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.

July 2018 – Record heat!

Five Islands, Colchester County, NS, 24 July 2018 (Dearing)

July was definitely hot and often humid in Greater Moncton with Environment Canada confirming it was the warmest since 1940.

The average daily temperature was 21.4 C which is 2.6 degrees above normal.

An official heat wave in the first week was followed by numerous heat warnings being issued.

The thermometer climbed to 30 C or higher on 11 days during July and never dropped below 18 C during 7 overnights.

Rainfall was more than 30 percent below normal and much of the precipitation fell during thunderstorms.

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

Average HIGH  27.8°C

Average LOW  14.8°C

AVERAGE  21.4°C (about 2.6 degrees ABOVE normal)

Extreme HIGH  34.2°C (05 July)

Extreme LOW  8.7°C (13 July)

RAINFALL  63.0 mm (more than 30 percent BELOW normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

The heat returns!

Countryside near Victoria-by-the-Sea, PEI, 23 July 2018 (Dearing)

Another round of very warm temperatures and high humidity has enveloped almost all of the Maritimes with only New Brunswick’s Fundy coast exempt from an Environment Canada heat warning.

While actual daytime highs will approach 30 C, humidex values will range between 35 and 40 which can be dangerous for those at risk including young children, seniors and anyone with a chronic illness.

Forecasters say some relief may come on Thursday with some much needed rain but high humidity could persist until early next week.

Chris could pose threat

Chris

Atlantic Canada could feel an impact from Tropical Storm Chris which has formed off the coast of the Southeastern U.S.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre says the third named storm of 2018 will move northeastward and possibly strengthen to become a hurricane by early Wednesday.

The storm could weaken as it approaches Nova Scotia by Thursday.

The CHC notes there is still uncertainty in the forecast track and intensity of this system.

Beryl is the second named storm but first hurricane of the season and has been down downgraded to a tropical storm as it heads toward Puerto Rico.

Meantime, Environment Canada issued another heat warning for New Brunswick except the Fundy coast, Prince Edward Island and northern Nova Scotia as a warm, humid air mass pushes highs into the low 30s C with humidex values up to 38 on Monday.

Heat wave claims lives

A double rainbow after brief rain shower over Moncton, 04 July 2018 (Dearing)

Temperatures across Eastern Canada from Ontario to the Maritimes continued to soar into the 30s C with humidex values above 40.

Authorities in Quebec say at least 18 people have died, all over age 50, as a warm, humid air mass lingered over the province.

Record highs have been recorded in New Brunswick with a new maximum of 31.6 C at the Greater Moncton International Airport on Tuesday (beating 31.0 C from 1984) and 33.4 C today (beating 31.4 C from 1983).

The hotspot in the province was 34.1 C at St. Stephen.