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  • Highs & Lows 2015

    a-cool-day-at-the-pool (1).jpgWe had a wild winter and another wacky summer.

    Click HERE for a look back at the year that was....


  • HIGHS & LOWS: NL's Year In Weather


    2014 was a wild year!
    Take a walk down memory lane as I recap the past year in weather across the Province... from that 'Never Ending Winter' to DarkNL, to the record breaking July & Sogust!

    Watch the show here. 

    A big thanks to Darryl Murphy & Amy Joy for the hours of shooting, editing and producing. Thanks to Carolyn Atkinson for digging out all that footage from the archives and to Rodney Barney and the team at Environment Canada in Gander for the tour! Also a big thanks to all of you for sending in those great pictures day after day on Twitter & Facebook! 
    I hope you enjoy the show. 

    My online Year in Review is also up on the web. Vote for your top weather story of the year and check it out here.



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    Storm surge and pounding waves from Hurricane Gonzalo rolled onto the Southern Avalon on Sunday morning. This picture was taken by Clifford Doran in Trepassey. 

    As far as Category 1 Hurricane passing through your region goes, Newfoundland made out pretty well from Gonzalo. The centre of the storm passed within 50 km of Cape Race early Sunday morning then quickly raced Northeast into the North Atlantic. Watch the 12 hour Satellite & Radar recap here.

    With that track just offshore we were spared the worst of the Storm, which stayed out to sea. Inland, we did have some heavy rain, most of which fell in a 3 hour window early Sunday morning and some gusty winds, but it was nothing like they had over the Grand Banks.
    Have a look at some of the numbers from Hurricane Gonzalo on Sunday.
    (Note: The 158 km/h wind speed clocked at Hibernia was recorded 130 m above sea level) 

    Totals Map-Gonzalo.png
    The other noteworthy numbers over Eastern Newfoundland yesterday were the record setting temperatures. Following Gonzalo we had that warm Southwest flow pump into the region, the Sun came out and we heated up.
    -St. John's broke a 135 year temperature record on Sunday with a max temp of 21.3°, that breaks the old record of 20.0° set back at the old downtown St. John's station in 1878. (Records began in 1874)
    -Cape Race also set a new temperatures record, as the station hit 18.3°, shattering the old record of 14.9° set back in 2000. (Records began in 1921)
    -Terra Nova 18.7°, Badger 18.4°, Argentia 17.5°, Corner Brook 17.2°, Twillingate 15.6° & the Sagona Island 15.1° weather station all set new daily high temperature records for October 19th. 

    Here is the complete Storm Summary for Hurricane Gonzalo, from the Canadian Hurricane Centre. 



    What a wild weekend across the Province! Flooding rains, lightning strikes & even funnel clouds in St. John's! In terms of a rainfall Summary you can see Englee, Gander & Whitbourne were the 3 highest rainfall totals this weekend, with well over 100 mm. 

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    The pictures from you sent to me on Facebook, Twitter and our CBC account this Weekend were spectacular. So for keepsake, I wanted to put the best of the best here on the blog, so we'll have them to look back on this Wicked Weather Weekend.

    The thunderstorms on Friday on the West Coast were numerous with lots of thunder & lightning. We had a couple of great lightning pictures sent in, this one was taken by Murray, overlooking Corner Brook:
    Lightning on the West Coast on Friday also struck and sparked a fire on one of the Marble Mountain ski lifts! Picture submitted by Ken Abbott.
    Ken Abbott-Marble.jpegAnd then came the Rain... Friday night a solid line of rain worked in from the South and it poured over Eastern, Northeastern, Central Newfoundland. This picture was taken in Gander on Friday night by Nathan Pardy. 
    Nathan Pardy-Gander.jpgBy Saturday morning, the thunder was roaring over St. John's & the Avalon. We had an intermission through the late morning, when the Sun came out which allowed the lower atmosphere to heat up nicely. Temperatures jumped into the low 20's with dewpoints into the upper teens by late morning, which provided the fuel as a couple lines of Storms fired up over the interior of the Avalon. For the weather weenies out there, here's the already unstable looking 12z (9:30 am) SKEW-T sounding from Mount Pearl. That nice morning heat up, with lots of CAPE and a solid lifted index were all big factors on Saturday.
    SKEW-T.pngThe Radar. Watch the Storms fire up late morning and roll through Metro in the early-mid afternoon. 

