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Posted: January 9, 2022

The only thing worse than the cold is the snow

“Perception, by Gerry Warner

Op-Ed Commentary

All right, enough is enough! Will this cursed snowfall ever stop? It’s almost enough to change a good green environmentalist like me into a climate change skeptic and David Suzuki wouldn’t like that.

Sorry about that, Dave, but all I can say is that after shovelling the sidewalk in front of my house for the tenth time strange thoughts start emerging from my tired brain. Are we being punished for something?

First it was the “heat dome,” which almost destroyed Lytton. Then it was “atmospheric rivers,” which did destroy great swaths of farmland in the Fraser Valley and wiped out the Coquihalla Highway in dozens of places. Then the temperature in the Okanagan Valley shot up to 20 C on the first of December and it appeared we were in for an unusually balmy winter.

Then this! The snow job that goes forever which should please the skiers except the minus 25 C temperatures accompanying the snow makes it hard to focus on carving the perfect telemark turn. Then some sinister SOB sabotages the main lift at the Kimberley Ski Resort in a mysterious fire that not even all that snow could put out. Word on the street says it was arson and it was committed by a wacky local group but personally I think it was Putin.

And where is the “Pineapple Express” in all of this? You know the Pineapple Express, that warm wind that comes up from Hawaii in the South Pacific and loves to eat snow in the valley bottoms while leaving enough of the white stuff higher up on the mountainsides for the powder hounds to carve figure-eights.

No sign of the Pineapple Express yet and meanwhile I’m digging up my snow rake from the garage so I can pull the snow off my carport roof before it collapses.

What fun!

And then there’s our snow-bound roads. Well, let me say this about that. All things considered, I think the City of Cranbrook has done a commendable job of clearing the snow off our roadways in conditions that would rival Labrador or Siberia.

They’ve also done a good job of clearing the main sidewalks and managed to find time to flood the Baker Park rink and keep it clear as best they can. Now, if I could just get them to rush over to the alley behind 2A Street South and clear it out this would be a perfect world indeed. Then again, the snow they would push into my driveway would be a daunting challenge after I finish pulling it off my carport roof.

Then there’s the matter of the cold.

According to my trusty maximum/minimum analog thermometer the coldest it got the past couple of weeks was minus 27 C in late December but if you check the official Environment Canada data the coldest temperature recorded so far this winter was minus 30.3 C on Dec. 28. 2021 at the Canadian Rockies International Airport. That’s pretty damn cold but still quite far off Cranbrook’s official cold record which is minus 41.1 C recorded Jan. 19, 1958, before the weather station shifted to the airport in the late 1960s.

In case you’re interested, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was minus 63.0 C (minus 81 F) at Snag in the Yukon Feb. 3, 1947.

So don’t despair! Yes, it has been a might chilly lately, but still not nearly as frigid as in days of yore. And don’t forget, climate change is a real phenomenon according to the weather scientists who have tons of data to prove that our climate is growing warmer. Dangerously warmer as we saw during the heat dome last summer and will probably see again.

– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and a bit of a wussy about skiing in the current cold snap.


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