Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Still no sign of winter

We are well into the New Year, and there is still no sign of winter here in Ontario.
We, and most of eastern North America, have seen unprecendented January temperatures and one of the warmest Decembers in memory. People are walking around in T-shirts, muttering trite comments like ("Well, if this is global warming, I'm all for it" - ho, ho, ho).
Well, it seems that global warming (and yes, it is a proven fact, don't get me started) is only partially to blame, and the majority of the effect is from the more short-term, cyclical El Niño phenomenon of ocean temperature shifts. It seems unclear whether the El Niño effects are becoming worse or more common due to global warming, but that would certainly not surprise me.
So, instead of a winter wonderland of snow and crystal-clear, icy days with blue skies and sun, what do we get? Dreary, grey days of drizzle - exactly the sort of depressing English weather we came to Canada to avoid. There may be plenty of snow out west, but I don't see any likelihood of us getting much skiing locally this year.

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