Transcript: Meterology | Jan 03, 2001

Fast clips show a candle on a wooden table. A hand picks petals off a white flower; turns the pages in a book, blows bubbles, knits, kneads dough, pours red wine, slides a ring on a finger, builds with blocks, breaks a loaf of bread, etcetera.
A white slate appears; an orange silhouette of a house at its center. It reads “More to life” in blue and red. Maureen appears sitting in a TV studio. She´s in her early forties; has short red hair and wears a blue tailored suit. She sits in a studio on a red armchair.

MAUREEN says HI, I'M MAUREEN
TAYLOR AND WELCOME TO THE
SECOND INSTALLMENT OF “OLOGY
WEEK” HERE AT “MORE TO
LIFE.”
IT'S A TERRIBLE RELATIONSHIP,
REALLY.
WE CAN'T CONTROL IT, WE
CAN'T TRUST IT, IT DOESN'T
CARE HOW WE FEEL, AND WE
CAN'T CHANGE IT.
IT'S THE WEATHER.
WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT.
I KNOW YOU HAVE A MILLION
QUESTIONS AND WE HAVE THE
MAN WITH ALL OF THE ANSWERS.
DAVID PHILLIPS IS SENIOR
CLIMATOLOGIST WITH
ENVIRONMENT CANADA.

David is in his late forties; he has straight short gray hair and is clean-shaven. He wears a white shirt glasses and a gray cardigan.

She continues HE'S MY GUEST THIS
AFTERNOON.
HIS WEATHER TRIVIA 2001
CALENDAR IS NOW ON SALE, AND
WE HAVE THREE COPIES TO GIVE
AWAY.

An image of his book appears. It shows a wooden cabin on a green field against a blue sky with scattered clouds around it. It reads “The Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar; David Phillips” on the cover.

She says BUT YOU HAVE TO PHONE IN
WITH A QUESTION TO QUALIFY
FOR THE CALENDAR DRAW, SO
GIVE US A CALL IF YOU WANT
TO KNOW THE RECORD SNOWFALL
FOR A CANADIAN WINTER, HOW
GLOBAL WARMING IS ALREADY IN
EVIDENCE, OR ANYTHING ABOUT
THE WEATHER.
HERE ARE THE NUMBERS.

A caption appears. It reads “416 484 2727; 1-888-411-1234.”
The caption changes to moretolife@tvo.org.

MAUREEN says AND DAVE,
WELCOME.
HI.

DAVID PHILLIPS smiles and says HI
MAUREEN.
NICE TO BE WITH YOU AGAIN.

MAUREEN says FIRST QUESTION,
WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL
THING ABOUT THE WINTER WE'RE
HAVING SO FAR?

DAVID PHILLIPS says GOSH, I
THINK -- YOU KNOW, IT'S
GOING TO BE ODD TO ANSWER
THAT QUESTION.
I THINK WHAT'S UNUSUAL ABOUT
IT IS THAT IT SEEMS SO
NORMAL.

A caption below him reads “David Phillips, Climatologist.”

He continues IT'S A TYPICAL KIND OF
CANADIAN WINTER.
WE'VE GONE -- I THINK IT WAS
1994 WAS THE LAST SORT OF
SIGNIFICANT COLD WINTER WE
HAD IN CANADA SO, WE'VE HAD
A FEW YEARS.
THE LAST THREE HAVE BEEN IN
CANADA THE, OUT OF THE LAST
53 YEARS, IT'S BEEN THE
SECOND, FOURTH AND FIFTH
WARMEST SO, WE'VE HAD REALLY
BOUTS OF ALMOST BENIGN KIND
OF WINTERS.
AND SO THE FACT THAT THIS
WINTER ARRIVED EARLY AND
IT'S STUCK ON SO LONG, THERE
ARE MANY PARTS OF CANADA
THAT HADN'T HAD AN ABOVE
FREEZING TEMPERATURE IN
ABOUT 40 DAYS, AND SO I THINK
THAT IT'S SORT OF A
THROW-BACK TO THE OLD GOOD
OLD FASHIONED KIND OF
CANADIAN WINTERS THAT WE
USED TO HEAR ABOUT.
AND I KNOW YOUNG PEOPLE
THINK, THEY GIVE THOSE FAR
AWAY LOOKS WHEN PEOPLE TALK
ABOUT SHOW TO THE ROOFLINES
AND SKATING ON LAKES AND
THINGS LIKE THIS.
WE JUST HAVEN'T HAD ANYTHING
LIKE THAT IN RECENT WINTERS.

MAUREEN says IT DOES REMIND
ME MORE OF THE KIND OF SNOW
I USED TO SEE AS A KID IN
ONTARIO.
ARE THERE ANY RECORDS FOR
SNOW FALL SO FAR?

DAVID PHILLIPS says NO.
WE'VE SEEN ABOUT DOUBLE THE
AMOUNT OF SNOW FALL IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
SO WE'VE HAD SNOWIER
DECEMBERS, BUT WE'VE SEEN
ALSO COLDER DECEMBERS.
BUT THESE ARE NEAR THE TOP.
IN TERMS OF DOUBLE THE
AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL AND IN
TERMS OF TEMPERATURES IN
MANY PLACES IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO THAT HAD THEIR
SECOND-COLDEST DECEMBER ON
RECORD.
SO THIS IS CLEARLY A
THROW-BACK.
AND THE THING THAT'S SO
INTERESTING IS LAST WINTER
WAS SO SOFT AND SO SHORT,
AND WE HAVE SHORT MEMORIES
WHEN IT COMES TO THE
WEATHER.
WE TEND TO THINK THE WINTER
WE JUST SURVIVED WAS NORMAL
AND SO WHEN WE GET SOMETHING
THAT'S SORT OF GOOD OLD
FASHIONED, OR WHAT WE CALL
NORMAL, THEN IN FACT IT
REALLY IS -- PEOPLE ARE
WONDERING, MY GOSH, IS THE
ICE AGE AROUND THE CORNER?
AND WE'VE HEARD SO MUCH
ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, WHAT'S
ALL THIS ABOUT?

MAUREEN says RIGHT.
WE HAVE SHORT MEMORIES, DAVE,
BUT I'VE BEEN WANTING TO SEE
YOU LAST SUMMER WHEN I HAD
MY VACATION IN JULY AND THAT
WAS AWFUL!

DAVID PHILLIPS says IT REALLY
WAS.
I CALLED IT THE BUMMER OF A
SUMMER.
YOU KNOW, MAUREEN, WE THINK
IN CANADA, BECAUSE WE
HAVE -- WE'RE THE
SECOND-COLDEST COUNTRY IN
THE WORLD.
WE HAVE MORE FROST DAYS THAN
FROST-FREE DAYS.
AND 35 PERCENT OF OUR PRECIPITATION
IS SNOW.
THE WORLD'S AVERAGE IS 5 PERCENT SO
WE KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH
COLD WEATHER.
BUT CANADIANS FEEL THAT
WE'RE OWED SUMMERS.

MAUREEN says WE'RE ENTITLED
TO THEM.

DAVID PHILLIPS says EXACTLY
AND LAST SUMMER WE WERE TO
PATIENT, IT NEVER CAME.
AND IT WASN'T IT WAS SO COLD,
IT JUST WASN'T SO HOT.
AND COMPARE IT WITH THE
PREVIOUS SUMMER WHERE WE HAD
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO 25 TO 30
DAYS WHERE THE TEMPERATURE
GOT ABOVE 30 degrees.
THERE WERE SOMEPLACES LIKE
LONDON AND OTTAWA WHERE THE
TEMPERATURE GOT ABOVE 30 degrees.
AND IT WAS WET BUT NOT
EXCESSIVELY WET --

MAUREEN says WEREN'T THE
WEEKENDS EXCESSIVELY WET?

DAVID PHILLIPS says EXACTLY,
AND THE LONG WEEKENDS, FROM
MAY TO THANKSGIVING ALL HAD
A WET HOLIDAY AND 19 OF THE
22 WEEKENDS HAD WET DAYS.
IF IT RAINS TUESDAY,
WEDNESDAY NIGHT, NOBODY
SEEMS TO MIND, YOU SEE.
FARMERS HAD IT BAD AND
VACATIONERS, AND IT WAS JUST
THAT HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.
WE KEPT WAITING FOR SUMMER
TO ARRIVE AND IT JUST
DIDN'T.
AND WE KNEW, MY GOSH, IS
THIS GOING TO BE THE YEAR
WITHOUT SUMMER, AND IN A WAY
IT WAS.

MAUREEN says IT FELT LIKE
THAT THE BUMMER OF A SUMMER
WAS ONE OF YOUR TOP WEATHER
STORIES FOR THE YEAR 2000.
WE HAVE ACTUALLY SOME
PICTURES OF THE, I GUESS THE
TOP ONE, AND THAT WOULD BE
THE TORNADO IN PINE LAKE
ALBERTA.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YES.

