Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thursday, or Thereabouts - December 11, 2014

Snow Day!

Yes folks, this is winter in Canada! It is nothing out of the ordinary. It is not 'snow-mageddon' or 'snow-pocalypse' and neither is it truly worthy of the dramatic language of the forecasts I heard last night. Weather it seems, is just not weather without an injection of sensationalism.

Remember Percy Saltzman on CBC TV? He made the science of the weather dramatic with great swaths of white chalk marking fronts and trough lines. He wielded the chalk with gusto leaving the viewer with a map of Canada marked with every weather system of the day and how it all worked together. Then he would toss his piece of chalk in the air, (and catch it again!) to end the forecast. Now that was exciting! And informative too.

Extreme weather events do happen - just ask the UK about their 'explosive cyclogenesis' or the folks
on our east and west coasts where rains in excess of 200mm have fallen and the winds are gusting over 100km/h. We do need to have the potential impact of these types of storms drummed into us with extreme language so that we sit up and take notice. But for an ordinary snow event in the month of December, please just give me the facts without an emotional impact statement.

It's winter, in Canada. We get snow. It can make roads slick and reduce visibility. It can disrupt schedules of all kinds. Break out the Nanook of the North equipment (toque, mitts, boots, parka, scarf and shovel). If you must drive somewhere, drive according to the conditions, or use public transit and pack plenty of patience. If your car does not have snow tires, please stay home! And if you are truly not comfortable driving in this weather, please stay home.

Here endeth the lesson!
Be careful out there. It's winter. Make it fun!

©2014 April Hoeller


  1. Its impressive how animals manage without any of the layers of warm clothing that we pile on when it gets cold!
    Guess it is important to learn to live with the your weather and nature around you.... acclimatize, as they say.

    1. Our big furry canine Sophie, jumps and rolls and digs and sometimes when the snow is deep enough, even swims in the snow! She loves it, and so do I. But then I now have the luxury of being able to stay home on snow days. 33cm of the white stuff on the ground this morning. :-)