal precipitation.
Magnolia tree in bloom, downtown Moncton, spring 2018 (Dearing)
The spring equinox officially arrived at 6:58pm ADT in the Northern Hemisphere which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves northward.
The length of days are now roughly equal to the length of nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer on June 21st.
To mark the end of astronomical winter, here are a few highlights across Canada from the last three months:
- Record highs were set in Atlantic Canada just before Christmas with 12.8°C in Greater Moncton on 22 December.
- Edmonton broke numerous cold records during February with readings as low as -41.2°C and all but four days were in the minus 20’s and 30’s.
- Snowfall records fell in coastal British Columbia from 10-12 February with 69 cm in Nanaimo and 52 cm in Victoria – more than what is normally received in an entire winter season!
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Map courtesy Brian Brettschneider (Twitter)
Greater Moncton experienced its shortest day of the year with 8 hours and 37 minutes of daylight.
The winter solstice occurred at 12:28pm in New Brunswick marking the point where the direct rays of the sun begin moving north from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Equator.
As the above map shows, most of the Maritimes, Southern Quebec and Southern Ontario have between 8.5 and 9 hours of daylight on this date.
North of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise at all today.
Still looks like winter in NE Moncton, 31 March 2017 (Dearing)
The temperature was warmer in the far north cities of Whitehorse and Yellowknife than it was in Greater Moncton.
The thermometer barely climbed above freezing today but at least the sun made an appearance after a five day absence.
Lots of cloud and frequent periods of snow have made the end of March look more like the beginning of January.
Environment Canada is not forecasting spring-like weather in the near future with another possible snowstorm by the middle of next week.
Winter unofficially arrived in Southeast New Brunswick a few weeks ago but it officially arrived today at 6:44am.
The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
In Greater Moncton on 21 December, the length of daylight is 8 hours, 37 minutes, 39 seconds.
The Sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn and the days will continue to lengthen as it continues moving north toward the Tropic of Cancer.
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.
Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 19 June 2016 (Dearing)
Spring turned out to be a rollercoaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick throughout the three month period with seemingly more clouds and rain than sun.
The trend continued almost until the first day of summer in Greater Moncton with consistent sun and warmth not until around the middle of the month.
June was actually about normal in temperature with slightly below normal precipitation – more than one third of the rainfall total fell in the last two days of the month.
JUNE 2016 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 21.1 C
Average LOW 9.4 C
AVERAGE 15.2 C (NORMAL)
Extreme HIGH 29.8 C (27 June)
Extreme LOW 0.7 C (01 June)
RAINFALL 82.6 mm (more than 10 percent BELOW Normal)
(Data courtesy ENVIRONMENT CANADA)
Canada geese feed on a soggy lawn at Jones Lake, Moncton, 15 June 2016 (Dearing)
During the first half of June, rainfall was measured on 11 of 15 days in Greater Moncton according to Environment Canada.
Clouds came along with that rain which has meant only short bursts of sun during the mostly gloomy weather.
Hope is on the horizon since forecasters say that stubborn low pressure system will be replaced by high pressure and temperatures could hit 30 C by Sunday.
But not before a chilly night with either a frost advisory or a risk of frost for most of New Brunswick.
Moncton west end at Jones Lake, 17 March 2016 (Dearing)
The spring or vernal equinox officially arrived in New Brunswick at 1:30am ADT and occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal.
The sun will continue moving northward, lengthening the days, until late June when the summer solstice arrives and reverses the trend.
But just because spring is officially here doesn’t mean winter is over with a winter storm warning issued by Environment Canada.
A Nor’easter could dump 20-30 cm of snow on Greater Moncton tomorrow before the storm moves out Monday night.
Autumn officially arrived in New Brunswick at 5:22 am (ADT).
The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal.
Daylight will continue to diminish quickly as the fall season progresses which means less sun for warmth.
Incidentally, frost arrived in some parts of the province this week with a risk in Greater Moncton by early Friday morning.