New Year's Chinook

FTLComm - Tisdale - Saturday, January 4, 2003

Since 1998 the only times I have not posted each day have been those times when the server, the computer or I had problems. But we decided to take a very short trip this year and leave the computer at home. New Years day we spent in Regina, did some shopping the following morning then set off for Swift Current.

Thursday morning it was brisk in Regina but sunny (right and below)

We had noticed on New Years day that the snow cover we enjoy around Tisdale peters out just South of Raymore but as you can see as we gaze at the fertilizer plant and Kalium at Belle Plain the

Regina plains did have snow on them Thursday. The scene with the two plants will change as this is also the location for the first of Saskatchewan's Ethanol plants.

Ross Thatcher's legacy, the trees along the TransCanada are a constant reminder of the desolation of the Saskatchewan great central plain.

This image at the Co-op in South Swift Current
also shows that even though the cover of snow was light, there is some snow, well there was some snow in Swift Current. As we headed West later Thursday afternoon toward the Gull Lake area the field were soon bare and I was shocked to see a herd of cattle grazing in a pasture and there was plenty for them to eat as this normal desert part of Saskatchewan had adequate rainfall in the later part of the summer providing ample fodder for the livestock. We also noticed that North of Regina there was a lot of feed available baled and laying in the fields.

We spent the evening in Thompkins and when it was time to go I put on my coat and went to warm up the car. I was shocked to discover that there was no need. The little snow on the streets in the village of Tompkins was by then just puddles as the Chinook wind from the Southwest was blasting warm +5 air across the prairie with a speed of more than thirty miles per hour.

Friday morning this (right) was the Swift Current sky and it had not frozen over night.

Around five-thirty we left Swift Current with that howling wind at our tail and marveled at the brown fields all the way to Moose Jaw. The white of the day before was gone. At Moose Jaw there was a threat of freezing North so we opted for highways #1 and #6 as our trail home and between Southey and Raymore met a light rain shower and though the temperature was below freezing the dedication of Saskatchewan's Department of highways department paid off as the salt on the road prevented the formation of ice and we had to slow down for about ten minutes as we headed North and soon the stars we visible but the wind stayed in our back.

Arriving in Tisdale at 1:00AM the temperature was -12 and by sunrise -2 and the Chinook had pushed its way Northward and of course Tisdale and surrounding area were cloaked in fog all day while only half an hour North Nipawin was much colder, with calm winds and no fog.

The amazing contrast between Swift Current and Tisdale is a shocking thing as this community remains very much a place for winter with the trees covered and overhangs of snow flopping off the eves and drowning the shrubs.

This view is of main street looking North at around 1:00 this afternoon.

Everywhere one looks the fresh piles of snow the white collections in the limbs of the trees or the loads in the evergreens all make you abundantly aware of the drastic difference in latitude.

On Friday during the CBC radio noon hour show Rosalie Waloskey mentioned the positive improvement the fresh snow had on the farmers of the whole Northern grainbelt. Not only are they encouraged by the arrival of some moisture but the snow will provide protect from the fields.

Over hangs like this one are common throughout the town but in this case the unusual appearance of leaves, even though they are coloured, is not a normal scene.

As Gerald Crawford in his weekly
Greenwater Report has been pointing out ice fishing looks pretty good this year and we had reports of similar positive catches in the QuAppelle lake chain.

The owner of the truck below looks like he is ready with his fishing shack ready to be put

on the ice for the season.

This is a really elaborate fishing shack with heat and the appropriate decorations.

Well, though the federal government seems to be shirking when it comes to providing defense funding for Canada the house below is fortified and ready to meet what ever foes approach. Not only has the fort been completed but it is identified with proper flags.

Tonight the fog is down to a few hundred feet so we have canceled our trip to see a movie in Melfort and the effects of the hot desert winds continue to roll across

this part of Western Canada. Chinooks are as much a part of winter as snow drifts as I can recall water running off our roof one New Years Eve in the very early 60s.

But the typical Canadian has to be ready for just about anything and this house definitely displays its Canadian nature with a set of sticks ready at the doorway for game of shinny on the snow cover street.

Now everyone is ready for the snow fall that almost always follows a heat wave like this.

Timothy W. Shire



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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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