You Know When Winter’s Coming to Vancouver, Because

frost on grass

frost on grass (Photo credit: johnsam)

The online and TV weather services have already forecast a week of sub-zero temperatures (reaching almost two digits), a week and a half in advance. Accurately.

There is no traffic on the highways and freeways, even during rush hour, because people are already huddled under the covers, waiting for the first touch of frost to rime their ungaraged cars. Or motorists are driving very cautiously (for once), and leaving an unprecedented 50 car lengths between themselves and the cars in front, behind, and all around them.

Ice Sculptures at Illuminate Yaletown 2012

Ice Sculptures at Illuminate Yaletown 2012 (Photo credit: scott_van)

The Walmarts, Targets, Costcos, Safeways, and Thriftys have virtually no shoppers in sight, but items like toilet paper, milk, and eggs are largely absent from the shelves. Those items having been raided in pessimistic advance of The Giant Freeze.

People walk very tentatively, waddling almost penguin-like, from their mode of transportation to their destination, which is fewer than ten steps away. We panic when we see glints of ice on the roads and walkways, which are, in actuality, pre-salted and pre-sanded surfaces.

English: Emperor penguins Français : Manchots ...

Emperor penguins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those pedestrians who do not walk solo to get to where they are going use others–often protesting family members–as balance beams and walkers. Some people are dressed like skiers, but aren’t, and look like they could fit another person or two in their multiple layers of clothes.

And, most importantly, when drivers actually bother to swap out the all-seasons tires on their vehicles for the more appropriate winter radials. However, vehicles sporting winter tires into early summer are not uncommon sights in Vancouver. There are also other vehicles which never use winter tires, and end up doing donuts in rush hour traffic when the white stuff hasn’t been ploughed from the roads yet. (For the record, we already did one set of tires two days ago; one more set to go).

Imagination is both a wonderful and terrifying gift to have.

Heaven forbid it actually snow.

Vancouver Winter Morning Pano

Vancouver Winter Morning Pano (Photo credit: Sherwood411)


4 thoughts on “You Know When Winter’s Coming to Vancouver, Because

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