Wednesday, November 19, 2008

First Snow

It always amazes me how people seem to forget, between April and November, how to drive in snow. As a result, the first snowfall is always a traffic disaster. Tonight was no exception. The snow started around 4 pm, just in time for rush hour and by the time I left the office just after 5, there was a little dusting over everything. Hardly anything to speak of, just a thin layer of white, the type of cover you'd get if you were frosting a dessert with icing sugar. I didn't even have to brush off the car, a quick flick of the wiper blades did the trip, the rest blew away as soon as the car started moving. The snow on your windshield was more like a Scotch mist. Intermittent wipers were entirely sufficient (thank you, Robert Kearns!). The roads were wet but only snow covered where there was no traffic. Nevertheless, the roads were jammed. The first part of my drive, which normally takes 10 minutes on a really good day and 20 on a bad one, actually took 40 minutes!! People were driving 20 km an hour in 50 km zones for no apparent reason. Some yahoos didn't even have their headlights on, but I suspect those people haven't yet realized that we switched to daylight savings time a few weeks ago, so they haven't quite absorbed the fact that it's dark by 5 p.m.

We're supposed to get 10 cm overnight, which is not such a big deal when you consider that people less than an hour north of the city have already had this much snow a couple of times already this year and the forecast for people in southwestern Ontario for tomorrow night into Friday is for 30 to 50 cm of snowfall - yikes! Of course, it won't last here in Toronto because it never does before the end of November (I know this because that's when my birthday is, so it's easy to remember) - it will all be melted by late day tomorrow or Friday. In the meantime, if it happens, it will be pretty and kids will make snowpeople and the driving tomorrow morning will probably be ugly. But at least the first snowfall will be over with, and hopefully people will remember to how to drive according to the weather conditions and if they don't, well, it won't be so bad for me, because I'm moving at the end of the month and my commute to work will only be 10 minutes, maybe 15 or 20 on a bad day and I won't mind the bad weather any more!

Here's a picture of what it looks like outside my window right now:

We'll see what tomorrow brings.

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