By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
Well, it sure got cold out there.
After what one can only call tropical-esque temperatures as thermostat hovered around 10 degrees in December last year before the holidays kicked in, we in southern Alberta were left scrambling to get our heavy winter gear out as it then took an abrupt nose-dive down to -20 degrees Celsius.
Yes, we did have some heavy snowstorms in the beginning of November, but who among us was relishing not having to bundle up in ten different layers just to stay warm? While Albertans are and do get used to the winter weather sooner or later, I think we all agree that we would had loved for mother nature to just turn the heat up a teeny tiny bit so we don’t get frostbite.
Strangely enough, the rest of the country was agreeing with us at the same time. While our vast nation is often heard complaining about sending sun over here or rain over there or a cool wind here, all of Canada seems to have gone under a deep freeze, with Canadians coast to coast shivering out ‘Enough already’.
Don’t get me wrong, winter is a beautiful season, but it’s too cold to go outside when it’s -20 out, so how can we possibly enjoy it? We could barely play hockey in that weather without literally freezing our noses off!
In a way, I feel a little lied to about this weather. My first winter in southern Alberta was lovely and mild. After coming spending years at university in Halifax, and enduring the bitter wet-colds and storms there, I had thought winters in Alberta would be fine. The last winter I spent in Halifax was a relatively warm experience up until around the end of January, and then just about every week it stormed, thawed, got cold again and repeated the cycle. The municipality blew through their snow clearing budget in a matter of weeks, the streets flooded because the gutters were frozen shut and I was climbing over snow banks taller then me because there was no were else to put all the snow!
Then I came to Alberta, and the winter was consistent and not too cold. ‘Oh, this is great!’ poor naïve me thought, then boom! Back to the freezing cold again. At least it’s a dry cold and not a wet cold though.
Who here remembers last winter, when even with our much-appreciated Chinooks it was still -10 out? Like this year, much of Canada was undergoing the deep freeze. The only funny thing about last winter was that Vancouver freaked out because they got a dusting of snow and salt became a much-desired commodity.
Although to be fair, Vancouver isn’t exactly built for snow.
This winter, especially with the hot and dry summer, one would think that it might — just might mind you — be a little warmer, but no, it seems to be yo-yoing back and forth between ‘are you sure this isn’t spring?’ and ‘did someone forget to pay the gas bill?’.
While Canada can brace for the cold, the freeze has extended down to the southern states. Reports of reptiles falling stunned from trees, poor manatees huddling together for warmth, alligators poking their noses up through the ice as they float lethargically and people in Florida building mini snowman have been reported.
We groan and whine every year about the cold and the storms and the snow and the ice every year. We know it’s going to happen, no matter what, but hey, those little puffs that get produced when we speak help keep our noses warm, and we have to do something to keep ourselves warm. Plus, it is after all, a Canadian tradition to complain about the cold, as much as we love all things winter.
Now, those Arctic-conditions have abated for the time being, as unseasonably warm weather rolled in a little over a week ago. From one extreme to another again, as the snow melts, the ice gets a little thinner and we break out our light jackets. Buds are starting to sprout on trees again, so you know they are going to be in for a shock once it gets cold again.
At least we can take comfort in that we aren’t Jason Momoa, who arrived in Newfoundland to film the third season of his hit series Frontier earlier this month, only to realize that he forgot to bring his winter coat.