    Seeing the Storms head in, I jumped in my car and headed to good lookout at the East White Hills, where the sight was surreal. There were dark storm clouds rolling in from the West... and a sea breeze with fog rolling in from the East. That cooler sea breeze being sucked into the Storms, weakened that line as it rolled into the East end of St. John's.
    Nadine Harding snapped this picture in the South end. You can see two funnels forming. There was clearly some rotation with some of the storms in the line that worked through Metro. While there wasn't enough rotation in the lower atmosphere to actually see any of these funnels touch down on the ground... (which would then classify as a tornado) there was certainly enough to see cloud rotation & some lowering with these funnels forming. Such a rare sight in Newfoundland, let alone St. John's!  
    Nadine Harding.jpg
    Gilbert Bennett took this picture below in Mount Pearl.
    Gilbert Bennett-Mt Pearl.jpg
    Rajash Edward Dean Massey took this picture standing out front of Paradise Elementary.
    Rajash Edward Dean Massey-Paradise.jpg
    Large hail in Mount Pearl snapped by Greg. 
    Mt Pearl Hail-Greg.jpg
    Paul Sheppard took this picture near Donovan's Industrial Park. 
    Paul Sheppard-Donovan's.jpg
    In what may be the best funnel cloud picture of the day... Tia Broderick took this picture in Paradise. Amazing shot. 
    Tia Broderick.jpgAlso extremely rare to see in St. John's... my favourite type of clouds... Mammatus clouds! Taken by Lisa Marie. 
    Lisa Marie-Metro.jpg
    Bonnie Newhook Wells took this picture Kilbride looking back towards the Mt. Pearl. 
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    The storms weakened as they moves into the East End... but my view from Signal Hill was still quite spectacular. This was taken just before the rain arrived.
    photo (24).JPGAll in all, a wild day in St. John's and a wild weekend for weather in Newfoundland. A day we won't soon forget. 

    Tornadoes in Newfoundland?
    Before I wrap this up... I've been asked the question before... have tornadoes ever touched down in Newfoundland before?
    The answer is yes. There are 7 on record.
    Here's my write up from back in 2011: A Brief History of... Newfoundland Tornadoes.



    An amazing picture of Hurricane Arthur, taken Thursday by Astronaut Reid Wiseman, aboard the International Space Station. 

    For the most recent updates check out the Live Blog Here.

    Our 2014 Tropical season is off to quick start. Typically we have to wait until late August or September to get any visitors from the tropics, however Arthur is set to pay us a visit this weekend. Here's what we can expect... 

    Hurricane Arthur is spinning back out into the Atlantic Ocean, after making landfall in North Carolina last night. Forecast model guidance continues to be in good agreement that Arthur will roll Northward making landfall in Nova Scotia on Saturday, as it transitions to a Post Tropical Storm, before rolling into NL on Saturday night & Sunday. 

    Don't be fooled by that 'Post Tropical' classification. Post Tropical just means the Storm will have changed the way that it functions & fuels itself. As a Hurricane, Arthur is currently fueling itself from the warm Atlantic ocean water & convection. When Arthur moves this far North, it will change the way it functions and will get it's fuel from temperature contrasts instead.

    So what does that mean? Well, even though Arthur will be Post Tropical, it will likely remain at Category 1 Hurricane strength as it rolls through the Maritimes on Saturday. By the time it reaches Southwestern Newfoundland on Saturday night, it will likely be Tropical Storm strength with projected sustained winds near 100 km/h & gusts to 120 km/h near the centre of the Storm. It will continue to weaken as it tracks up through Western Newfoundland on Sunday, however will likely remain Tropical Storm strength until it departs into the North Atlantic on Sunday evening. This is of course the centre of the Storm, however the impacts of will be felt far to the West & East of the centre of the Storm. 

    Tropical Track3.png
    The many different forecast models (each a different line) are in good agreement with a track through Western Newfoundland, Saturday night & Sunday. 

