Saturday, January 10, 2009
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
I know I have been remiss in keeping this up to date but isn't it about getting back up on the horse when you fall off! Bruised and sore I am back!
It has been a remarkable winter here on Haida Gwaii so far. We are famous for our over zealous rainfall and beautiful temperate rainforests but for snow! The Observer this week reported that in 2008 we had 1108 mm of rain and 82cm of snow(all in Dec)! Don't get me wrong, we do get snow but it is usually above tree line and if we get it on the streets of town it is usually followed by a "Southeaster"(our prevailing weather system which brings, wind, rain and moderate temperatures)and promptly turns the snow to a sloppy mess "a la Toronto"!
This year in the weeks before Christmas as the rest of the country was already shovelling snow we were suffering through cold(-2*C) temperatures brought on by outflow winds from the glacier covered mainland mountains. The benefit of the outflows is blue skies. The ground froze and the sun shone...it was beautiful. Up until Christmas eve we had just a icing sugar dusting of snow! We sat at the airport daily waiting for planes that never came...."why?...there is no snow here". From Saturday, Dec 20 to Saturday, Dec 27 we had one flight!
Christmas morning we work to a winter wonderland like the ones of my childhood. It was glorious, light, fluffy and almost knee deep and the sky and reflected ocean were stunning. As the week wore on we expected it to be washed away but the cold presisted as did the snow, adding cm's to its depth each night. Everything was so quiet. We don't have much in the line of snow removal equipment on the islands and it is usually anticipated that Mother Nature will remove the snow before it becomes a problem....not this time. The snow stayed on the ground, on the trees, on the roads, on the roofs and cars...we got so much snow that when the plow finally did come it hit a car buried in the snow!!! The kids loved it! Cardboard boxes and plastic garbage bags were the sleds of choice as every hill came alive with the screams and laughter of kids big and small. It is now the 9th of January and the snow is still here, a little soggier and wet as the mercury rises but still no "Southeaster".