Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yup, feels like Chinook!

Having lived in Calgary Alberta recently, longer than anywhere in my life to boot, I am no stranger to the strange phenom known as a "Chinook"  I've been told before, by those seemingly intelligent and in the know, that this unique weather shift occurs in as few as 8 places on the planet... and the only urbanized center is southern AB.  Has to do with warm winds brought in by the jet stream from the Pacific and then dumped via natural valleys into the interior. 

It isn't uncommon to be stuck in freezing temperatures like Phoenix has been lately, and within a very short period,  experience a fluctuation of as much as 40 degrees from the extremes.  Very unusual to come home, park the car in a blizzard at 20 below zero, to wake up to warm winds and 20 above!  Everything melting.

Chinooks don't occur in Eastern Canada officially.  However in recent weeks we ourselves on this little Island no doubt buffered by the mass of New Brunswick/Nova Scotia, and the surrounding waterways, have experienced similar "mini" chinooks.  A few days ago it was plus 10C and yesterday while at the southern end of Malpeque Bay while loading up a used Big Bear, it was absolutely frigid.  Doesn't help that we were standing about 100 yards from the frozen bay with not a twig in sight for 500 miles, the chill cut through me like the proverbial 'katana'!

Arriving home (where your helmets are) we commented on how warm our little valley is.  Facing south, our huge windows gather heat from the Sun, and to our north we sit nearly at the base of a 300 foot high wooded hill.  We sit rather in a sun bowl!  Well sheltered and gathering whatever rays the sun has to provide, we must have been at least 5 degrees warmer without the wind howling across the pond, so to speak.

Anyway, the Big Bear is in pretty decent shape given its age (14 yrs) a little crusty and in need of some TLC, but overall seems like a good buy.  Although PEI has no public land for off roaders to use, we have 20 acres (of our own) of undulating terrain, with about 5-6 acres of trees, part of a forest of perhaps 200 acres covering the nearby hillside.  The quad has a large blade, which will certainly come in handy, and is mostly why I bought it, for clearing this rather large driveway. 

Beautiful sunny morning again today, crisp out -15C, but from in here I can already feel the rays warming us from the east facing windows.

Life, as they say... is great!

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