HALIFAX — It felt more like spring than Christmas Day in the Atlantic provinces as temperature records were shattered and heavy rain pounded the region.
Environment Canada said it is not unusual to have warm temperatures on Christmas, but it was record-breakingly balmy in some areas of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
“In the areas that the records have been broken, some of these records go back to the 1950s and 1940s,” said meteorologist Stephen Hatt on Thursday. “Since records have been kept on Christmas Day, some of these temperatures are the highest that we’ve seen.”
Hatt said in Summerside, P.E.I., the temperature climbed to 13 degrees, breaking the previous 50-year-old record of 11 degrees.
In Greenwood, N.S., the temperature soared to 17 degrees, breaking the previous record of 15 degrees. The old record of 13 degrees in Moncton, N.B., was also broken as temperatures reached 16 degrees.
It was also a wet Christmas on Canada’s Atlantic coast, with rainfall warnings being issued for all of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Environment Canada said up to 75 millimetres of rain was possible in some areas of all three provinces before tapering off in the evening.
In southwest Newfoundland, as much as 80 millimetres of rain was expected.
Hatt said it was possible that rainfall records for Christmas Day would also be broken, but that information likely won’t be known until Boxing Day. In Halifax, the previous record set in 2003 was 70.6 millimetres of rain.
“Some areas certainly will be close to that 70 mark,” said Hatt. “That will be most likely to occur in coastal areas of Cape Breton.”
Hatt said a vigorous trough that was extending south from a very intense low pressure system in Quebec was causing the heavy rain.
Wind warnings were also issued in Newfoundland, with winds gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour along the west and south coasts.
Environment Canada was warning people in low-lying areas of the Atlantic provinces that flooding was possible.
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