Friday, September 30, 2016

LET'S WAIT A BIT ON THE WINTER WEATHER PREDICTIONS...SHALL WE.


            It was only a short two weeks ago when Deb and I flew into Calgary on our way out to Emily’s graduation ceremony from the Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna, BC. As the plane circled over the Stampede City I commented on how many trees had already turned colour compared to the mostly green trees we had flown away from in Kipling and area. By the time we arrived back in Regina, just over a week later, we couldn’t believe how quickly the leaves changed colour here in the short time that we were gone. Just like clockwork…autumn began on September 22nd… then, bing-bang-boom…fall is here! It went from summer to instant autumn in a matter of minutes. Or so it seems.

            We’re barely into fall and the Winter Weather Prognosticators are out there already spreading their long-term predictions as to the severity of the 2016-17 winter season. Apparently our prairie winters are measured in severity. Hmmm. Seems there was no doubt that the winter weather was going to be severe it’s just a matter of degree determination then, I guess. Severe is the best that we can hope for? That’s where we start? Severe then everything after that is more severe to severest? Yikes!

            Winter is winter and I will admit that I’m not its biggest fan but sometimes when I’m out there snowshoeing around the golf course in the middle of winter and it’s about

-10C with no wind and the sun shining brighter than bright I would not call that kind of Canadian winter weather “severe”. Just sayin’.

            Anyway, the good Old Farmer’s Almanac says we’re in for a doozy of a winter this time around. Here’s what they say, “Winter will be colder than normal, with the coldest periods in early and mid-December and early and mid-January, from late January into early February, and in mid-and late February.” Re-read that please. That’s straight from their pages! Really? So, I guess what they’re trying to say is it’s going to be freakin’ cold from the beginning of December until the end of February or as we locals refer to it…WIN TER!

On the other hand, Environment Canada, like all government agencies, makes things trickier. They throw different language at us like, “probabilistic” and “deterministic” and phrases like “climatology of temperature and precipitation” and “verification of previous forecasts” so only meteorologists, or the like, can understand what the deuce they’re talking about.

Go onto the Environment Canada website and try to look up “long-term forecasts” and you go from link to link to link with some degree of success but you end up looking at so much gobbledygook with charts and graphs and whatnot you don’t have a clue what they’re going on about. That’s because I don’t think they do, either. It’ll all a ruse to distract you so you forget why you went to site in the first place. My best guess from the stuff that I looked at was that it might be warmer than normal until the end of November and then it’s a crapshoot after that. Something along those lines, anyway, have a look for yourself to see if you can make any sense out of it all.

But isn’t it a little bit early to be worrying about winter? Hm? In the end, it doesn’t really matter what they say might happen, does it? We’ll get what we get and we should do like all good Canadians do and that’s hope for the best and prepare for the worst and remember…there is no bad weather…only bad clothing.

“I figure lots of predictions is best. People will forget the ones I get wrong and marvel over the rest.” Alan Cox (1968-).

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