MAUREEN says SO LET'S TAKE A
LOOK AT THAT AND YOU CAN
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
THIS TORNADO.
IT'S VERY TRAGIC.

A clip shows a tornado appearing behind some trees. A truck drives past on a road. Next, images of broken down cars and buildings appear. Piled up broken caravans and volunteers working in yellow jackets appear.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YOU KNOW,
THIS WAS IN FACT THE FIRST
TIME IF IN 13 YEARS THAT A
TORNADO HAS KILLED SOMEBODY
IN CANADA.
IT KILLED 12 PEOPLE, HURT
ABOUT 140 PEOPLE AND THERE
WAS TERRIBLE DESTRUCTION.
LET ME RUN THROUGH SOME OF
THE THINGS WE SAW.
WE TOOK 30 OR 40 TORNADO
TRAILERS AND DUMPED THEM
INTO THE LAKE BUT NOBODY
DROWNED.
TOOK FISH FROM THE LAKE AND
SPRAYED THEM OVER THE LAND,
SUCKED THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE
WATER.
AXES WERE DUG INTO TRAILER
WALLS.
GOLF BALLS EMBEDDED INTO
TREES.
WE HAD WINDS OF 333
KILOMETRES PER HOUR.
NOW IT'S KNOWN AS KIND OF A
HAIL STORM AREA, SO IT'S NOT
AS IF THEY DON'T GET IT.

MAUREEN says GET SOME.

DAVID PHILLIPS says EXACTLY,
BUT IT WAS THE DEADLIEST
TORNADO IN NORTH AMERICA
THIS YEAR WAS IN CANADA, IT
BEAT ANYTHING IN TORNADO
ALLEY AND WAS CLEARLY THE
NUMBER ONE WEATHER STORY IN
CANADA.

MAUREEN says NOW WAS THERE A
TORNADO WARNING THAT WENT
OUT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says THERE WAS,
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
WARNING WITH THE POSSIBILITY
OF TORNADOES EMBEDDED.
ABOUT 45 TO 50 MINUTES AHEAD
OF TIME BUT IT OCCURRED IN A
CAMPGROUND WHERE A LOT OF
PEOPLE DON'T HAVE
NECESSARILY ACCESS TO
WEATHER RADIOS OR TELEVISION
OR RADIO, SO THEY PERHAPS
MAYBE DIDN'T GET ACCESS TO
THAT, AND PROBABLY WEREN'T
PREPARED FOR IT.
IT COULD HAVE BEEN FAR WORSE,
MAUREEN.
WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT IT
OCCURRED ABOUT 7 10 AT NIGHT
AND HALF THE TRAILERS WERE
NOT OCCUPIED.
PEOPLE HADN'T ARRIVED FROM
THE CITIES YET TO COME TO
THE CAMPGROUND.
IF IT HAD BEEN AN HOUR LATER
IT COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN A
REAL CATASTROPHE.
AND WHAT WE LEARNED -- WE
ALWAYS LEARN FROM THESE
SEVERE WEATHER STORMS AND
ONE THING WE LEARNED ABOUT
THIS IS THAT MAYBE WE HAVE
TO READVISE OUR SAFETY TIPS
FOR CANADIANS BECAUSE ONE OF
THE TIPS WE ALWAYS USED TO
SAY IS DON'T GET IN A CAR.
GET OUT OF YOUR CAR.
GOOD IN LIGHTNING STORMS BUT
NOT IN TORNADOES.
AND NOW WITH CARS HAVING AIR
BAGS AND SEAT BELTS, AND
THAT IF YOU ARE IN A TRAILER
PARK, THAT PERHAPS MAYBE
WITH THAT, WITH THE
POSSIBILITY OF THE TRAILERS
JUST FLYING APART, MAYBE THE
SAFEST PLACE IS TO BE IN A
CAR.
SO WE'RE LOOKING AT THAT.
AND WE'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO
GET BACK TO CANADIANS AND
SAY WELL, GEE, YOU KNOW IN
CERTAIN SITUATIONS LIKE A
TRAILER PARK, MAYBE THE CAR
IS THE BEST PLACE.

MAUREEN says WE'RE GOING TO
LEARN A LOT THIS AFTERNOON,
NOT JUST ABOUT TORNADOES AND
WEATHER TRIVIA, BUT ABOUT
EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE
WEATHER.
SO IF THERE ARE KIDS AT HOME
TODAY WHO WANT TO KNOW THING
LIKE “CAN I EAT SNOW?”
THAT'S WHAT MY SON WANTED TO
KNOW, GIVE US A CALL.
MY GUEST TODAY, SENIOR
CLIMATOLOGIST, DAVID
PHILLIPS AND WE HAVE SOME OF
HIS 201 WEATHER TRIVIA
CALENDARS TO GIVE AWAY BUT
YOU HAVE TO HAVE A QUESTION.

A caption appears. It reads “416 484 2727; 1-888-411-1234.”
The caption changes to moretolife@tvo.org.

MAUREEN says BRIAN IS IN
LONDON.
HI, BRIAN.

Brian says HI.

MAUREEN says HI.

He says YES, I'D LIKE
KNOW WHAT EFFECT ALL THIS
SNOW WILL HAVE ON LAKE
LEVELS?

MAUREEN says GOOD QUESTION.

DAVID PHILLIPS says GOOD
QUESTION, BRIAN.
PEOPLE THOUGHT THE LAKE
LEVEL PROBLEM WENT AWAY WHEN
WE HAD THOSE MONSOONAL DAYS
IN MAY AND JUNE, AND WE WERE
WORRIED ABOUT THE LAKE
LEVELS GOING INTO THE
SPRING, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN
PEOPLE FORGOT ABOUT THEM.
BUT LAKES DIDN'T RISE.
I MEAN, THEIR DECLINE WAS
SORT OF HELD IN CHECK AND IT
PAUSED A BIT, BUT WE THEN
HAD A VERY DRY FALL SO WHAT
WE FOUND, BRIAN, ALMOST AT
THE END OF THIS YEAR, WE
FOUND THE GREAT LAKE LEVEL
PROBLEMS ARE PROBABLY OF A
GREATER CONCERN NOW THAN
THEY WERE A YEAR AGO.
THE AMOUNT OF IN DECEMBER,
DOUBLE THE AMOUNT WILL
CERTAINLY HELP.
EVERY LITTLE BIT -- IT'S NOT
JUST A DROP IN THE BUCKET,
BUT IT WILL TAKE SEVERAL
SEASONS, SEVERAL MONTHS OF
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION,
AND MAYBE EVEN COOLER
TEMPERATURE, BECAUSE A LOT
OF THAT LOSS OF THE GREAT
LAKES WAS FROM GREAT AMOUNTS
OF EVE EVAPORATION.
SO IT WAS A THREE-YEAR
PROBLEM.
WE WENT FROM NORMAL LAKE
LEVELS TO SOME OF THE LOWEST
LEVELS THAT WE'VE SEEN SINCE
THE 1960s AND IN LAKE
SUPERIOR SINCE THE 1920s.
SO IT TOOK THREE YEARS, SO
IT'S GOING TO TAKE MORE THAN
JUST THREE SEASONS TO
CORRECT THE PROBLEM.

MAUREEN says WE HAVE PICTURES
OF THE LOW LAKE LEVELS AS
WELL.
THAT WAS ONE OF YOUR TOP TEN
STORIES AS WELL?

An aerial clip shows the receding water levels near the lake shore.

DAVID PHILLIPS says IT WAS, I
THINK IT WAS NUMBER FOUR OR
FIVE AND IT CLEARLY WAS A
PROBLEM NOT JUST FOR SHIP OR
COTTAGERS BUT MUNICIPAL
INTAKE SYSTEMS, PEOPLE WHO
HAD DOCKS WERE LEFT HIGH AND
DRY BECAUSE OF THE DECLINING
LAKE LEVELS, AND THERE WAS A
MAJOR CONCERN AND YET THERE
WAS A CONTRADICTION ALMOST
IN THAT IN THE LAND AREA
THERE WAS MORE WATER THAN
YOU COULD HANDLE.
WATER PROBLEMS WITH HIGH
LEVELS ON THE RIVERS AND
STREAMS.
THE TRENT CANAL YOU COULDN'T
LAUNCH YOUR BOAT BECAUSE THE
LEVELS WERE SO HIGH AND YET
IN THE LAKES THE LEVELS WERE
SO SUPPRESSED.
CLEARLY THE LAKE LEVELS WERE
A BIG STORY AND IT WASN'T
JUST BECAUSE OF A FEW
COTTAGERS.
IT WAS A BIG TICKET ITEM FOR
ONTARIO HYDRO, FOR EXAMPLE.
THEY COULDN'T CREATE AS MUCH
POWER, AND FOR SHIPPERS.
I MEAN, THERE WAS A LOT OF
HEAVY TRAFFIC ON THE LAKE
THIS IS YEAR IN TERMS OF
MOVING THE STEEL AND COAL,
BUT THEY HAD TO MAKE MANY
MORE TRIPS AND SO THEY LOST
A LOT OF MONEY.

