Yesterday it was -12 Celsius and we had a snowstorm all day. Coming from the UK we were always told ‘it’s too cold to snow’ and that the ideal temperature for snow would be between zero and +2c. I’m assuming this weather rule does not apply here. Indeed, there are many weather rule that don’t seem to apply in Canada.
Let me share an example with you. This past February I found myself stranded on The Rock for four days due to fog.
ASIDE – if you’re not familiar with Canadian geography I should point out that The Rock is in fact Newfoundland, and not Alcatraz. It is an easy mistake to make, however. Both are surrounded by inhospitable seas, mostly shrouded in fog and often seem like a prison.
Anyhoo, back to my weather issues. Four days of fog. FOUR DAYS. During which time the flags were flying stiffer than a sailor on port leave for the first time in six months. Wind and fog together – seems like a contradiction to me. We’ve had hurricanes, blizzards, weather bombs, squalls. And then flurries. FLURRIES. Such a sweet little word, makes you think of little puppies cavorting around. We’ve had flurries that dropped 15cm of snow and created white out conditions.
And then there’s the huge temperature fluctuations. English weather is so genteel. In any given year the lowest low might be a brisk -4C and the highest high might just nudge high 20s. But those extremes are six months apart. In a typical Maritimes winter day it is quite possible to go from -15C to plus 5C in 24 hours. It’s enough to melt the ice on my igloo.
ASIDE #2 – As I’m writing I realise I might be confusing any American readers with my use of Celsius,and for that I apologise. A particularly confusing trait of English weather is that low temperatures are always reported in Celsius, yet high temperatures are often quoted in Fahrenheit. You have to admit, -15c is much more impactful than 5F, and shouting about temperatures in the 90s is so much clearer than 32C.