Thank you, Carolinas, for spawning and then sending our way this magnificent blizzard. At least it’s not quite as bad as last February’s White Juan, except that this one seems to have developed very suddenly. We’re to expect as much as 50 cm (20 in) of snow in the Halifax area and the wind is at its peak as I write (N74 km/h gusting to 98km/h, or N45 mi/h gusting to 61 mi/h), plus it’s very cold (currently -6C with wind chill of -21C, with an expected temperature drop to -15C tonight with continued high chill factor). The Cobequid Pass between Truro and Amherst — the road between Halifax and Moncton — is closed; all flights in and out of Halifax and Moncton are cancelled; shopping malls in Halifax closed by 1:00 pm today; the region’s police forces are warning people not to venture outside due to whiteout conditions. I can’t see the Macdonald Bridge from my apartment nor, for that matter, much further than the other side of the side street where my apartment building is situated.
I must say that, as a result of the Juans, the weather warnings are much better than they used to be. All regional TV stations were displaying a blizzard warning marquee all night from late afternoon yesterday. Although the big stores were closed yesterday due to it being a Sunday AND Boxing Day, most people had a chance to look around their home for missing supplies and go to the nearest convenience store to stock up. Having seen 50 cm turned to 95 cm less than a year ago, we now know that anything can happen.
Of course, I’m careful not to whine about what’s happening here right now given the unspeakable horror in South Asia. It’s hard to wrap your mind around a death toll of 22,000 (and climbing). There was no warning for them…