MAUREEN says AND YOU DON'T
EXPECT TO SEE A HUGE
DIFFERENCE NEXT YEAR?

DAVID PHILLIPS says NO.
CLEARLY -- IT WILL TAKE A
COUPLE MORE YEARS OF VERY
HIGH PRECIPITATION AND WE
WORRY.
WE THINK THAT GEE, ONE OF
THE SUGGESTIONS OF GLOBAL
WARMING IS THE FACT THAT WE
SEE SUPPRESSED WATER LEVELS
IN THE GREAT LAKES BECAUSE
OF WARMER TEMPERATURES AND
EVEN THOUGH PRECIPITATION
MAY BE A LITTLE HIGHER,
BECAUSE SO MUCH IS GETTING
OUT OF THE LAKES, AND THE
WINTER, THE LAKES ARE NOT
HIBERNATING IN THE WINTER
WITH THAT ICE COVER.
ALTHOUGH THE ICE COVER WILL
HELP THIS YEAR, SO IT'S NOT
ONLY THE AMOUNT OF SNOW BUT
THE FACT THAT THE COLD AND
THE ICE WILL ALSO PREVENT
LOSS OF WATER.

MAUREEN says OKAY, THANKS FOR
YOUR QUESTION, BRIAN.
WE HAVE ONE FROM JENNIFER IN
HANOVER.

She reads the question from a screen WHY HAS THE JET STREAM
DIPPED DOWN SO FAR SOUTH,
CAUSING IT TO SNOW IN
SOUTHERN STATES LIKE TEXAS?

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL THAT
IS A GOOD QUESTION,
JENNIFER, AND YOU KNOW, IT
IS REALLY -- THAT IS WHAT
WE'VE SEEN THIS PARTICULAR
SUMMER -- OR SORRY, WINTER,
IS THE FACT THAT WE'VE HAD
SO MUCH ARCTIC AIR.
I MEAN, THE LAST THREE OR
FOUR WINTERS WE'VE GOT A LOT
OF PACIFIC AIR, AND IT'S
SORT OF CONFINED, THESE
BREEZES BLOWING ACROSS THE
COUNTRY WHERE THE JET STREAM
HAS BEEN MORE OVER US, AND
IT'S CONFINED THE ARCTIC AIR
WELL TO THE NORTH.
THE ARCTIC AIR IS ALWAYS
THERE AND SPINNING AROUND
AND SOME WINTERS IT DIPS
DOWN FURTHER SOUTH.
IT'S LIKE MOLASSES ON A
TABLE.
IT'S VERY THICK AND MOVES
SLOWLY BUT IT PRETTY WELL
TAKES OVER LARGE AREAS BUT
IF YOU KEEP FROM FALLING OFF
THE TABLE, AND THAT JET
STREAM HAS DONE THAT, THEN
IT SORT OF CONFINES IT TO
WHERE YOU CAN MANAGE IT.
WELL WHAT WE'VE FOUND WAS
THE FACT THAT THE ARCTIC AIR
BUILT EARLIER, AND THE
NIGHTS ARE VERY DARK, AND
THE AIR GREW COLDER AND
COLDER AND IT WAS JUST THICK
AND HEAVY AND DENSE, AND IT
BEGAN TO POUR SOUTHWARD, AND
THE JET STREAM HAD ACTUALLY
GUN TO HUMP OVER BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND THEN DIP WAY
DOWN INTO THE CENTRAL PART
OF THE UNITED STATES AND IT
ALLOWED THE COLD AIR TO MOSey
ALL THE WAY DOWN TO EL
PASO TEXAS.
AND WE'VE ACTUALLY BEEN
FORTUNATE IN CANADA, BECAUSE
WHERE YOU GET WEATHER IS
WHERE YOU GET THE COLD AIR
MEETING THE WARM AIR.
WELL WHERE THE COLD AIR HAS
MET THE WARM AIR IS DOWN IN
THE UNITED STATES AND SO
THAT'S THEY'VE GOT THE ICE
RAINS, THE FLORIDA FREEZES,
HEAVY SNOW FALLS.
WE'VE JUST BEEN IN KIND OF
THE COLD AIR.
WE'VE GOT LOTS OF SNOW, IT'S
VERY PICTURESQUE, AND IT'S
GOOD FOR THE SKIERS SO
THERE'S LOTS OF GOOD THINGS
ABOUT THE SNOW BUT WE'VE
BEEN SPARED SOME OF THE BIG
HITS OF THE WINTER BECAUSE
WE'VE JUST BEEN ENGULFED IN
THE COLD AIR.
WE'VE HAD TO SPEND A LOT ON
OUR HOME HEATING BILLS SO
LOSING MONEY OUT OF OUR
POCKETS FROM THAT POINT OF
VIEW, SO IT COULD HAVE BEEN
FAR WORSE THAN IT IS, BUT
THE JET STREAM HAS BEEN
MOVING SOUTH BECAUSE THE
COLD AIR IS PUSHED DOWN AND
THE PACIFIC BREEZES ARE
RELAXING A BIT AND HAVE
ALLOWED THE COLD AIR.
SO SOME OF THE OLD WEATHER
WE USED TO GET, THE NORTH/SOUTH
WEATHER IS WHAT WE'RE
GETTING, NOT THE WEST/EAST
WEATHER.

MAUREEN says OKAY.
JANICE IS NEXT IN CALENDAR.
WELCOME, JANICE.

Janice says HELLO.
MY QUESTION HAS TO DO WITH
GLOBAL WARMING.
I'M JUST WONDERING IF YOU
FEEL IT IS REVERSIBLE, THE
HUMAN ASPECT OF IT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says GEE,
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
YOU KNOW, WE'VE ALWAYS FELT
THAT NATURE CAUSES CLIMATE
TO CHANGE, AND THE EVIDENCE
IS QUITE IRREFUTABLE ABOUT
THAT IN TERMS OF GEOLOGY AND
THINGS LIKE THIS AND IT'S
ONLY REALLY IN THE LAST 20
YEARS WE'VE BEGUN TO SEE
THAT HUMAN SIGNATURE IN
TERMS OF CHANGING THE
CLIMATE IN TWO WAYS.
ONE IS FIRST OF ALL THE HOW
WE'RE CHANGING THE CHEMISTRY
OF THE ATMOSPHERE BUT ALSO
THE LAND USE, CHANGING OF
THE CUTTING OF TREES AND
DRAINING WETLANDS AND DOING
ALL KINDS OF OTHER THINGS,
LIKE CULTIVATION AND
BLACKTOPPING DRIVEWAYS AND
THESE ARE WAYS THAT WE
CHANGE ONE OF THE BASIC
CHARACTERISTIC OR CONTROLS
OF OUR CLIMATE.
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT IT
IS REVERSIBLE.
I THINK THAT A LOT OF WHAT
WE'VE SEEN IN TERMS OF
CARBON DIOXIDE, FOR EXAMPLE,
WHEN WE BURN FOSSIL FUELS
AND THE CARBON DIOXIDE AND
RELEASED AND GETS INTO THE
ATMOSPHERE, IT HAS RESIDENCE
TIME OF 75 A TO 100 YEARS.
SO IT'S NOT AS IF IT'S SORT
OF A LITTLE BIT OF DIRTY AIR
WHICH CAN GET WASHED OUT IN
THE NEXT RAIN STORM BUT IT'S
CARBON DIOXIDE THAT STAYS UP
THERE IN THE ATMOSPHERE FOR
75 TO 100 YEARS SO CLEARLY
IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF
TIME TO REVERSE THAT I DON'T
THINK SCIENTISTS EVER FEEL
IT'S REVERSIBLE.
IN FACT THE HUMAN ELEMENT IS
PROBABLY GOING TO COMPETE
WITH SOME OF THE NATURAL
FORCES LIKE SUN SPOTS AND
EARTH TILTS AND OCEAN
TEMPERATURES IN TERMS OF
CONTROLLING THE WEATHER.
WHAT WE CAN DO BY DOING
PROPER THINGS, AND CHANGING
OUR APPROACH TO THE
ENVIRONMENT IS SLOW DOWN THE
INEVITABLE, TO PERHAPS MAYBE
BUY A BIT MORE TIME SO WE CAN TRY
TO LEARN TO ADAPT TO THE
KIND OF CHANGES WE SEE.

MAUREEN says SO ALL OF THESE
TREATIES AND NEGOTIATIONS
TO CONTROL EMITIONS AND THINGS, YOU
THINK THEY'RE WELL-PLACED,
THE INTENTIONS ARE GOOD?

