I've been very good these past weeks in adhering to my commitment to refrain from pouring a deluge of weather observations into the blog. However, the past week unbound my weather geek soul, freeing her to observe, measure and report at will.
The forecasters warned of heavy rains; a possible 70 to 90 mm (2.75 to 3.5 inches) of liquid sunshine to fall between Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning. As the ground in much of Ontario and points east was already saturated and water levels in the lakes and rivers were near record highs, flood watches and warnings were posted. Towns and cities geared up for emergency measures, including evacuations.
Mother Nature, her winds and pressure zones, stars, moon, and tides do what they do without any regard for weather forecasters. She does her own thing in her own time. This time in my neighbourhood, she delivered less than the forecast, dropping just over 41 mm (1.6") on the land in a more or less steady rain. No thunderstorms or torrential downpours, or wicked winds. Just a rhythmic pitter patter, something my Dad would have called a "watchin' rain."
So I watched - weather radar, frontal boundaries, my wireless rain station and the rain streaming past my window. The radar soon proved boring, an all green palette with only a few intrusions of yellow indicating higher intensity. The pressure gradients and frontal boundaries changed at a snail's pace - no excitement there. The wireless rain gauge, a new addition to my instrumentation, displayed values that crept casually upward; on the whole, a bit of a yawn.
But outside, the leaves and grasses seemed to shout out their greening despite the refrigerator temperatures of 5°C (41°F). The world was dripping with colour...
A few bedraggled birds and one toad braved the elements.
I and those in my town were lucky. The land on which our houses are built is largely sand. By Sunday noon, there wasn't even any standing water; all had seeped back into the ground. Others were not so fortunate, While I watched the weather, warm and dry in my house, to the north, south, and east of me people battled against swollen rivers and lakes. Homeowners, bolstered by many volunteers laboured side by side to fill sandbags and build dikes. They worked round the clock to protect their homes from rising waters. Not all were successful. Dikes were breached, water rushed into basements, filled streets waist-deep, caused landslides, washed away bridges, washed away so many of the things folks hold dear. Our sister province of Quebec has borne the brunt.
I can only imagine the frustration, the sorrow, the hardship. My heart goes out to all those in Ontario and Quebec who are struggling with floodwaters: homeowners, volunteers, first-responders, and the men and women of the Canadian army who were called in to help out in Quebec. For those of my readers who are able, the Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations via their Quebec Spring Floods Appeal.
After a week of being under the weather, so to speak, we all are ready to dry out and warm up.
We all need a little bit of normal, enough to allow water levels to go down, enough to give respite to those in need. We all need to feel the warming touch of the long yellow fingers of sunshine.
Make it so.
©2017 April Hoeller