Normally, December is the month we kayak the least, what with the holidays, and winter storms and all that. Still, we often can get out at least once or twice. But for some of us this December is looking like a wash-out. Or should I say white-out.
No-one from our group went paddling again this Sunday (not unless Paula spotted another derelict kayak adrift on the bay) as for the fifth time in a week we were dumped on by snow. (The latest big dump started as soon as I finished shoveling my walk from the last big dump. Go figure.) We aren't alone; there's three major storms dumping snow across the 7000 km wide breadth of the country. Starting at 4:00 PM Saturday afternoon, Victoria received its fourth largest snowfall in a 24 period since they started keeping records. 31cm fell, and a lot more came down Sunday night on top of that. This is my street at 6:00 this morning.
The problem with the snow is that the Victoria area only gets any sort of measurable snowfall only every couple of years and has limited snow removal capabilities. Rumor has it that the city's snowplow has been slowed down because the hamster got too cold. (Usually after a snowfall here, my lawn resembles my scalp: a few small tufts poking through a dusting of flakes. But I digress.)
So while Paula can kayak in snowy weather because she lives on the beach (not literally, of course), the snow makes the side roads treacherous and road access to beach area can be problematic at best for the rest if us.
But the snow isn't the only issue. Over the weekend we had 35 knot winds which means blowing snow and nasty wind chills. We're well into our second week of this deep freeze and strong cold winds, which has resulted in near record low temperatures. It's probably been 20 years since we've had such a prolonged and deep cold snap. And winter only officially started yesterday!
Are we done yet? No, not by a long shot. More snow on Tuesday is expected, and the outlook for Christmas is iffy at best. In fact, Environment Canada is predicting that it might be the first country-wide white Christmas in Canada since 1971.It looks a little better after Christmas, at least temperature-wise, but there's a lot of rain and snow still expected. But there's time to possibly get a quick paddle in before the clock runs out on this month.