Weather

Much ado about nothing

Zero may be nothing in the world of math, but in weather the significance of this integer is amazing. October is a good time to start talking about zero, as we recently saw the results of a few days of below freezing weather in Whitehorse and the southern Yukon. I will be making much ado …

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How was Your Summer?

How was your summer?  That seems to be the question Yukoners ask each other at this time of year. Along with recounting various adventures, most of us give our summery (pun intended) of the weather. We often talk about the summer being hot or cold, dry or wet, but we are actually talking about a …

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A perfect storm

We can’t ignore the human factors that lead to extreme weather events I attended David Phillips’ (Senior Climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada) March lecture on weather and climate change. This inspired me to write a series of articles with the goal of elaborating on many points that he made in his ‘factoid’-filled presentation. …

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What is the jet stream?

I attended David Phillip’s lecture on weather and climate change in early March and was inspired to write a series of articles with the goal of elaborating on many points that he made in his ‘factoid’ filled presentation.  First up is the jet stream. The illustration above is taken from the US National Weather Service. …

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Snow!

Thanks to snow-nerd scientists. Their lives revolve around snow and they couldn’t wait to “nerd-out” on the subject:

Yukon See It Here: Larry White

Hello Everybody, We invite you to share your photos of Yukon life. Email your high-resolution images with a description of what’s going on to [email protected] I captured some photos of these eerie, Mordor-looking clouds sweeping down Grey Mountain, one morning, this October.

The Week that Was…

Once summer arrived, along with consistent plus 25 temperatures, it was time to enjoy some swimming, hiking and generally the beautiful weather in Yukon. (In the Yukon, if you see a single day of plus 20, there is a likelihood it will come to fruition, but a few days showing the same, you’re guaranteed good …

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The Last, Loveliest Smile

I never took much notice of something as simple as the seasons until moving North. Pre-Yukon, I was rather unmoved by the monotonous blend of greens extending from the mossy forest floor to the heights of the coniferous giants on Vancouver Island. And as much as I love the “wet-coast”, seasons seem to meld into …

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Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning do not seem to be as common here in the Yukon as in southern Canada. However, lightning strikes are probably the most common cause of our forest fires. Lightning is a gigantic spark jumping between a charged cloud and the earth, but what actually causes lightning is still an item of debate. …

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The Bee Diaries – April 2016

The gentle, warm summer breeze touched our faces as we stood watching the bees. The bees were just doing their thing: flying in and out of the hive, gathering pollen.  Suddenly we noticed a large black cloud forming in the southwest. Within minutes of us spying that dark cloud the bees started flying back to the …

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Old Crow Haloween

An Old Crow Halloween

I looked out our window in Old Crow Halloween Day, 2014. It was -10ºC outside. Trees were shaking as the wind howled making it much colder.

Raingear

Over the years I’ve been out in the rain. I’ve seen  people who wear raingear from ultra-expensive Gore-Tex to disposable vinyl rain ponchos, or even garbage bags. Huddling under a tarp is another common sight. How well the garbage bag/vinyl poncho crowd did depended on how long the rain fell, their attitude, and definitely their …

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Kookatsoon Calling

Do you like wind in your face? Because if you love a headwind, I recommend biking south along the Alaska Highway. All that extra initial effort will just fade away into a lovely tailwind on your return trip home. Biking to Kookatsoon Lake and back is a great beginner ride. Starting from downtown Whitehorse it …

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April Ain’t Cruel

In The Debt to Pleasure John Lancaster wonders if T.S. Eliot invented the link between April and suicides, just as painter Joseph Mallord William Turner invented sunsets (Google it. I did). But, Lancaster goes on. Before talking about the glory of roast lamb in April (The Debt to Pleasure is a dark, twisted, informative read that …

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The Cold Weather Doggie Blues

At 40 below, Fahrenheit and Celsius are the same; not that our dog, Shadow, cares about that. She may need to go outside to relieve herself, but her preference is to cross her legs, huddle in the back of her kennel in the kitchen and wait for warmer weather. We kennel her at night so …

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A Frozen Pipe Dream

I went to Vancouver a few weeks ago. I wasn’t looking forward to trading sunny skies for rainy ones — although the temperatures were going to be much warmer than the -24°C temperatures here. Before I left, Allan asked me to bring back some spring with me. When I got there, it was indeed spring. …

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Ice; It’s Always Changing

With warm weather things change quickly, as we have seen this year. By mid-December there was a great freeze on most lakes, with little snow. Then the pineapple express brought warm weather and bad ice. But as the weather cooled, the winds came up, and the ice blew clear, so it is back to ideal …

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Imaging the Cosmos … Is It For Me?

Welcome to the Yukon Winter Night Sky and all the cosmic treasures that are just waiting for you to discover and photograph them. The weather has been unstable, with storm fronts continually moving in, bringing lots of clouds and very uncertain night skies. These are trying times for amateur astronomers and completely frustrating times for …

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Big View, Small Budget

While the rest of the country is obsessed with the H1N1 virus and cure, Yukon amateur astronomers seem to be looking for a cure of their own — a cure for bad weather. This time of year is renowned for volatile, unstable weather, making for cloudy nights mixed with snowstorms. When cloudy nights persist, however, …

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Cosmic Silhouettes

The weather is returning to a more normal routine, and although I do love the warmer weather, it does make for cloudy nights, offering few opportunities for deep-sky observing. It is Saturday night, the temperature is minus 18 and the wind is light. All my astronomical viewing forecasters (The Weather Network, Clear Sky Clock and …

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Return of the Cosmic Swan

Astronomy as a hobby can be challenging. You are always at the mercy of unpredictable weather, the local wildlife, and, especially, the bugs. Two weeks ago I caught that nasty cold that was going around and was laid up for a few days. One night I was heading to bed around 2:30 in the morning, …

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January’s Cosmic Jewels

Here comes another year with plenty of amazing sights for the cosmic tourist in this great northern land of ice and snow. Now if the weather would cooperate, we would be rocking! January appears to be an action-packed month of viewing, including some old familiar sights. For example, Venus is making a comeback and can …

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