Friday, December 9, 2016

Bracing for the avalanche

Having grown up in Southwestern Ontario, where a few feet of snowfall and minus-40 temperatures aren't that unusual (OK then, minus-20, but it was minus-40 in Alberta), I find the snow phobia in Vancouver somewhat laughable. 

All week, and even last week, people have been anxiously talking about the horrendous blizzard which was about to hit the Lower Mainland on Thursday night. When I went to ask the pharmacist at Walmart about vitamins, she said, "I don't know about vitamins. Everyone wants to talk about the snowstorm coming."

The anxiety was palpable. Could we risk driving into the city to go to Ryan's Christmas concert on Thursday night, when the disaster was supposed to hit? We weren't sure. Everyone was telling us not to. Everyone told us cars were skidding all over the place and colliding, because nobody around here has ever heard of snow tires. (It's also hard to text and drive at the same time.)

So here's today's report for Friday, December 9, one day post-blizzard (emphasis mine):

A snowstorm that was expected to hit the Metro Vancouver area failed to materialize Thursday evening, but snow was beginning to fall across the region early Friday morning.
(OMG - look at that thing! What is it? Is it a snowflake?)

After a witheringly cold, clear couple of days in Metro Vancouver ("better wear a jacket today, hon"), a major storm was set to hit the area late Thursday. While the weather was relatively clear Thursday night (oh come on, guys, admit it, you were WRONG about this!), another wave of precipitation is expected Saturday, though that will likely fall as rain at lower elevations. (In other words, it will rain. In Vancouver.)

With the entrenched Arctic air mass over southern B. C. and the looming (! Let's get some menacing language in here) Pacific storm, Metro Vancouver is bracing to respond to the weather challenges. (I see a good half-inch of snow on the ground outside my window.) 

Insurance companies are bracing for another avalanche of calls (avalanche??) as the region braces for another snow storm. ("Bracing, braces - " was this written in a hurry?)

This week's icy and snowy weather has caused the city to burn through more than double the amount of salt and brine that it used last year (and OK, so it didn't snow last year - AT ALL! Some editor told this reporter, "For God's sake try to make this sound dramatic, so we won't feel like total fools!").

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