Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Toronto and Another Cold Weather Alert

The radio nudged me awake today at 7:30. Most often, the guys on CBC Radio help me to start my day. "It is minus 21, minus 30 with windchill this morning. The City has declared another cold weather alert, the  5th so far this winter",  Gill Dempsey's cheerful voice proclaimed.   As I opened my eyes I wondered if I would see a winter wonderland scene outside - last night they had predicted some snow this morning.  The south wall of my condo is all glass - I am still debating window coverings -  and so provides an exquisite view of the Lake right from my bed. Not only the lake, but the island airport, the CNE grounds, Ontario Place and for good measure, the Gardiner Express Way, Lakeshore Go Trains and the 509 Trolley route.  Boats, planes, cars and trains all in motion. No, not snow, I could see beyond my balcony and the hint of sunrise.  There was something more magical at play - today my eyes lingered over the lake as the dance of the wisps was underway.

The sun was peaking through the low cloud to the south-east.  Wispy tendrils coming off the water, in the distance leaping up into the sky as if they were transfusing the clouds above providing Buffalo with it's lake effect snowfall.  This is becoming a familiar sight -  the air being so very cold over the lake that clouds seemingly formed directly from the water and rose up into the sky right before your very eyes.  Yes, another cold day.

We haven't yet heard the words "Polar Vortex" being bandied about by the weather man this year as yet - last year it seemed the 2014 neologism .  So far this year, the Weather Forecasters just refer to it as an arctic air mass (meaning just cold weather) and tell us it is descending upon us yet again.  I am hoping we are not in for any Polar Vortex weather this winter.  Anyway, the weather this last week or two has been damn cold that is all. 

The view to the west was not quite as spectacular as to the east, but it was great to see blue skies all around.   I can cozy up and enjoy the sun and the view and dream of warmer days and make travel plans. Abby was no more anxious to rush out for her morning stroll than I was, so I wandered over to the kitchen to make coffee and settle in for an easy do it morning.

 I had been hoping for a much milder winter this year.  I guess we can all blame global warming for this.
According to the City of Toronto Statistics, we have had 1 less cold weather alert in the city than last year at this time - but last winter we had 36 cold weather alerts -  4 times the number for the previous winter (2012/2013)!  The highest number by far in the last decade!  With the 2 recent deaths of homeless men in our streets, I am glad that the City has seemed more open to calling an alert rather than not.  I looked for stats to see how many homeless died last winter, but apparently that is not a question that the search engines can answer. Here is to hoping that we don't have any more deaths due to the homeless dying of exposure this winter.

For the geeks out there - I found a You Tube video which explains the Polar Vortex and last year concluded that these cold weather events would continue and increase in the face of global warning.  According to a Science Digest published study: "... thermal and wind driven ECWAs  (Extreme Cold Weather Alerts) will continue for Toronto under climate change scenarios, although with gradual decreasing frequency."  The weather models the researchers used projected out to 2050 - but of course I will be long gone by then so I guess I'd better get used to bundling up.   And as for the homeless?  I think I will pick up a bunch of warm socks and start handing them out instead of change.  Seems we are in this for the long haul.


  1. Well, you said you hoped to become more active on the sea of blogs, Peggy, and it seems you are on the way to doing just that. It is nice to see your posts once again .... to read your words and to enjoy the views from your windows.

    I think you and I are experiencing pretty much the same weather. Snowfall has been spotty, but frigid days and nights are the rule rather than the exception. I keep saying I have had enough winters for this lifetime, but I never seem to be able to carry out an actual move once warm weather returns. This summer .... maybe. The problem is that I cannot think of a place "down south" where I would wish to live.

    Take care ....

    1. Thanks for visiting Fram! Yes, making an effort to get back into the swing.

      As to the weather - I have to agree with you. I could skip winters altogether, although too many things in this neck of the woods tether me here at this point. I went to Cuba again this fall - stay tuned for a travel blog to cover that trip - you might want to consider a trip there to break up the winter as you might just find it interesting enough for a good amount of time. Things are changing there though - and if/when the USA removes the blockade we will see real change I am sure - so you may want to do that sooner rather than later so you can see Cuba as it is today.

  2. We are experiencing the same weather a little south of you, Peggy. By the way, I have been meaning to message you on Facebook but keep forgetting. So I will tell you here what I wanted to tell you there. Do you remember discussing a book by Lawrence Hill sometime ago...in the U.S. The book was called ""Someone Knows My Name".

  3. Sorry..it wouldn't let me type anymore in the comment above. Anyway, we are able to get CBC.ca TV shows here via the webpage. We are watching the mini series "Book of Negros". There is another show I like on CBC -- Heartland.

  4. Linda, hello! we seem to track one another over Facebook, but it is nice that you popped by my blog. Yes, I am enjoying the Book of Negros mini series also. Quite good I think, although there was a lot more in the book but I guess they have to cut it somewhere - it was a rather long book!

    I guess we are all getting similar weather in this corner of the world. Cold one day colder the next - a bit of a reprieve then back to frigid temps. At least today is sunny, even if it isn't as warm as I would like.

    Anyway, take care and stay warm!


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