DAVID PHILLIPS says THEY ARE,
AND THEY'RE IMPORTANT
BECAUSE THEY WILL HELP SLOW
DOWN THE RAPID WARMING.
THE MOST CHILLING ASPECT OF
THIS WARMING IS THE SPEED AT
WHICH IT'S TAKING PLACE.
HUMANS CAN ADAPT TO THAT BUT
THE ENVIRONMENT CAN'T.
ANIMALS AND PLANTS AND
TREES.
THE KINDS OF CHANGES WE'VE
SEEN IN THE PAST OVER
HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS OF
YEARS ARE HAPPENING IN TENS
OF YEARS AND SO WE CAN ADAPT
TO IT BUT IT'S WHETHER THE
ENVIRONMENT CAN.
SO WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS
SLOW DOWN THE DRAMATIC
CHANGE SO WE CAN BUY A
LITTLE BIT MORE TIME TO TRY
EASE THE KIND OF TRANSITION
INTO CLEARLY A CHANGED
CLIMATE.
THE OTHER THING, TOO, IS ALL
OF THOSE MEASURES WE NEED TO
TAKE TO SLOW THINGS DOWN --
ALSO, THERE'S CO-BENEFITS TO
THEM IN TERMS OF CLEANER AIR
AND CLEANER WATER AND
CONSERVATION.
THOSE ARE GOOD THINGS, EVEN
IF THEY DIDN'T MAKE ANY
EFFECT ON THE CLIMATE.

MAUREEN says GOOD POINT.
OKAY, THANK YOU, JANICE.
MARY IS IN EMMITTVILLE.
HELLO, MARY.

Mary says HELLO.
HI MAUREEN AND DAVID.

DAVID PHILLIPS says HI MARY.

She says ABOUT THREE WEEKS
AGO WE HAD THUNDER AND
LIGHTNING.
HOW CAN THAT OCCUR IN THE
WINTER?

DAVID PHILLIPS says QUESTION,
MARY.
YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT AS RARES
YOU MIGHT THINK.
IT'S JUST WE DON'T THINK
WHEN WE HEAR IT -- WE THINK
IT'S A SONIC BOOM, OR THE
LIGHTING IS MAYBE AURORA
BOREALIS, OR JUST SOME POWER
OUTAGE SOMEWHERE, BUT THEY
ARE NOT AS COMMON -- ABOUT
ONCE A YEAR IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO, IN CENTRAL ONTARIO,
WE HEAR A THUNDERSTORM --
THEY'RE CALLED THUNDER
SNOWS.
AND NOT ALWAYS SNOW.
BUT ONCE A WINTER, AND OF
COURSE IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO
WE MAY GET 30, 33 DAYS A
YEAR WITH THUNDERSTORMS.
OF COURSE THEY MOSTLY OCCUR
IN JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST
WHERE WE HEAR IT, WE CLEARLY
KNOW WHAT THAT IS.
BUT IN THE MIDDLE OF
DECEMBER OR JANUARY WE OFTEN
HAVE TO CATCH OURSELVES
WONDERING COULD THAT
POSSIBLY BE THE THUNDER?
THE LAST ONE THAT OCCURRED
THAT MARY SPEAKS OF, THAT
WAS QUITE UNUSUAL BECAUSE IT
WENT ON FOR SO LONG.
THERE WERE CLEARLY SEVERAL
CLAPS OF THUNDER AND
LIGHTNING.
IT WASN'T JUST ONE THUNDER
YOU HEARD AND THEN IT
DISAPPEARS WHICH IS OFTEN
WHAT YOU SEE IN THE
WINTERTIME.
WHAT IT REALLY WAS IS THE
SAME OLD KIND OF SITUATION.
IS THAT YOU'VE GOT WARM AIR
MOVING FROM THE SOUTH AND
OVERRIDING COLD AIR, AND THE
WARM AIR IS FORCED UP.
AND WHEN IT FORCES UP, IT
CONDENSE, FORMS THESE BIG
CLOUDS AND ALL KINDS OF
THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN

He moves his hands up and down and continues THOSE CLOUDS AND UPDRAFTS
AND DOWNDRAFTS AND
COLLISIONS OF IONS AND IT
PRODUCES ELECTRICAL CHANGES
THAT PRODUCES THESE, THE
ELECTRICAL CHARGES THAT
CAUSE THE THUNDER, OR THE
LIGHTNING, AND OF COURSE
WHEN YOU HAVE LIGHTNING, YOU
HAVE THUNDER.
YOU CAN'T HAVE THUNDER
WITHOUT THE LIGHTNING.
SO REALLY THE THUNDER IS
JUST THE RESPONSE OF THE
LIGHTNING CHARRING THAT AIR
COLUMN.
SO IT'S UNUSUAL, AND YOU
DON'T ALWAYS GET SNOW FROM
IT, BUT SOMETIMES YOU CAN
GET A HEAVY AMOUNT OF SNOW
BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT THAT WARM,
MOIST AIR THAT'S AROUND WITH
THE COLD AIR AND YOU CAN
SOMETIMES GET SOME --
THEY'RE VERY INTERESTING AND
VERY COLOURFUL.
BUT I'VE NEVER HEARD OF
ANYBODY EVER BEING STRUCK BY
LIGHTNING IN THE WINTERTIME.
SO YOU'RE PROBABLY SAFE TO
BE --

MAUREEN says THAT WOULD BE
ONE FOR YOUR CALENDAR, IF
ANYBODY EVER WAS.

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT
MIGHT EVEN BE A TOP TEN
STORY OF THE YEAR IF
SOMEBODY EVER GOT HIT IN THE
WINTERTIME.

MAUREEN says WE WON'T WISH
THAT ON THEM BUT IT'S AN
INTERESTING QUESTION.
THANKS MARY.
I HAVE AN E-MAIL HERE.

She reads the question from the screen I LIVE IN A LITTLE TOWN
SOUTH OF THE HURON, THEDFORD,
THE WEATHER SEEMS TO BE SO
VARIED, JUST NORTH OF GRAND
BEND IT CAN BE SNOWING, YET
IN THEDFORD, TEN MINUTES
AWAY IT'S CLEAR.
IS THAT THE LAKE EFFECT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says IT'S
REALLY ALL OF THE ABOVE SORT
OF THING.
ONE OF THE THING, THE
CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR
CLIMATE IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO
AND EASTERN ONTARIO IS THAT
YOU KNOW, THAT LINE, IF YOU
DON'T LIKE THE WEATHER, WAIT
AROUND FOR A FEW MINUTES AND
THERE'S TRUTH TO IT.
THERE'S HARDLY A SNOW SYSTEM
THAT IS NOT BORN IN NORTH
AMERICA THAT DOESN'T FIND
ITS WAY THROUGH SOUTHERN
ONTARIO.
AND SO WE KNOW THAT, AND OF
COURSE WHAT YOU HAVE IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO, YOU HAVE A
LOT OF THE EFFECTS THAT
CONTROL THE WEATHER.
YOU HAVE THE LAKES, CLEARLY
THE LAKES, WARM AND THEY
COOL OFF.
THEY CAN CAUSE LAKE EFFECT
SNOW, BUT YOU ALSO HAVE THE
TOPOGRAPHY, THE DIFFERENCES
IN ELEVATION.
THAT DOESN'T RIVAL THE ROCKY
MOUNTAINS BUT THERE'S ENOUGH
OF A DIFFERENCE THERE WITH
COMBINING WITH THE LAKES AND
THEN WITH THE STORM TRACK TO
PRODUCE SOME RATHER
INTERESTING WEATHER.
AND IT'S A REAL CHALLENGE TO
FORECAST THE WEATHER HERE IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO BECAUSE OF
THE DIFFERENT CONTROLS WHICH
SHAPE THE WEATHER.

MAUREEN says SO HOW, HOW FAR
AHEAD DO YOU FEEL FORECASTS
ARE ACCURATE?

