February 13, 2018

QotD: Mark Twain on Indian weather

Filed under: Humour, India, Quotations — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

I believe that in India ‘cold weather’ is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy.

Mark Twain, Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, 1897.

April 14, 2014

You can tell it’s really Spring in Toronto

Filed under: Cancon — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 08:10

The weather forecast for today and tonight contains a little bit of everything:

Update: The rest of the story:

With spring now well over three weeks old, the snow tires are off, the yard work has begun, and the boots and parkas are already at the back of the closet

However, winter weather is expected to make a comeback on Tuesday, as much of the province will see a major swing in temperatures and a mixed bag of precipitation.

Temperatures are expected to plummet from a high of 21 C on Monday to a low of -7 C on Tuesday night, with the potential for freezing rain and snow.

Ahead of winter’s reappearance, it will be a warm day for parts of southern Ontario on Monday as temperatures may reach the mid-twenties mark.

Environment Canada has once again issued a “special weather statement”, which they seem to do every other day recently. It’s not a storm warning or even a storm watch, but just a “hey, there’ll be some weather!” kind of thing. A communication tailored to the fact that weather is now treated like celebrity news in a lot of media markets.

May 8, 2012

“If this drought continues much longer, we’re going to run out of umbrellas”

Filed under: Britain, Environment, Government — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 10:40

Rob Lyons on the amusing juxtaposition of a “hosepipe ban” in the south of England and the wettest April since record keeping began:

It never rains but it pours scorn. That must be how many of England’s water companies feel as millions make fun of them. Having just declared a hosepipe ban and spent a fortune on posters declaring ‘WE ARE IN DROUGHT’, the heavens have opened. Result? The surreal combination of drought restrictions on water use going side-by-side with the wettest April since records began in 1910.

It is as if the declaration of drought were a latter-day raindance. Comedian Jimmy Carr quipped what everyone was thinking: ‘If this drought continues much longer, we’re going to run out of umbrellas.’ The combination of dramatic flooding in some parts of the country that are under drought restrictions caused one friend of mine to coin the term for our current water status: ‘flought’. Pictures of Thames Water’s bus adverts juxtaposed with people in the street huddling under brollies made newspaper front pages.

Yet, while the current situation is bizarre, the water companies do have a point. If the current storage sites are running low of water after two years of well-below-average rainfall, then we need to start preserving stocks. One month of heavy rain is welcome, but unless we have a particularly sodden summer and, more importantly, a damp-and-dreary winter, supplies could start to look very sparse indeed. That’s particularly true in the south and east of England, which depend on underground aquifers to store a large proportion of water supplies. The levels in these aquifers rely on winter rain to drip through the rocks above. Summer rain tends to run off, evaporate or get absorbed by growing plants. A quick look back to February and the warnings coming from Thames Water and others show how serious the problem had become before the deluge.

April 13, 2012

Filling in for Envisat: “the CSA’s Radarsats 1 and 2 will try to fill some of the gaps”

Filed under: Cancon, Europe, Science, Space — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 08:43

The European Space Agency is still at a loss on why their flagship Envisat satellite suddenly went silent, but while they’re trying to diagnose and hopefully fix the problem, the Canadian Space Agency is helping to cover some of the gaps:

Controllers say the eight-tonne spacecraft appears to be in a stable condition, but they are not receiving any data at all from it.

Contact was lost with Envisat at the weekend shortly after it downloaded pictures of Spain’s Canary Islands.

A recovery team, which includes experts from industry, is now trying to re-establish contact with the craft.

Mission managers said on Friday that they were working through a number of possible fault scenarios but conceded they had little to go on.

[. . .]

Of more immediate concern are the operational and scientific projects that rely on Envisat data.

The satellite’s information is used daily to monitor for oil spills at sea, to check on iceberg hazards, and to provide information for meteorological forecasts, among a wide range of services.

All this had now been disrupted, said Prof Liebig.

“What we have done is [activate] the contingency agreement we have with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) which we have had for many, many years. Canada has responded very positively. So, for a certain time, the CSA’s Radarsats 1 and 2 will try to fill some of the gaps.”

December 30, 2009


Filed under: Randomness — Tags: — Nicholas @ 08:07

We got home from watching Sherlock Holmes around 11 last night, to discover that our house was suspiciously cold. Almost Dickensian, actually. Half an hour of fiddling with the furnace and we were no further ahead (and no warmer). It’s funny how you can take the ordinary comforts for granted until they’re not available . . .

December 22, 2009

QotD: Say goodbye to “global warming” and “climate change”

Filed under: Environment, Media, Quotations — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 13:06

This new terminology is more clever, for it neatly avoids the shortcomings of its clumsy forebears. It requires neither warming, nor change. Just television.

When blizzards descend on scientists and world leaders from Copenhagen to East Anglia to Washington, the warmists can now claim ownership.

When hurricane forecasts fall short of the mark, the propagandists can cite their very failure to support their scheme.

Warm winters, cold winters, more hurricanes, fewer hurricanes, growing ice caps, melting ice caps — directions won’t matter. Every “new” temperature record, every seasonal flood, every California hot spell, every dusting of snow in the south of France — in other words, local weather, reported globally, will return full force as evidence of anthropogenic climate crime, as it did in a simpler time when the ice conditions of a canal in Ottawa led to nationwide panic.

So, get ready to welcome the new talking point on the block: “climate instability“.

Kate McMillan, “Y2Kyoto: Climate Instability Just Around The Corner”, Small Dead Animals 2009-12-20

October 8, 2009

A solid reason I wouldn’t want to move to Edmonton

Filed under: Cancon, Environment — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:28

Colby Cosh does the spreadsheet thing to prove that I, un-winterized Canadian that I am, would fare poorly in extra-early permanent snowfall Edmonton.

Toronto may not really be the centre of the universe, but at least it’s not like most of Canada, snow-and-winter-cold-wise.

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