Tag Archives: Weather

All white now

A fine to moderate snow has been falling since Saturday night down here by the water, leaving us with a covering of three to five inches. Reports from town say that there’s ice in the narrow channel between Newcastle Island and the marina. I can’t confirm. It doesn’t show up on the local webcams.

Here everything is pasted white. Even roads that were clear yesterday have a four inch covering. Our traditional fortnight of winter is officially here. Well, one of them anyway. We tend to get three of four of these episodes of varying severity every Winter. This is our third so far. The first two were more or less gone in forty eight hours. This bout may last a little longer. Semi regular thumps announce the fall of wet snow from the roof, frightening the dog, and our scenery has been seriously photoshopped.

I’m not working in town until Wednesday this week, so there’ll be plenty of time for chilling (Ouch, sorry). Not that there’s really going to be much choice. According to Environment Canada we’re in a short lived ‘Abnormal temperature trend’. Just seems like an average BC Winter to me. Lots of rain and a little snow. Although I’m also informed Mount Washington Ski resort was suffering from too much snow recently. A ski resort with too much snow? Seriously? Well don’cha just live and learn.

Oh well, work calls, and I have an online course to sign up for. TTFN.

Update: All incoming phone calls are being answered thus; “Ski Shop. How can I help you?”

Variety

There’s a jokey little local saying over here on Vancouver Island; “If you don’t like the weather, go inside for five minutes.”

Over the last week we’ve gone from needing snow shoes and ice skates to go outside, to webbed feet, thence sunglasses. This morning the rain clouds have pootled off to bother someone else, and the sun is up. Out on our deck it’s T-shirt weather, if still a little damp after the rains. In the kitchen, it’s simply too bright to sit down. In short, typical BC weather. The odd damp basement. Nothing to write home about. Although I’m seriously thinking about buying a sea going boat. Nothing to do with weather, I just fancy spending some non-working time pootling up and down the coast, that’s all.

Reading the news from the other side of the pond and hearing relatives complain about having to evolve fins and gills, I’m inclined to count my blessings. Yet I remember similar floods from late July 2007, when on the last working day of our UK careers, Mrs S and I almost had to swim home. In the mid 90’s, when floods turned a twelve mile commute into a thirty seven mile detour to get home and dozens of occasions before and since.

Here’s my thinking; every year in the UK there are floods. This has gone on for millennia. Over the last twenty years, it seems, every year there are hosepipe bans. Every year, reservoirs are decommissioned (Don’t take my word, Google it for yourself). More expensive PR friendly ‘wildlife sanctuaries’ take their place instead of simply replacing or maintaining ageing Dams. Less active dredging and water management. More housing built. Bigger floods. Is it just me, or is there some form of correlation here?

I ask myself; what’s the point of creating a habitat for voles and grass snakes, for example, when the very critters the decommissioned reservoir is meant to preserve will get all drowned, and very dead, when the next, and inevitable, seasonal flood comes around? Well, Duh! I find it rather ironic that ‘ecological diversity’ can be so easily transformed into ecological uniformity (underwater) every time it gets a little damp.

Hell, freezing over

Satan skating to workLocally it’s been nothing like the temperatures experienced in either Hell, Michigan or even Hell, Norway, but still cold enough to induce extra work for local metalworkers as local brass monkeys queue up for emergency repairs. Locally we’re currently entering our second week of sub zero temperatures. Not unheard of, but cold enough. Snow from the small covering we had over a week ago was still hanging around in our front yard Sunday morning.

Take the day before yesterday, 7th February 2014; Victoria BC. Never mind the Great Lakes (Ice cover at the time of writing 77.4%), Esquimalt lagoon, Colwood, Victoria was observed to be almost ninety percent frozen over. Hey but this is Canada, Eh? Land of the Yukon bar and near permanent snow cover? Dude, of course it freezes. Not so. While the Midwest provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba alternately bake and shiver on a regular basis, freezing temperatures here in South Western coastal British Columbia rarely drop so low for so long. Yet if, as many are so keen to tell us, the planet is warming uncontrollably because of humanity’s errant wastefulness; where the hell are all these gosh-darned icicles coming from? They’re everywhere. Along Highway One to Victoria, every single bit of rock face sported an impressive display of metre plus long natural ice sculpture. In the six years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen so many.

This is nothing new. Just over a hundred years ago, the channel between Newcastle Island and Nanaimo harbour was ice bound on a semi regular basis, thick enough for local skaters to use. In the photo archives of the local museum, there are several black and white photographs of this occurrence. Yeah, but this is Winter, right? The coldest months of which are January and February, proves nothing. Which is true, and yet again, so terribly misleading. Taken in isolation, of course such observations are meaningless. Yet when compared with historical reports from the late 19th Century, when the world was exiting the Little Ice Age, there seem to be a number of correlations. Low Hurricane count. Tropical Storm force events occurring at less equatorial latitudes, suggesting a shift in temperature gradients. Which of course is all anecdotal, drawn as it is from newspaper and other reports of past times. Although ‘Warming’ seems to be noticeably absent. At least until Spring moseys on around. Or July, as last year.

Hey, it’s just weather. All storms and fury, signifying nothing. At least nothing worth getting taxed over.