A common conversation starter amongst those who experience dramatic shifts in temperature throughout the year; “So, how’s the weather?” has been a topic of much discussion over the past few months. Last year’s record setting winter for cold temps (coldest on record since the 1880’s) and high snowfalls followed by the late start and mild temperatures of this past summer (tied with 2004 for coolest on record) have definitely gotten people talking. According to a recent study highlighted by CBS the average person talks about the weather four times a day, for an average of 8.3 minutes or 5 full days a year. Weather ranks higher as a conversation starter than sports, work, and even vacations.
Why this daily obsession with the weather? Perhaps it’s the fact that it’s always changing, or maybe because it’s one of the elements of our daily lives we can’t control; at the very least it’s something to complain about and have other people will agree with. For the outdoors person weather impacts our time outside more than having the right gear (although when it comes to clothing those two are often related). The temperature changes how we dress, the timing of the season impacts our activities in terms of what we can do and what species to go after, and the climate impacts key features such as water temp, water depth, snow fall, ice thickness, undergrowth, foliage etc. For those less inclined to the outdoor scene weather greatly affects our mood and daily outlook.
Take this year’s upcoming winter season for example, which many are not looking forward to. The threat of having to hunker down for another long cold winter has gotten many people talking. Some are saying it will be a real doozy and a repeat of last year while others are saying it will be warmer and drier than average. It’s clear that talking about the weather is seemingly inevitable so the next time someone strikes up the conversation instead of focusing on the gloomy aspects try to take a positive approach. Or better yet, find an activity for every season so you can get out and enjoy the day regardless of the weather. More snow to shovel means great powder for skiing or sledding. Cold days and nights mean thicker ice and a longer ice fishing season…you get the idea.
As for the local scene northern Ontario has experienced mainly seasonal temperatures this fall, with a few warmer days as we transition into winter. Our resident weather man Graham Saunders says “Warmer than average temperature are likely to decline to seasonal conditions over the next days. Expect occasional periods of rain/snow interspersed with short dry periods during the coming week”. I’m not sure when the snow will hit for good, but I can tell you that it’s slowly creeping south. My drive 2 hrs NE to Terrace Bay last weekend to visit family saw large patches of snow and ice in the shadows, and my vehicle received its first coating of greyish white film from the salted roads.