The Winter That Wasn't


Normally, I wouldn’t talk about snow. Previous experience would indicate that, in Ontario at least, this would be tempting fate. For as long as I can remember, this province hasn’t had much of a spring. Quite often, winter would linger, surprising us with snow into mid-April, after which time the temperatures would jump sharply, and we’d ride headlong into summer. On more than one year, snow and 30’C temperatures have been less than three days apart. In April.

But if winter decides to pay us a final visit, I won’t complain too much, because this season simply hasn’t been any challenge at all. It’s as if the calendar paused at November for three whole months. I was perplexed at the lack of snow back in February, and now, March has been downright hot. The temperature is forecast to reach 27’C on Wednesday, and even if the daily highs between now and March 31st turn out to be 5’C less than forecast, this will still be the hottest March on record.

Maybe I shouldn’t complain. These have been glorious days. The kids have been out in the playground with their friends, and that is always a wonderful thing. This community really comes alive when it’s warm enough to play outside. But I also notice that the mosquitoes are out in force. That’s not a good sign. Also not a good sign is the fact that I went out and bought allergy medication today. This is the earliest I’ve ever needed it.

If it is as hot as it is now, and the trends continue, how much hotter will this summer be?

As good as these days have been, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve kinda, sorta broke this planet. I mean, consider what March was like back in 2008. Consider that I was complaining about snow in 2004. And do people remember the snow day we had on April 4, 2003?

There are lots of reasons to hate winter, but there are lots of reasons to hate a too-hot, bug-riddled, allergy-suffering, drought-filled summer. And while I realize that one should not confuse weather with climate, and that this is only one year and thus possibly an exceptional one, I still really hope that it was exceptional. I’m a little worried about what things could be like if this was a trend.

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