Canada’s Top 10 Weather Stories 2019

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Hurricane Dorian damage in Halifax’s west end, 08 Sept 2019 (NS Power)

Canada is a land of weather extremes and this year has been no exception with frigid winter cold and stifling summer heat which brought wildfires, flooding, snowstorms and hurricanes.

Environment Canada has compiled its annual list for 2019:

  1. Another record Ottawa River flood
  2. Destructive hurricane season especially Dorian
  3. Snowy Prairie autumn
  4. Bitterly cold February nationwide
  5. Record heat continues in the Arctic
  6. Too dry early, too wet later on Prairies
  7. Blustery Halloween in the East
  8. Spring never arrives in Eastern Canada
  9. More flooding along the St. John River
  10. Fewer wildfires but more hectares burned

Here are some weather highlights for Atlantic Canada:

  • New Year’s Day takes Newfoundland by storm
  • January Maritime storm included every type of weather
  • Winter storm forces Moncton residents outside
  • February storm causes road closures in Labrador
  • Pre-Valentine’s storm across the Maritimes
  • March starts out stormy in Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland’s icebergs please tourists and locals
  • October “weather bomb” drops lots of rain

Stormy American Thanksgiving weekend

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Snow clearing for NFL game at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, USA, 01 Dec 2019 (R. Deutsch/USA Today)

A major winter storm made its way across the United States during the American Thanksgiving weekend disrupting travel plans for millions.

The massive system began on the West Coast as a bomb cyclone bringing wind gusts up to 160 km/h and heavy amounts of snow in the mountains.

Strong winds accompanied by a mixture of rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow fell from the Great Plains to the Midwest and into the Northeastern U.S.

Boston recorded 20 cm of snow with more than 60 cm falling in other parts of New England before the system headed to the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland.

September snow in the West!

A snowy rooftop patio in Calgary, AB, 29 September 2019 (gbenlucas/Instagram)

Autumn began just a few days ago but it already looks and feels like winter in parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

A strong low pressure system prompted snowfall and winter storm warnings as up to 100 cm of snow fell across southern Alberta.

Gusty winds behind the system created blowing and drifting snow making highway travel treacherous.

Many early season snowfall records have been broken.

Snowfall amounts (in cm) as of 1pm MDT, 30 September:

  • Calgary 32
  • Claresholm  40-45
  • Lethbridge  50-60
  • Taber  60
  • Cardston area  70-90
  • Waterton Park  95

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Major winter storm approaches

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Radar image captured at 23hrs, 19 Jan 2019 (Bing maps)


A strong winter storm will track across the Maritimes Sunday bringing a mixed bsg of precipitation to Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow at times heavy will begin in the morning changing to ice pellets and freezing rain by noon and eventually to rain later in the afternoon.

Greater Moncton is expecting about 20 cm snow, 20 mm of rain and possibly several hours of ice accumulation.

Strong winds will develop giving reduced visibility in blowing snow with gusts reaching 80 km/h along the Fundy coast.

Conditions may not improve until Monday afternoon as the storm moves eastward.

Strike number 3!

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Wet, heavy snow in NE Moncton, 14 March 2018 (Dearing)

The third Nor’easter in a week to strike Southeast New Brunswick packed less punch than the other two despite predictions it would be the strongest.

Temperatures remained near freezing in Greater Moncton during the snowfall which made it extremely heavy and wet and strong winds gusted to 85 km/h.

The western and northeastern parts of the province were hardest hit from this storm.

Snowfall totals as of 9pm ADT, 14 March:

  • Miramichi  46 cm
  • Bathurst  40 cm
  • Fredericton  38 cm
  • Saint John  27 cm
  • Greater Moncton  16 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport  12 cm
  • Charlottetown  5 cm

Peak wind gusts:

  • Grand Etang  146 km/h
  • Lunenburg  104 km/h
  • Sydney  85 km/h
  • Halifax Stanfield  83 km/h

Winter storm 2 of 3

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Traffic on a snowy West Main Street, Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The second of three winter storms in less than a week has delivered another dumping of snow but this time it was more evenly distributed throughout the Maritimes.

The snow was heavy and wet especially in Southeast New Brunswick.

Snow totals courtesy of Environment Canada as of 8:30am Saturday, 10 March:

  • Caraquet, 29 cm
  • Shediac, 27 cm
  • Halifax Stanfield Airport, 23 cm
  • Bathurst, 20 cm
  • Miramichi, 17 cm
  • Saint John, 17 cm
  • Truro, 17 cm
  • Greater Moncton, 16 cm
  • Summerside, 16 cm
  • Greenwood, 15 cm
  • Charlottetown, 12 cm
  • Halifax Downtown, 9 cm
  • CFB Gagetown, 7 cm

Strong winds were also a factor with peak gusts in km/h:

  • Grand Etang, Cape Breton, 154
  • East Point, PEI, 82
  • Caraquet, 78

Winter storms target N.B.

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Whiteout conditions in the first of three winter storms, west end Moncton, 08 March 2018 (Dearing)

The first of three successive snow events dropped 15.3 cm and slight amounts of rain on Greater Moncton yesterday.

However, the intermission is a short one with Environment Canada issuing another snowfall warning for most of New Brunswick.

The next low pressure system arrives tonight and will persist into Saturday with flurries still possible on Sunday as the storm stalls in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Up to 25 cm could fall by the time it finally leaves the province and even more is expected in northern New Brunswick.

Monday is expected to be partly sunny before another system with more snow arrives on Tuesday.

Storm slams Newfoundland

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Trans Canada Highway in Gander, NL, 28 Feb 2018 (NL Transportation & Works)

A late winter storm missed the Maritimes and took aim at Newfoundland instead delivering heavy snow to much of the island on Tuesday.

Schools were closed and many businesses and government offices shut down.

Drivers were urged to avoid the Trans Canada Highway in western Newfoundland as road conditions worsened.

Snow totals as of 11:30 am NT, 28 February:

  • Gander  31 cm
  • Deer Lake  26 cm
  • St. John’s  24 cm
  • Stephenville  19 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Storm coming to N.B.

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Several weather outlets are forecasting a major winter storm will hit the Maritimes bringing heavy snow and strong winds to New Brunswick just days into 2018.

Blizzard conditions are possible along with large waves and high water levels along the coast.

Nova Scotia may get more rain along the Atlantic coast while a rain/snow mix is likely inland.

Until the storm arrives, Arctic air remains firmly in place with several cities in Ontario setting new record lows on New Year’s Day including -22.6 C at Toronto Pearson Airport and -28.6 C at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport.

Northeast U.S. nailed by Nor’easter

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Snow falls in Times Square, New York City, USA , 14 Mar 2017 (AP Photo)


One of the biggest storms this winter hit the Northeast United States with snow and gusty winds creating blizzard conditions.

Snow shovellers and plows were busy in New York City where 20 cm fell forcing schools to close and disrupting both ground and air transportation.

Boston was blanketed with 15 cm snow and amounts up to 45 cm were recorded elsewhere in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York State.

Washington, DC only received a few centimetres but its near-peak and celebrated cherry blossoms were covered in ice.