    The heaviest rain from Arthur will fall along and to the West of the track. The rain will begin long before the storm arrives as a trough comes into the region and moisture funnels up and into Atlantic Canada beginning today, before the heavier rains move in for Saturday & Sunday. The Maritimes is currently set to take the brunt of the Rainfall where forecast models are showing some 80-100+ mm bulls-eyes. The heaviest swath of Rain will then track up into Gulf of St. Lawrence & Southeastern Newfoundland, clipping the West Coast of the Island and then across the Northern Peninsula. Forecast models are dropping a solid swath 30-50 mm of rain by Sunday night. Within that overall area, forecast models are projecting some localized pockets of 50+ mm from the Northern Peninsula to Cartwright to the Lower North shore of Quebec. Stay tuned to the Live Blog for updates on rainfall totals as the storm gets closer.
    For Central & Eastern Newfoundland, rain won't be big deal at all. A band of rain will work in Saturday night & into Sunday, with total amounts near 5-15 mm by Sunday night.

    The strongest winds with these storms are along & East of the track. For Newfoundland, the strongest winds look set for Southwestern Newfoundland where we could see gusts 80-100+ km/h (especially in Wreckhouse) as the centre of Arthur approaches for Saturday night. For the rest of the West Coast, South Coast, as well as Central, Northeast & Eastern Newfoundland we'll likely see gusts in the 60-80+ km/h range (strongest along the Coasts) on the menu for Saturday night & through Sunday. This may not sound like much compared with some of the Winter storms we see and that's true, however this time of year, the trees are loaded heavy with leaves and they catch a lot more wind. With that in mind, we could certainly see some tree limbs come down. 
    Depending on the track, coastal Southeastern Labrador from Groswater Bay to Mary's Harbour and the East side of the Northern Peninsula could also see some strong gusts (60-80 km/h) on Sunday night & into Monday morning. 

    We'll see some good sized waves along the South Coast of the Island Saturday night into Sunday, with wave heights in the 3-6 metre range. 

    Stay tuned for updates as Arthur moves in and through the Province over the next 24-48 hours. The live blog will have fresh updates through Friday & the Weekend at:



    It's that time of year again.
    Although this Spring has been a little sluggish to get going for much of the Province, we will soon be into the month of June, which is the official beginning of the 2014 tropical storm & hurricane season. 
    As always, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Climate Predication Centre has released its prediction for the Atlantic tropical storm season and the next 6 months are expected to be quieter than average.
    NOAA's forecasters are projecting at 50% chance of a below average season, 40% chance of an average season & just a 10% chance of an above average number of storms. 
    This year NOAA is predicting overall numbers of 8-13 named storms, of which 3-6 could become Hurricanes, including 1-2 major hurricane. 
    The 1981-2010 average is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes & 3 major hurricanes. Major hurricanes are Categories 3, 4 or 5.

    Hurricane Outlook.png
    Private weather companies in the U.S. like Accuweather (10 named storms & 5 hurricanes & 2 major hurricanes) & The Weather Channel (11 named storms & 5 hurricanes & 2 major hurricanes) are also forecasting a below average season. 

    CSU Updated Forecast June 2nd: Well respected Meteorologist Dr. William Grey & his team at Colorado State University are also predicting a quieter season with 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, including 1 major hurricane.

    12 of the past 20 hurricane seasons have been above average, with the Tropical Atlantic, however this year year that periods of high activity is expected to be subdued.   

    Hurricane Outlook-2.png
    A developing El Nino in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, is expected to have a major influence on the Tropical Atlantic Hurricane Season. An 'El Nino' is warmer than normal water in the Tropical Pacific and when that happens we often see stronger trade winds and stronger wind shear over the Tropical Atlantic. Those stronger winds typically hinder tropical storm development and strengthening as thunderstorms are blown apart as they rise into higher atmosphere. Ocean temperatures are also expected to be near average, as opposed to above average which should also keep storm numbers lower. 

    With all of this said, there will certainly be storms firing up in the Tropical Atlantic this Summer and Fall and we'll have to keep a watchful eye. As we've seen over the past few years, it only takes one storm in a season to track into the Province and cause damage.
    Climatology stats show that 1-2 storms per year, directly affect Atlantic Canada. 2-3 threaten our offshore waters. 
    In terms of when we see Storms here in Newfoundland, no month compares to September. Since 1900, 33 named Storms have made landfall in Newfoundland! Percentage wise, more than 40% of our named storms have made landfall in September!

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    List of Hurricane Names for 2014
    Did you know that Hurricane names are used in rotation and re-used every six years? The exception of course is when we see a large destructive storm like Hurricane Igor or Hurricane Katrina. Those names are retired and won't be used again. Here is this years list of names.