Are we at the end? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I’d like to say yes, I really would, because as I write this, the temperature sits at a balmy -3 Celsius. I say balmy, because that’s at least warmer than the -20s we’ve been having for the past couple of weeks.
What I worry about now is that as the snow melts, and the temperature rises, how much flooding we’ll have. Record snowfall amounts across the province (Regina with over 200 centimetres of snow) means there will be that much water that goes into the ground. It’s good to have snow because that means it’ll seep into the ground in spring which is good for moisture. Which means we’ll have a decent farming season. It also means a good deal will evaporate and later come down as rain. The worry now is flooding.
We’re normally a hot, dry province during the summer, and we don’t experience as much flooding as would be seen in Manitoba. But we’ll have to prepare for it now. Many have been getting their insurance ready for the inevitable, because there’s a fear a lot of basements are going to become ruined thanks to the snow. You have to remember, when snow melts it doesn’t just go into the ground and everything is fine. It drains into whatever area is accessible at the time, and basements are prime for that.
This also means for a while we’ll be up to our necks in mud.
The spring time weather and warmer temperatures, combined with the budding of the trees, that I like. The oncoming tidal wave that will hit thanks to the record snowfall amounts… let’s just say I’m glad I live in a second storey apartment.
There’s not much going on for a Friday afternoon at 4 o’clock at the office. Updates on the writing, the craptastic weather, and here are some links.
My wordpress blog: http://taholtorf.wordpress.com
My tumblr: http://timholtorf.tumblr.com
I don’t like that.
Sure, the weather might be in the single negative numbers, but there’s a large chance of snow. I guess this is perfect writing weather. If I didn’t have to go outside. Which I do at two points this weekend. Well, three really.
Two hockey games to go to, one tonight and one Sunday night. There’s also Remembrance Day services to attend on Sunday. The hockey games I volunteer for, the service is mostly due to my job. Getting photos and doing a short write up for next week’s paper.
But outside of that, there’s lots of time for writing. And seeing how I managed to get 9,000 words in last Sunday, I’m gunning to get in 9,000 words on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Because Monday’s a holiday due to Remembrance day falling on Sunday. So hopefully by Tuesday morning I’ll have 44,000 words in my novel, and it won’t even be the middle of the month yet. Have to see how it goes this weekend.
This blog post is two pronged, as it will deal with two topics, both related to the same idea. That idea is weather, and it especially revolves around how much warmer it has been lately.
As most people who have read this blog have come to see, I come from Saskatchewan. That rectangular shaped province in the middle of the prairies, sandwiched neatly between Alberta and Manitoba. While we have a great number of attractions, tourist sites, resources, industry and more, this province is known for two stereotypical things; it is incredibly flat, and the weather is incredibly harsh. Alright, we also have weird terms for common objects like Vico for chocolate milk, Bunny Hug for a hoodie and ‘flip a shit hook’ for pulling a U-turn.
Focusing on weather. Normally in this neck of the woods (or, rather, grasslands) normals for the period of early January are highs of -10 Celsius and overnight lows of -21 Celsius. Occasionally, we get socked hard with overnight lows of -30 Celsius. I’ve even lived through nights as cold as -40 (once you hit -40, it doesn’t matter about converting from Celsius to Fahrenheit). 21 days straight as a matter of fact. Presently, however, we are seeing daytime highs of +6 Celsius and overnight lows of -1 Celsius. Essentially, we just finished having a brown Christmas (still true as this weekend is Ukrainian Christmas). Parts of the province are even setting records, as Maple Creek, in the south western corner of the province, had a daytime high of +15 yesterday.
While this warmer weather is great, I am still wary of it. This time of year is the cold and flu season, and the colder weather actually makes it harder for viral infection to survive (though, I do not recommend standing outside naked in a snow storm to test any theories of destroying viral bacteria in the body because you’ll end up with another problem; hypothermia). Warmer weather means that the chance of getting sick is higher. We’re caught off guard, in a way, because the warmer weather fills us with this feeling of euphoria. Shuck off the parkas, bring out the fall denim jackets, it’s warm out. One thing I’ve learned in this province, the weather can change at any time.
