Winter hit with a vengeance here about a week ago. First, the snow came, about 25 centimeters(11 inches) in about 30 hours. That's actually quite a bit in one day for Edmonton, and the city was nearly crippled because it was so slippery, and so much snow, the side roads were barely drivable while the crews kept the bridges and river valley hills in as good a shape as possible so people didn't slide into the North Saskatchewan River. That alone kept almost all of the city's sanding crews busy, allow precious few pieces of equipment to cover the rest of the very large, spread out city that Edmonton is. I had to go to work for 5am last saturday, and while I didn't get stuck, I barely made it out of the residential area that I live in. The city did a fantastic job with the resources that they had. Dealing with that much snow, in such a large city, is hard. Most people have no idea how difficult it really is in our city. With our steep river valley hills, numerous bridges, and sheer size of our city that is too spread out for the population, it is nearly impossible to get the roads sanded and plowed in real time. And besides, with the high winds we experienced, plowing was useless anyway, as all the snow just blew back onto the roads anyway.
After the snow, came the cold. And wow, is it ever cold. In the city center we hit around -28, and it got down to -37 at the airport. And for any americans reading this, -28 and -37 in Celsius are -22 and -35 on your whacky Fahrenheit scale. going from about 5C(41F) at the end of November to almost -30C a week later was quite the shock to the system. I know we get cold, but -30 is very cold, even for us, especially this early in December. It really felt like everything has been moving at half speed outside this week, something that has reflected in the fact that it's taking me nearly twice as long to get to work. There are accidents all over, and it's just a mess outside.
Today, however, is a very balmy -15(+5F) outside. I went outside to start my car today, and it actually felt warm! That's when you know that you're used to winter, when -15 actually starts to feel warm. It's part of living in a winter city, and now that I'm used to it, it makes the winter months that much more bearable. However, that won't last long, as we're expected to get down to about -33 this weekend again, possibly only getting up to -30 as a high for Sunday. That, once again, is really cold, and I'm glad that I don't have much to do this weekend. I like winter, but when it's that cold, I don't like going out unless I have to. The one thing about this weather, is that it's really starting to feel a lot more like Christmas, which, in many ways, is actually a good thing.
Be safe out there. Enjoy the weather. We live in a winter city, so if you can't enjoy the weather, it makes for a *very* long winter. And really, it wouldn't be Christmas without some snow on the ground, would it?