I am a Canadian. I live in the North. Therefore, I should expect it to be a little cold in the winter.
That’s the theory at least.
This is what I don’t understand. Those living in Florida have a slight right to freak out at the sight of a small flurry, but those in Canada? They have no excuse! Winter is something people should be preparing for in September, especially with the impact of global warming!
The fact is, it is cold in Canada. It snows in Canada. There are storms that hit every year in Canada. And yet — no one is ever prepared for them. These storms shut down subways, cause car accidents, and down hydro lines. Politicians seem shocked when suddenly they have to deal with homeless shelters at capacity, as if this is something that has never happened before. And this is just a regular Canadian winter.
So, imagine the panic when a meteorologist says a storm called a “bomb cyclone” was about to hit the East Coast.
A bomb cyclone was a term created more for social media than anything else. The actual term for a storm like this one is cyclogenesis or bombogenisis, and refers to a low pressure cold front that falls “24 millibars in 24 hours or less”. In simple terms, it means a cyclone in which the air moves up into the atmosphere to create precipitation. Due to the cold weather, this precipitation falls in the form of snow or hail.
Millibars measures the pressure of a cyclone. The standard pressure on Earth is 1013.2 millibars, so dropping to 24 millibars would indicate an incredibly “explosive” storm; hence the term bomb cyclone.
The so-called bomb cyclone dropped about 60 cm of snow to parts of New Brunswick over a period of 24 hours. The winds were a hurricane force of 170 km/h in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.The power is out for tens of thousands of residents and certain regions are still under blizzard warnings.
While the storm did result in some crazy photographs and video on social media, there were no deaths.
Still blowing, heavy gusts out in Cow Bay, #NSStorm @chronicleherald pic.twitter.com/mMzRtiwgix
— tim krochak (@real_timbophoto) January 5, 2018
#NBStorm how many people got the snow drift this morning? 😐 pic.twitter.com/fPhYDenWNl
— Mary (@LifeKeepsUsKind) January 5, 2018
This is what irks me. Storms like these, albeit a bit frightening, happen every year. Maritimers survived, just like they always do. But, the Maritimes are different from the rest of the country. When a storm hits, they stand strong. They know it is coming and they work double-time to make sure neighbours are safe and infrastructure is repaired. The rest of the country? Big wimps!
With weather reaching -30 degrees with windchill, Ontario is freaking out. Politicians and news anchors are pleading residents to stay indoors. Events are being cancelled. All because of a little cold weather.
Sure, you can argue that -30 degrees is incredibly chilly. I would agree with that statement; however, this doesn’t just happen when the temperature drops below 30. The first snowfall in Toronto is hell! It’s like everyone forgets how to drive or dress for the winter. During the first snowstorm, it took me two hours to get home. It is usually a 30 minute commute. I look out my window and see teenage girls wandering around in short dresses and heels, and then complaining about frostbite!
Can the rest of Canada pull itself together and act…well, Canadian? Winter is not going anywhere, and you can’t hibernate for the next three months!
And if you do decide to hibernate, here is a tip: Next January, it may also be a bit nippy.