Snow in late May!!!

While a snowflake or two is common in early May in New Brunswick, accumulating snow is rare in the latter part of the month.

A cold front pushed through the province today and with a change in wind direction from south to north, precipitation changed from rain to snow and the thermometer plummeted.

Bathurst and Miramichi both reported snow today and in some areas it began to stick to the ground while thunderstorms rolled through further south.

In Greater Moncton, the temperature drop was dramatic with a high of 16 C at 11am and by 4pm it was only 5 C.

Meantime, parts of central Newfoundland are under a snowfall warning with 15 to 30 cm in the forecast.

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TWN unveils spring forecast

TWN spring

The Weather Network has taken a look ahead at the months of March, April and May for Atlantic Canada…

While it has been a relatively mild winter across the region, winter will still have several parting shots, including the threat for a few Nor’easters.

For some places, the biggest snowfall of the year could still be on the horizon (keep in mind the context – some areas have not had a classic winter storm).

Back and forth temperature swings should come close to offsetting, but with more potential for warmth to outweigh the periods of colder weather.

An active storm track will tap into subtropical moisture at times and bring above normal precipitation to most of the region through the spring season.

Escaping a strange winter

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The beaches of Varadero, Cuba, 15 February 2018 (Dearing)

Let’s face it, winter in Southeast New Brunswick has been a volatile roller coaster ride with wildly fluctuating temperatures and unusual amounts of mixed precipitation.

I wanted an escape, so a two-week vacation getaway to Cuba was in order.

From 06-20 February, the island’s most popular beach destination of Varadero enjoyed daytime highs in the upper 20s C with glorious sunshine and just a few passing clouds.

Winter is the dry season in Cuba and precipitation was light except for a lengthy downpour of rain during just one early morning.

Varadero has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and millions of international visitors – mostly Canadians – flock there every year.

Flooding then flash freeze

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Satellite image taken just before cold front sweeps through Maritimes, 13 Jan 2018 (earth.nullschool.net)

After a low pressure system brought heavy rain and strong winds gusting up to 74 km/h to Southeast New Brunswick early today, a cold front moved through the region plummeting temperatures below freezing.

The thermometer in Greater Moncton dropped an incredible 14 degrees in just one hour – from 15 C at 11am to 1 C at noon – and then fell below zero shortly afterward.

Today’s daytime high of 16.7 C has unofficially broken the 13 January record of 12.2 C from 1972.

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Floodwaters in Moncton near Wheeler Blvd. and Crowley Farm Rd., 13 Jan 2018 (City of Moncton)

Flooding was reported in various parts of Greater Moncton and the province was forced to close some roads due to high water levels.

Before the precipitation ends later tonight, rain will change to freezing rain mixed with ice pellets and then finally to snow.

November 2017 – Seesaw temperatures

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Wildflowers and annuals in northeast Moncton, 03 Nov 2017 (Dearing)

As dark and dreary as November seems in Southeast New Brunswick, temperatures can often be volatile and this month was no exception.

Greater Moncton had at least five dramatic temperature swings starting on 10-11 November with a high of 10 C falling to -7 C with strong winds gusting up 69 km/h and the first snow flurries of the season.

The monthly mean of 1.9 C was exactly normal with highs near 20 C on two days early in the month while two days remained below freezing.

Overall precipitation was near normal for the first time since May although snowfall at 3.2 cm was well below normal.

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

Average HIGH  7.2 C

Average LOW  -3.3 C

AVERAGE  1.9 C (Normal)

Extreme HIGH  19.8 C (06 Nov)

Extreme LOW  -10.6 C (28 Nov)

RAINFALL  101.8 mm (NEAR normal)

SNOWFALL  3.2 cm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Wild temperature swings!

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Lots of snow for mid-December in Moncton, 16 Dec 2016 (Dearing)


On Saturday morning the temperature in Greater Moncton bottomed out at a frigid -22.1°C but by later in the evening it had climbed to -2°C.

The thermometer continued to rise on Sunday and a mild high of 10.6°C was recorded by late afternoon with heavy rain before another drop to -1°C by late in the evening with snow flurries.

Today the temperature is dropping as the day goes on and as of mid-morning sat at -13°C.

In a 48-hour period the temperature climbed more than 30 degrees C and then dropped again by 24 degrees C – one of the wildest temperature swings in recent memory.

Crazy, wintry weather across American Plains

Snow falls in Denver, Colorado, USA, 09 April 2013 (AP)

Snow falls in Denver, Colorado, USA, 09 April 2013 (AP)

A dynamic storm system has produced a blizzard, severe storms with large hail and crazy temperature swings from North Dakota to Texas.

Heavy snow fell in many areas with the U.S. National Weather Service recording snowfall records being broken in 44 cities with some parts of Nebraska receiving as much as 60 cm.

A dramatic drop in temperature also occurred with Abilene, Texas falling from a scorching 33 C to near freezing in less than 8 hours from last night to early today.

The same storm system is moving into Ontario tomorrow and is expected to bring heavy rain and snow.