Thursday, May 24, 2018

Record heat and snowstorms - just another May day in Canada

A record-breaking, shocking snowstorm slammed parts of western Newfoundland on Thursday. Over 30cm fell in Gander. (CBC Photo)
Thursday was a wild day across portions of New Brunswick. A strong cold front slipped south across the province, allowing chilly maritime air to invade from the northeast. Strong thunderstorms developed along the front, producing heavy rain, hail and lightning. Winds gusted in excess of 100km/h in several locations. The severe thunderstorms also impacted portions of down east Maine and Nova Scotia. Behind the front, cold air filtered into the region changing the rain to snow. As much as 5cm fell across northern portions of New Brunswick.

In Newfoundland, a record-setting storm dumped 32cm of snow on Gander. The heavy wet snow closed schools and made for poor travel conditions, just one week before June. Unseasonable cold weather is forecast to continue across Atlantic Canada, spreading westward into Quebec this upcoming weekend.

While cold weather prevailed in the east, record breaking warmth surged across western Canada, and as far north as Fort Smith, in the Northwest Territories. The community smashed a 70 year old record, with a daytime high of 30.2C (86F). In Alberta, Fort McMurray also established a new record at 32.5C (91F), and Edmonton 29.4C (85F). Dozens or other record highs occurred from B.C. to Manitoba.

Backdoor Cold front
Friday will be sunny and summer-like in southern Ontario and Quebec, with an increase in humidity and high temperatures of 27 to 30C (81 to 86F). The good news ends there, especially for southern Quebec. A backdoor cold front will settle south across the province on Saturday, with cooling temperatures and widespread showers and thunderstorms. Northeast winds will develop, dragging the cold air southwest from the frigid waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A very sharp thermal boundary will be set up somewhere in the St. Lawrence Valley this weekend, with cool showery weather to the north and warm and humid weather to the south. At this time, high temperatures in Montreal on Saturday and Sunday, will range from 16 to 18C (61 to 65F). However, just to our south and west, highs may push into the middle and upper 20s as conditions remain warm and muggy in Ontario. Rain is expected to accompany the cooler weather in southern Quebec, with perhaps as much as 25mm (1 inch) over the weekend.

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