March 2020 – Warm and dry

Irishtown Reservoir, Moncton, 15 March 2020 (Dearing)

Much less rain and snow fell in Greater Moncton during March even though precipitation was recorded on 23 days.

Only 10 mm of rain and 32 cm of snow fell with the normals being 49 mm and 65 cm respectively.

Warm daytime highs were scarce – the thermometer failed to reach 10°C – but temperatures were actually slightly above average overall.

The coldest weather occurred during the first few days of spring with a minimum of -13.8°C on 23 March.

MARCH 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 2.4°C

Average LOW -6.3°C

AVERAGE -2.0°C (about 0.9 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 9.4°C (28 Mar)

Extreme LOW -13.8°C (23 Mar)

RAINFALL 10.7 mm (about 80 percent BELOW normal)

SNOWFALL 34.6 cm (about 50 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Spring arrives

Courtesy Accuweather.com

The spring or vernal equinox arrived at 12:50am ADT in New Brunswick which marks the moment when the Sun is directly above the equator as it continues to move northward.

Days are now about equal in length to nights and the amount of daylight will continue to increase until the first day of summer in June.

Spring may be here officially but consistent warmth is usually delayed in the Maritimes thanks to the surrounding cold ocean waters.

So far this March in Greater Moncton, temperatures have been close to normal overall but precipitation has been well below average.

Warm front brings record highs

Radar image at 9pm ADT, 10 March 2020 (Microsoft)

A slow moving warm front has brought precipitation and varying temperatures to the Maritimes.

About 15 cm of snow was expected in the north, while freezing rain and ice pellets fell in central areas and rain in the south.

Temperatures also ranged from well below freezing in northwestern New Brunswick to as high as 15°C in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Meantime, the thermometer has been rising in Greater Moncton over the past 24 hours with snow, ice pellets, freezing rain and now rain.

Record highs from 09 March (courtesy Environment Canada):

  • Kejumkujik National Park, 14.9°C beats old record 14.3°C from 2002.
  • Grand Manan Island, 10.4°C beats old record 9.9°C from 2012.

NB River Watch Launches

Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)

It’s a sure sign of spring…

New Brunswick’s annual program monitoring the status of rivers, ice jams and other flood issues officially launched today.

Historic flooding in 2018 and 2019 devastated many communities along the St. John River although individuals and municipal governments were better prepared last year.

Higher than normal water levels forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton for almost a week and even longer the year before.

Officials say a variety of factors contribute to flooding including precipitation, snow pack, air temperatures and river ice.

Spring 2020 forecast unveiled

Spring 2020
The Weather Network has unveiled its spring forecast for the months of March, April and May.

Recent spring-like weather in New Brunswick has made many wonder when the real season will arrive.

TWN meteorologist Doug Gilham expects we should still expect some wintry weather during March which is not unusual but he thinks temperatures should be near normal for the three month period.

Gilham believes it will be a wet season overall with above normal precipitation especially rainfall.

Last year, spring was very late and cold weather just wouldn’t let go.

Snow was recorded as late as 21 May in Greater Moncton.

January 2020 – Warmer than normal

Sunset at Irishtown Nature Park, 25 January 2020 (Dearing)

Glancing at the data for January 2020, one would think it was as cold if not colder than normal in Southeast New Brunswick.

The thermometer sank below -10°C on sixteen days while four of those days dropped to -20°C or lower during the month.

Despite the frigid weather, January was in fact almost three degrees above normal in Greater Moncton.

Despite two major snowfalls (including one event near 30 cm) and some rainfall, precipitation was close to the thirty-year average.

JANUARY 2020 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH -2.1°C

Average LOW -10.1°C

AVERAGE -6.1°C (about 2.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 10.9°C (11 Jan)

Extreme LOW -21.3°C (18 and 22 Jan)

RAINFALL 24.6 mm (NEAR normal)

SNOWFALL 69.6 cm (NEAR normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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.