Siberian Frog à la mode: no, it’s not 28C

by Yule Heibel on May 27, 2005

It’s a cop-out to write about the weather, particularly after such a paucity of postings. However, lately the weather is …noteworthy — as is how it’s reported. I don’t know what they’re saying on the radio (no time to listen) or tv (don’t have one), but the internet weather reports are dead-wrong. Here in Victoria we are getting cooked, yet my trusty weather link (on the right-hand sidebar) claims it’s a mere 82F or 28C, and partly cloudy. Ha! Completely & utterly wrong! Let’s see: if we talk about climate change, calculating and predicting it, will that statistic be used, or my anecdotal report (as per blog) that it’s hot enough inside to melt unlit candles on my window sill and that it’s hot enough outside to make even the blasted gypsy moth caterpillars give up, submitting instead to being roasted alive on the sidewalk? That the sky is of a cloudless blue only visible when every particle of moisture has been burnt from the atmosphere by extreme heat? A couple of days ago, it just got plain hot. Really hot.

Were this an isolated event, it wouldn’t be so weird, but the weather has been off-kilter for ages: climate change and shifting season-change rolled into one. All through April we had June-like conditions, which early in the month sent gardeners out to set sprinklers and soaker hoses, as we collectively worried about such an early-onset of drought (and forest fire season). May continued in this vein for a while, but then presented us with several night-time drenching rains, followed by sunny days but much cooler temperatures. Sometimes the weather would change half a dozen times in one day, making May a typical “April” that wrecked weddings, horse-drawn carriage rides, and the start of outdoor market season. It was also much cooler than “normal,” whatever normal is. Then, after a blustery and even drab Victoria Day holiday (that was last weekend), we got zapped by this astonishing furnace. It’s almost as unnerving as one of those classic “no spring, just hop into heatwave summer” experiences I associate with May in Boston — except, of course, that, despite the cooler May weather, we have had months of the most delightful spring. Yesterday, however, as I was stumbling back home with the dog (who isn’t too happy with the heat), I passed a woman who looked like she was going to have a stroke. She was repeatedly patting her chest, gasping, and when she noticed me said, “This is too much like Winnipeg.” Oh yes, Winnipeg, remind me: another one of those classic “no spring, just hop into heatwave summer” places — sort of like major parts of Russia, Siberia, the steppes, the East Coast of North America, the middle of North America, etc.

Maybe that’s how climate change will get us here, in Victoria: it’ll slowly mess with our spring, and make us have weather like everybody else. If there was always one thing that defined Victoria weather it was that it was different from anywhere else in Canada. While over in Siberia (i.e., large portions of rest of the Northern hemisphere, Europe and America), inhabitants get repeatedly whacked by dramatic and extreme weather (and the sudden season shifts), we delight in real seasons (all four of them, clearly discernible), all without extremes, without even the endless winter rain associated with Seattle or Vancouver.

Ah well, I’ll enjoy the early summer and its heat, for who knows, maybe we’ll get foggy autumn in July… Or we could just continue to keep cooking.


Doug Alder May 28, 2005 at 12:55 am

If you are using Firefox for a browser go to their extensions page and get ForecastFox – it’s very accurate. Besides weatherbug is notorious for being spyware 🙂

maria May 28, 2005 at 1:24 pm

Weathering the weather… We’ve been doing much the same here, where the hills are still green, and it’s almost June. My yard is starting to look more like the gardens I remember in Vancouver. Of course, all this greenery, come the stifling heat waves of Septmeber and October, are great fodder for the fall fires — which, I imagine, climate change or no climate change, will come surely.

Betsy Burke May 30, 2005 at 12:29 pm

It’s that hot in Victoria? Wow.
We’re just getting a blast of 37 38 Celcius temperatures here in Italy – Our new adjusted breaking point is 40C- but it would be better not to have to adjust in the first place.

Yule Heibel May 30, 2005 at 1:05 pm

I’ll have to try the ForecastFox, Doug — thanks! I did notice it links to Accuweather,and that service had the same temperature for Victoria that day, so I can’t figure that one out completely…

Maria, I think we’ve actually flip-flopped with where you are in California a few times these past months, giving “our” more typical weather to you, while we get your more typical weather here. I’m happy to report that for the past couple of days, we’re back to what’s “normal” here, with cooler offshore breezes and definite sweater weather in the evenings.

Betsy, it was a freak 2-or-so day heatwave, which receded relatively quickly, thank god. Now we’re back to frisky frisky weather, just as I like it. (You know that Ella Fitzgerald tune, “It’s too darn hot”? Well, she’s right. There are temperatures that are just too darn hot for some things…!)

As for your temps of 37 or 38 — mammamia, in May? What are you going to do by the time July and August roll around? (For those in F-land — that’s Fahrenheit, darlings, not that other naughty F word — 37 or 38 Celsius is just about 100 Fahrenheit…) Can’t you manage another escape to BC this summer? (…she asks, selfishly, knowing it would be fun to have her friend visit!) I think I’d flip with months of that kind of heat…

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: