Greater Moncton spared worst of storm

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Powerful storm surge causes flooding along the waterfront in Halifax, NS, 05 Jan 2018 (Twitter)

The ‘bomb cyclone’ or ‘snow hurricane’ – featuring a dramatic drop in atmospheric pressure when warm and cold air collided – has left the Maritimes and spared Southeast New Brunswick from the worst of its fury.

While strong winds were a factor throughout the region, Greater Moncton received less snow compared to further north and west.

To the south and east, more rain fell along with hurricane-force winds (up to 200 km/h gusts in western Cape Breton) which created powerful storm surges causing flooding along the coast.

Here are some totals from Environment Canada and local estimates:

  • Greater Moncton Airport  14 cm snow, 10 mm rain, 91 km/h wind gust
  • Bathurst  58 cm snow, 80 km/h wind gust
  • Fredericton  30 cm snow, 78 km/h wind gust
  • Saint John  5 cm snow, 20 mm rain, 87 km/h wind gust
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  40 mm rain, trace snow, 122 km/h wind gust

The storm may have departed but Arctic air has filtered back into the Maritimes which will mean a bitterly cold weekend.

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Record highs in Alberta

Residents of Alberta were golfing rather than skiing this weekend as chinook-like weather brought record high temperatures.

On 09 December, Calgary set a new record of 15.4 C which broke the old record by one full degree from 1890.

The normal daytime high for Calgary is -1 C with an overnight low of -13 C.

Other records were set in Claresholm which hit a summer-like 20.3 C while Sundre reached 16.3 C.

Environment Canada says double digit highs are likely for at least the next few days.

First snowstorm of season

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Heavy snow falling in northeast Moncton, 09 Dec 2017 (Dearing)

A classic snowstorm brought heavy, moisture-laden snow to much of New Brunswick this weekend.

Environment Canada says the heaviest amounts fell in northeast areas of the province with 27 cm at Bathurst and 24 cm at Miscou Island.

Greater Moncton received 15 cm which was exactly what was being forecasted for Southeast New Brunswick.

The same system brought rain and warm temperatures to eastern mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the island of Newfoundland with a high of 18 C in St. John’s.

October 2017 – Second warmest since 1881

Many trees are losing leaves in west end Moncton, 27 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

October often felt like August in Greater Moncton with 12 days reaching daytime highs of 20 C or higher.

Environment Canada says only October 1913 was slightly warmer since records began in 1881.

Temperatures did fall below freezing on 7 days with some scattered frost but the month escaped a hard frost and vegetation continued to flourish.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal in Southeast New Brunswick continuing a prolonged dry period which began in early summer.

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

Average HIGH 17.7 C

Average LOW 5.0 C

AVERAGE 11.4 C (about 3.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 23.7 C (08 Oct)

Extreme LOW -1.8 C (13 Oct)

RAINFALL 76.5 mm (about 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Late October heat wave

Along the Riverfront Trail in Moncton, 21 October 2017 (Dearing)

Nine communities across New Brunswick set new record highs yesterday and the same will likely happen again today.

Greater Moncton was the warmest spot in the province climbing to 23.1 C which broke the old maximum temperature of 22.8 C from 1928.

Greenwood was among six communities in Nova Scotia breaking records with a high of 24.5 C.

Four records fell on Prince Edward Island including Charlottetown at 21.7 C.

Environment Canada says the Maritimes is enjoying a late October heat wave because the region is sandwiched between low pressure and high pressure allowing warm, southerly air to move northward.

Fall foliage past peak

Maple tree past peak in Moncton, 22 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

The fall foliage in Southeast New Brunswick is now past peak and the leaves are starting to tumble to the ground.

Typically a strong wind and/or rain event will bring down most remaining leaves from the trees with maples the first to shed and oaks among the last.

Forestry experts say unseasonably warm weather across the Maritimes this autumn have muted some fall colours.

Rich, vivid displays are most common when days are sunny but cool and nights are cold.

Warm Thanksgiving weekend

Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele, NB, 08 Oct 2017 (Dearing)

The jet stream brought warm southerly air into the Maritimes allowing temperatures in Southeast New Brunswick to climb into the 20s this Thanksgiving weekend.

Environment Canada says Greater Moncton reached a daytime high of 20.2 C on 07 October, 23.7 C on 08 October (near the record of 23.9 C from 1970), and 22.9 C on 09 October.

Given the autumn warmth, I couldn’t resist a visit to Aboiteau Beach (and neither could a handful of others) which was near 24 C under a mostly cloudy sky and it was quite windy.

Greenwood, Nova Scotia was the hot spot in Canada hitting 26 C for two days in a row.

September 2017 – Summer continues

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Maple leaves changing colour in Fairview Knoll Park, Moncton, 04 Sept 2017 (Dearing)

September turned out to be a continuation of summer in Southeast New Brunswick right up until month end.

Daytime highs in Greater Moncton climbed above 25 C on ten days and a monthly maximum of 31.1 C turned out to be the warmest of 2017 set in early fall (26 Sept).

Although hurricanes never directly affected the province, meteorologists say much of the warmth last month came from tropical air pushed northward from these storms.

Rainfall was exactly normal but almost all of the precipitation fell during a single rain event spread over two days (6-7 Sept).

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

Average HIGH  22.3 C

Average LOW  9.4 C

AVERAGE  15.8 C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  31.1 C (26 Sept, warmest high of 2017)

Extreme LOW  0.6 C (30 Sept)

RAINFALL  93.5 mm (Exactly NORMAL)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Warmest high of 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.

Autumn officially arrives

Hints of fall in Bessborough Park, Moncton, NB (Dearing)

The autumnal equinox arrived in New Brunswick at 5:02pm ADT.

Days and nights are now roughly equal in length and the sun is directly overhead at the equator and will head southward.

The leaves in Greater Moncton are starting to show hints of fall colours and experts say a dry summer could mean the display will not be as brilliant.

The Weather Network is forecasting a warmer and wetter autumn season compared to normal.