The Petitcodiac River in Moncton looking toward Dieppe, 28 January 2018 (Dearing)
The first month of 2018 proved to be quite a roller coaster ride in Southeast New Brunswick.
Bitter cold to begin January was briefly erased by a fast-moving ‘bomb cyclone’ until another Arctic blast sunk the low to -22.3 C with a bitter wind chill of -36.
A record thaw saw the thermometer climb to 16.7 C in Greater Moncton – the highest ever in January – and a new all-time provincial high of 17.3 C in Sussex.
Precipitation was above average overall with near normal snowfall – 25 cm was the heaviest snow event on 30-31 – and about twice as much rainfall.
JANUARY 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH -2.0 C
Average LOW -12.6 C
AVERAGE -7.4 C (1.5 degrees ABOVE normal)
Extreme HIGH 16.7 C (13 Jan, new all-time monthly high)
Extreme LOW -22.3 C (07 Jan)
RAINFALL 53.3 mm (almost 50 percent ABOVE normal)
SNOWFALL 77.2 cm (NEAR normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
Before a cold front swept through the Maritimes, all-time record January highs were set across the region yesterday including 16.7 C at Greater Moncton International Airport.
New Brunswick’s all-time January high was set in Sussex at 17.3 C, narrowly beating the previous provincial record of 17.2 C in Moncton from 08 January 1930.
Nova Scotia’s all-time January record was set yesterday in Greenwood at 19.0 C followed closely by Cheticamp at 18.9 C while on Prince Edward Island, Summerside hit a new monthly high of 13.8 C and St. Peters reached a provincial high of 17.8 C.
Environment Canada says while the latest storm delivered almost 28 mm of rain in Moncton, more than a month’s worth fell in Mechanic Settlement at 128 mm and Bouctouche at 98 mm.
The peak wind gust was clocked in Saint John at 96 km/h.
Power pole and lines dangling in NW Moncton, 25 Jan 2017 (Facebook)
Some residents of New Brunswick have been without power for more than 24 hours after the worst ice storm in recent memory.
NB Power has about 250 crews on the ground and more from neighbouring Nova Scotia trying to restore electricity in what officials are calling a “huge weather event”.
By the end of today, the power utility believes 80 percent of customers in Greater Moncton and Sussex will be back on the grid while 60 percent in Shediac, Sackville and Miramichi should be restored.
Warming centres have opened in several communities where residents can seek shelter and charge their electronic devices.
Fortunately temperatures are not very cold and should not fall below freezing until early Friday.
Multi-vehicle pileup on interstate highway, Middletown, CT, USA, 07 Jan 2017 (Twitter)
A powerful winter storm moving up the U.S. Eastern Seaboard brought snowy and icy conditions from Alabama to Maine with more than 30 cm in parts of Virginia.
The low pressure system arrived in the Maritimes this evening with Nova Scotia expected to feel the brunt with up to 40 cm of snow expected.
A winter storm warning has been issued for Greater Moncton, Sussex, Saint John and Fundy National Park with 15-25 cm of snow and strong winds creating blowing snow by Sunday afternoon.
Northern New Brunswick is only expecting a few flurries to slight amounts of snow.
Flooding along Route 148 near Fredericton, 01 Oct 2015 (Global/Facebook)
A moisture-laden storm soaked New Brunswick in a swath from the southwest to the northeast with more than 200 mm of rain in some communities.
Environment Canada says Greater Moncton got off relatively easy at just over 100 mm of precipitation in only 24 hours.
The hardest hit region for flash flooding and road washouts appeared to be a triangle roughly between Fredericton and Saint John and Sussex.
RCMP say one man died in the Sussex area in an accident while trying to protect his home, a group of six duck hunters needed help after their boat sank in Grand Lake and numerous vehicle collisions were reported due to hydroplaning and road washouts.
This is what Moncton family found when they opened their door today, 16 March 2015 (Facebook)
Yet another blizzard has battered the Maritimes with heavy snow and blowing snow throughout the region.
Greater Moncton received 44 cm of snow which is on top of the 93 cm already on the ground.
Prince Edward Island had at least 50 cm and Cape Breton Island was also hard hit by the storm with Sydney getting walloped with almost 60 cm.
Portions of the Trans Canada Highway had to be shut down, the Confederation Bridge was closed, flights were cancelled and Champlain Place Mall didn’t open for two days in a row.
Officials at Poley Mountain Ski Resort near Sussex reported 75 cm of fresh powder today which will likely mean an extended season on the slopes.
Mountain of snow in NE Moncton, 03 April 2014 (Dearing)
Many might be surprised to learn that the average temperature in Greater Moncton in April 2014 was actually slightly above normal which seems odd given the chilly, wet and overall dreary weather.
A lack of sunshine, a lingering snow cover (which didn’t disappear until 18 April) and damp conditions slowed the arrival of spring and felt like a continuation of the severe winter we just had.
Above normal rainfall, a rapid snow melt and ice break up in rivers led to historic flooding in the Sussex region, swept away a covered bridge and washed out roads – many of which are still partially or fully closed weeks later.
APRIL 2014 ALMANAC (at the Greater Moncton International Airport, 1981-2010)
Average HIGH 8.3 C
Average LOW -0.8 C
AVERAGE 3.7 C (0.2 degrees ABOVE the thirty-year average, 1981-2010)
Extreme HIGH 19.9 C (15 Apr)
Extreme LOW -7.1 C (17 Apr)
Rainfall 96.4 mm (30 percent ABOVE normal)
Snowfall 14.4 cm (50 percent BELOW normal)
(Data courtesy Environment Canada)
RV dealership under floodwaters near Sussex, 16 April 2014 (Facebook)
Gateway Mall in Sussex, 16 April 2014 (Facebook)
A combination of heavy rain and melting snow forced many rivers and creeks to spill their banks across Southern New Brunswick today and the run-off often couldn’t be absorbed by the still partially frozen ground.
Many streets in Greater Moncton, especially in low lying or marshy areas, were forced to close or partially close due to floodwaters.
The Sussex area was especially hard hit after an ice jam in the nearby Kennebecasis River and the fast flowing Trout Creek forced water into the downtown area and nearby subdivisions in Sussex Corner.
Some residents had to be rescued by boat today after water surrounded their homes.
The flooding comes amid a dramatic temperature drop caused by a strong cold front which brought down the temperature in Greater Moncton from 15 C at 5-am to only 1 C by 1-pm.
Eerie clouds over Sussex, NB, 25 June 2013 (Facebook)
For about an hour last night, Environment Canada had posted a tornado warning for Kings County, New Brunswick including the Sussex area.
As you can see above, there were some very ominous clouds overhead which certainly gave an indication that a severe thunderstorm was in the area.
Environment Canada has stated that it doesn’t believe an actual tornado touched down.