First snow flurries of fall!

Snow squall in west end Moncton, 18 Oct 2018 (Dearing)

Low clouds and cold gusty winds across the warm Gulf of St. Lawrence and Bay of Fundy produced the first snow flurries of the season throughout the Maritimes today.

Greater Moncton actually had occasional snow squalls throughout the afternoon but there was no accumulation.

Some areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did record slight amounts on the ground.

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement with up to 10 cm of snow possible for the Cape Breton Highlands.

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Hurricane remnants hit Portugal & Spain

Damage from Leslie in Lisbon, Portugal, 14 Oct 2018 (Reuters)

After swirling in the mid-Atlantic Ocean for weeks, Leslie hit the northwest coast of Portugal on Sunday delivering heavy rain and wind gusts up to 176 km/h.

The tropical storm uprooted trees, damaged cars and homes and local flooding was reported.

As Leslie exited Portugal and moved across northern Spain, the remnants of Michael were being felt in the same area of the Iberian Peninsula.

Meteorologists say this is the first time in recorded weather history that the remnants of two hurricanes have impacted Spain at the same time.

Florence called a ‘monster’

More than two million residents have been evacuated as Hurricane Florence roars toward the Southeastern United States with sustained winds of more than 175 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 2 storm is taking aim at North and South Carolina on Thursday.

A life threatening storm surge is expected along the Atlantic coast with an incredible 800 mm (30 inches) rain possible.

Emergency officials call Florence “a monster” and cities like Myrtle Beach have become eerily empty as the hurricane approaches.

Busy hurricane season predicted

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From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)

The Canadian Hurricane Centre is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes this year.

One to four hurricanes is likely to be major with sustained winds of at least 178 km/h.

But 2018 is not expected to be as busy as 2017 which had 17 named storms with 10 hurricanes including a trio of destructive cyclones – Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Three storms made it into Canada’s response zone but none made landfall.

Although the season doesn’t officially start until June 1st, a subtropical storm named Alberto has already formed off the Yucatan Peninsula and will churn north across the Gulf of Mexico this weekend toward the U.S Gulf Coast.

Strong winds cause destruction in Eastern Canada

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Tree falls near school bus in Mississauga, Ontario, 04 May 2018 (Twitter/Peel Regional Police)

A rapidly deepening low pressure system created strong winds gusting to hurricane-strength across Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec on Friday knocking down trees and power lines causing massive outages.

Three people were killed by fallen trees and a school bus filled with children in Mississauga had a near miss.

Toronto Pearson Airport had a maximum wind gust of 119 km/h while Montreal Trudeau Airport recorded 117 km/h – both are the windiest days ever in May.

Winds were also powerful on Saturday in Greater Moncton with a wind gust of 100 km/h – the strongest since January.

Extreme cold warning

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A portion of Niagara Falls has frozen over, along Canada-US border, 31 Dec 2017 (Instagram)

Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning today for most of New Brunswick with frigid temperatures and moderate winds bringing bitter wind chills between -30 and -36 on New Year’s Day and 02 January.

From Yukon to Quebec, extreme cold warnings have been posted prompting many cities including Toronto and Ottawa to cancel some New Year’s Eve festivities or move events indoors.

In Calgary, zoo officials say it’s been so cold even the penguins have been brought inside.

Claresholm, Alberta set a new record low of -41.8 C and Brooks was close behind at -40.5 C.

California wildfires prompt massive evacuation

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Man watches wildfire in Ventura, CA, USA, 06 Dec 2017 (AP)

More than 200,000 residents have been evacuated in Southern California as hot, dry Santa Ana winds fan the flames of aggressive wildfires.

The winds which blow westward from the Mohave Desert are forecast to gust up to 130 km/h before subsiding by this weekend.

Firefighters say it will be virtually impossible to fight the blazes in those conditions.

Hundreds of homes surrounding Los Angeles have burned to the ground and the fires have even been jumping freeways.

Heavy rainfall earlier this year helped suppress a lengthy drought but a record hot summer has created extremely parched conditions.

Philippe remnants heading to NB

Philippe
Tropical Storm Philippe, the 16th named storm and 18th tropical system of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, is no more according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

The storm brought heavy rain to central Cuba and the Bahamas in addition to spawning several tornadoes when it crossed south Florida.

Sustained winds reached 95 km/h with higher gusts reported before Philippe weakened over the western Atlantic.

However, Environment Canada says the remnants are combining with a low pressure system which will bring strong winds and heavy rain to New Brunswick on Monday.

Maria becomes a menace

MariaThe parade of hurricanes in the Atlantic continues with Maria making landfall late tonight over the eastern Caribbean island nation of Dominica as a powerful category 5 storm packing sustained winds of 260 km/h.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is outlying a path for Maria which is eerily similar to the recent Hurricane Irma with the U.S and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expected to be impacted on Wednesday.

Maria will be accompanied by a dangerous storm surge and between 300-500 mm (12-20 inches) of rain to some of the islands causing life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Meantime, Hurricane Jose is still churning northward as a category 1 storm with heavy surf and rip currents along the U.S East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

Canadian forecasters say the remnants of Jose have already brought high humidity to the Maritimes and will give Nova Scotia persistent moisture and cloud cover as well as rough surf along the Atlantic coast.

Hurricane Irma intensifies

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Hurricane Irma is being called a “potentially catastrophic” category 5 storm by the U.S National Hurricane Center with maximum sustained winds of 295 km/h as it bears down on the eastern Caribbean.

The core of Irma is expected to move across the northern Leeward Islands overnight and will track close to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Wednesday and the Dominican Republic by Thursday.

A hurricane watch has also been issued for eastern Cuba along with northern Haiti, southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

Forecasters say Irma is increasingly likely to target Florida (now under a state of emergency) and parts of the American Southeast as a dangerous hurricane this weekend.