2018 in Review

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While the last three months of 2018 were colder than normal in Greater Moncton, the annual average temperature was still 0.4 degrees above the 30-year average.

Summer proved to be extremely warm with more highs above 20°C overall and more than three times as many days above 30°C.

As for cold weather, the number of days falling below -10°C was near normal but there were far fewer lows dropping to -20°C or lower.

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

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White Christmas

While much of Canada is covered in white on this Christmas Day, many of the major cities are without a snow cover.

Only the Prairie cities of Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton were guaranteed a White Christmas.

Recent heavy rain and warm temperatures have erased the snow pack across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southern New Brunswick.

Traditionally Greater Moncton has a 65 percent chance of having a White Christmas.

Today, the airport recorded 3 cm of snow lying on the ground but much of the city and surrounding area have no snow cover at all.

Record highs in Maritimes

St. George Gorge, Magaguadavic River, NB, 22 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

Warm, moist air with southerly winds pushed temperatures into record high territory across the Maritimes on Saturday.

Greater Moncton reached a high of 12.8 C which was actually a bit shy of the 1973 record of 14.4 C.

New record highs for 22 December:

  • Greenwood, NS  16.8 C
  • St. Stephen, NB  14.7 C
  • Saint John, NB  14.1 C
  • Fredericton, NB  13.0 C
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, NS  13.6 C
  • Alma. NB  12.9 C
  • Kouchibouguac, NB  12.9 C
  • St. Peters, PEI  12.2 C

Winter arrives with a deluge

The historic Algonquin Resort after a rainstorm, St. Andrews, NB, 22 Dec 2018 (Dearing)

Although it has felt like winter for weeks now, the solstice officially arrived in New Brunswick at 6:23pm AST Friday.

Oddly enough the weather now feels more like spring with a high of 10.1 C on Friday and 12.8 C today in Greater Moncton thanks to southerly winds and heavy rain from an intense low pressure system.

But the warmth will be short-lived as winds change direction to northwesterly behind the system and temperatures will fall below freezing on Sunday.

Rainfall amounts as of 22 December at 12pm AST:

  • Mechanic Settlement  92 mm
  • St. Andrews  79 mm
  • Grand Manan  73 mm
  • Alma  60 mm
  • Fredericton  51 mm
  • Saint John Airport  42 mm
  • Miramichi  31 cm
  • Greater Moncton  about 20 mm

Weather Network unveils winter forecast

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The Weather Network believes the harsh winter conditions this November in New Brunswick are just a preview of the upcoming season.

Temperatures will likely be below normal this season but periods of mild weather can still be expected.

An active storm track along the Atlantic coast will mean many systems delivering above average precipitation including snow, rain and freezing rain.

A developing El Nino should bring a warmer, drier winter for Western Canada and a colder, wetter winter from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada.

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Michael strikes Florida panhandle

Hurricane Michael damage in Panama City, FL, USA, 10 Oct 2018 (Instagram)

Hurricane Michael slammed the coastline of the Florida panhandle making landfall mid-afternoon as a Category 4 storm.

Michael is the strongest hurricane to hit the United States since Camille in 1969 with winds up to 250 km/h and as much as 300 mm of rain.

Warmer than normal water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico helped fuel Michael and the accompanying storm surge which submerged communities near Panama City.

Forecasters say the storm was downgraded to a Category 1 as it crossed Georgia.

Michael is expected to weaken to a post-tropical depression by the time it passes south of Nova Scotia on Saturday.

September 2018 – Warm and wet

Black-eyed Susans growing in Upper Hammonds Plains, NS, 21 Sept 2018 (Dearing)

Warm, summer weather picked up in September where it left off in August in Southeast New Brunswick.

But the passage of a cold front marked a drastic temperature drop on the 18th and suddenly it felt like fall in Greater Moncton.

The thermometer continued to plunge and sank to -1.9°C on the 25th with light, scattered frost although most vegetation was spared severe damage.

Precipitation was actually above normal although heavy amounts fell in a handful of rainfalls.

SEPTEMBER 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 20.9°C

Average LOW 7.9°C

AVERAGE 14.4°C (about 0.8 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 28.9°C (06 Sept)

Extreme LOW -1.9°C (25 Sept)

RAINFALL 100.5 mm (about 10 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

August 2018 – Heat continues!

Tall trees in Irishtown Nature Park, 26 August 2018 (Dearing)

A hot July also translated into a hot August in what has to be one of the warmest summers in Southeast New Brunswick since 1940.

In Greater Moncton, the thermometer climbed to 30°C or higher on 6 days during August and never dropped below 18°C during 9 overnights.

Fans, air conditioners and other cooling units sold out at stores across the region and many weren’t able to reorder more.

Although it seemed rather dry, rainfall was actually slightly above average thanks to a single rain event which delivered nearly 60 mm which is 60 percent of the monthly total.

AUGUST 2018 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH 26.2°C

Average LOW 14.6°C

AVERAGE 20.4°C (about 2.2 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH 31.6°C (06 Aug)

Extreme LOW 9.7°C (31 Aug)

RAINFALL 100.4 mm (about 20 percent ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Summer heat sizzles Europe

A warm air mass from north Africa has caused temperatures to skyrocket into the 40s C throughout the Iberian Peninsula challenging all-time heat records in Europe.

Lisbon, Portugal set a new maximum for 04 August at 44°C and even overnight lows are barely falling below 30°C.

Hundreds of firefighters are battling wildfires in the Algarve region and in neighbouring Spain.

The water in some rivers has become so overheated that fish are dying on a mass scale.

Forecasters say the heat is moving east and will affect France and Germany over the next few days.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe is 48°C (118.4°F) set in Athens, Greece in July 1977.

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.