Heavy rain, wind after record highs

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Tree downed in key intersection of downtown Moncton, 09 June 2017 (Wade Perry/Twitter)

A low pressure system moved into the Maritimes today bringing up to 40 mm of rain to Greater Moncton.

A strong thunderstorm also rolled through Southeast New Brunswick in the early evening with wind speeds clocked as high as 102 km/h.

The brief but powerful gusts downed trees and branches onto power lines and caused thousands of power outages.

Environment Canada had not issued any weather warnings for the region.

The storm replaced a warm air mass which set record highs in at least four New Brunswick communities yesterday.

The hotspot was Kouchibouguac National Park which climbed to 32 C and that beats the maximum from 1992.

Moncton and Doaktown both tied their record highs of 30.6 C for the date.

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Tornado touches down in Alberta

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Tornado swirling near Three Hills, AB, 02 June 2017 (TWN/Twitter)


A large tornado touched down in central Alberta near Three Hills on Friday afternoon amid severe thunderstorms.

Environment Canada had issued a tornado warning for the region which lasted about half an hour.

Officials say wind speeds up to 130 km/h caused damage to trees, roofs and buildings but no one was hurt.

May 2017 – Wet and cloudy

Trailing arbutus or Mayflower growing in Irishtown Nature Park, 20 May 2017 (Dearing)


May in Southeast New Brunswick certainly lived up to its unpredictable nature as a transitional month between winter and summer.

Overall temperatures were above normal in Greater Moncton but oddly enough some of the coolest days were in the last third of the month.

Many days were cloudy and rainfall was heavy with only seven days without at least a trace of precipitation.

By the final week, trees were in full leaf or blossom and perennials were in full bloom.

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

Average HIGH 16.1 C

Average LOW  5.1 C

AVERAGE 10.8 C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 30.5 C (18 May)

Extreme LOW -0.4 C (13 May)

RAINFALL 163.5 mm (about 40 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Record warmth in central, eastern United States

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Cherry blossoms in bloom, Washington, DC, USA, 02 March 2017 (Instagram)

During January and February, the city of Chicago only had a few centimetres of snow with no measurable amount on the ground for the first time in 146 years.

Record highs were broken from New England to Texas where temperatures recently soared into the high 20’s C causing trees and flowers to bloom ahead of schedule.

The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC could reach their peak on 14 March which would be the earliest.since officials began keeping track in 1921.

Climatologists say much of the central and eastern United States had a very warm winter with February 2017 being the second warmest in 123 years of records.

UPDATE – The cherry blossoms in Washington, DC actually reached their peak on 25 March after being delayed by a cold snap and snow.

1-2-3 storm punch

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NB Power crews working near Fredericton, 01 Dec 2016 (NB Power/Twitter)

Three storms over a four day period brought an early blast of winter to Southeast New Brunswick.

The first was a Nor’easter which packed the smallest punch with just a dusting of snow in Greater Moncton (2 cm), the second delivered heavy, wet snow (26 cm) and the third started as snow (5.8 cm) but changed to rain (7.6 mm).

The heavy, wet snow brought down trees and branches causing thousands of power outages across southern New Brunswick on Wednesday.

Thousands more lost power when snow fell across the northern part of the province on Thursday.

Wildfires tear through Tennessee

Burned buildings and cars aftermath of wildfire in Gatlinburg Tennessee

Wildfire devastation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA, 29 Nov 2016 (Reuters)

It sounds all too familiar in 2016 – wildfires devastate a community.

This time it’s autumn in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and last time it was spring in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

About 1,000 homes and businesses have been destroyed by wildfires in the eastern part of the southern U.S. state of Tennessee.

Officials believe the fire was human-caused and began earlier this week in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Strong winds toppled trees and power lines and spread embers to nearby Gatlinburg where 14,000 people had to be evacuated.

Rain has helped fire crews but months of drought has left the ground bone-dry.

At least two Canadians are among 13 people who have died in the wildfires.

Surprise! Lots of snow!

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Heavy, wet snow brings down tree branches in Moncton, 30 Nov 2016 (Twitter)

Greater Moncton recorded a snowfall of almost 30 cm today which is not unusual for the end of November.

But it came as a surprise since Environment Canada had only forecast 10 cm of snow.

The heavy, wet snow fell over central and southeastern parts of New Brunswick while mostly rain was recorded in Saint John and along the Fundy coast.

The snow was too much for some trees and branches which fell onto power lines knocking out electricity to more than 41,000 customers at one point.

Trio of storms hit B.C.’s south coast

Three storms in quick succession have battered the south coast of British Columbia delivering more than 200 mm of rain in some areas.

Strong winds gusting up to 100 km/h caused up to 300,000 power outages at one point and brought down at least 250 trees in Vancouver.

The series of storms were from the remnants of Super Typhoon Songda.

Dandelions are back!

Dandelions in NE Moncton, 16 May 2015 (Dearing)

Dandelions in NE Moncton, 16 May 2015 (Dearing)


They are a bit late this spring but dandelions have finally begun showing their little yellow heads in Southeast New Brunswick.

Although it often takes a while, I am always amazed at how quickly the transition is from winter to spring in Greater Moncton.

Over the past week, lawns have become much greener, trees are sprouting buds and even leaves and numerous seasonal flowers such as tulips and daffodils have made a sudden appearance.

And in five weeks, it will be officially summer!

Some New Brunswickers still without power

Power crews working in St. George, NB, 28 Dec 2013 (NB Power)

Power crews working in St. George, NB, 28 Dec 2013 (NB Power)

Power crews have been working around the clock since an ice storm impacted New Brunswick almost a week ago.

The hardest hit areas have been St. Stephen and Rothesay  – both experienced almost two straight days of freezing rain and ice pellets.

As of late Sunday morning, some 10,000 power customers in the province were still in the dark and the Red Cross still has so-called warming centres open in schools and community halls to help residents.

Some believe the extended outages could have been prevented if trees had been properly trimmed around power lines but crews say that work often comes with local resistance.