Cape Breton drenched again

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A stream overflows in north end Sydney, NS, 11 May 2017 (Cape Breton Post)

Parts of Cape Breton Island were flooded by a deluge of rain barely six months ago – Thanksgiving weekend – and this week it’s happening again.

The ground is saturated with water after more than 160 mm of rain since the weekend and some Sydney residents are dealing with flooded basements.

Rain and snow melt from the Cape Breton highlands is being blamed for washouts along sections of the Cabot Trail and its side roads.

Road crews are working overtime making repairs before the busy tourism season begins in a few weeks.

Heavy snow hammers Maritimes

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Vehicles covered in snow, NE Moncton, 08 Jan 2017 (Dearing)

An intense low pressure system is now over Newfoundland after dumping up to 40 cm of snow on parts of the Maritimes overnight.

Snowfall was heaviest over central Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley and Prince Edward Island.

For Greater Moncton, this storm delivered the most snow since 30 November when more than 25 cm was recorded.

Fortunately this is light, dry snow since it fell when temperatures were cold (about -10 C or so) and it is much easier to move than wet, moisture-laden snow.

As expected, northern New Brunswick got off easy this time with only 3 cm reported in Bathurst.

Snow totals as of 8am AST:

Greater Moncton Airport 22 cm

Gagetown 23 cm

Saint John Airport 21 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport 33 cm

Halifax downtown 26 cm

Yarmouth 26 cm

Greenwood 36 cm

Sydney 27 cm

Charlottetown 35 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada and local estimates)

Consistent snow totals across Maritimes

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Halifax Transit bus during a snowstorm, Halifax, NS, 12 Dec 2016 (Twitter)

The cleanup was underway across the Maritimes today after a Colorado Low dropped about 15-25 cm of snow – the same storm delivered similar amounts across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec yesterday.

The Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia also saw a changeover to rain where temperatures climbed above freezing.

Here are some snow totals in the region:

Saint John  26 cm

Halifax Stanfield Airport  22

Greater Moncton Airport  19

Sydney  18

Charlottetown  14

Yarmouth  13

Fredericton 11

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Tropical system brings rain, wind, warmth

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Irishtown Nature Park, Moncton, NB, 23 Oct 2016 (Dearing)

A cold front from the Great Lakes combined with a tropical low to bring rain, wind and warm temperatures to the Maritimes this weekend.

The heaviest amount of rain fell in the Halifax region with about 80 mm recorded, already-soaked Cape Breton got off relatively easily with 35 mm in Sydney.

Greater Moncton only received 16 mm of rain but winds were as gusty as 70 km/h and the temperature climbed to a balmy 20.5 C.

The hot spot in the Maritimes was in Cheticamp with a record high of 23.9 C.

Tornado watch in Cape Breton

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Ominous clouds off Glace Bay, NS, 07 Aug 2016 (A. Petrie/Twitter)


A tornado watch may be rare for New Brunswick but it is even more so for Cape Breton Island.

Environment Canada issued a tornado watch for Sydney and Cape Breton County early Sunday evening for almost an hour.

Although some ominous clouds were spotted including potential funnel clouds, no tornadoes were reported.

Kangaroos don’t seem to mind snow Down Under

A kangaroo in a snowy vineyard, Orange, New South Wales, Australia, 16 July 2015 (Bill Shrapnel)

A kangaroo in a snowy vineyard, Orange, New South Wales, Australia, 16 July 2015 (Bill Shrapnel)

Although it is officially winter in Australia, it seldom snows in lower elevations but it did this week.

Antarctic air pushed northward across New South Wales and Queensland bringing the first significant snow to the region – up to 10 cm – since the mid-1980s and some ski resorts in the mountains received 30 cm.

A vineyard owner in Orange, NSW, noted the kangaroos on his property seemed to enjoy a taste a wintry weather and were even playing in it.

Temperatures dropped to as low as -7 C and daytime highs struggled to reach 5 C with 15 C being a normal high for July.

On the coast in Sydney, low temperatures have fallen to 5 C, the lowest in 44 years.

Unbelievable snow across the Maritimes

This is what Moncton family found when they opened their door today, 16 March 2015 (Facebook)

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.

Strong storm batters N.S.W. Australia

Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia, 14 Oct 2014 (Twitter)

Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia, 14 Oct 2014 (Twitter)

A slow-moving storm system dumped more than 100 mm of rain on Sydney in just a matter of hours causing flash flooding along with rare spring snow in the nearby Blue Mountains.

Up to 20 cm of snow fell in many locations on higher elevations west of Sydney.

Powerful winds gusting up to 105 km/h at Sydney Airport and as high as 161 km/h along the beaches knocked out power to tens of thousands.

Nor’easter lets N.B. off relatively easy

Blizzard conditions in downtown Moncton, 22 Jan 2013 (Dearing)

Blizzard conditions in downtown Moncton, 22 Jan 2013 (Dearing)

The sixth winter storm of the 2013-14 season produced high winds, snow and widespread blowing snow for Southeast New Brunswick.

Greater Moncton received 15 cm of snow from the Nor’easter with a peak wind gust of 82 km/h.

Similar amounts of snow fell along the Fundy coast with far lesser amounts inland.

Nova Scotia took more of a beating from this storm as 24 cm of snow fell in Halifax and about 30 cm in Yarmouth and Sydney along with wind gusts between 70 and 100 km/h.

Prince Edward Island was also hard hit with more than 37 cm of snow in Charlottetown but only 12 cm in Summerside.