Environment Canada issued a flash freeze warning for much of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island early today.
A low pressure system brought snow, later rain and then snow again after the temperature plummeted as Arctic air pushed back into the region.
The daytime high in Greater Moncton was 3.0 C at 11am and pooling water began freezing when the thermometer dropped below freezing by 3pm.
By early Saturday, forecasters say the low could drop to -19 C but temperatures will moderate on Sunday before falling again on Monday.
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)
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.
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.
Crowded Bondi Beach during heat wave in Sydney, NSW, Australia, 07 Jan 2018 (European Pressphoto Agency)
A recent heat wave in Australia was so severe that asphalt melted on some highways, firefighters had to battle wildfires and bats fell out of trees after literally boiling to death.
The daytime high reached a scorching 47.3 C in a western suburb of Sydney on Sunday which was the hottest since 1939 and while Melbourne was cooler, the thermometer still climbed to 40 C.
Beaches were so crowded in Sydney, there was virtually no room to move around.
While it is the height of summer Down Under, the normal January high in the New South Wales capital city is 27 C with an overnight low of 20 C.
Snow is piled high in Boston, MA, USA, 05 Jan 2018 (AP)
Much of New Brunswick was under another extreme cold warning this weekend with a near record low of -22.3 C in Greater Moncton today (record is -23.3 C from 1945) and a bone-chilling wind chill near -36.
Environment Canada is calling for temperatures to moderate this week with a return to near normal values and even above freezing temperatures by Thursday.
The Northeast United States has also been under a cold snap and the thermometer bottomed out Sunday with record lows in a number of cities including Burlington, Vermont at -29 C and Portland, Maine at -24 C.
Boston, Massachusetts tied its record low of -19 C just days after digging out from 34 cm of snow during the ‘bomb cyclone’ and being inundated with icy floodwaters from the highest tides in a century.
A sunny but cold morning in west end Moncton, 13 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
Clear skies and an Arctic air mass lowered temperatures in Greater Moncton to a chilly -9.0 C on November 12th and 13th.
Recent data shows temperatures that low (within 2 and 3 degrees of record lows) typically don’t occur until later in the month and the thermometer failed to climb above freezing on the 12th which is also earlier than normal.
A new record low was set at the Saint John Airport when it fell to -11.3 C on the 12th.
Quite a contrast from just a week ago when several communities in New Brunswick climbed into the low 20s Celsius.
Snow falling in west end Moncton, 10 Nov 2017 (Dearing)
A low pressure system moved into New Brunswick today bringing heavy rain accompanied by a vigorous cold front with Arctic air behind it.
As a result, the temperature in Greater Moncton plunged dramatically in just one hour – from a daytime high of 10.3 C at 11am to only 1.8 C by noon.
The thermometer continued to drop below freezing and rain turned to snow before the sky cleared in the late afternoon.
Environment Canada is forecasting a cold but dry weekend with sunshine and temperatures at or slightly above freezing.
Patchy frost in NE Moncton, 01 Oct 2017 (Dearing)
Perhaps it’s fitting that October has begun with patchy frost in Greater Moncton given that autumn weather arrived abruptly just days ago following a stretch of hot summerlike conditions.
Environment Canada had issued a frost advisory for three nights running (and another one has been issued tonight) for Southeast New Brunswick but frost finally made an appearance early today when the thermometer dropped to -1.0 C.
Fortunately, the flower boxes on my balcony were not affected and I brought my tomato plant inside just in case.
The last time the temperature fell below freezing in Greater Moncton was 06 June which means 116 days were consecutively above freezing in 2017.
Sunflowers flourishing during heat wave, Salisbury, NB, 24 Sept 2017 (Dearing)
Having a heat wave in late September is unusual for Southeast New Brunswick but even more so is that the highest temperature of 2017 has occurred in early autumn.
The thermometer soared to 31.1 C yesterday (26 September) at the Greater Moncton International Airport which breaks the previous maximum of 29.6 C from 2007 and records date back to 1881.
The previous high for the year had been 30.6 C recorded on 04 August.
At least 10 other New Brunswick communities set new record highs yesterday including Fredericton at 32.8 C, Woodstock at 32.3 C and Bouctouche at 31.8 C.
Environment Canada says temperatures will return to more seasonable values by the weekend with highs between 16 and 18 C.
Sunset over San Francisco, CA, USA, 01 Sept 2017 (Twitter)
San Francisco rarely suffers from hot weather which is why many residents are struggling to stay cool during a heat wave since most homes don’t have air conditioners.
The U.S. National Weather Service says the thermometer climbed to an all-time record-breaking 41.1 C (106 F) on 01 September and another record of 38.9 C (102 F) was set the following day.
Those sizzling highs are a far cry from the average of 21 C for the northern California city.
Numerous wildfires in the region have produced smoke and haze which has added to air quality concerns.
The heat has also stretched northward to Oregon, Washington State and British Columbia where temperatures could exceed 30 C on Vancouver Island.