We've had a bitterly cold and extremely snowy winter. Yes, we here in Winterpeg and on the Canadian prairies are pretty much used to cold snowy winters, but this year was just a bit colder and snowier than most.
This past winter was also a whole lot colder and snowier than LAST winter which for the most part barely reared its nasty side. Last year, the snow was gone by mid March. The golfers were out on several courses. The restaurant patios were doing a booming business. Daytime highs were hovering around +20C from March 16-18 and reached +23C on March 19! The first day of spring felt nippy at only +13.6C!
Local forecasters have been quick to remind us of last years' highs while broadcasting the frigid details this year, but they usually neglect to add that March 2012 was an anomaly in our weather.
The first day of spring this year, saw an overnight low of -24.3C and a high of -11C. There was also an oh so unwelcome windchill of around -30C or so in the morning and into the afternoon.
The normal for our first day of spring should be about -9C as the low and +2C as the high.
With the exception of skiers and snowboarders, pretty much everyone else has had more than enough of winter and the white stuff! Oh wait, there is that Grandma in Brandon,Manitoba who has been posting videos of her love of winter while wearing a black bathing suit - outdoors!
We, here on the Canadian prairies are not alone in out winter fatigue. Eastern Canada, the Maritimes and many areas of the US Midwest and North East have also had more than their share of winter woes.
Complaints abound. Rather than accept the weather as it comes, many choose to point fingers.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a big winter fan. It can be beautiful to look at, but getting around in it can be a royal pain! Spring can be just as challenging and unpredictable but at this point, I want winter gone!
ENOUGH SNOW AND COLD ALREADY!!
If I had my way, winter and it's remnants would be gone by now! But, anyone who has ever lived along a river or in a flood prone area knows that a slow spring melt is needed.
Who knows what Mother Nature will put out of her weather bag of tricks over the coming weeks!
And yes, I do recall and even admit that I have admonished snowbirds for inciting the wrath of Mother Nature by trying to escape her wintery grasp:
" It is very rare that we don't get one last great winter blast/snowfall from Mother Nature in late March or early April! It usually hits right around the time the last of the Snowbirds (travellers) are returning home from their winter getaways. I have always considered this as Mother Nature's revenge, because they tried to escape winter and that those of us who stay (by choice or circumstance) are just innocent victims." Spring - March 20 2008
Over the last while there have been those who have suggested that "I" may be to blame for this winter weather this year!
Seriously? Has my own winter escape and haranguing of Mother Nature's weather management caused the proliferation of white stuff and wicked windchills?
Let's examine the facts here:
- Yes, I did leave Winterpeg for a week in January. That is well documented - assuming you have read any of my posts over the last couple months. The fam and I began discussing the trip last September before winter even started! Okay, that may have given Mother Nature extra time to plan a wicked winter.
- It was cold and snowy here long before I left! That is what happens in a normal winter!
- I flew out of Winterpeg on the edge of an incoming blizzard! Okay, maybe Mother Nature was trying to stop me from leaving but she DIDN'T STOP ME or countless others from leaving the winter climes for even a short reprieve!
- Numerous people in Mesa asked if I'd brought the cold weather with me. I reminded them that the temps they were experiencing were cooler than normal before I arrived. It stayed cool until the day I left! Granted, the timing of the warm up may be a bit suspicious!
- Winter temps here were about normal when I returned but they did turn to below normal a few days later! That can't possibly be suspicious - can it?
I'll admit that some points may look slightly incriminating but it is all circumstantial - right?! I don't believe - nor will I take the fall for this wicked winter! Heck, I'm far from the only one who gripes about the weather! That is practically a requirement for even living on the prairies!
So, yes I willingly made a brief escape from winter but the trip was a gift and WHO could or would refuse such a generous offer? I am not responsible for putting the "winter" in our winter this year! In truth, I am a somewhat vocal, yet single being among the grand Snowbird exodus!
Am I splitting hairs here? Possibly, but if I had that much influence or effect on Mother Nature, we wouldn't have had much of a winter at all!
If I am offered another trip to Mesa in the future, I will make another escape - winter be damned!
I am far from the only one being blamed for this winter though.
Canadian singer Meaghan Smith has a beautiful song called "It Snowed". Apparently, it may be being played a little too often though as she recently tweeted:
I could add a link to the song, but why take the risk? Google it if you must, but don't blame me or Meghan if It Snows in your area!
Punxsutawney Phil is reportedly being sued! The prosecution claims: "Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that Spring would come early." Though the lawsuit is apparently written in jest. the sentiment is real.
It appears he may have already confessed:
Personally, I've never trusted any of those rodent prognosticators!
So, here we are - the end of March. On March 28, we finally cracked 0C to reach (an almost seasonal) high of +2.3C!
The overabundance of snow is slowly starting to melt. The snowbirds are making their way home. The skiers, snowboarders and other winter enthusiasts are lamenting the end to a great season. The golfers. gardeners, farmers and warmer temperature enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to get out and get on with it.
We will never all agree on the ideal weather conditions and that is part of what makes us living beings so wonderful. Despite all the advances in weather science, we still can't always predict what Mother Nature may have up her sleeve. We just have to learn to accept it and deal with it as best we can with what we have been given.
Here's to you Mother Nature, as always, you are a mainstay of our conversations - for better or for worse! You drive us nuts sometimes but you also keep life interesting and keep us on our toes!
Am I sucking up to her just in case? Yup, can't be too careful these days!