In 2015 the Winter in PEI did not start before mid-January, there was no snow, nothing, very quiet weather wise and then all of a sudden every 4 to 7 days a major snowstorm and it lasted for 2 who months. There was so much snow that no one knew what to do with it and life became difficult for many. The City had no where to put it, people could not get out of their homes, some people lost their homes to house fires simply because the Fire Dept could not get to them, blocked by giant snow banks. Here is an archival picture of what it was like. People were in shock, yes we are Canadians but there is a limit to everything, the cold also was intense. We missed it all by arriving in May 2016.
Hopefully this year 2022 will not be a repeat but we have had 2 major snow storms in 7 days. The City has had little time to clean up after the first storm. We also have now Omicron and 2 people died last night in hospital, the first of this pandemic. People are scared and concerned.
Needless to say, tonight the storm is over but the streets remain unplowed and the sidewalks well they disappeared under 4 feet of snow. It is very heavy snow, very compact and it is about -28C right now. So walking the dogs is short and sweet, they do not want to be outside.
While this was happening Will was making meat pies aka Tourtière, small ones for 2 so we can have them for dinner. Tomorrow he is making his lasagna with béchamel sauce. He already made his meat sauce. For the pie crust he uses a little vodka, it makes it more flakey.
I always jokingly say that we are the Key West of Canada, balmy weather, great beaches and good seafood. Until 7 January 2022 that we true, not a speck of snow and Spring like weather. Then Mother Nature struck, the photos below illustrate what happened, I park outside my car was buried in snow, luckily the snow cleaning service came with 2 tractors and cleared it all for me. Our house door was frozen shut and we could not open it, we had to use the emergency back staircase to get out. That too has been cleaned, though the streets are a mess and the sidewalks disappeared, so you have to walk in the street for now. It will probably take 3 days to dig out of this Winter Wonderland.
Luckily for us we have no were to go and no reason to leave the house. Nora loves the snow because she eats it, Nicky does not care for it much and the wind scares him. Walking them is a problem, when you legs are 3 inches and there is 2 feet of snow.
Until 11 am on Friday 7 Jan. we did not have a speck of snow, we had been warned that a major storm was coming our way, 50CM of snow or 19 inches in 10 hours, with winds of 100 km per hour, enough to close the sea bridge over the strait and close all businesses. Schools are closed until 18 January. By 2pm all stores were closing and people were told to go home and not go out, too dangerous. The water surge and high waves is another problem around the Island, powerful winds and waves erode the coast and many with property on the water have to take heed and not go for a walk on the beach. This type of snow is heart attack inducing, very wet and heavy, so just leave it there. We have a fellow who comes with his big tractor to plow it all in 5 minutes.
The wind is howling it feels like a 747 is over the house constantly, the doors and windows are rattling. I did go to the grocery store this morning around 10:30 am to get our Storm Chips, which is a tradition on the Island. The major part of the storm will be over night and in the morning it should only be high winds. I suppose Winter is here now.
We cannot see out the windows because this snow is heavy with water and it freezes and sticks to glass, so we cannot see out. Hopefully we will not lose power, living in the core of the Capital surrounded by Government buildings helps, though the Electrical Company is very good with fast repairs. We have not seen any snow plows, visibility is zero right now on the streets but I suspect they may appear around 4AM to start opening the streets. The sidewalks will likely be cleaned later in the day.
This time the snow is here to stay, for the rest of the week looks like the temperature will be around -10C to -20C. Oh well I have no where to go.
Live picture about 04:30PM this afternoon in Charlottetown.
No not the country but the bird, just 3 years ago you could buy a bird for about $20. which would get you a 12 lbs turkey. Today we bought a small turkey 10 lbs. for $35. Anything larger, the price jumps and it is around $55 to $60. dollars. Frankly I am not in love with turkey and would be happy with other meat or seafood. But the prices are out of control, even for chicken which was the cheap meat. Now pork is still relatively cheap but not everyone wants nor can eat pork. Because I shop often in a week, I notice the price jump from day to day and despite the fact that we are constantly told that supply chain problems around the world creates inflation etc, I am not really buying it. There is gouging and now that we approach the date of the big day, prices are likely to start falling. They have on Wreaths and other natural decorations, they probably will on other items, they did last year.
