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Guess where it didn’t snow on Friday

January 23, 2016

The rain at 9 a.m. this morning pooling on the rusty tin top of a ventilation unit.

Vancouver, British Columbia may be in Canada (all the maps say it is) but that’s not to say that Canada is in Vancouver — not at this time of year, at least.

From my vantage point on B.C.’s “Wet Coast”, everywhere I look east of the Rocky Mountains — across the rest of Canada and down the East Coast of the United States — is experiencing sub-zero temperatures and/or is covered in snow.

Meanwhile, at 3 p.m. today (Friday, January 22), here in Vancouver, it’s stopped raining for the moment and its a balmy 10°C.

That makes Vancouver fully 18 degrees warmer than Montreal, Quebec, where, at this moment, it’s -8°C.

So far, in the winter of 2015-2016, Vancouver hasn’t recorded a single daytime high below zero. Our coldest days would seem like the onset of spring to almost any other part of Canada.

The rain comes, the rain goes — everywhere else, it just snows


At 3 p.m. the clouds parted and the streets gleamed. Kept raining though.

Vancouverites and other British Columbians that call the South Coast home are living in a kind of Canadian singularity — a moist, rain forest climate bubble that — while wonderful — does shield and cut us off from sharing in the true winter experience that almost all other Canadians have in common for something like six months of the year.

I’m referring to things like…shoveling snow, having an outdoor ice rink behind every school, snow forts, snowball fights, standing around the hot stove in the rink shack gossiping and warming your freezing fingers, tobogganing, shoveling snow, bumper sliding, making snow angels, snowmobiling and shoveling snow — the list goes on and on.

Who in Canada hasn’t experienced half-a-life’s-worth of this kind of winter? An awful lot of Vancouverites, that’s who.

Of course, those of us who came to the city from elsewhere in Canada — we remember winter, but give it enough time and, believe me, all those memories dim and take on the quality of TV sitcoms that we once watched.

I for one remember watching 16 first run seasons of Prairie Winter a long time ago and personally, I have no interest in seeing reruns.

So I’m not complaining, I’m just saying.

The snowballing snow-job south of the border

And, weather it seems germane or not, I have a caution for those pundits, disturbed by the chaotic political climate prevailing in the United States (I’m referring to the blizzards of bombast, the rain of jingoistic language and the terrible drought of ideas).

To those who shake their heads and take refuge in the notion that “it’ll be a cold day in Hell before Donald Trump is elected President!” I say:

Consider that on Friday it reached  -6° C. in Washington, D.C., with heavy snowfall and 24 km/h winds.

Not exactly Hell, I’ll admit, but perhaps a rare enough meteorological phenomenon to carry The Donald through the first round of presidential primaries and caucuses coming up in February. Click the images to enlarge them.

From → Fairview

  1. Hi. Well I love to follow your column, and I sometimes think we are close to brother/sister…or other strange relationship…don’t go there right now. (I love your posts and keep thinking I have been somewhere about 30 minutes after you….!!! Although I have never been known to get up at dawn and admire the sunrise reflected off that strange building across from the Mac’s store. Nice that you did…saves me, and I get to slumber a couple extra hours, and still enjoy something I missed.

    Will you please get the damned date straight!!!

    I think I’ve noticed before, but today especially, as it is a significant one on my calendar, and god help me if I am relying on you to keep the dates straight…..Friday was January the 22nd, not the 23rd! And the weather was pretty decent, at least on my side of burrard street. In fact, I took my dog for a lovely wander, all over the areas between vine and burrard, and beyond… Damp, no rain.
    (Vancouver may be diverse, but not that much! And we don’t have different time zones yet, either!)

    I enjoy your musings, but…you know, Friday was January the 22nd, not the 23rd. Am I the only follower of yours that is getting messed up over this? (I don’t expect a retraction, and I know time is a relative matter…. But could you please reset your gps, or whatever is your guidance system?
    Thanks, cause I have a feeling this isn’t the first time that the date on your musings has varied from the calendar. Today was the first that caused me real alarm, though. Don’t do it again please.


    • You’re right about the date. Apologies and thanks for mentioning it. I’ll try to be careful. When I post on the day in question, I often throw in the explicit date only because sometimes the reposts my stuff days late, otherwise I would always leave it to the automatic date stamping provided by the WordPress CMS. In this case, for one reason or another, I “published” the post it well after midnight and I was sleepy. I really will be more careful in the future.


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