Ringing in the new year with records: N.B. sets multiple temperature highs on New Year's Eve

Many parts of New Brunswick experienced record-setting warm temperatures on New Year's Eve. Cooler temperatures are on the way for the province. (Hannah Rudderham/CBC - image credit)
Many parts of New Brunswick experienced record-setting warm temperatures on New Year's Eve. Cooler temperatures are on the way for the province. (Hannah Rudderham/CBC - image credit)

New Brunswick and regions all across the Maritimes saw record high temperatures on New Year's Eve.

Certain parts of the province even broke their records by a few degrees, like the Miscou Island area, which had the old record of 2.5 C set in 2003 broken with a 6 C temperature.

"To have a record broken by … over three degrees for a high temperature record for the 31st of December — that's quite incredible, actually," Jim Abraham, president of the Canadian Meteorological Oceanographic Society, said Sunday.

He said not only did New Brunswick break records on New Year's Eve, but December was much warmer on average than normal. Besides Moncton, most locations have also been below normal for snowfall, too, according to Abraham.

Temperature records were hit Saturday in several areas across the province, including Doaktown, Fundy National Park, Grand Manan, Miscou Island and Point Lepreau, according to Environment Canada.

Grand Manan and Point Lepreau even saw double-digit temperatures.

Abraham said the Maritimes are experiencing warmer temperatures on average because of climate change, but Saturday's record had more to do with a pattern for December that had a cold trough in Western Canada and warmer air in the east.

He said global temperatures are rising on average, but Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world.

Likely no records for New Year's Day: meteorologist

Jason Sheppard, a meteorologist for Environment Canada, said there is a bit of an abnormal warming trend happening at this time of year caused by an air mass that moved from the Florida area, bringing mild temperatures.

He said it is a possibility that New Brunswick will see occasional temperature spikes throughout the winter and that it's normal to have a couple of days where temperatures go above 0 C.

But the warmth isn't going to hold for the rest of New Year's Day, said Sheppard. A cold air mass is moving in, bringing snow to parts of northern New Brunswick and rain to central areas, he said.

"The temperatures are continuing to decline and should drop below the freezing mark later [Sunday] afternoon," said Sheppard. "So, unfortunately, our record-setting temperature air mass is moving out of the area."