Snow can be used for building snowmen, snow for us suburbanites, dependent of the 4 wheeled cars to commute, driveways need to be cleared; oh yes, the snow clearers aka graders, do push heavy loads of compact snow into monstrous banks that need to be removed , by house residents, without personal snow blowers, physically trying, but a solution against added midrif inches-cms.
from the Star papers: " One of Phillips's favourite stories of the winter has been the snowfall in Ottawa, which has the odd distinction of being the world's snowiest nation's capital and is very close to a new record that once seemed impossible to top.
"I must admit I thought that record would never be broken," Phillips said of the 444.6 centimetres of snow that fell in the winter of 1970-71."
Ottawa Citizen's Stormwatch is equally entertaining
Don't forget when you are visiting Ottawa you are still in Canada and it can get cold. I visited in January of 2007 and under dressed. It made for some cold walks around downtown.
In January I would bring a hat, some gloves and warm sweater and coast. Good boats and they put salt on the sidewalks so you can ruin a good pair of new shoes if your not comfortable. I know that is important to the ladies to like shoes!
Don't worry about the cold, just be prepared. Without the cold you can't do all the other fun things in Ottawa like skating the Rideau Canal. During a visit up the Peace Tower the elevator attendant was excited it finally cooled down so she could soon start skating.
Along the lines of my previous "warning"...if you might be going to be in Ottawa during the Winter months be aware that we have to deal with here sometimes "freezing rain"...a precipitation that coats EVERYTHING with layers of pure ice...This can be hazardous for ANY outdoor activity...driving,walking...anything requiring movement...So if you're not used to walking or driving on ice...BE CAUTIONED...
Ill quote Wikipedia to describe freezing rain..."Freezing rain is the name given to rain that falls when surface temperatures are below freezing. The raindrops become supercooled while passing through a sub-freezing layer of air, many hundred feet (or meters), just above the surface, and then freeze upon impact with any object they encounter"
Trees,vehicles,and anything stationary outdoors when this happens will be coated..tree limbs and branches,hydro wires etc etc will become too heavy with the added weight of the ice and when they reach they're breaking point...they collapse..snap...break...
As I mentioned in the earlier warning about snowfalls...when an event like this happens...depending on the severity,the city resumes its normal pace after a day or two.
If you are planning a trip here during the Winter months...November to March...be prepared to battle SNOW...or embrace it...if thats your preference but you need to know that it can pile up quickly ..and temperatures can be dangerously cold!
We have just had a record amount of snowfall for the month of December...since Environment Canada started to keep records in 1938.As of December 25th the total accumulation for the month was 150 cm....including a 24 hour period from the 16th to the 17th of December when we received a 37 cm Blessing!
The City operates for all intensive purposes but things SLOW down considerably...Airlines,trains and buses do they're best BUT "weather delays" are all a part of life in the Great White North....so if you're here when an event like this happens...hopefully you have a comfortable place to sit and wait until things return to normal...often within 24 hours!
For the wintertime. As long as the great lakes are not frozen over, the so called 'lake-effect' snow can dump a lot of white stuff. So watch out for SW-winds in dec/jan. When going out apply lotion on your cheeks and balsem to your lips as the humidity is low and the cold wind will do it's job.
Driving is OK after snowfall, the streets will be swept clear. Watch out for so called BLACK ICE! Also the low sun in combination with snow often blocks your view on the road.
Walking is often tricky as the walkways are poorly swept and turn into slippery paths.
On the picture; Nicholas seen from Rideau.
The streets can be very slippery and slushy in any Canadian city during winter time. Bring a good pair of shoes - preferably non-slip, waterproof shoes. Don't forget hat, gloves and a warm coat!
Though most pedestrian walk ways are plouged and salted, watch out for ice and falling icicles from roof tops.
It is very cold during winter at Ottawa, so be prepared if you are going during winter. Also, when the snow melts, it is very slippery along the pavements so be very careful while you are walking. If you are driving in winter, be familiar with how to handle your car on roads covered with ice, especially during cornering as this is not easy.
I know this might sound silly but folks who are from other places and not used to the ice & snow presense can fall or get injured here.
Here, on this sign you can see a warning. This is one of the Crystal Garden's entrances. Enlarge the picture and read it. Just be careful and watch where you step. Try to avoid running and jumping around.
I arrived in Ottawa just as Icestorm 98 happened - the 'storm of the century', the most expensive natural disaster to hit Canada. Although Ottawa was not as badly hit as Montreal, it was still quite something to see a thick coating of ice on EVERYTHING! So if you're going to Ottawa in the winter, be prepared for some inclement weather! Frankly, in my opinion, weather out east is much worse than here in Edmonton. At least we stay dry!
In the winter there will be 'Lake Effect' snow as long as the great lakes are not frozen over. Here's a combined radar picture of this effect.
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