For the longest time it looked like the mild temperatures of the last weeks of November were going to keep the snowstorms away, but yeah, we finally had our very first snowstorms this month. Later than usual: same old shoveling routine. Or ice-picking routine.
Because of the snowstorm (and the sudden drop of temperatures), we decided to let go the idea of hauling out the outdoor decorations. Our neighbours have already taken care of providing extra neighbourhood light since the middle of November. Very pretty, yet so politically incorrect.
Additionally, both the cats have become aware that snow and cold are not really meant for them, so instead of running out and doing their business outside, they’ve become ‘stay-at-home cats’. There’s nothing worse than a year-old cat tearing up the house, couch and other furniture.
You can almost hear Spring coming! There’s 10 – 15 cms of snow going to be piling up tonight. This means we finally get a break from those -20 degrees mornings, because it will be a hot Winter day with temperatures around the -5 degrees! Yes!
And then in the morning, the snow will slowly change into freezing rain as the temperature will creep up to the 0 degrees (subtropical temperatures, no really), possibly to +2 degrees. Oh, then the storm will move away and the temperatures will sink down the drain, back to the double digits (minus) again. Oh noes…
Wait a second: didn’t I see the same pattern a week or so ago? No Spring in sight, just yet, then. On the plus side: at least the freezing rain will make everything look like a shiny ice palace.
This morning, I woke up with the sound of snowplows driving by our house, which to me, is the first hint that it’s time to do some shoveling outside. So, I guess, that’s something I’ll be planning for later.
We’ve been having our share of snow and unpredictable weather this month though: more so than the previous years. Additionally, after every dump of snow, temperatures have gone up way above the zero degrees mark (Celsius). For example, when I was writing this entry a couple of days ago, it was pouring rain outside, which (of course) took care of the snow that was dumped on us earlier last week. So that’s our start of the winter: plenty of snow and then slush that freezes up the next morning. Excellent weather to make glide and slide ramps. Not so much fun for dogs.
It may not surprise you that I frequently visit Weather Canada’s site, but mainly for statistical data, which is available for everybody who is interested in this kind of stuff. Their online Climate Data site is right here and is food for people who love numbers and that. Online weather data can be shown in different formats: for an example, try to click this link for this month’s weather data at the Debert weatherstation. Notice that Debert also keeps track how many centimeters of snow is still on the ground (which is obviously not really scientific, but nonetheless entertaining). If you go back in time on this weblog, you can probably find some similarities between the weather data and my writings.
Weather Canada also provides complete datasets on a CD-ROM, which can be freely downloaded from their site. The software, however, is completely DOS-based and the data is written in some kind of B-Tree-type file format (it’s not even written into their own specific standard file format). Setting it up on your computer can be a pain, but it works good: it comes with tools to export data to CSV, plain text and that silly format I mentioned in the previous sentence. Hopefully, the government will bring this product to more
feasonable1 fashionable platforms.
1 I, uh, heh. I thought I wrote feasible.
It looks like we’re in the midst of the winterstorm that earlier pested Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. The (local) forecast tells that we can expect a mix of heavy snowfall (15 cms and up) and (possibly) rain during the Monday morning hours. It is a kind of silly to see rain being mentioned: the last couple of weeks, the temperature has been hanging around the -5 to -10 degrees zone.
I saw that Marian (at the Internationalist) uploaded a couple of short movies to Google (one, two and three), which show what a snowstorm looks like over here (I’m looking at you, Europeans). This reminds me that at one time, Alfons came over around Winter time just to see what such a snowstorm looked like. If I’m not wrong, he missed it by a week.
For now, I haven’t decided to wait it out or start clearing out the driveway: At this stage, the snow (and pellets) are light enough to brush aside with a smaller shovel. It won’t be when it starts raining.
It appears that the US NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) watered down the Iranian threat saying that ‘it has high confidence that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 but that it was continuing to enrich uranium‘. This (of course) goes against all the signals that the current Bush administration has been sending to the press. Even at this stage, the President says that we should see this report as a ‘warning signal’. I recall other warning signals.
Earlier, Schreiber testified for a federal committee and promised fireworks: in short, his allegations suggest that a former Canadian Prime Minister improperly acquired large sums of money. There’s a another side to the story: for years Schreiber has been fighting extradition to Germany, where he’s wanted for tax evasion.
We had a major storm heading our way last night and the snow outside looks a bit strange this early. I expect this snow to be hanging around here until Spring 2008.
Yesterday, we were hit by a snowstorm that apparently took everyone by surprise: After finishing shopping in the local mall, we walked and drove through the very first winter storm to hit our area. This comes right after the Weather Office’s prediction that this year is going to be the coldest Winter. Worst yet: Right on the road to the mall, for some explicably stupid reason, I decided not to bring my camera.
CBC had many reports about the elections in Russia: the most memorable report was the one about the pro-Putin youth group Nashi (BBC link only). It looks like Putin’s party will be winning which will (apparently) make him a prime minister at the end of his presidential term. If that doesn’t sound absurd.
And the last thing I want to bring attention at is the GameSpot incident. In short: a games editor/reviewer gives a game a bad review and is fired afterwards. A good summary can be found at Virtual Fools. I generally don’t read online game magazines because I don’t agree with the superfluous rating systems each of them uses: additionally, I’ve always had my doubts about magazines that review computers games and have the games’ ads prominently on display, simultaneously.