Yes, it’s a post about the weather — the most insane winter weather we’ve had in my recollection (and I’m no spring chicken… haha). It started last November, though it feels like years rather than months, with the usual skiff of snow that finally didn’t melt away. You see, southern Alberta is known for a phenomenon repeated in only select parts of the world. This meteorological wonder is here referred to as a Chinook, roughly translated from a local native language as “snow eater”, which aptly describes what this incredibly warm wind can do to a winter’s accumulation of snow in only hours. It arrives quickly with strong winds and a characteristic cloud arch over the mountains to the west. It wreaks havoc with people sensitive to atmospheric pressure changes, paining them with anything from mild joint achiness to migraines, but it is always welcomed as a break from winter’s chill. In any given winter, we can see our snow completely disappear numerous times. This year, we had so much snow and so few Chinooks that we kept that November snow for the season. The last flakes departed just today, pummeled into leaving by rain interspersed with a few little bursts of hail.
I was lucky that a friend pointed me to some crocuses last week. At last! A true sign that spring had arrived! The following day another few inches of heavy, slushy snow were dumped on our heads. I haven’t gone back to see what kind of shape those little purple bulbs are in. It can’t be good. After the snow’s dogged resistance to let us have some semblance of something that is not winter, I focused on getting some colour in front of my eyes. Those crocuses saved me. While I haven’t had much time to play with the images, just knowing I have them has been uplifting, and I sometimes peek at them while completing other work, perhaps to make sure I didn’t just dream them.
As for the rain and hail, that’s typical midsummer weather for us (I’ve got a short video of a storm from last summer in my flickr stream). At least it’s a step up from the snow, right?