Thursday, January 5, 2012

We are having spectacular weather in Saskatchewan

This snowman was made by some of the children at the daycare center where I work. We didn't have enough snow before Christmas for snowmen. :) Generally the temperature is too cold for snowmen in January.

In Saskatchewan, people tend to be serious when it comes to winter weather. We need to be, because our cold weather can be extreme and dangerous.Anyone who needs to drive long distances in the winter will carry blankets, matches, and other safety provisions, because if caught in a winter storm, it's necessary to stay in the car, and wait for help. Freezing to death in Saskatchewan winters, is a sad and not uncommon tragedy.

We tend to face the winter temperatures with gritty forbearance, and we all have our tales of severe weather experiences.

I can recall for you one personal winter experience which might allow you a sense of  Saskatchen winter.

 I left work one evening in February, 2006, for home. I hadn't been aware of the weather from inside the school library where I was working, and I left quite late. I waited for my bus home, for more than one and a half hours, in a temperature that I later learned was -76 degrees with the wind. It was a blizzard, and  the winds were often up to 70 km. As well it was very dark, and difficult to see due to the blowing snow.
(Oops! I need to make a correction here. I've been thinking about the temperature I'd given as -76, which would not be possible. I believe that the coldest recorded temp. in Saskatchewan was Jan. 1, 2005 at -50 Celsius or -58 F. I think that, on the evening I was stuck waiting for my bus, the wind was 76 km., and think the temperature may well have been around -40. Not sure what that would have come to with the wind chill factor. I looked up some of the world's coldest temperatures, and I believe that the coldest recorded temperature was approximately -89, definitely not in Saskatchewan.) :)

While waiting I was undecided on the best action to take - should I wait, or try to walk abit? This day I had worn a skirt, so I was not dressed for the weather, and I became very cold, but a sort of  grim determination seemed to set in for me, as well as a feeling of fascination and awe.  

The buses had difficulty getting around, and two buses simply made a short cut in the route, so didn't come to get me.One bus did finally come for me, at around 7p.m., and I got home within an hour, after being picked up. Our city bus drivers usually tend to be a hardy lot, determined to drive through most weather conditions. I'm not alone in having stories like this to tell, and I've certainly had similar experiences in other years as well.

. The average temperature for January in Saskatchewan is -10 to -22 Celsius. More often it is much colder than that. In 2004, the average temperature for January was -34 C., and in 2005 the temperature was between  -38 C and -28 C. (2005 was a memorably cold winter here).

Today our temperature was 3 degrees above. The forecast is for warm weather through the next week too.Weather forecasters seem to be agreeing that this winter is setting records for warm temperatures, and it looks like there is no cold weather to see ahead.

I took a few pictures on my way home from work today.The snow is melting, and water is laying in the streets which is so unusual for here, in January. It feels remarkable.The people I know are enjoying this warm weather, with abit of disbelief. I think we can be forgiven for our delight in the warmth.

Here is a sight we don't often see in the middle of winter - we have had very little snowfall thus far.

We had brisk winds today, up to 50 km. But the temperature at 3 above was warm.

Water lying in the street like this is unusual for the middle of winter in Saskatchewan. It does occur but it is rare.This was taken a little after 5 p.m. just at the sunset, and the light seemed very gentle, and almost springlike.

As you can see, I can't quite get over the phenomenon of all the water in the streets.

There seems to be a spring like quality to the light. I wonder if it is caused by the warmer temperature.

I have lived in Saskatchewan for most of my 56 years, and I am abit awestruck by our January. We have had warm spells in our winters but this is very unusual.



Anonymous said...

What neat little snowpeople. Your kids are talented.

Thanks for answering my question so nicely, Brenda.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks, Sandy!
I find it interesting to hear that the warmer winter is being felt all over North America. Although not in most of Quebec I believe, and possibly the Maritimes.
I must say I am enjoying the ease of getting around this year.

Teri C said...

There is crazy weather all over. Even Arizona is warmer than usual. But yikes, those are some wild stories about you freezing weather! Reminds me of my hometown, Superior, Wisconson. Extreme weather when I grew up there.

And those cute snowmen.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hey, Teri, Thanks for dropping in!
So, you know what extreme winter weather is too!!
There's something about being in a blizzard that is slightly exhilarating (as long as you are safe, of course).
Hoping you have a wonderful weekend!

Geraldine said...

Having lived there for a good part of my life, I can certainly relate to extreme weather. One story that comes to mind is from the 90's when I was working a "day job" and also part-time for the local paper. I was headed over to the fire station to interview the retiring fire chief and my car would not start, no way, nada...frozen solid! It was -70 C with the windchill that day, I remember it well. But everyone kept on going, working, shopping...hearty (maybe fool-hardy!!!) folks us Prairie people are. End of the story, the fire guys picked me up in a FIRE TRUCK!!! not a pumper but still a big yellow one and I got to arrive in style, even gave the sirens a work out!

Sorry, had to share that....I find the weather frightening actually, with so little snow, rain in the Arctic, it's not good signs even if people enjoy the break from the cold. Give me snow any day.

That last pic is gorgeous Brenda. I don't miss Saskatchewan but I do remember the beautiful sunsets there. The Prairies has the rest of Canada beat when it comes to those skies.

Have a good weekend, G :<)

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Geraldine,
Thanks for reading here today.
I love your story, and the added touch of the fire truck coming to get you for your interview is great, and really is in the true spirit of Saskkatchewan in winter...people will do anything to get the job done in spite of the cold, it seems. You certainly did arrive in style!

Yes, the warm weather is worrisome, I agree.
In the big picture - I would prefer snow and typical winter temperatures.

Thanks for the compliment about the picture.
Our winter sunsets are often so pretty!

I'm thinking of you and hope the writing is going well!

The Boston Lady said...

Brenda those sunset pictures are beautiful. It seems that we are all to have a mild winter this year perhaps. My friend who has a home in Montana says it did not snow one bit during their winter visit there. We are in LA where the weather was warmer than usual last week and this week we have more seasonal temps. My blogging efforts have been thwarted for the moment but I hope my son can help me out as I love to blog when we r on the go. Helps me settle down for the night. Lol. Ann

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hi, Ann,
Thanks for reading here.
Hope your son can help you to fix the problem, and you'll be able to post some news and pictures of your holiday.
Have a wonderful time!