We returned today to the Vet to consult about Nicky and his left eye condition and what can be done to alleviate the situation. The Vet gave us the information and based on the specialist report what can be done to help Nicky. It still looks like his eye sight problem is manageable. I will take him tomorrow for a small intervention to relieve the pressure on his eye. This cataract problem is frequent in older dogs and ulcers can form which makes things worse and are painful. So we will see.
Other news, not much, I do not think we will have a white Christmas, the weather is way to warm and even the seawater in the Gulf is not at Winter cold temperature. You still have politicians who will tell you they do not understand what is going on, like the Governor of Kentucky. I suppose someone will have to explain it to him.
The World climate is truly out of whack, heavy snow all over Europe with very cold weather, London, Berlin, Paris, and Athens.
Greece where I was posted never had warm Winters, as of October the wind and rain comes and sailing is not recommended. You can ski in Greece, Mount Parnassus is a ski resort about one hour North of Athens. I also saw snow in Athens in 2009. It is rare but it does happen, what is worse though all over Europe is the lack of central heating in homes, schools and offices, that is truly unpleasant. We have no idea in Canada with our automatic central heating how lucky we are. I can just imagine how wonderful it must be to walk in the great park surrounding this sacred hill, symbol of Western civilization.
As the song says, What difference a day make. This morning woke up to see my windows, we have 18 of them all around blanketed with snow. The streets are deserted and everything is shut down for this Snow Day. The car is buried under a metre of snow, this is going to be fun to clean up. The worst part is the high powerful wind which tosses the snow here and there.
I suppose that my campaign to promote PEI as an Island Winter Paradise is blown off course. I blame the CBC Weather guy, Jay Scotland.
In just 7 hours from NO snow to this, sidewalks are unpassable, very slippery. It is also very quiet and peaceful. It’s only -3C. Tomorrow sunshine which should be nice on the fresh snow.
Well we had a green and mild Christmas and New Year’s Day 2021 and today 2 January BANG snow storm! with 10 inches of snow in 5 hours. So now the snow ploughs are out in force and it’s back to the National Sport of Canada, brushing off the car and de-icing the windows, what fun.
For this snow storm I blame Michigan, the theory is that they manufacture bad weather there and send it our way. In the Summer we blame Florida for hurricane weather which is then sent our way. Well at least we know that by End March it will be over, so I suppose that we cannot complain too much, it will be 12 weeks instead of 26 weeks of snowy Winter as is standard in most of Canada.
The one good thing about a storm here, is that suddenly there is no traffic and no one about, it is very quiet and peaceful as if we lived in the countryside.
Today was a quiet day, this afternoon we visited an artist friend and his spouse just a couple of streets away from us. They live in a area called Big Spring in reference to the Spring that crosses the area and then comes down to the Hillsborough river. It is more than a Spring really, almost a small river given the constant rapid flow of water. Most of it now is underground, but you can hear it and in the area some land is empty because it sits on top of the spring and is marshy. At one time the Spring emptied into what was known as Government Pond, a rather large marshy pond on the edge of the Fanningbank Estate, the Official Residence of the Governor of PEI. Some 40 years ago the Provincial Government decided that it would be better to cover it up in an effort at urban renewal. The Area surrounding the Pond was a poor neighbourhood populated by a small black community and known as the Bog. Today brutalist style Government buildings cover the area with a large 1960 style parking lot, car culture still dominates mentalities on the Island.
Our friend is a well known artist and their house is full of art work, quite a beautiful place with a large work studio in the back garden. His spouse who is also an artist, prepared all manner of finger food, it was all very good and tasty. So much so that we had no appetite for dinner tonight. They also served Swedish Mulled Wine, Glogg, which is very nice in such weather and goes well with the Holiday Season.
So on with go with the Winter Season now officially opened.
During the night we could hear the roar of the wind outside, a very big storm is over the Atlantic, passing well South of Halifax in Nova Scotia, we avoided the snow however this storm brings with it very powerful winds. So early this morning the calls went out, all schools remain closed and the University and Holland College also closed. Funerals are postponed for a day, businesses closed early or never opened. Looking out my window I could see visibility was very poor and snow drifts made things worse. The Police advised people to stay home and not take the car anywhere unless it was an emergency. The wind chill factor brings the temperature to about -28 C or -19 F. danger of frosbites. For my dear readers who complain of 57 F as very cold try -19 F for a laugh.