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL, YOU
KNOW, WE'VE COME A LONG WAY.
I REMEMBER WHEN I STARTED IN
THIS BUSINESS, AND I'VE BEEN
IN IT ABOUT 30 YEARS, IS
THAT PEOPLE USED TO SAY WELL
GEE, IS IT GOING TO RAIN
TOMORROW OR IS IT GOING TO
SNOW TOMORROW?
NOW OF COURSE THEY WANT TO
KNOW IS IT GOING TO SNOW IN
NORTH YORK OR NAPEAN AT 2 30
IN THE AFTERNOON.
SO PEOPLE'S EXPECTATIONS OF
WEATHER HAVE IMPROVED HAVE INCREASED.
AND OF COURSE WHAT OUR
ACCURACIES OF SAY 20 YEARS
AGO OF TOMORROW'S FOR CAST,
WE NOW HAVE THAT SAME
ACCURACY FOR THE FOUR-DAY
FORECAST, YOU SEE OR THE
FIVE-DAY FORECAST, SO WE'RE
CLEARLY GETTING BETTER AT IT,
IT'S JUST PEOPLE DEMAND MORE
FROM THE WEATHER SERVICE AND
PAY A LOT FOR IT IN THEIR
TAXES SO THEY SHOULD EXPECT
LOOT.
SO THAT HELPS US TRY TIME
PROVE THE SCIENCE AND TRY TO
MAKE FORECASTING BETTER.
BUT WE'LL NEVER BE 100 PERCENT, YOU
CAN BET ALL YOUR RESOURCES
IN THE BANK THAT TOMORROW
WILL BE CRISP AND COLD WITH
SOME SNOW FLURRIES IN THE
AIR BECAUSE SOMETHING COULD
HAPPEN AT THE LAST
MOMENT.
SOMETIMES -- I'VE SEEN IT
JUST -- IT SADDENS -- YOU'RE
ALWAYS DEPRESSED IN A
WEATHER OFFICE WHEN YOU SEE
A STORM SYSTEM DEVELOPING ON
MONDAY IN THE GULF OF MEXICO,
AND YOU SEND OUT A MESSAGE,
A SORT OF A WEATHER
STATEMENT.
WELL, EXPECT IN THE
TORONTO/KINGSTON AREA ON
FRIDAY AFTERNOON TO HAVE A
SNOWSTORM.
AND PEOPLE ARE WATCHING IT,
AND THEY'RE PLANNING THEIR
DAY, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN,
YOU GET CLOSER AND YOU CAN
FINETUNE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN
ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON THE
STORM AT THE LAST MOMENT
DIVERTS SOUTH OF LAKE
ONTARIO AND SO YOU MISS, AND
EVERYBODY THINKS THAT YOU
SCREWED UP, YOU SEE?
THAT YOU MISSED IT?
AND YET YOU GAVE THEM THAT
HEADS-UP FIVE DAYS AGO WHERE
THAT STORM WAS JUST A LITTLE
BUBBLE ALMOST IN THE GULF OF
MEXICO, AND IT REALLY, IT
SORT OF FRUSTRATES TO YOU
THINK MY GOSH!
YOU KNOW, WE GAVE ALL THOSE
FIVE DAY, AND THE FACT THAT
IT WENT 50 KILOMETRE TO THE
SOUTH IS LIKE A BUM
FORECAST.

MAUREEN says YOU PREDICT THAT
THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT'S
RIGHT.

MAUREEN says CAN YOU PREDICT
WITH ANY CERTAINTY THAT
WE'LL HAVE A JANUARY THAW?

DAVID PHILLIPS says CLEARLY.
I WOULD BET THE FAMILY FARM
ON THE FISHING FLEET HERE IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO.
HOW SURE I AM IS THAT IN 160
YEARS OF WEATHER TAKING HERE
IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO, ONLY
ONCE HAVE WE NEVER HAD A
JANUARY THAW.
SO IT'S ALMOST AS IF
TONIGHT'S GOING TO BE DARK
AND TOMORROW'S GOING TO BE
LIGHT, YOU CAN SAY THAT
SOUTHERN ONTARIO'S GOING TO
HAVE A THAW.
IN FACT I LOOKED AT THE
WEATHER MAPS AND THERE'S
SOME WARMING COMING, SO IT
LOOKS LIKE ALBERTA HAS BEEN
OVERTAKEN BY THIS WARM AIR
FROM THE PACIFIC,
SASKATCHEWAN'S GETTING MAD
ROT TEMPERATURES, IT'S EVEN
WARMED A BIT IN WINNIPEG.
SO I WOULD THINK BY NEXT
MONDAY/TUESDAY, WHEN THE
KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL,
WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME
MILDER TEMPERATURES, AND
WE'RE LIKELY TO HAVE OUR
JANUARY THAW THERE.
BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN THE END
OF WINTER.
IT DOESN'T MEAN -- WE COULD
HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF A THAW,
GET SOUTHERLY BREEZES AND
BACK INTO THE ARCTIC AIR AND
BACK, IT'S MORE OF A FLIP/FLOP
TYPE OF WINTER I SEE
REMAINING FOR US.

MAUREEN says WHENEVER
WINTERLUDE IS, THAT'S WHEN
YOU'RE GOING GET THE JANUARY
THAW BECAUSE WE ALWAYS DID
WHEN I LIVED THERE.
MARY IS IN LONDON HI MARY?

Mary says OH, HI THERE,
MAUREEN AND YOUR GUEST.

DAVID PHILLIPS says HI MARY.

She says GOOD AFTERNOON.
I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF THE
EQUIVALENCY OF THE RAINFALL
THAT WAS MEASURED IN THE
SPRING/SUMMER OF 2000, IS IT
THE SAME MEASURING STICK
THAT YOU CAN SAY THAT IS FOR
THE SNOWFALL, FOR THE SAME
MEASUREMENT?
THE EQUIVALENCY OF THE SAME
SNOWFALL?

DAVID PHILLIPS says IS IT --
ARE YOU SUGGESTING, IS IT
THE SAME INSTRUMENT THAT WE
MEASURE THAT?

Mary says LIKE IS IT
DETERMINED BY THE SAME
AMOUNT OF RAINFALL THAT HAS
FALLEN FOR THE YEAR 2000, IS
IT THE SAME AMOUNT GOING TO
BE -- CAN YOU SAY THAT
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE SAME
AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL FOR THE
SAME PERIOD OF TIME?

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL, NO,
I THINK CERTAINLY WHAT WAS
IN ONE SEASON HAS NO BEARING
IN THE NEXT SEASON.
YOU COULD HAVE A COLD WINTER,
COULD MEAN A HOT HOT SUMMER,
SO THERE'S -- THE FACT THAT
YOU HAD LOTS OF MOISTURE IN
MAY AND JUNE HAS NO BEARING
ON THE KIND OF WINTER YOU'RE
GOING TO HAVE.
NOW CLEARLY, THEY'RE ALL
PRECIPITATION WHAT WE DEFINE
AS PRECIPITATION IS RAIN AND
SNOW AND HAIL AND ICE
PELLETS, ALL OF THE WET AND
THE SOLID AND THE LIQUID
PRECIPITATION, STUFF THAT
FALLS FROM THE SKY GETS
MEASURED AS PRECIPITATION.
WE ADD ALL THAT UP AT THE
END OF THE YEAR, THEN WE
WOULD SAY OKAY, WE HAD FOR
EXAMPLE IN -- I KNOW A
COUPLE OF PLACES, BECAUSE I
LOOKED THEM UP.
FOR EXAMPLE, HAMILTON HAD A
LITTLE BIT MORE
PRECIPITATION THAN THEY
NORMALLY GET.
I THINK THEY HAD ABOUT THIS
YEAR 925 MILLIMETRES OF RAIN,
WHICH WOULD BE BOTH SNOW AND
RAIN TOGETHER, AND THEIR
NORMAL WOULD BE MAYBE IN THE
850s.
SO THEY HAD PROBABLY ABOUT 5
OR 10 PERCENT MORE PRECIPITATION.
MOST PLACES IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO WERE LIKE THAT BUT
NOW, IF YOU'RE ASKING ABOUT
MEASURING IT, WE HAVE A
DIFFERENT MEANS OF MEASURING
IT.
THE RAIN IS -- WE HAVE A
RAIN GAUGE.
I SHOULD HAVE MAYBE BROUGHT
ONE WITH ME.
BUT IT'S SORT OF LIKE A TIN
CAN, ABOUT A FOOT, A FOOT
HIGH OFF THE GROUND, AND THE
RAIN IS COLLECTED IN THERE
AND THEN WE OPEN UP THE TOP
AND POUR IT INTO A LITTLE
COLUMN AND WE MEASURE HOW
MUCH RAIN HAS FALLEN.
SO IT COULD BE 50
MILLIMETRES OR 75
MILLIMETRES.
THEY WOULD BE HEAVY STORMS
AND WE HAD SOME OF THOSE
GULLY WASHERS THIS YEAR.
NOW SNOWFALL IS A LITTLE
DIFFERENT.
MOST PLACES, WE MEASURE IT
WITH A YARDSTICK, OR A METRE
STICK.
WE WOULD TAKE THE METRE AND
JUST PUT IT INTO THE GROUND.
WE WOULD CLEAN OFF THE TOP
AND STICK IT IN --

MAUREEN says VERY HIGH-TECH.

DAVID PHILLIPS says VERY
HIGH-TECH.
CANADIANS PAY 200 MILLION
DOLLARS FOR THEIR WEATHER
SERVICE EVERY YEAR AND ALL
WE GOT IS A RULER.
THAT'S HOW WE MEASURE THE
DEPTH.
IT'S INTERESTING, IF WE TAKE
THE DEPTH OF SNOW AND YOU
WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH RAIN
THAT IS --

MAUREEN says YEAH, IF YOU
MELTED THAT WHAT WOULD IT
BE.

