October weather some of the warmest ever in N.B., says meteorologists

Nehan Javed takes advantage of the summer-like temperature to spend some extra time on the tennis court in Fredericton. (Jennifer Sweet/CBC - image credit)
Nehan Javed takes advantage of the summer-like temperature to spend some extra time on the tennis court in Fredericton. (Jennifer Sweet/CBC - image credit)

This October was one of the warmest on record in the Maritimes, say meteorologists.

Based on preliminary data, it was among the top three warmest months in the books for Fredericton, Moncton and Charlo, said CBC meteorologist Ryan Snodden.

"Definitely this fall has been warmer than normal and especially in October," agreed Jill Maepea, a New Brunswick meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Almost all of Environment Canada's weather data sites have seen one of their top five warmest Octobers on record, she said. For some sites, that data extends back to the late 1800s.

The year 1913 holds records across the board, said Snodden.

But this year Bas-Caraquet and Charlo experienced their second warmest Octobers, said Maepea, while Moncton had its third warmest.

Ryan Snodden
Ryan Snodden

In Bas-Caraquet, the monthly mean temperature was 10.3 C, said Maepea. The normal is 7.6 C.

"If you're always three degrees warmer on your minimum and your maximum, it's quite a contrast in terms of how warm it really was."

Charlo had an even larger aberration.

Their normal mean temperature for October is 5.7 C. And this year's was 9.3 C.

Behind the warm temperatures has been "a very slow progression of any weather patterns," said Maepea, under the influence of a stationary high pressure system known as the "Bermuda high."

At this time of year, the Bermuda high usually gets pushed out of the way, she said, but it's remained "really strong," and brought a southwesterly flow and warm temperatures.

Temperature records set Thursday from preliminary data from Environment Canada

The Maritimes have seen "the good side" of that, said Maepea. Other parts of Canada have seen "almost the opposite," with snowstorms on the Prairies.

A short-term episode such as this wouldn't be considered "climate change," she said. That term refers to longer-term changes.

But last year was also very warm, as was 2017.

The "warmer-than-average theme" is continuing into November, said Snodden.

Temperatures are set to climb back into the mid-to-high teens Friday and into the weekend.

Jennifer Sweet/CBC
Jennifer Sweet/CBC

That will likely continue well into the month, said Maepea.

While that may be welcome news for those looking to get out the yard rake, it's not so great for those who'd rather be using a curling broom.

At the St. Stephen Curling Club members usually hit the ice for the season the last week of October, but high temperatures and humidity late last week put up some bumps in the road, said member Abby Pond.

"I woke up last Thursday, I think it was 19 degrees," Pond said, describing the weather as "a perfect storm of heat and humidity."

With the ice plant on in the old barn-like building, its uninsulated, peaked roof was like a cold beer on a hot summer day, said Pond.

So much water dripped down from the rafters — which are charred and dirty from old fire damage — it created hundreds of big, brown bumps across the ice.

2005 Getty Images
2005 Getty Images

They used to get little bumps before the dehumidifier was upgraded in 2017, and the ice scraping machine can take care of those, she said.

But these ones had to be scraped off individually by the chief ice maker and a crew of volunteers and the resulting divots repaired.

They got some "great tips," for removing the bumps from members of a curling club in southern Georgia, where this type of weather is more common during curling season.

They call them "moguls," she said.

"It's a little bit of home ice advantage if there are a few moguls and you know where they are and the other team doesn't," said Pond.

"But this? This is a little bit too many."