Weather: Late December 2004 snow storm hits Southern Ontario

The weather continues to bring surprises. Welcome to Canada!

While the Northern Hemisphere had an unusually cool summer in 2004, autumn was very mild to the extent that many plants got confused and started blooming again or putting out leaves. Fall colors were among the best in recent years as well.

Last Monday, temperatures in the Kitchener-Waterloo region dropped to a very low -23 C (before windchill). While we normally get a day or two like that in January, this is unusual for December for sure.

Yesterday's temperatures were mild, only a few degrees below zero Celsius, and with barely any wind, it felt like above zero.

Today, things have changed significantly. We are exactly on the line of collision of two different weather systems, the warm humid air from Texas coming up, clashing with very cold arctic air from the north. Therefore, we are in a snow storm that is expected to dump 30 to 35 cm of snow by noon today. This means 50 cm or more on my driveway, because of drift.

Roads are very bad as I type this. A bus accident was reported too, where people got injured, but only minor cuts and bruises, when it hit a patch of ice and rolled over in a ditch. Air travel from Lester B. Pearson's International Airport in Toronto was disrupted, with many flight delays and cancellations. Via Rail and GO Trains also experienced delays.

Here are some pictures to show you how this storm affected us:

Snow on the roof has accumulated due to drift from the wind blowing.
Cars covered with snow across the street.
Patio has seen snow drift too.
Backyard composter with snow towering on top of it.
Suhaila cleaning a pathway. The garage doors would not open because of the weight of the snow.
Suhaila and Sarah clearing a pathway.
Walkway after being cleared.
Neighbor across the street using a snowblower to clear the sidewalk.
My neighbor Dan clearing his driveway for the third time today.
Car braving the road.
A pathway cleared on the driveway, and the garage door can be opened.
The postwoman is still delivering mail despite the slippery conditions for driving and walking.
Car stuck up the hill. Took it some time before it could free itself.
This is not the 30 cms forecasted for our area. This is more like 45 cm, but most of it is because of the drift.
Salma in the snow for the first time
Salma playing with snow.

It is days like this that makes you ask yourself: why did I ever move to Canada? You also remember this joke about moving to Canada.

Our consolation is that it is not as bad as other parts of the vast country called Canada. We are expected to have -5C this afternoon. Winnipeg yesterday had -35 C (without windchill), and Red Lake in Northern Ontario had -39 C today because of that cold arctic front from the north. Although winter on the calendar starts on December 21, it is a running joke in Winnipeg to say: "Winter? It has been with us for 6 weeks!"

On December 30th, the temperature is expected to rise to a mild +11C. Let us hope this prediction comes true.