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL, TWO
WAYS.
ONE, YOU COULD TAKE THAT
SNOW AND CARRY IT IN AND
MELT IT THAT'D BE A SLOW
PROCESS, AND THAT WOULD GIVE
YOU AN ACCURATE ESTIMATE OF
HOW MUCH MOISTURE YOU GOT.
AND GENERALLY IN THE GREAT
LAKES THE SNOW IS VERY LIGHT
SO, YOU'D PROBABLY MAYBE
HAVE TO TAKE QUITE A BIT OF
SNOW TO GET JUST LITTLE BIT
OF RAIN, WHERE NORMLY IT WAS
THE 10 TO 1 RATIO.
SO IN THE OLD DAYS WE WOULD
SAY WELL, MAYBE 10 INCHES OF
SNOW GAVE YOU ONE INCH OF
RAIN, OR PRECIPITATION OR
RAINFALL.
NOW WE HAVE IT IN
CENTIMETRES AND MILLIMETRES,
SO IN FACT IF WE HAD 10
CENTIMETRES OF SNOW, WOULD
GIVE US 10 MILLIMETRES OR
ONE CENTIMETRE.
SO YOU STILL USE THE 10 TO
1.
NOW IF YOU MELTED IT DOWN
IT'S MORE ACCURATE, BECAUSE
WE KNOW IT'S NOT ALWAYS TEN
TO ONE.
IN THE LAKES YOU COULD BE
MORE OF A TWENTY TO ONE
WHERE YOU GET MORE MOIST
SNOWFALLS IT MIGHT BE MORE
EIGHT TO ONE OR SEVEN TO ONE
BUT TEN TO ONE IS KIND OF A
GOOD AVERAGE KIND OF
ESTIMATE.

MAUREEN says HOW DO YOU
PREDICT HOW MUCH SNOW YOU
EXPECT TO FALL IN A STORM?
WE ALWAYS HEAR UP TO FIVE
CENTIMETRES UP TO TEN, UP TO
TWENTY.

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL YOU
KNOW, IT'S A TOUGH CALL.
IT'S JUST -- IT'S JUST NOT
ENOUGH TO SAY WELL, IT'S
GOING TO RAIN OR SNOW, BUT
PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW THE
AMOUNT, AND THEY WANT TO
KNOW THE TIMING OF IT.
AND THIS LAST STORM, THE BIG
STORM WE HAD IN SOUTHERN
ONTARIO ON DECEMBER THE
11th/12th WHERE THE ENTIRE
PROVINCE, SOUTHERN CENTRAL
PART OF THE PROVINCE GOT
ANYWHERE BETWEEN 20 AND 50
MILLIMETRES BUT THE ONLY
PEOPLE REALLY HAPPY ABOUT
THAT STORM BESIDES THE
SKIERS AND SNOWMOBILERS
WERE THE WEATHER OFFICE
BECAUSE WE NAILED THAT STORM
RIGHT ON.
WE NOT ONLY GOT THE AMOUNT,
WHICH WAS TRICKY, BECAUSE
THE STORM BROUGHT RAIN --
SAINT KATHRYNS GOT MOSTLY RAIN
IN THAT STORM.
GOT ICE RAIN AND SOME MOSTLY
GOT SNOW.
SO WE HAD TO GET THE TYPE OF
PRECIPITATION RIGHT AND OF
COURSE THE AMOUNT OF
PRECIPITATION RIGHT.
CLEARLY WHAT YOU LOOK AT IS
THE MOISTURE CONTENT OF THE
AIR MASS COMING YOUR WAY IS
IT REALLY SOPPING WET SO YOU
KNOW WHEN YOU SQUEEZE ALL
THAT MOISTURE OUT YOU'RE
GOING TO END UP WITH THIS
AMOUNT?
YOU ALSO WANT TO KNOW THE
SPEED OF THE SYSTEM BECAUSE
ONE OF THE NEATEST THINGS
ABOUT OUR CLIMATE IS THAT
WEATHER DOESN'T STAND AROUND
AND CLOBBER US IT.
HITS AND RUN SO, THAT WHEN
YOU GET BAD WEATHER IT
USUALLY DOESN'T STAY AROUND
LIKE IT DOES IN OTHER PARTS
OF THE WORLD WHERE IT CAN GO
ON DAY OFFER DAY OFFER DAY
AND GIVES YOU TOUGH TIMES.
SO WHEN THE SYSTEMS COME UP
THIS WAY THEY MOVIE QUICKLY.
SO IF A SYSTEM MOVES QUICKLY
AND IT'S STILL MOIST, YOU'RE
NOT GOING TO GET AS MUCH
MOISTURE.
NOW THIS ONE ON THE WEEKEND,
SATURDAY WAS GOOD EXAMPLE.
BECAUSE OUR ESTIMATE WAS FOR
FIVE CENTIMETRES OF SNOW.
WE GOT A LOT MORE THAN FIVE
CENTIMETRES.

MAUREEN says YES.
DO YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN THAT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says I AM.
I MEAN, WE CAN GET THEM
WRONG, AND WE'RE WILLING TO
OWN UP AND WHAT WE SAID WAS
THERE WAS A SYSTEM COMING IN
FROM THE WEST, ALBERTA, AND
IT WAS GOING TO GIVE US FIVE
CENTIMETRES OF SNOW.
AND IT WAS GOING TO HIT --
IT WAS THIS SYSTEM
CLOBBERING NEW YORK, MOVING
UP THE ATLANTIC COAST AND
WHAT HAPPENED, WE THOUGHT
THIS SYSTEM WOULD MERGE,
WOULD PICK-UP AND THIS WOULD
ADD MORE SNOW TO THE NEW
YORK.
WHAT HAPPENED WAS THIS
SYSTEM CAME ACROSS FROM THE
WEST AND THIS OTHER ONE
SLOWED IT DOWN IT STALLED IT
SO IT STALLED OVER HAMILTON,
LAKE ERIE, AND SO INSTEAD OF
IT STOPPING SNOWING BY NOON
IT WENT ON TO WELL INTO THE
EVENING.
AND SO INSTEAD OF GETTING
FIVE CENTIMETRES OF SNOW, WE
GOT FROM 10 TO 15.
SO WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO
SCHOOL ON THAT ONE.
BUT IT JUST SHOWS YOU THAT
THESE STORMS HAVE A PERSONALITY
OF THEIR OWN.

MAUREEN says ALL THEIR OWN
AND IT DEVELOPS.
LET'S GO TO MIKE'S QUESTION,
HE'S IN CHATHAM.

Mike says GOOD AFTERNOON,
MAUREEN AND DAVE

DAVE SAYS HI
MIKE.

Mike says JUST A QUICK
ANECDOTE.
FIRST OF ALL YOU SAID YOU
NEVER CAME ACROSS ANYONE
THAT HAD GOTTEN HIT BY
LIGHTNING DURING THE
SNOWSTORM.
WELL YOU'RE TALKING TO ONE
THAT CAREFUL AWFULLY CLOSE
TO IT.

MAUREEN says DID YOU?

Mike says I WAS A LETTER
CARIER FOR 30 YEARS AND ONE
MORNING ON THE WAY TO WORK
AT ABOUT QUARTER AFTER SIX
IN A MASSIVE SNOWSTORM, JUST
COMING DOWN LIKE YOU
WOULDN'T BELIEVE, I STEPPED
OFF THE CURB TO SEE IF I
COULD FIND A WHEEL RUT FROM
SOME CAR TO WALK THROUGH AND
AT THAT PRECISE MOMENT I
LOOKED IT MY LEFT AND THE
MASSIVE MAPLE TREE ON THE
CORNER OF THE STREET WAS
JUST SPLIT IN TWO BY
LIGHTNING.
THAT'S APPROXIMATELY 30 FEET AWAY.

DAVID PHILLIPS says OH, MIKE.

Mike says I'M TALKING ABOUT
BEING SHAKEN RIGHT OUT OF
YOUR BOOTS.
IT WAS JUST INCREDIBLE.

MAUREEN says WAS THAT IN
CHATHAM, MIKE?

Mike says YES, THAT WAS.
THAT WAS JUST A FEW YEARS
AGO.
IT WAS THE ONLY MAJOR
SNOWSTORM -- I MEAN MAJOR
MAJOR MAJOR SNOWSTORM WE HAD
THAT SEASON.
I'M TELLING YOU, IT WAS JUST
THE MOST INCREDIBLE -- OF
COURSE IT HIT THE ONLY CAR
THAT HAPPENED TO BE IN THE
AREA.
ANYHOW, THAT'S NOT MY
QUESTION.

MAUREEN says OKAY, WHAT'S
YOUR QUESTION?

