Friday, February 19, 2010


Environment Canada is telling me right now that it's -5C outside. Big fluffy snow flakes have been falling for the better part of two days, and there was a while there this afternoon, when trying to navigate through a thick fog that had descended down upon the city where I'm pretty sure I felt some light drizzle.

Now, if I was still living in St. John's, this weather in February would not be at all unusual. It's a maritime climate. It's a crap shoot most winters if you're going to get 400cm of snow or none at all. And that's all part of life in St. John's.

However, in Iqaluit, in February, this is not supposed to be happening. This is one of the deep freeze months. We're not supposed to get much in the way of snow and if the temperate is warmer than -30C you're having a pretty good day. So this is deeply, deeply weird time in town.

The kids seem to love it. The dog definitely loves it. And I guess as a new homeowner paying for oil, I guess I can handle it even though it means a lot more shovelling of snow. Still, it's weird. I've never seen this much snow around town. I also wonder what it means for the rest of the winter. It's been mild as often as it has been bitter cold. Does that mean spring and summer will come earlier this year? Will the ice in the bay break-up earlier? And, for that matter, what impact, if any, will this have on local hunters?

It's a strange winter so far, the strangest I've seen since we moved up here. It already almost feels like the worst of it is over. The forecast for the next several days are still well above normal, the days are staying brighter for longer and in less than a month we're back on daylight savings time.

I'm not saying there won't be harsh days still to come, but I really do think the coldest part is over, which is a strange thing to think in February. Trust me.

Last Five (four of those five songs are too awesome for me to pick just one. Sorry)
1. Steady, as she goes - The Raconteurs
2. Jesus he knows me - Genesis
3. Mohammed's radio - Warren Zevon
4. 99% of us are failure - Matthew Good
5. Set out running - Neko Case


Melodie said...

Well although I'm pretty sure that it's not that great for the environment, after these few years of extremely cold winters and way too cool and rainy summers (Yes, I'm from Toronto area)...I am a bit relieved to be having a more 'mild' winter. Now for us down here, I don't think we've had THAT much of a mild winter...but we are getting WAY less snow! For me, I love it. It makes bearing the way too long winter season a little easier.

I really hope that this year we'll get a HOT summer. And really, I would love if it doesn't rain. I kind of don't care if the lawns go brown...grass is quite resilient.

I feel like the past few years have been more like: Long winters that are harsh, cold and bitter, followed by an extended spring weather with too much rain (and only a few sparse 'hot' days...that I desperately cling too).

Sorry for the long comment. And maybe I kind of sound like a bad Canadian for complaining about the winter...And I probably sound like I'm ignorant towards the state of our environment. Oops.

Next year though, I'm pretty sure next year will return to normal cold winters for ALL of Canada. lol

The Perfect Storm said...

The Toronto area is experiencing what the Environment Canada is saying we're experiencing a "snow dought" this winter. More simply, a drought altogether.

They are putting it down to ....wait for it....wait....not global climate change.

Instead they're saying it fits with the larger global weather patterns they've sussed out of the data in the past 20 years...or, you likely already guessed it...El Nino and El Nina (I've alreadey forgotten which from the GO train ride home reading I did this evening). It's the regularly scheduled warm upwelling of water in the South Pacific that they've found has been something going on well before the Al Gore was a little el, er "al".

Anyways, not a climate change sceptic so much as willing to accept that our climate mechanics are far (far) more complex and interconnected than we're aware of. What passes for warm weather and a light dusting of snow in Mississauga (and environs further north) is also the culprit in atrocious weather only a few hundred kms south.

Go ahhhh "weather" I guess.

Melodie: as for complaining about the weather, we're Canadian! That's what we DO!


The Perfect Storm said...

...hmmm ....Gosling's Black Seal gets co-writer credit on the above missive I see....