December 23, 2013 – We got hammered by our second big ice storm in the last 10 years. It may or may not be a symptom of climate change, but living through this one has once more turned us into temporary refugees. I am writing this posting on my Android tablet sitting at a hotel desk in our room here in one of the few areas of the city with no power losses.
The first ice storm in March 2007 drove us from our home with dog in tow after our house dropped to freezing. In this one we were taking no chances. Found a hotel right away along with hundreds of others. And this storm aftermath is expected to drag on for days as trees continue to crash onto power lines under the weight of the 30 miilimeter coating of ice. When I walked our dog yesterday one of those falling trees just missed us. Heard the crack and covered my head with my hand reflexively. The tree landed a mere half meter from where I was standing. When I looked behind me an entire section of a massive tree lay on the road and sidewalk.
The two issues that seems clear to me from this and previous extreme weather events that Toronto has experienced since 2000 are the increasing frequency and intensity. In one day this last summer Toronto saw more rain fall in a few hours than had ever fallen in the entire month of July since weather records were kept. This ice storm will set records as well beating the 2007 event by a country mile.
If it’s not climate change it sure is wonky weather. And wonky is becoming the new normal for us here in Toronto. It’s not just our mayor that’s a blowhard. So is the weather.