He says I WAS WATCHING
THE NEWS THE OTHER NIGHT AND
THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT
HOW -- WHY WE'RE HAVING THE
WEATHER WE'RE HAVING AS
OPPOSED TO LA NINA, EL NINO
CYCLE AND THEY'RE NOT IN
EFFECT, AND HOW THEY AFFECT
THE WEATHER FOR SAY A THREE
TO FOUR TO FIVE-YEAR PERIOD.
COULD YOUR GUEST -- DAVE
PHILLIPS, PLEASE EXPLAIN,
AND I HOPE I'VE GOT THE
TERMINOLOGY RIGHT, SOMETHING
I HEARD A LITTLE WHILE AGO
THAT HAS EVEN MORE OF AN
AFFECT THAN THESE AND I
THINK IT'S CALLED THE NORTH
ATLANTIC OSCILLATION.
AND DO THESE MASSIVE
FLOWINGS OF SUPER COLD WATER
EXIST ELSEWHERE?
AND WHAT IS THEIR EFFECT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL MIKE,
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT
CLIMATOLOGISTS ARE JUST
BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND.
WE DIDN'T -- PEOPLE DIDN'T
TALK ABOUT THE NORTH
ATLANTIC OSCILLATION 10 OR
15 YEARS AGO BUT NOW WE
REALIZE THESE HUGE FEATURE THEY'RE REALLY
PRESSURE PATTERNS IN
DIFFERENT OCEANS, THEY HAVE
AN ENORMOUS EFFECT ON OUR
SEASONAL WEATHER.
ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING
THINGS ABOUT BEING A
CLIMATOLOGIST IS WE'RE
WATCHING, MONITORING THESE
FEATURES AND WE'RE GOING TO
BE ABLE TO PROVIDE TO
CANADIANS VERY TIMELY AND
ACCURATE, INCREDIBLE
SEASONAL FORECASTS.
IT USED TO BE JUST THE
FARMER'S ALMANAC.
NOT ALWAYS, BECAUSE LA NINA
AND EL NINO ARE EASY TO COME
UP WITH WINTER FORECASTS BUT
WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE THEM,
LIKE THIS PARTICULAR WINTER
AND HAVE THESE OTHER
FEATURES IT'S A LITTLE MORE
DIFFICULT IT SAY THE KIND OF
WINTER WE'RE GOING TO GET.
NOW MIKE TALKS ABOUT THE
NORTH ATLANTIC OSCILLATION
AND TYPICALLY THERE IS
SOMETHING CALLED THE BERMUDA
HIGH AND AN ICELANDIC LOW
AND THESE ARE FEATURES YOU
ALWAYS SEE ON THE WEATHER
MAP.
THEY MOVE ABOUT BUT THEY'RE
PRETTY PERMANENT FEATURES
AND SOMETIMES THE BERMUDA
HIGH CAN GIVE US A REAL,
ALMOST HEAT WAVE VERY
SUPPRESSING KIND OF WEATHER
IN THE SUMMERTIME BUT
THEY'RE ALSO THERE IN THE
WINTERTIME.
NOW THE NORTH ATLANTIC
OSCILLATION IS WHEN YOU LOOK
AT THESE TWO PARTICULAR
LOWS -- THE LOW IN ICE
ICELAND THE HIGH IN BERMUDA,
AND THEY MAY BOTH WEAKEN OR
STRENGTHEN AND SO YOU HAVE
AN INDEX, A NUMBER YOU
SUBTRACT ONE FROM THE OTHER
AND IT TELLS YOU WHETHER YOU
HAVE A NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE
INDEX OUT THERE.
NOW, IF WE TEND TO HAVE A
NEGATIVE ONE, IN FACT BOTH
OF THEM TEND TO BE KIND OF
WEAK, YOU'RE NOT GETTING A
LOT OF WESTERLY AIR MOVING
ACROSS TO EUROPE AND WHAT
HAPPENS IS THE COLD AIR KIND OF
BOTTLES UP OR GETS BLOCKED
AND IT THEN PUSHES DOWN OVER
THE EASTERN SEE BOARD OF THE
UNITED STATES, AND THIS IS
WHAT WE'VE SEEN A LOT OF
THIS PARTICULAR WINTER.
A LOT OF STORMS, A LOT OF
WESTERLIES ARE NOT MOVING
QUICKLY OVER TO EUROPE AND
SO THAT A LOT OF THE COLD
AIR IS JUST BUILDING UP AND
THEN IT PENS UP AND THEN IT
KIND OF POURS OVER DOWN
SOUTH, AND THIS IS WHY
FLORIDA ORANGES ARE FREEZING
AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME.
SO THE QUESTION THAT MIKE
ASKS, MY BEST UNDERSTANDING
OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC
OSCILLATION, AND THE MORE WE
CAN MONITOR IT AND LOOK AT
IT AND SEE ITS CONNECTION
WITH WHAT WAS TWO OR THREE
MONTHS AFTER THE FACT, THEN
WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO
PROVIDE CANADIANS WITH
PRETTY GOOD INDICATIONS
OF THE KIND OF WEATHER THEY
MIGHT EXPECT OVER THE NEXT
COUPLE -- TWO OR THREE
MONTHS, NOT JUST TWO OR
THREE DAYS.

MAUREEN says OKAY, NEAT.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT METEOROLOGY
AND CLIMATOLOGY, TWOLOGIES
TODAY ON “MORE TO LIFE” WITH
SENIOR CLIMATOLOGIST DAVID
PHILLIPS.
HIS BRAND NEW CANADIAN
WEATHER TRIVIA CALENDAR FOR
2001 IS OUT IN BOOK STORES.
I THINK IT'S IN
SHORT SUPPLY BUT WE HAVE
THREE COPIES TO GIVE AWAY.
GIVE US A CALL AND WE'RE
GOING TO DRAW THE NAME FROM
A HAT.
HERE ARE THE NUMBERS.

A caption appears. It reads “416 484 2727; 1-888-411-1234.”
The caption changes to moretolife@tvo.org.

MAUREEN says FREDERICK IS IN
TEASWATER.
HI FREDERICK.

Frederick says HI.

MAUREEN says HI, HOW ARE YOU?

He says GOOD.

MAUREEN says OKAY WHAT'S YOUR
QUESTION FOR DAVE?

Frederick says UM, HOW COME SNOW
IS WHITE?

DAVID PHILLIPS says OH,
FREDERICK THAT IS A
GOOD QUESTION.
YOU KNOW, KIDS ALWAYS ASK
THE TOUGHEST QUESTIONS.
PEOPLE ASK A LOT OF
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WEATHER,
WHY IS THE SKY BLUE, AND THE
SNOW IS WHITE.
WELL, THE SNOW IS WHITE
BECAUSE REALLY THERE ARE,
WHEN YOU TAKE JUST A HANDFUL
OF SNOW, THERE ARE JUST
THOUSANDS OF LITTLE ICE
CRYSTALS AND SNOWFLAKES IN
THAT MOUND OF SNOW THAT
YOU'VE GOT, AND EVERY ONE OF
THOSE LITTLE SNOWFLAKES IS
LIKE A MIRROR.
AND IT'S REFLECTING THE
SUNLIGHT, YOU SEE.
SO THAT WHEN THE SUNLIGHT
COMES THROUGH AND REFLECTS
OFF THE ONE, BOUNCES OFF THE
NEXT ONE, THE NEXT ONE, THE
NEXT ONE, AND ALL OF THIS
TENDS TO CREATE WHITE LIGHT
INSTEAD OF THE BREAKING UP
OF LIGHT INTO ITS VARIOUS
COLOURS.
SO IF YOU SHINE RED LIGHT --
AND YOU COULD TRY THIS,
FREDERICK, ON A LITTLE
EXPERIMENT.
IF YOU GET A RED LIGHTBULB
OR YELLOW OR BLUE ONE, AND
YOU SHINE IT ON THE SNOW.
THAT WILL COME BACK AS THAT,
THE REFLECTION WILL BE THAT
LIGHT THAT COMES OFF.
SO RED LIGHT WILL COME BACK
TO YOU OR YELLOW LIGHT, AND
SO THE WHITE LIGHT FROM THE
SUN IS REFLECTED BACK AS
WHITE LIGHT IT.
TRIES TO SEPARATE THAT LIGHT
BUT BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL
BOUNCING AROUND AND ALL
COLOURS ARE BEING SEPARATED
TOGETHER AND BROUGHT BACK
TOGETHER, WE SEE THAT LIGHT
AS WHITE LIGHT.
SO WHITE LIGHT IN, WHITE
LIGHT OUT, RED LIGHT IN, RED
LIGHT OUT.

MAUREEN says NOW AT NIGHT,
ARE WE JUST -- ARE WE ATUNED
TO KNOWING THAT THAT'S
SUPPOSED TO BE WHITE SO IT
GIVES US SORT OF A WHITE
GLOW --

DAVID PHILLIPS says IT DOES,
ALTHOUGH WE'RE GETTING A LOT
OF SOMETIMES THE MOON OR THE
NORTHERN LIGHTS WILL PROVIDE
SOME KIND OF REFLECTION OFF
THAT SNOW, AND SO THAT'S --

MAUREEN says CAN I ASK MY
SNOW QUESTIONS NOW?

DAVID PHILLIPS says OKAY.

