Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's Not Just Brutally Cold

I bet you're thinking that all Canadians talk about in the winter is the extreme cold. But it really is remarkable. I'm in Winnipeg where it's about -30C without the wind chill. I heard somebody on the plane call this "crunchy breath" weather, and I knew exactly what they were talking about. But it isn't simply brutally cold. A Sikh taxi driver today explained to me that there are some of the subtle distinctions in cold weather:

1) Yes, it's -30C today in Winnipeg, but it's a "warm cold," my taxi driver told me. Compared to Toronto where it's -10C, but with lots of humidity, Winnipeg is very dry so the cold here is warmer than the cold in Toronto, he said. [Ed. note - After walking a couple of blocks this afternoon, I'm going to have to disagree. It's MUCH colder in Winnipeg than Toronto.]

2) Winnipeg has gotten a couple "big dumps" of snow this winter. But they've been dumps of "warm snow," from the south. The taxi driver said that when the city gets the warm snow dumps from the south his tulips will bloom in mid-March. When the snow dumps come from the north--"cold dumps"--his tulips don't bloom until the end of May.

3) It's -30C now and that's unseasonable, but later this week it's going back up to -12C and that will be "really comfortable," according to my taxi driver. "Just wait," he said. "You'll see."

1 comment:

  1. Sorry my friend ... but I am one who has come to LOVE the crunch-breath weather ... I leave the car behind, wrap on my -60 Parka (bought in Winnipeg at a store specializing in Arctic wear) and with hat, gloves and scarf head out to explore the wonders that are part of a typical Prairie winter ...

    with the sun shining - it's the most beautiful time of the year ...

    ENJOY !!!!