Tuesday, March 5, 2002

All day I have been watching the winds on the water in the channel. This morning, under a clear blue sky, the water was calm and blue and serene. Later a Squamish wind picked up and the water stayed blue but started churning, rolling great white waves southward to the Strait. This afternoon, the sea has calmed down and turned grey, under a sky of puffy cumulus clouds. There are only a few whitecaps out there at the moment.



We are bracing for another Squamish tonight which will affect us, if not because of the wind, then at least because of the windchills which are expected to drop as low as -20. All that cold interior air is being pushed down and out of the Shuswap by a big high pressure system. This conspired this morning to create an "Arctic outflow warning," which Environment Canada describes this way:



ARCTIC OUTFLOW WARNING FOR:

HOWE SOUND

SUNSHINE COAST

CENTRAL COAST - COASTAL SECTIONS

CENTRAL COAST - INLAND SECTIONS

NORTH COAST - COASTAL SECTIONS

NORTH COAST - INLAND SECTIONS.



OUTFLOW WINDS 50 TO 90 KM/H THROUGH THE INLETS COMBINED WITH

COLD TEMPERATURES WILL GIVE WIND CHILL OF MINUS 15 TO MINUS 25.



THIS IS A WARNING THAT COLD TEMPERATURES COMBINED WITH STRONG

WINDS TO GIVE HIGH WINDCHILLS ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN

THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED

STATEMENTS.




As of right now that warning has been downgraded to a wind warning for Howe Sound, with cold wind chills, but more danger from the 70 km/h gusts themselves rather than the cold. Up the coast from us, in the Central Coast region, these winds have reached storm force, which translates as 50 knots or 93 km/h.



Spring is coming as evidenced by the crocuses in full bloom in the pots on our deck, but this wind, and the way were are going through our new pile of mill ends, suggests that winter still has us in its grip for now.