Not ready for spring in February

February 22, 2018

By Sarah Sobanski

How is it that we’ve already had a Flood Outlook issued for the Bancroft District by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry? Winter. Pull yourself together.

When you hear people on the street alluding the snowy season will be done by March, you assume they’re just wishful thinkers. Usually it snows in April. You’re lucky if it’s warm enough to camp by Victoria Day.

Who knew positive thinking could actually change the forecast?

On Monday at 10 a.m. my email buzzed with a note from the MNRF, the first flood alert of the season. It was only a week before it had sent out notification for media outlets to re-sign up for alerts for the coming wet season. I thought at the time, “It’ll be spring soon enough I suppose.”

Or it’ll be Feb. 19. Or Feb. 20 when Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning for Bancroft – Bon Echo Park, including Hastings Highlands.

“This wet, record mild spell is attributed to a series of low pressure systems moving along a warm front draped across the lower Great Lakes,” stated the warning. “A final band of rain is likely along a cold front Wednesday, bringing the rain to an end. However, multi-day rainfall totals in the 30 to 50 millimetres range are likely in some areas.”

“Since very mild conditions are accompanying the rain, considerable snowmelt is anticipated. As a result, localized flooding is likely in low-lying areas.”

We should take this opportunity to go over the different levels of flood alerts for the coming spring — even though it’s supposed to be the middle of winter.

According to the ministry:

Flood Outlook  “gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions.”

Water Safety “indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.”

Flood Watch means “potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities.”

Flood Warning means “flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.”

I am seeing way too many positive temperatures in the coming forecasts. We can’t just have one week of -40 degrees — this is Canada.

On that note, I’m taking all of this with a grain of salt.

Knowing this area, it could all change on a dime. It isn’t rare to be walking around in shorts one day and a ski jacket the next.

That being said I might also be using reverse psychology on Mother Nature. If I keep failing to believe the wishful thinkers, if I keep squinting at the wet and the mild outdoors, it might just end up that spring comes early after all. Would that really be so bad?



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