I am also left wary, because we still have 75 days left until the first official day of spring. March 21 isn’t that far away, but there’s still enough time for us to get hit hard with normal temperatures and even below normal temperatures. February, as I have come to learn over the years, can be a vicious mistress. ‘Tis the month of St. Valentine’s Day, a day of love and companionship, but here in Saskatchewan February has a cold, cold heart. Maybe this time she’ll warm up a bit.
That was the first point on this topic about the weather. Now onto the second topic, which is actually much more serious.
This portion, which is actually much shorter because I do not claim to be a scientist, deals with climate change. I’d really like to invite any climate change deniers to study the weather patterns for Saskatchewan over the past 25 years. There has been drastic changes, ones that do not come with natural flow of weather. Winters have been much more tolerable, while summers have often been much more damp. Rain fall has increased, we’ve even experienced cooler temperatures during the summer (with the exception of last summer). When it does grow warmer outside, above 30 Celsius, we often take note of the increase in humidity. You can tell the difference in this province. We joke that ‘it’s a dry heat’ but that’s because we’re used to it. Breathing becomes harder with higher humidity. There is climate change happening. We just need to open our eyes and view the world around us. Things are different.
We have to change our own habits in order to help the Earth survive.
- It’s raining, it’s pouring (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Winter, how I hate thee (taholtorf.wordpress.com)
- Mild weather setting records across Sask. (cbc.ca)
- 2012 Will be Hottest Year (socyberty.com)
Three weeks ago we had a great day with a high of 10 Celsius. Last weekend, the temperature soared to 19, shorts and T-shirt weather. Then yesterday, old man winter decided he hadn’t said good-bye to us all properly.
Friday mornings are the mornings I get up really early and head into work really early. I get the paper ready for delivery and set off to haul everything to the post office. Next week we’ve got an insert and it’s also the day everyone in Outlook gets a paper for free. Getting up yesterday was easy, especially when the wind outside was howling. The constant whistling dragged me from my bed. Low and behold, the wind was somewhere around 50 kilometers per hour gusting to 70 kilometers per hour. Add snow and blowing snow to the equation and yesterday was a pretty crappy day indeed.
But that was not the worst of it.
On my drive to work, I had to drive around a large spruce tree that had fallen into the middle of the street, thanks to the strong wind that had snapped it fifteen feet up. I only managed to get a picture after it had been cleaned up. Normally I don’t take my laptop and camera to work on Friday. That may change now. Later in the afternoon, however, there was a spruce tree that toppled over. Or at least snapped in two. The upper part of the spruce tree in front of the apartment across the street from me had the top ten to fifteen feet break off in the wind. The tree that stands right beside it was fine, however, even though it looked like it would break off right near the base. The needles and branches weren’t nearly as thick as the other spruce, which may have been the reason why it didn’t break.
As the day progressed, the temperature did get warmer, and while I know that 5 or 6 Celsius is not T-shirt and shorts weather, it was warm enough to begin melting the snow. Which began to turn to slush and sleet. Driving conditions were horrid, combining the wet, mucky streets with the poor visibility. Add a great deal of tree debris on the roads and you had a recipe for a few accidents. There were some. I was informed of accidents just outside of Rosetown. One involved a milk truck that missed a turn and went into the ditch. Glad I wasn’t driving yesterday.
Speaking of driving, I uploaded this video on Youtube. The maximum speed I was driving yesterday was about 10 kilometers per hour. You can also see the strength of the wind.
Oh, and today it’s snowing again. So the photos I promised three weeks ago that would compare how the buds and trees that were coming along had progressed… not happening. I’ll try it again next weekend. Just hope that old man winter doesn’t stick around during all next week.
Until next time…
…keep ‘em flyin’!
Oh snap season highjack
First off lemme point and laugh at Tim because I can and because I’m such and awesome friend. I got better weather…kinda.
Outside my apartment, the sun is usually shining, birds singing and pollen is pissing my allergies off with it’s cheerful blooms. That’s right spring has hit here full force.
Just the other not so sunny day I snapped a picture of the crab apple tree right out front. The white one is outside my dining window and the pink one below is just outside my neighbor’s.
The thing I love about these trees is the vibrant colors. Sure I know they are going to be horrible when the fruit comes in and I know I’ll be sick of spring and shortly after summer because of the bugs. But right now it’s pretty watching everything come to life again and even watching birds make their nests like Mr. Robin who is plotting on in my crab apple tree this season.