Weather can always get worse

Lisa Goudy
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It’s been a rather mild first few days of 2013.

So far temperatures were much colder in November and December. The Environment Canada (EC) forecast for the next week or so looks good and sunny. I can’t complain.

Of course it’s not to say we won’t be hit with a cold streak in January. The month is far from over. Yet despite having recent highs hovering around -2 Celsius, there are always people who find ways to complain about it. But our situation can always get worse so we’re better off learning to appreciate the weather we have.

I often hear people say it’s either too cold or the temperature might be right, but it’s too windy. But think of it this way: It can always get worse.

For instance, 15 years ago, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick were hit with a massive ice storm beginning on Jan. 5, 1998. It stretched from the Georgian Bay to the Bay of Fundy.

According to EC, over a period of six days the water equivalent of the freezing rain and ice pellets was more than 100 millimeters — or more than a two-year supply. The freezing participation held on for more than 80 hours, which Environment Canada said was almost double the normal annual total.

EC said the storm claimed 35 lives. It brought down millions of trees, 1,000 transmission towers, 30,000 utility poles and “enough wires and cables to stretch around the world three times.” There were 700,000 insurance claims for storm-related damages 11 months later and insurance payouts were close of $1.5 billion. Losses covered by governments pushed the cost to $3 billion. Power outages lasted from several hours to four weeks.

What’s more is that 1998 was a very mild winter. It was the second mildest winter on record. Obviously that didn’t hit Saskatchewan, but in that same year the province was hit with a massive snowstorm on Feb. 25. We received almost 70 centimetres of snow. Let’s hope we don’t get dumped on quite like that at the end of February this year.

Of course we’ve had some pretty bad snowstorms more recently. The Remembrance Day weekend snowstorm was horrid. Moose Jaw and area received more than 30 centimetres of snow. Then it was followed by unnaturally cold temperatures in December. We still have lots of snow on the ground.

But like I said, the forecast for the next week or so is expected to be quite warm. Sure we might get hit with something later in the month or in February. I even remember when we had a snowstorm in May.

My point is we never know when a streak of bad weather is going to hit us. We also never know just how long decent weather is going to last. Remember that before you waste all of the decent days complaining about the amount of wind.

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick Georgian Bay Bay of Fundy Saskatchewan Moose Jaw

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