The late winter storm that hit the south coast of…
Vancouver’s Record Cold (please don’t laugh at us, Calgary and Winnipeg)
Here in relatively balmy Vancouver, we have no right to complain about cold weather. Vancouver has the mildest climate of any city in Canada, except for Victoria with its palm trees. This is why making fun of Vancouverites’ wimpy whining is a national sport and endlessly entertaining in places like Calgary, Winnipeg and Tuktoyaktuk.
Our average temperature for February was 0.3 degrees Celcius, or a gnat’s eyelash above freezing. For much of the region, the snow never fully melted. Our yard is still covered in snow. It’s March 9.
Laugh laugh, rest of Canada. Go ahead. But here on the Wet Coast, we should be mowing our lawns by now and planting gardens. Gloating on Facebook with photos of cherry blossoms. Shopping for flip-flops.
I can hear eyes rolling across the country, where March and even April are often cruel winter months. The old joke about Winnipeg is that they have two seasons—winter and six weeks of bad sledding. In Calgary, one of the city’s biggest one-day snowfalls ever occurred on…wait for it…October 3rd. I am not making that up. Here’s proof.
Anyway, with the cold in Vancouver came the snow. Not record-breaking, but intense, frequent storms with high winds that did deliver one of our snowiest Februaries ever (in the “top 10” according to Environment Canada). At one point, even tropical Victoria had the most snow of any city in Canada. It’s all gone crazy.
So how does this jive with climate change?
The climate gurus say a warmer earth brings these wild, wonky swings to the jet stream. This brings cold air upon us from arctic regions (thus the “Polar Vortex” phenomenon).
Not only that, the jet stream holds these positions longer than it used to. Which explains why in Vancouver, we didn’t put our snow shovels away through all of February—and so far, March. Two inches fell here yesterday. I mean, come on.
But I’m making a bold prediction. Yesterday was it. We’re all done. It’s over.
Finis, as they would say in Quebec (where it’s very, very cold and I know they laugh at us in French).
Gin and sodas on the deck soon.