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Saturday Global Warming

This morning (and by “morning” I mean “mid-afternoon”), as is my norm once I make it to the computer and look at my email, I like to look at the long-term weather forecast. Taking humidity into account, the predicted daily high (which is always lower than actually recorded, or so my experience tells me) is as follows for the next week: 37, 36, 25, 34, 40, 37 degrees. Americans will have to do their own conversions from metric, but I assure you that it is fucking hot, especially for Eastern Ontario. Wikipedia, in its entry on the geography of Ontario, notes that Eastern Ontario has warm, “sometimes hot,” summers and “long stretches of brutal cold” making it “excellent for winter recreation.”

I would like to challenge both points with anecdotal evidence. First, when I was much younger, summer highs (humidity included) rarely went above 30 degrees; now we get 30+ degree days from mid-April to, often, October. In my view, this disproves the “sometimes hot” claim: Eastern Ontario is now “fucking hot” from spring to fall. And, still speaking of when I was younger, it was frequently the case that there was “snow on the ground” (c.f., “dope on the table”) before Hallowe’en. Indeed, my peers and I routinely did our Hallowe’en rounds with full-on snowsuits under our costumes. Now we routinely do not have “snow on the ground” until January. Second, rather than having in excess of “3m” of snow (again quoting from Wikipedia), we routinely have about 5cm of ice. I’m not a climatologist (or whatever), but three inches of ice and three meters of snow are significantly different. Third, in the spring and summer, I think we are far more likely to get severe storms–ranging from a shitload of rain and hail to straight-up tornados–than the traditional “thunderstorm” and, in the winter, I think we are far more likely get ice storms–ranging from extended periods of freezing rain to falling chunks of ice–than the traditional “snowstorm.” Indeed, I can often go weeks in the winter without having to shovel snow. This has been the general state of things as far as I can tell for about a decade now, with each season setting new records for heat, storms, ice, etc.

I hope none of this is taken for “when I was a kid, we walked eight miles to school, uphill in both directions, and in three feet of snow.”

Feel free to complain about your local weather conditions: no celebration of this god-awful weather is allowed.

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July 16, 2011 - Posted by | Small Talk About the Weather

3 Comments

  1. It was just hot enough yesterday for me to use my car instead of my bike. Blame me for what comes next.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | July 17, 2011

  2. Brad DeLong linked to a Heat Index map this week that chastened me. Even though we in Dallas are having 100+ Hi day after day, those states due North of us are having 105-110 Heat Index, and North Dakota is visiting 115. I shall not complain again.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | July 17, 2011

  3. Yes, I remember that graphic. I’ll put it in next week’s post–unless someone beats me and puts up a Saturday Fun instead.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | July 18, 2011


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