Surprise, shock and things are normal

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, January , 2003
This morning at 0800 the snow swirled around and the biting West wind gnawed at my coat, this is January. It has stopped snowing and the sun has smashed its way through the overcast revealing a cold clear sky and the temperature went from its chilly -12ºC to -14ºC. As Andy Renaud scratched away the snow in front of his real estate office we both chuckled at the commonness of this moment. I said that it had been very similar for the last four years this part of January and Andy pointed out that when you back in time you can find days in this part of January at -43º and some at +10º.

It seems to be an intrinsic part of our nature to like and expect things to be somewhat constant, in fact it might be quite correct to generalise and say that humans prefer things to move along without surprises. (The picture on the right was taken around 11:00 Tuesday morning)

When we first moved to the Yukon in 1980 the subtle gradual changes in the weather were a welcomed and pleasant relief from the variations we experienced throughout our lives in Saskatchewan. At that time the Yukon simple cooled down and warmed up according to the amount of sunlight it received. Watching the weather this past few years I was surprised to discovered that the gradual weather changes of that part of Canada are no longer the case as the heat in the Pacific has drastically changed Northern weather patterns as well with this past fall being one of the warmest in Whitehorse without snow and this follows last winter which was the warmest on record.
But we really need to take a long view of things. Go to the weather log on this web site and you will see how things have been relatively constant for this part of January for the past three years and definitely different prior to that. Then you might want to look at what it was like in Tisdale a year ago today.
We are under the influence for a while of an arctic high pressure area and the pattern has been that weather systems tend not to move rapidly but will stick around for a while. This sluggish movement is a simple problem of dynamics as warm air flows up the eastern seaboard and bottles up the Northern continental climate. The continental climates of the Northern hemisphere are almost entirely dependent upon the action in the Pacific Ocean. The temperature of the currents influence the air above them and hence determine global weather. Just take a look at a globe and see the immense size of the Pacific and that pretty much explains why things are the way they are.
By nine this morning (below) when I stopped to talked to Andy the sidewalk cleaner the snow fall had ended with still some drifting in the open country. Nobody, but nobody will complain about the arrival of more snow.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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