It dawned on me today, on my way to my neighbourhood corner store, that September here this year has turned out to be more like August. How unusual it is to be walking to the store on September 27th, wearing shorts and sandals. It’s been in the low- to mid-20s (or 70s for those of you in the U.S.) most days this month, when normally by this time of year we’d expect highs in the mid-teens (low- to mid-60s F). But you’re not hearing me complaining, that’s for sure.
One of the effects of this mild September is that the leaves, particularly in the city, show few signs of wanting to change. There are exceptions, of course, but I’d say we’re a good 7 to 10 days behind schedule. I suspect the peak this year might even come later than Thanksgiving weekend. (Click on this image; I love the way the red leaves are meshed with the green ones.)
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia is awaiting a direct hit from Hurricane Juan tomorrow. It’s expected to make landfall near Halifax as a Category 1 hurricane, which is what Hortense did on the evening of Sept. 14, 1996. Environment Canada didn’t seem particularly concerned about this until the latest forecast, which is showing Juan taking a more westerly path, closer to Halifax than expected earlier. So, 50 to 80 millimetres of rain, and winds gusting to 100 to 150 km/h: sounds like fun!
I remember with Hortense that it was the rain and wind in front of the storm that was particularly striking. As soon as it made landfall at Sheet Harbour, some 100 km east of Halifax, all became eerily calm. I thought it was because we were in the eye of the hurricane and should be expecting more after the hiatus, but no. The storm just petered out upon hitting our rocky shore. Perhaps the terrain here is equivalent to a kick in the teeth for Cat 1 hurricanes.