Water street deserted, our street quiet and peaceful.
Prince street looking across the street from our house, the Water Prince Lobster restaurant is quiet for the Winter, re-opening on 15 April for Spring Lobster Season. Love the place this is where we had Will’s Birthday party in December with fresh oysters and lobster.
Will made from scratch chicken soup and biscuits, who said I wanted to give him away. But things are much worse in Newfoundland across the Gulf of St-Lawrence from us. In St-John’s the capital, the Mayor has declared a state of emergency and shut the city down. only emergency vehicles, police and fire can circulate. Everyone else is ordered inside at home, the City is getting 70cm of snow in a few hours or 2 feet of snow with winds approaching 150Km per hour which is well into hurricane strength. This is the second such storm this Winter in Newfoundland which is unusual for them and more is coming apparently.
Here on PEI there is an advisory for the Confederation bridge over the Strait to the mainland, I would not want to drive over that sea bridge in high wind, it takes 10 minutes to drive over, scary is the word. Charlottetown airport is closed, flights cancelled or delayed. The streets are deserted.
We could have gone to the Club tonight which is only 4 blocks away down Water Street but the weather is poor and it is very cold and very windy. Overnight the winds will decrease from 70km to 60Km but still more snow drifts etc. Then tomorrow we are suppose to get some snow with the high winds and Sunday might bring more of the same.
So today Will wanted some whip cream and some yogurt for a recipe, I walked over to the convenience store to get him those items but did not linger. Strangely because of the high winds today we did get some patches of blue and some sun for a few minutes.
We have our Official Storm Chips for today so all is well. Covered Bridge a company from New Brunswick makes good chips. Good booze is also de rigueur on such days. A Maritime tradition.
So today we are listening to Emmanuel Chambrier, Pièces Pittoresques composed in 1881. Of the 10 pièces, Idylle and Danse Villageoise are probably the best known. On such a storm day what else can you do. Even our little ones Nicky and Nora don’t want to go out in such awful weather. They prefer to snooze listening to French music.
Learning the Island life is interesting, per example Islanders will shop in droves the day before a big storm is forecasted. Last week we were told 48 hours ahead that a big storm was coming, result the next day the grocery stores were full of people, it was a sunny bright day and it was hard to believe that a storm was coming. During the night it started to snow and then the high wind which put traffic restrictions on the Sea Bridge to the mainland. In Charlottetown where we had green grass and some snow on the ground we now have more than 2 feet of snow or 60 cm, blowing snow made it deeper in some areas.
Huge mounds of snow in our parking lot next to our house must be at least 2 meters high if not more.
The traffic restriction on the Sea Bridge which is 12Km long means that only single family cars can cross and all trucks are stopped and must wait often up to 12 hours before they are allowed to cross. There is a very good warning system and a APP to warn you well ahead that there might be restrictions. Groceries stores will run short or out of certain food items. Though this has never affected us so far, we tend to buy from local farmers on the Island. Most deliveries are made by truck across the bridge and in Winter there are at least 2 days a week when restrictions apply due to very high winds. This means that the SuperStores run short of grocery items. Store managers were interviewed on this situation. We use to have ice breakers years ago crossing from the mainland to the Island but that is no longer the case.
Confederation Sea Bridge above the Straits of Northumberland, in the distance the mainland of Nova Scotia.
So the tradition on the island is to constitute in Winter a pantry reserve of food so that if you cannot get out due to the winds or amount of snow, then you are snug as a bug in your house. Our car was buried in snow up to the roof, there really was nothing I could do to get it out until the big snow removal tractor came and in 5 minutes I was completely clear. The streets are deserted, no cars can be seen. Some brave souls still have to walk their dog, we do but it is quick, they do not want to go out anyway.
What I find impressive almost in a Chicago style of street cleaning is how the City of Charlottetown sends out the snow plows the minute is starts to snow, my street is cleaned and clear in no time at all.
I believe the City is building an Ice Rink for skaters across from our house.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown