Sunday, February 5

Winnipeg Weather 1

Before I moved to Winnipeg I looked up some information about the city so that I could be more prepared, for what, I am not sure, but I figured more information was better than none.  One of the first pieces of information I learned was that for its size (about 634,000 people) it is the coldest city in the world.  Yep, you read that right.  In the WORLD.  I moved here anyway.  Let's just say that the 'training' I received in Edmonton back in 1991, as my first real Canadian winter, was long and hard, but last winter, of 2011, was absurd.  Six weeks of -25 to -45 degrees Celsius!  So crazy!  Not only that but my apartment overlooked a major intersection of two week used roads and a large parking lot.  Every week a large dump truck and tractor with bucket would appear to scoop up the snow and release it outside the city limits.  I could not believe winter actually existed like this.  So much snow.  So long cold.  So very crazy.

The dump truck leaving its load at the University of Manitoba

Piles and piles of snow

There was so much snow that the snow ploughs did not head down the major city arteries one at a time.  No.  They convoyed down the street three and four at a time, gunning anything down it their wake, including snow, ice, and winter debris (like slow people running out of the way).  Sadly, I did not have the courage to jump in front of this careening vehicles to take a picture so your imagination will have to do.  Needless to say, it was quite a sight, especially at night.  

I learned during this long winter that the sun is deceiving.  It was out almost every day for six weeks, blazing brightly, making the snow sparkle on the sidewalk, but there was no warmth.  Some cruel celestial being had turned off its heat and left its light as a taunting joke.  Several times I left my apartment, ready to enjoy the hot, yellow, burning sun, only to have my eye lashes freeze my eyes together as I attempted to stumble out of the way of the snow ploughs.  Thank goodness they have spinning lights that are stronger than emergency vehicles or I would have been thrust aside like a snow bank.  I had to trudge on.  

My bad holding up a Winnipeg size snow drift.
Around the first week of March, my parking neighbour who had learned that I had just moved from Calgary and missed Chinook winds, joked that Winnipeg was having a Chinook.  It was -15 degrees Celsius.  Sadly, it felt warm and delightful as with the windchill, it had been up to -50 for several nights in a row during February.  How did my ancestors ever survive without down filled jackets, central heating and on occasion a hot toddy?  I honour them and their will.  They must have survived based on pure will, cuddling or hiding in the innards of their dead farm animals.  Ok.  I went too far.  I survived and somehow many of them did, as I am here, still living in these crazy winters.  We must all be crazy.  

Off to buy garbage mittens as they are the warmest and fashion at -50?  Ha!  Only for fools.  Give me the bright yellow and the tight wrist bands.  At least I will match the sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment