The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

January 18, 2008




Bundle up, Baby, Because you're in for a Big Boot in the Bottom. Don't worry, though.

You won't be able to feel it anyway -- or anything else -- if you live in Canada's unforgiving Prairie. As this following Environment Canada weather forecast makes abundantly clear...

Extreme wind chill warning issued
Updated at 5:21 PM (Friday, Jan. 18)
Environment Canada has issued an extreme wind chill warning for the second time in two days for Winnipeg.
Temperatures tonight are expected to drop to a low of -35 C, but the extreme wind chill will make it feel like -44 C.

The deep freeze is expected to continue tomorrow with the morning temperature predicted to be -45 C with the wind chill and the thermometer only expected to rise during the day to a high of -25 C.

Temperatures are expected to drop again on Saturday night to a low of -35 C, which with the wind chill will feel like -43 C. Normal temperatures at this time of year are a high of -13 C and a low of -23 C.


Now on to some form of explanation, from a Weather Almanac website I found.

"Upon retiring for the night, I tried to blow out the candle," a Winnipeg, Manitoba settler wrote in his diary one cold winter night in 1879, "But the flame was frozen, so I had to break it off."

Although the settler spun the cold truth a little loosely, the depth of January cold is infamous across North America. That is not to say that North America has a monopoly on cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

The very name Siberia conjures images of frigid cold, ice, snow and blizzard winds.

But North America is unique among the arctic continents because the major mountain chains run north-south rather than east-west as in Europe (the Alps) and Asia (the Himalayas).

This makes nearly all of North America susceptible to vigorous cold fronts.

Without the mountain barriers to block them, Arctic cold outbreaks can sweep southward toward the subtropical Gulf of Mexico, even crossing its waters on occasion.

The birthplaces for most of these frigid outbreaks are the continental expanses or northern Canada near or within the Arctic Circle (Eds note: Translation here is directly north of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta).

Here, long, dark winter nights couple with clear skies and a surface covered with snow and ice progressively chill the air.

Since in these regions the sun does not rise or only skirts the horizon for much of January, there is no warming heat from the sun. And snow and ice on the surface reflect away what little sun weakly beams down.

To compound the lack of incoming heat, snow very effectively radiates away what little heat it has, thus dropping surface air temperatures still further until it reaches the temperature of the high atmosphere.

As the air cools, it becomes denser, forming large domes of high pressure.

Eventually, this cold dome breaks its bond with the spawning ground and rushes wildly southward (Eds note: BRRRR-RIGHT TOWARDS US!). Howling winds precede the great dome, announcing its advent to all life.

(See it? That big band of no clouds? That's us, right now!)

Trees shudder. Birds shiver. Rabbits burrow deep within snow banks. (Eds note: human bloggers inhabiting these regions retreat into their homes if they can and whine, whine, whine to the rest of the planet).

THIS is what I'm waitin' for...the 30C heat, the wide blue skies, the mosquitoes.
I want it. Now.