Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Vagaries of Weather

On April 6, 2005 I wrote in a notebook, “Dusty day, though warm, too warm, really for April. I like a slow spring.”

This year on April 7, we had snow falling in the morning, and piles of snow banks sit all over the place. Most of us, though aching for spring and melting, would like a slow melt so that we don’t have to contend with water in basements or other places. I’ve already heard people talk about water leaking through kitchen ceilings and windows.
April 8, 2005 a haiku came while I walked along the river bank:
White river ice melts
Turns green, colour of new grass –
Winter’s hold broken.
This year, winter has us in a steely grip that won’t let go. A couple of days ago we had melting and it felt like spring. Now, who knows? I wonder if there’s ever been a year when spring didn’t actually come. Ice age time?

I have seen Canada geese already flying over the river this year, though so that’s hopeful. Unless some of them didn’t leave this winter? I don’t think the pelicans have arrived yet. According the Meewasin’s web site, the earliest sighting since they started keeping track, was last year – April 4. The latest arrival time so far has been April 18. I wonder if we’ll set a record this year for late arrival. How do birds know when to come anyway? Do they have some kind of long distance telepathy so that the sparrows and chickadees send out the word: “Still too much snow and ice, stay away”?
Things look hopeful for the next week – sunny skies and for next Saturday, rain is predicted. That’s better than snow.

Last year was apparently Canada’s third mildest winter on record, so maybe we were due. But of course weather isn’t logical in that way. We don’t deserve this or that kind of weather, it just happens.
Humans have been trying to predict the weather for millennia, but apparently it wasn’t until 1835, with the invention of the electric telegraph that the modern age of weather forecasting began. I guess it’s useful to be able to send information around the world. We forget sometimes how amazing it is that we can go on line and see what the weather is like and going to be like in any region of the world. Currently, in Crete, where it’s Monday morning already, it’s raining. The temperature is 16 degrees Centigrade. Sigh.

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