All those weeks when the weather was so unusually balmy, didn’t you have a little niggling voice in your head tauntingly singing something about “having to pay for this later”? Well, this is later, and if Mother Nature has a sense of humour she’s certainly applying it, in the form of bitter cold: -30 something with a windchill in the -40s is, well, nothing to sneeze at!
So was the first half of our winter unusual? Certainly, but it is also not unheard of for Christmas to be brown and for temperatures to hover above zero for weeks in December and January.
Take the winter of 1939-40, for example. The Edmonton Journal of January 2nd, 1940 carried a story about snow finally falling in this area and in Edmonton after a period of extremely light precipitation and warm temperatures. The new year storm marked the end of the warmest December for 20 years, from here to Winnipeg, at least. The last month of 1939, Edmonton recorded an average temperature of -3.7 C, with a high of 15 above and a low of minus 8. There were only about 6.5 cm of snow, making streets and sidewalks treacherous with ice. And then it snowed. Winter went back to normal, and without a stint at -30.
Seventy one years later, here we are reliving history, as we did in the mid-80s and a few other times in between and since. So long as you live in the Peace Country, you’ve got to expect infinite variety in the forecast. Stay tuned for a dump of snow… doesn’t that little voice tell you it’s coming?