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My Top 5

23 Jan

It is said that the weather is something Canadians talk about a lot.  I find myself counting the weeks left to see Spring temperatures.  For today’s post, I decided to describe my top 5 weather stories of 2013.

Photo of a street in Alberta during the floods of 2013

Alberta Floods in 2013

 

1.  Alberta’s super flood of May/June washed across one-quarter of the province and through the heart of Calgary – the fourth largest city in Canada.  The damage losses and recovery costs from the flood to exceed $6 billion, including a record $2 billion in insured losses. Trees were literally skinned of their bark 10 metres above the ground by gravel and boulders barrelling along in rushing waters. In Calgary’s downtown, 4,000 businesses were impacted and 3,000 buildings were flooded. Water rose at the Saddledome up to the 10th row. In Stampede Park, stables and barns were under more than two metres of water.

2. Toronto’s Torrent of July  when the city faced two separate storm cells – one on the heels of the other – that slowed then stalled over the city. The one-two weather punch delivered more rain in two hours than Toronto usually sees during an entire July. Exacerbating the storm’s impact was the 38 mm of rain that had fallen on the city the day before. The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated the July 8 storm costs at close to $1 billion in damages – the most expensive natural disaster ever in Ontario. Videos captured cars bobbing up and down on streets and highways, sinkholes opening up and snakes swimming inside stalled commuter trains. Thousands were stranded, necessitating rescue by boat in some instances. About 500,000 households were without power for as much as days.

3. February Fog on Fogo. No one got off Newfoundland’s Fogo Island for five days at the end of the month because heavy ice conditions and dense fog shut down ferry and air travel. The Island’s school closed, stores ran low on supplies and residents were unable to attend off-island medical appointments. Feelings of isolation and frustration only increased as strong winds blew more fog in on the Island instead of blowing it away.

4. The Nightmare during Christmas, happened the weekend before Christmas as a vigorous winter storm coated parts of eastern Canada with a thick mixture of snow, ice pellets, rain and freezing rain that plunged large parts of the region into days of cold and darkness. Thick glaze left roads and sidewalks slick and dangerous and knocked down power lines, leaving over 500,000 people without electricity. Though

Downed trees on a road

Nightmare During Christmas

picturesque, the Christmas storm created extremely dangerous conditions as fallen power lines intertwined with broken tree limbs dangled across streets and property. The affected area extended from Lake Huron, across the Greater Toronto Area, east along Highway 401 to Cornwall, through Quebec’s Eastern Townships and across the central Maritimes centred on the Bay of Fundy. The epicentre of the freezing rain was in southern Ontario between Niagara and Trenton where between 20 and 30 mm fell – more than two-year’s worth in two days. It crippled North American transportation at one of the busiest travel times of the year.

5. Prairie Perpetual Winter. Environment Canada considers the months of December through February as winter. Tell that to Canadians on the Prairies, where cold, snow and ice went on for seven months from October 2012 to April 2013, inclusive – the longest and coldest period in 16 years. Snows came early, stayed late and never disappeared. As a result, it felt and looked like winter from before Thanksgiving to a month after Easter. And with deep snow on the ground any warm-up was stalled until late May. Persistent cold – between March 1 and April 30, the average temperature in Regina was -8°C; eleven degrees colder than the previous year and the coldest period in 113 years. The prolonged winter was especially costly for governments. By the end of January, Saskatchewan had already spent $6 million more than usual on snow and ice control with much more to come.

I guess this year’s winter isn’t so bad after all.

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15 responses to “My Top 5

  1. mavimet

    January 25, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Here in Winnipeg (alias Winterpeg), this year has been the mildest and with the least snow in ages. I can’t remember when we ever had above 0C temperatures in January before. We still have February and of course March to go and anything can happen in those months though.

     
    • tkmorin

      January 29, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      “Winterpeg” – I love that! It sounds like you’re lucky with the temperatures this year. I’m sure the North-East states of the U.S. would be jealous right about now! Yep, two more months, then hopefully able to enjoy more sun! 🙂

       
  2. Amy

    January 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    I am in shock!! Loong winter…

     
  3. Lily Lau

    January 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Weather saves so many uncomfortable situations, when you don’t know what to say… it’s amazing! I can’t wait for Spring either here 🙂

     
    • tkmorin

      January 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Lily, I’m with you there on both counts!! Should be just two more months …. 🙂

       
  4. purrfectkitties

    January 24, 2015 at 2:22 am

    Great post! Oh, and we can’t wait for Spring to get here either! All we can see when we look out of the window is snow, snow, snow… (*sigh*) Kitty kisses, Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

     
    • tkmorin

      January 24, 2015 at 10:19 am

      And the roads have that brown slush! About two more months to go! 🙂

       
  5. TvKapherr, CatsattheBar & BackHomeinBromont

    January 23, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    I live in the Eastern Townships. We lived in one room living off the fireplace for almost two weeks during the ice storm. 🙂

     
    • tkmorin

      January 23, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      Yeah, the ice storm is an experience I will never forget! It was beautiful, though, and I’ll always remember the army helping us out. I’ve been to Granby – very beautiful in that neck of the woods! 🙂

       
  6. The Canadian Cats

    January 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Good to see your blog tk. I look forward to it. Looks like us in BC escaped the terrible weather in 2013. So I’m happy but really the weather is a nasty mistress and so unfaithful. Last year we had forest fires because of the dry and hot weather. It was night during the day….the sun was completely blocked out for a couple of days. That was scary!

    Jean

     
    • tkmorin

      January 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      Oh Jean, I’ll bet it was! I’m glad I’ve never seen that. I like your mistress analogy. Very true! 🙂

       
  7. Gypsy Bev

    January 23, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Weather stories always capture attention since all of us encounter storms in our lives now and then. But here in Ohio, this winter has been very mild so far compared to last winter when we were in sub-zero temperatures for weeks.

     
    • tkmorin

      January 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      I guess it’s not been terrible here, but I find that each year that passes I seem to have less tolerance for the cold. I can only imagine how I’ll feel when I’m 90!! LOL

       

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