Frozen, The Winnipeg Edition
Brian Campbell

Full Article with pictures:

Baby, it’s cold outside! No, I’m not attempting to offend anyone. The reason I say it is because in Winnipeg it is, quite simply, fact. It’s January, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, is rapidly turning into one big, frozen ice sculpture of a city. In fact, it is so cold that even the Golden Boy has been seen standing on top of our Legislative Building wearing an overcoat, boots and a toque. So far, this has been the coldest January we have seen in…well… a very, very long time, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. The weather forecasters claim that a respite is coming soon, but that would depend on how much you want to trust the forecasters. It’s not like they’ve ever been wrong before…

But wait! Isn’t this the city that tourists and residents alike fondly refer to as Winterpeg? Isn’t it also true that, in spite of how cold it has been this month, we haven’t actually broken any cold records this year? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had worse. We’ve just forgotten. Our brains have deleted those winters from our memories, much like with any traumatic experiences.

It’s like I’ve always said. In Winnipeg, we’ve been aware that global warming has existed for a long time now, we just haven’t seen the problem with it. In fact, some of us have been looking forward to Hudson Bay becoming the new vacation hot spot. Or was that just me? Oh, don’t look at me like that, you were thinking it too. But what about the polar bears, you say? Sorry, but I have trouble feeling sorry for any animal who would consider me a snack.

I’m not a fan of Winnipeg winters, and I don’t mind saying it. I have known for years that our winters have been getting consistently warmer, and I haven’t had a problem with it. Some of the winters we’ve had in the past few years have been almost pleasant. Almost. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and here we are, back in the middle of an old fashioned Winnipeg winter. Damn the inconsistencies of climate change. You can’t rely on anything.

This winter is different though, in that we seem to be sharing it with our southern neighbours. True, we normally share our weather with places like North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. But this year places like Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio and Iowa have also been thrown into the deep freeze. Welcome, neighbours. Now you can have an example of what your igloo dwelling Canadian neighbours have dealt with for years. Karma sucks, doesn’t it.

Karma notwithstanding, Canada, and in particular Manitoba, is in the process of doing Frozen, The Real Deal, possibly for the duration of this winter. As for you snowbirds who are either planning, or have already departed for warmer climates, I hate you. No! Wait! Just kidding! Please take me with you! I can fit comfortably into most luggage. Honest. Damn!

Heavy sigh. For those of us who aren’t able to get out of Dodge, at least not anytime soon, batten down the hatches and bundle up tight. For those of you counting on the weather forecasters being right about warmer weather around the corner, don’t forget that in January and February, warmer weather usually brings snow. Sorry about that. On the other hand, February 2nd, Groundhog Day, is coming up. The groundhog can’t see his shadow in a snowstorm, so maybe we do have something to look forward to. Not that it matters anyway. If he sees his shadow, what do we get? Six more weeks of winter? In Manitoba, six more weeks of winter IS an early spring.

But groundhog or no groundhog, we can console ourselves that spring will be here in only two (or three) more months, hopefully. Stay warm everyone.