Bitter cold, snow in the West

Snow falls in Vancouver, BC, 15 January 2020 (Vancouver PD/Twitter)

Extremely cold Arctic air has enveloped Western Canada.

Temperatures have dropped into the -30s Celsius with bitter wind chills in the -40s on the Prairies and near -50 in the northern territories.

Even the normally mild Pacific coast has not escaped a so-called Arctic outflow.

About 15 to 20 cm snow fell in Vancouver and Victoria.

Schools closed, traffic was snarled and public transit buses got stuck in a region ill-equipped to handle wintry weather.

Mild but stormy conditions

A break in the rain at Irishtown Nature Park reservoir, 15 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Another intense low pressure system moved through the Maritimes on the weekend bringing a new round of heavy rain and strong winds.

After a bone-chilling start, winds changed direction and a southerly flow pushed the high in Greater Moncton to 13.8°C – close to the record of 13.9°C from 2008.

Winds were strong with gusts up to 87 km/h in Southeast New Brunswick and a peak of 91 km/h reported in Bathurst.

As the storm headed to Newfoundland, cold air plunged into the region and temperatures fell below freezing and may stay that way for several days.

November 2019 – Colder and snowier

Ice forms on Irishtown Reservoir after cold night, 13 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

November got off to a mild start in Greater Moncton – the monthly high 19.4 C was actually 0.1 degrees warmer than October’s maximum – but temperatures quickly tumbled especially overnight.

Only two nights were actually above freezing with the coldest weather around the middle of the month.

The first measurable snow was recorded on 07-8 (18.8 cm) which was more than half of the November total and rainfall was lighter than usual.

Daytime highs struggled to climb above freezing especially during the last two weeks which led to a below normal monthly average.

NOVEMBER 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 4.6°C

Average LOW -3.7°C

AVERAGE 0.5°C (about 1.4 degrees BELOW normal)

Extreme HIGH 19.4°C (01 Nov)

Extreme LOW -10.9°C (17 Nov)

RAINFALL 66.7 mm (about 20 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 32.5 cm (almost double, well ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Early blast of Arctic air

The jet stream took a big dip south this week allowing Arctic air to envelop the eastern United States and eastern Canada.

Temperatures dropped to freezing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists say the early icy blast was more typical of January than mid-November.

New record lows were set in Ontario where CFB Borden fell to -24°C and Toronto Pearson Airport dropped to -14°C.

The coldest low of the season was set in Greater Moncton today at -10°C and just a couple degrees shy of the record.

The Southeast New Brunswick forecast calls for a roller coaster ride this weekend followed by more seasonable temperatures next week.

Sharp drop in temperature!

Temperature contrast 8pm, 12 Nov 2019 (earth nullschool.net)

Snow began falling in Southeast New Brunswick Monday night and later changed to freezing rain and then rain by Tuesday afternoon.

The temperature climbed to a balmy 14°C in Greater Moncton and 18°C in Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

But as the low pressure system moved out of the Maritimes toward Newfoundland, winds shifted to the northwest causing the thermometer to drop rapidly Tuesday night with a return to snow when it fell to freezing again.

Overnight low records could be challenged in the region by early Thursday as cold Arctic air takes hold.

Heavy, wet snow creates chaos

An early blast of winter in Moncton, 09 Nov 2019 (Dearing)

Some drivers were prepared when snow entered the forecast for the first time this week and had their winter tires installed.

But many drivers were caught off guard by the heavy, wet – sloppy – snow which fell across Southern New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, northern Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland.

A low pressure system brought rain on Thursday but snow fell by evening as the temperature dropped to the freezing point.

The snow continued throughout Friday creating slippery roads which left plow operators scrambling to deal with the early blast of winter.

Many minor accidents were reported with vehicles sliding into the ditch.

The Trans Canada Highway at Cobequid Pass was forced to close for several hours Friday night after numerous tractor trailers got stuck in snow and blocked the road.

Snowfall amounts (Thu-Fri) in cm:

  • Corner Brook 19.4
  • Greater Moncton 18.8
  • Fredericton 10-15 (estimate)
  • Deer Lake 13
  • Saint John 8.9
  • Halifax Stanfield 5.8
  • Charlottetown 3.9

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

A Blustery Halloween!

Fallen leaves, Centennial Park, Moncton, 14 Oct 2019 (Dearing)

Fewer trick or treaters are expected to be spooking neighbourhoods in Greater Moncton thanks to heavy rain and strong winds.

A low pressure system could bring at least 30 mm of rain to Southeast New Brunswick over the next 24 hours.

Potentially hurricane-strength winds are expected tomorrow ahead of a cold front but temperatures will be warm reaching the high teens.

Environment Canada has issued wind warnings with gusts from 60-90 km/h and possibly up to 110 km/h in the Tantramar Marsh.

Forecasters say the wind may cause damage to buildings such as to roof shingles and windows.

The wind may not die down until early Saturday.

Warmth returns!

Irishtown Nature Park, 05 October 2019 (Dearing)

Barely a day after the coolest daytime high in five months, temperatures climbed into the high teens in New Brunswick and low 20’s in Nova Scotia.

This proves just how changeable October can be.

Greater Moncton has wrapped a third day at around 17°C.

The maximum October temperature is typically at least 20°C and it is still possible to reach it before the end of the month.

Fall preview for Atlantic Canada

After what seemed like a short summer – it didn’t get started until early July in Southeast New Brunswick – The Weather Network has unveiled its 2019 fall forecast.

  • Much of Atlantic Canada should see above-average rainfall due to a few systems that tap into tropical moisture and bring excessive totals.
  • Above normal temperatures are expected to dominate across the southern Maritimes, while typical fall temperatures are expected elsewhere.

TWN Fall

Stormy Saturday in Maritimes

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.