And so it begins!  This is Bonaventure Avenue in St. John's, before the snow started falling heavily.

And so it begins! This is Bonaventure Avenue in St. John's, before the snow started falling heavily.
Photo Credit: CBC / Philippe Grenier/CBC

Newfoundland storm brings first snowday

Newfoundland is coping with a powerful Atlantic storm today that’s bringing over 30 centimetres of snow and winds up to 90 kilometres an hour.

Students from elementary to university got a break with the first snowday and cancelled classes. In Newfoundland children employ a variety of superstitious practices from putting crayons in the freezer, spoons under the pillow and ice cubes down the toilet in an effort to bring on a snowday. Many other buildings and events have been closed and cancelled as well.

This is all in stark contrast to central Canada which is still basking in above average temperatures. Winnipeg, may have to reconsider its nickname. Known as “Winterpeg, Manisnowba, and described as colder than Mars, the last few days have been seen record-breaking highs.

Super El Nino

Yesterday, teperatures in the southern Manitoba town of McCreary reached 10.6 C, breaking the previous record of 7.5 C in 1989. It was one of 18 records broken in the province.

Meterologists have identified this as an El-Nino winter, when the trade winds in the Pacific shift, bringing warmer waters north which causes a milder winter in much of Canada. The last one was during the winter of 1997 – 98.  That was the winter of the major ice storm in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.

While the majority of Canadians are quite happy with the mild weather, retailers and charities tend to suffer. Without snow, coats and winter apparel don’t sell very well, and people don’t give or donate as much as they haven’t gotten into the “Christmas spirit”. Forecasters are saying there’s a 70 per cent chance of a ‘green Christmas’ in many regions where it is generally a white one.

And for now, most ski hills and ice rinks remain empty.

Categories: Environment & Animal Life, Society

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