So this is my second winter in Canada – the last one was in Edmonton, AB and this year it is in Calgary, AB which is south of Edmonton. Before moving to Canada, like others, I was worried about the much hyped Canadian winters. I used to hear horror stories about temperatures going below -40 deg C and I used to think that winters would be like hell for about 6 months or longer. I also used to hear that in winters people go into depression when they see snow all around during entire winters. So the impression I had in my mind was that starting Nov till Mar every year, it’ll be snow all around and the temperatures would be always below -20 deg C. But after spending two winters, that too in Alberta, I want to clarify a few myths that you might have. I tried to pull the following data from website https://calgary.weatherstats.ca.
If you notice, the temperature keeps varying above and below zero degree C during entire winters. We faced extreme cold during last week of Dec 2017 when the temperature on a particular day I remember was -37 deg C (feels like -49 deg C). This was the day when my dog was reluctant to go for a walk. Otherwise I take my dog daily twice – morning and evening.
Sometimes even with temperature like -25 deg C, I don’t feel much cold whereas on a few days, even at -10 deg C, it feels colder. I am still trying to figure out why.
On an average, I spend at most 60 min daily outdoors that includes 15-20 min walk twice a day and some waiting period at the transit station or walking to & fro to office and home from station. This is manageable with good jacket, gloves and shoes and this is not painful at all. What really painful is when the temperature starts increasing and goes above zero. This is when the snow starts melting and starts becoming slushy. It makes walking difficult because your trousers bottom and shoes will start getting messy. The roads will look something like this.
Another problem is when the temperature again goes below zero after a couple of days, the water from the melting snow becomes ice and this makes footpaths and roads slippery. You have to be very careful to avoid slipping on the footpath. To avoid ice formation on the footpaths, a few people put some salt crystals that helps to some extent.
However, the City Management does a great job and they start clearing the snow first from highways then other major roads and finally the roads in the neighborhood. You’ll notice following sight quite frequently during snow time.
So, in summary, I like the winters, have no problem with extreme cold days but I have problem with slushy & slippery roads / pathways.
Thanks for reading…