Tag Archives: Weather

Penticton Winter

December 31, 2021

Penticton (and most of British Columbia) has had a much colder winter than usual. Heck, over the last six months, it’s had unbelievably bad weather, period.

First there were heat waves (referred to as “heat domes” by the media). No matter what they were called, they were bad. I will never forget seeing on June 28 a temperature of 46°C (115°F) on our deck. In the shade.

Then there were the fires. Almost all of the town of Lytton was consumed by them. Throughout British Columbia, the air quality was terrible and the heat unrelenting.

Then autumn brought intense rain accompanied by high winds. The rain saturated the soil, the wind pulled the fire-dead trees from the ground, and this lead to extreme flooding and landslides, especially in the lower mainland. Dozens of landslides swept vehicles from the roads and trapped people and communities in isolated pockets.

British Columbia’s Coquihalla Highway
Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/ The Canadian Press

The Coquihalla Highway, a main four-to-six lane artery that carries supplies and people through the mountains, was seriously damaged in 20 separate places. The community of Abbotsford, a major supplier of dairy and other agricultural products and situated in the lower mainland, suffered extreme flooding and enormous economic damage.

Now we’re being hit by record-breaking cold temperatures with freezing rain, snow and slush. The media are doing reports on how people can help to save the non-migratory hummingbirds from freezing to death. According to the scientists, this is the tip of the (melting) iceberg because these “weather events” are going to get worse.

Question is, what are we doing to mitigate this situation? And, what are we doing to get ready for what’s coming?

Slip Slidin’ Away

Last week, an interesting thing happened. I came home from work, dropped off my bag and proceeded to clear the latest snow deposits from my steps. For good measure, I added some salt, as there were a few small ice patches here and there.

I was looking forward to a lovely meal from my wonderful M. He was making chicken pasta with mushrooms, and the aroma, particularly upon entering from the frigid outside environs, was especially enticing.

My snow-encrusted doorbell, bathed in the glow of my porch light.

I went inside again, dropped off the shovel and picked up the garbage to take it outside.

As I turned to go down the steps, I managed to find and slip on the only bit of unsalted ice at the head of the stairs, and slammed my teeth together as both feet went out from under me and I whacked the edge of the first step on my way down.

Sliding and banging, I managed to hit the edge of all seven of them with my back and ribs, accompanied by glancing butt hits on the stair treads.

When I came to a stop, I could tell there was some damage, but I wasn’t sure which part I should moan about first.

My M came bursting through the door, as he had heard me fall.

Back inside, I started to note the injury: bruised ribs and spine and an overall sense of having been jarred, hard, especially my teeth. And later, I discovered a broken tail bone. All things considered, it could have been worse. But the thing that sticks out the most is how I tried to grab the doorbell to save myself. What the hell was I going to do with that??

All’s well that ends well, I suppose, especially on the part that ends with my rear. I’ve always been a bit of a pain in the ass, so I guess it’s only fair that the sentiment has been returned, literally.

How karmic.

Happy weekend, and may you always land on your feet. 🙂

Lake Walk

The Great Slave Lake has defrosted, finally.

When I’m in the north, I live near this lake. It’s the tenth largest in the world, the deepest in North America, and has a huge impact on the weather. To some extent, it moderates, but it also causes the heavy, wet lake effect snow, too.

We had quite a warm day yesterday, but when I went walking on the lake trail, the breeze coming from it was decidedly cool. It hasn’t warmed up much yet!

The name “Slave” has nothing to do with slaves or slavery but comes from an Indigenous word, “Slavey,” and is Dene in origin. The Slavey people are distinct from the Dene, but their histories have intersected frequently.

Here is another photo of the same lake, from a similar vantage point, taken in December, 2019. I think it was about -40C.

Greetings from Great Slave Lake.

Have a good week. 🙂