Canada's top ten weather stories of 2013
- 2013 - A Year in Review
- 1. Alberta's Flood of Floods
- 2. Toronto's Torrent
- 3. Bumper Crops in the West, So-So for the Rest
- 4. The Nightmare during Christmas
- 5. To Flood or Not to Flood?
- 6. Rebound in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes
- 7. Wicked Winter Weather Wallops the East
- 8. Spring Flooding in Ontario’s Cottage Country
- 9. Prairie Winter Went on Forever
- 10. Stormy Seas and Maritime Tragedy
- Runner-up Stories
- Atlantic Regional Highlights
- Quebec - Regional Highlights
- Ontario - Regional Highlights
- Prairie Provinces - Regional Highlights
- British Columbia - Regional Highlights
- The North - Regional Highlights
Atlantic Regional Highlights
- January Ends Warm, Windy and Snowless
- Fog on Fogo
- Early Spring Flooding
- Newfoundland’s Victoria Weekend Snowfall
- New Brunswick Tornado
- New Brunswick Soaker
- August Soaker
- Blustery Labour Day Weekend
- Badger Loses Power in Storm
1. January Ends Warm, Windy and Snowless
In late January, an intense weather system blanketed the Maritimes with rain, fierce winds and mild air that set record high temperatures. Charlottetown broke its old January 31 record when temperatures soared to 11.2°C. The city also set a near record for the least amount of snow in January − a mere 15 cm. In Nova Scotia, the sudden warmth forced major ski hills to close and backyard ice rinks to melt away. High winds in excess of 100 km/h blew down construction scaffolding in Halifax and delayed flights. High winds also wreaked havoc in Saint John as near hurricane-force wind gusts tore pieces off building roofs and pushed ocean waves over city roads. Across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI, thousands of residents lost power.
2. Fog on Fogo
No one got off Newfoundland’s Fogo Island for five days at the end of February because heavy ice conditions and dense fog shut down ferry and air travel. The Island’s school closed, stores ran low on supplies and residents were unable to attend off-island medical appointments. Feelings of isolation and frustration only increased as strong winds blew more fog in on the Island instead of blowing it away.
3. Early Spring Flooding
A moist weather system tracked slowly across New Brunswick on March 13 setting rainfall records in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Gagetown. Upwards of 30 cm of snow on the ground melted in a day or two. Heavy rains, snowmelt runoff and ice jams sent flood alerts up and down the Saint John River. Residents kept a close watch on a large ice jam on the Nashwaak River, nervous it would spill its banks. On the 15th, residents in Stanley, north of Fredericton, confronted the town’s worst flooding in about 40 years amidst rushing water and massive chunks of ice.
4. Newfoundland’s Victoria Weekend Snowfall
A slow-moving low-pressure system south of Newfoundland brought inclement weather to much of the Island during the May long weekend. Rain and fog prevailed over the Avalon Peninsula, while significant snow fell on higher terrain. Gander was hardest hit with 58 cm over 26 hours. May’s previous record total was 49 cm in 1972 and average May snowfall is 13 cm. Needless to say, the heavy, wet snow put a damper on long-weekend activities, although some campers stuck it out and children entertained themselves with snow forts instead of campfires.
5. New Brunswick Tornado
On July 20, hot, humid and unstable air combined with a cold front to generate severe thunderstorms across southern portions of New Brunswick. The most intense event occurred in the Grand Lake area where a tornado touched down near Jemseg. Winds blew between 135 to 175 km/h. The tornado uprooted trees, broke phone lines and damaged buildings. At least three barns, sheds and a garage were destroyed in the Whites Cove area with barn debris scattered 350 m away.
6. New Brunswick Soaker
A slow-moving weather system with embedded thunderstorms yielded record rains in New Brunswick on July 26. Fredericton and nearby Gagetown got 120 mm of rain, but the heaviest deluge occurred at St. Stephen where 163 mm fell. For Fredericton there had never been a wetter day in July. The rain that fell on the 26th was 40 per cent more than normal for the whole month. Not only was it the wettest day, it was also the wettest July ever (228.2 mm) with records dating back to the 1870s. In St. Stephen, it rained every day between July 17 and July 26. In total, 271 mm of rain fell leaving businesses and residents with flooded basements.
7. August Soaker
Another slow-moving storm tracked over Atlantic Canada on August 10 bringing moderate to heavy rains and strong southerly winds to the region. The nastiest effects were felt along Newfoundland’s south coast. Marystown and other communities along the Burin Peninsula received in excess of 60 mm of rain resulting in damage to both municipal and provincial roads and culverts. Personal losses included flooded basements and washed-out driveways.
8. Blustery Labour Day Weekend
An intense weather system that developed off the east coast of the United States in late August tracked across Nova Scotia dumping in excess of 50 mm of rain in western sections of the province. Moving eastward, the system’s high moisture content combined with its slow-moving track to bring the heaviest rainfalls over southern and eastern Newfoundland. Gander received 125 mm – more rain than it got during Hurricane Igor – leaving the Trans-Canada Highway between Gander and Gambo impassable.
9. Badger Loses Power in Storm
A powerful winter storm hit western and central Newfoundland on November 21, with winds of 140 km/h and heavy snow triggering power outages throughout the region. At Badger, about 25 utility poles were pulled down by the powerful winds causing the town to lose power and cutting off the water supply. Officials declared a state of emergency that lasted for three days. In the meantime, the Canadian Red Cross brought in water for residents.
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