Oh no – snow – everywhere

Well it really is here – the snow – piled up high on cars, branches of trees. Can’t really complain because it is part of living in Canada. Before we immigrated here people in our Southern African home were a bit in awe of why we were going to the cold North. “Oh my goodness” they said, “Isn’t it really cold there?” We assured them that we would be fine. Hadn’t we been to Austria to go skiing in January. We could handle a bit of snow and cold. Ha … what did we know? We arrived in Calgary in 1995 just in time for a really cold winter – December 1995 a temp of -32 celsius. Ouch! That was a harsh introduction.

It was then that I really understood the meaning of snowbirds and why retired people in Calgary fled south to Arizona, Mexico and other sunny places to escape the worst of the winter.

But Mother Nature is sneaky and maybe she has the last laugh as there are some places where snow has visited that will really surprise you. She has sprinkled the white stuff in Arizona! What a cheek! And even Maui. That’s just rude! The Grand Canyon earlier this year looked like it had been transplanted to somewhere north of Banff.

And then just to shake things up a bit Mother Nature really messes with us and instead of snow sends us perfectly shaped ice that looks just like eggs. This was the scene in Finland a few days ago

But did you know that snow can be quite helpful? It works as a thermal blanket …the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (yes there really is a place called that) reports as follows –

The thermal properties of snow have important consequences for climate, as well. Snow acts like an insulating blanket. Beneath just 30 centimeters (1 foot) of snow, the soil and the organisms within it are protected from changes in the air temperature above the snow surface. Snow’s cold, moist surface influences how much heat and moisture circulate between the ground and the atmosphere. Snow helps insulate the ground below, holding in heat and preventing moisture from evaporating into the atmosphere. Even on top of other frozen material, such as permafrost and river ice or sea ice, snow cover prevents ice from forming as quickly.

You can read the whole article here https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/climate.html

Plus I am sure there are a whole bunch of skiiers and snowboarders out there just waiting for that first snow report. So the choice is out there for you. Strap on the skis, the snow shoes or the snowboard ….

or just get the hell outta here!

Yes please!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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