Wet weather, record high temps make for unusual winter day in New Brunswick
Unseasonably warm temperatures Thursday had some New Brunswickers out in their shorts, but freezing rain, rain and high winds in some areas also caused a number of problems.
At one point, more than 12,000 NB Power customers were without electricity, most of them in the Fredericton and Chipman areas.
“Crews are faced with ice buildup on the lines and ice buildup on the trees connecting to the lines, so there’s a little bit of work that’s got to be done to get those trees off the lines,” NB Power spokesperson Meghan Gerrish said.
A prolonged period of freezing rain left roads around Fredericton looking like skating rinks. The icy conditions led to school cancellations and a mall closure.
Elsewhere, Saint John and Moncton residents had to deal with enough rain that some areas had to deal with minor flooding.
Some Saint John residents welcomed the break from frigid temperatures.
“I like it personally…because I hate cold weather,” said Wally Krumrei.
Rick Stephen, who’s a runner, said he would take a long run to enjoy the conditions.
“I’m in shorts which is a very rare situation in the winter,” he said.
The double-digit temperatures across the region did more than melt snow — they also broke records: at one point, Greenwood, N.S. was warmer than Orlando, Florida.
Claude Cote, who works at the Environment Canada weather office in Fredericton, conceded that the warm weather was unusual.
“Typically, for this time in February, we should see afternoon temperatures near the freezing mark, so we’re a good 10 [degrees] Celsius above the freezing mark,” he said.
Cote said some people will investigate whether climate change was the driving force behind the warm weather, but stopped short of saying it himself.
“At this time, I’m sure some scientists are probably crunching numbers and trying to see some correlations with some other scale event like El Niño, but at this time we’ll have to wait until the season is over. [It will] probably take a couple of months,” he said.
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