Warm July for most of Canada

July was a warm month not only in Greater Moncton and New Brunswick but also throughout most of Canada – except for the Far North.

Montreal shattered its monthly record with a mean temperature of 24.1 C – three degrees above normal – and sadly dozens died from not having air conditioning.

Halifax and Toronto were both almost two degrees above normal while Vancouver and Calgary were each more than one degree higher than average.

Even normally cool St. John’s, Newfoundland was 1.6 degrees warmer in July with 15 days reaching daytime highs of 25 C or more.

Only in the Arctic were temperatures lower with Iqaluit, Nunavut nearly one degree below average and Resolute was off by 2.5 degrees – its coldest July since 1964.

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White Christmas across Canada

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Barely white on Christmas morning in Truro, NS, 25 December 2017 (Dearing)

Technically in Truro, Nova Scotia, it wasn’t a White Christmas with snow falling later in the morning which changed to freezing rain, ice pellets and eventually rain.

But by late afternoon, winds gusted to almost 100 km/h which knocked down trees and power lines leaving thousands in the dark on Christmas Day.

In Greater Moncton, snow and blowing snow were factors on December 25 with about 20 cm accumulating – the heaviest snowfall so far this season.

Across Canada, Vancouver had a trace of white for Christmas while Victoria had 3 cm of snow.

Calgary is still digging out from a 30 cm snowfall a few days ago, Winnipeg had its coldest Christmas in 20 years plunging to -30 C and Toronto picked up 10 cm during the day.

West coast goes white

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Kitsilano neighbourhood,Vancouver, BC, 19 Dec 2017 (Twitter)

It doesn’t snow in Vancouver very often but when it does panic typically ensues on streets and sidewalks.

About 7 cm fell at Vancouver International Airport yesterday with higher amounts reported to the north and east.

Snow also fell on Vancouver Island with only 3 cm in Victoria but at least 20 cm in Nanaimo.

Parts of the British Columbia interior picked up more than 30 cm.

Early snow along BC South Coast

The first Arctic front of the season has moved across British Columbia bringing a blast of cold air, strong winds and the first snowfall to the south coast including most of Vancouver Island.

Victoria received 7 cm of snow which was the earliest appearance since 1991.

Significant snow fell in the BC interior with 19 cm in Kelowna and 34 cm in Cranbrook.

The same storm system also has Southern Alberta digging out with Calgary getting 14 cm and Lethbridge picking up a whopping 39 cm of snow.

Cherry blossoms brighten B.C. coast

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Cherry blossoms in Vancouver,BC,15 April 2017 (CityofVancouver/Twitter)

Canada’s so-called Left Coast may have the mildest winters in the country but along with that comes a lot of cloudy skies and precipitation mostly falling as rain.

After a colder and snowier than usual winter, Vancouver experienced a gloomy March with the least amount of sunshine since records began in 1951 and it rained 28 out of 31 days.

So it’s no wonder, the sight of beautiful pink and white cherry blossoms is causing traffic troubles with so many drivers and pedestrians stopping to admire them.

The peak bloom is a bit later than normal this year thanks to dismal weather causing the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival to reschedule some events.

First snow in Vancouver since 2014

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A snowy downtown Vancouver, BC, 05 Dec 2016 (Instagram)


Between 5 and 10 centimetres of snow fell on Greater Vancouver during the morning commute today which created havoc on highways and bridges.

Vancouverites haven’t seen snow for at least 1,000 days when the last significant amount was recorded at the airport on 24 February, 2014.

An Arctic air mass is to blame for the snow and cold with Environment Canada showing temperatures barely climbing above freezing this week.

A weather statement has been issued indicating more snow could fall in Vancouver on Thursday.

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.

Powerful winds pound SW British Columbia

Two trees topple onto two houses, Vancouver, BC, 29 August 2015 (Twitter)

Two trees topple onto two houses, Vancouver, BC, 29 August 2015 (Twitter)


Strong winds gusting up to 80 km/h brought down trees and power lines in Greater Vancouver and British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.

At the peak of the wind storm, about half-a-million customers were without power in the region but crews had restored most by Sunday morning.

Vancouver officials blame a summer drought for making trees weaker and more susceptible which is why many came crashing down on homes and vehicles.

Environment Canada warns that more wind and rain is expected to impact the region over the next couple of days.

Smoke from B.C. forest fires invades Vancouver

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)

Smoky sky over Vancouver, BC, 05 July 2015 (Vancouver Sun)


Smoke from forest fires in southern British Columbia has led to an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the south coast.

Environment Canada along with several partners issued the advisory over the weekend and cautioned residents with medical conditions to stay indoors.

Meantime, smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan has prompted air quality advisories across the Prairies as far south as Regina.

The year without winter – on Canada’s West Coast

 

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, BC, 28 February 2015 (Twitter)

Cherry blossoms in Victoria, BC, 28 February 2015 (Twitter)

The rest of Canada is resenting the coast of British Columbia this winter.

Why?  It’s simple really.  While most of Canada has been much colder and snowier than usual, the West Coast has been basking in spring-like temperatures all winter long.

Both Vancouver and Victoria have been well above normal with average daytime highs last month reaching 11 C and overnight lows which seldom dropped below freezing.

One noticeable example of the warmth is the sprouting of cherry blossoms about three weeks earlier than usual.

A large ridge of high pressure along the West Coast has kept Arctic air well to the east of British Columbia for weeks.