Sunday, January 4, 2004

Today's weather, shamelessly ripped from Markus and Emily's blog

I realize that this is not the hardest place in Canada to spend winter, but we are in the middle of what would pass for normal winter conditions in the rest of the country, but which are really unusual for the south coast.

For a start, it's sunny.

The temperature has dropped, and is hovering around -8 right now. But the Squamish wind is incredible, gusting around 80 km/h out in the Channel which drops the windchill to -19. The snow is all frozen now and what is left of it on the trees is falling like small rocks from the heights as the wind blows it down. In the forest behind the house I can hear branches snapping off and plunging to earth. It's crazy.

I haven't seen the waves in the Channel look like this ever. Yesterday morning you could have surfed on the gale. Apparently in 1990 there was a similar encounter with wintry conditions and high Squamish winds that knocked the power out on the island for a week in some places. The grid is more stable these days, but the power goes on and off like clockwork. Every night we lose it for a couple of hours and then it's on by 7:30 or so in the morning. That's fine for us, but my 70 year old neighbour heats with electricity and last night she was up at four in the morning trying to get a fire started with some wet pine she has for firewood. I cut her a bunch of kindling and brought a box of kiln dried mill ends over to her this afternoon.

This has been a freaky year for weather. The predictions for the winter have already come true. Forecast says it'll warm up early in the week, so all this stuff should be gone by next weekend. In the meantime, it's nice that we get the reminder of what it's like to live in Canada in January.