MAUREEN says WHEN I WAS A KID
WE WERE TOLD DON'T EAT SNOW,
OR YOU'LL, WHAT WAS IT NOW, WAS IT
HEPATITIS?
IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH
EATING SNOW?

DAVID PHILLIPS says I THINK
THERE IS.
ONE THING THE SNOW DOES DO
WHEN IT FALLS LIKE RAIN IS
THAT IT CLEANSES THE AIR.
AND SO THERE ARE ALL KINDS
OF IMPURITIES IN THE AIR
FROM DUST AND AIR CINDERS
FROM POWER PLANTS AND POLLEN
AND SALT SPRAY AND
EVERYTHING LIKE THIS AND SO
WHEN IT SNOWS, IT CATCHES
THESE AND IT BRINGS THEM
DOWN TO THE GROUND.

MAUREEN says SO IT'S LIKE
RAIN WATER.

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT'S
RIGHT.
IT'S BEST NOT TO EAT SNOW.

MAUREEN says ALTHOUGH I SAW
CASTAWAY AND TOM HANKS LIVES
ON NOTHING BUT RAIN WATER
FOR FOUR YEARS BUT HE'S IN
AN AREA, I SUPPOSE WHERE
THERE'S NOT AS MUCH
ATMOSPHERIC --

DAVID PHILLIPS says MAYBE THE
EARTH'S A LITTLE CLEAN
SOUTH PACIFIC.

MAUREEN says MAYBE.
THANK YOU FREDERICK FOR YOUR
QUESTION.

She reads from the screen SHELDON IN SUDBURY, WHICH
PROVINCE RECEIVES THE MOST
AND LEAST SNOWFALL ANNUALLY.

DAVID PHILLIPS says OOH.
NOW GEE, I THINK THE TO
THAT IS BRITISH COLUMBIA.

MAUREEN says BOTH?

DAVID PHILLIPS says BOTH.
IT HAS ALL THE CLIMATES OF
CANADA.
IT HAS IN FACT THE GREATEST
AMOUNT OF SNOW -- LET'S SEE
IF MY MEMORY IS -- I KNOW
IT'S IN THE CALENDAR.
THERE WAS A PLACE AT TATSKA
LAKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, BACK
IN FEBRUARY, I THINK IT WAS
FEBRUARY THE 10th OR 14th.
GOT 145 CENTIMETRES OF SNOW.
NOW THAT WOULD BE REALLY --

MAUREEN says WHAT YEAR WAS
THAT?

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT WAS
ABOUT TWO YEARS AGO.
SO WE ESTABLISHED A NEW
CANADIAN RECORD A COUPLE OF
YEARS AGO.
IN ONE DAY THEY HAD THAT
AMOUNT OF SNOW.
BUT THAT PROMPTS ME TO TELL
YOU ONE OF MY FAVOURITE
LITTLE WEATHER STORIES, WAS
FOR SEVERAL YEARS ABOUT, TEN
YEARS, THE SNOWIEST DAY EVER
IN CANADIAN HISTORY WAS 1963
ON JUNE 29th, RIGHT IN THE
MIDDLE OF OUR SUMMER THERE
WAS 114 CENTIMETRES OF SNOW
AT A PLACE IN SOUTHERN
ALBERTA.
AND I OFTEN THINK THAT
AMERICANS WENT THERE FOR
THEIR SUMMER HOLIDAYS, WERE
WONDERING WHY THEY DIDN'T GO
TO MOUNT RUSHMORE FOR THEIR
SOUTHERN HOLIDAYS.
THEY WOKE UP AND FOUND SNOW TO THE TIP
OF THEIR TENTPOLES.
THAT OCCURRED TWO DAYS
BEFORE CANADA DAY.
SO THAT WAS THE SNOWIEST.
BUT CLEARLY, THERE ARE
SOMETIMES IN VICTORIA
VANCOUVER WHERE THERE'S A
WHOLE WINTER WHERE IT
DOESN'T SNOW AT ALL.
LIKE LAST WINTER I THINK
VICTORIA HAD ONLY ABOUT FOUR
DAYS WITH SNOW AND LESS THAN
TEN CENTIMETRES OF SNOW FELL
IN THOSE CITIES.
SO CLEARLY THEY HAVE THE
PLACE, THE CITIES OR THE
TOWNS THAT HAVE THE LEAST
AMOUNT OF SNOW, AND THEY
ALSO HAVE THE ONES ALONG THE
COAST, UP IN THE NORTH,
WHERE IT SEEMS TO RAIN A LOT
OR IN THE HIGH MOUNTAINS, TO
SNOW A LOT, WHERE THEY GET
THE GREATEST AMOUNT OF SNOW.

MAUREEN says THERE YOU GO.
ALL RIGHT, KEN IS IN
TORONTO.
HI KEN.

Ken says HELLO.

MAUREEN says HI KEN.
GO AHEAD.

He says I WAS GOING ASK
THE QUESTION IS THERE AN
INDIAN SUMMER?
AND WHAT MONTH DOES IT COME
IN?
AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
BECAUSE I'VE HAD PEOPLE ASK
ME IF IT'S OCTOBER OR IF
IT'S NOVEMBER.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YEAH.
YOU KNOW, KEN, IT'S FLAG
THERE IS NO UNIVERSAL SORT
OF DEFINITION AS TO WHEN IT
OCCURS.
NOW I TYPICALLY THINK THE
KEY FOR INDIAN SUMMER IS
THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE ABOUT
OF HALF WINTER.
THEY CALL HALF WINTER.
NOW THAT COULD BE A DUSTING
OF SNOW, IT COULD BE A HARD
FREEZE, A KILLING FROST, OR
IT COULD JUST BE A WINDY,
MISERABLE DAY THAT YOU KNOW
THAT WINTER'S JUST AROUND
THE CORNER SO ANY TIME AFTER
LABOUR DAY AND SAY BEFORE
REMEMBRANCE DAY, OR REALLY
ANY TIME BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
IF YOU GET ABOUT OF KIND OF
WEATHER THAT REMINDS YOU
THAT SUMMER IS OVER AND
WINTER'S AROUND THE CORNERS,
AGAIN THE DUSTING OF SNOW,
THE HARD FREEZE OR JUST A
REMNANT OF A HURRICANE,
WHERE BLOWING AND RAIN AND
MISERABLE KIND OF WEATHER,
THEN ANY GOOD WEATHER AFTER
THAT THAT LASTS FOR A COUPLE
OF DAY, AND I ALWAYS THINK
YOU NEED TWO DAYS, NO
RAINFALL, TEMPERATURE GETS
ABOVE 15 OR NEAR ROOM
TEMPERATURE, AND WHERE IT'S
SUNNY OUT, THEN THAT
QUALIFIES AS INDIAN SUMMER.
NOW INDIAN SUMMER IS A
WORD -- FIRST TIME IT WAS
EVER USED THAT I KNOW OF IN
CANADA WAS LADY SIMCOE BACK
IN ONE OF OUR FAMOUS -- THE
WIFE OF ONE OF OUR
LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS, I
BELIEVE.
AND BACK IN THE LATE 1700s.
SHE COMMENTED ABOUT HOW WARM
IT WAS IN THE FALL, AND SHE
DESCRIBED IT AS AN INDIAN
SUMMER.
AND IT -- TO SOME PEOPLE IT
DESCRIBES THE BEAUTY OF THE
DECIDUOUS TREES, THEY LOOK
LIKE INDIAN DRESS, OR IT
ALSO, WE KNOW THAT BACK THEN
PEOPLE PROCRASTINATORS LIKE
WE WERE, TOO.
AND IT WAS A TIME WHERE
IT -- SORT OF NATURE WAS
GIVING YOU THAT LAST
CHANCE TO GET THOSE CHORES
DONE BEFORE WINTER COMES.
AND THAT'S SORT OF THE
DERIVATION.
DOESN'T LAST -- TYPICALLY IN
SOUTHERN ONTARIO, YOU ALMOST
ARE GUARANTEED EVERY YEAR TO
HAVE AN INDIAN SUMMER.
SOMETIMES THEY CAN GO ON FOR
A COUPLE OF WEEKS BUT
TYPICALLY ABOUT THREE DAYS
LONG.

MAUREEN says OKAY, THERE YOU
GO.
MIKE IS NEXT IN PARRY SOUND.
HI MIKE.

Mike says HAPPY NEW YEAR.

MAUREEN says YOU, TOO.

He says TO YOU BOTH.
AND CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR
SHARPEI.
YEAH, AN “IN” JOKE HERE.
HOW ACCURATE IN ALL
AUTHENTICITY IS THE FARMER'S
ALMANAC IN TERMS OF ITS
ENTIRETY?
CAN YOU ACTUALLY PLACE A
GIVEN, YOU KNOW, THROUGHOUT --
THROUGHOUT HISTORY CAN YOU
BASE A LOT OF THINGS ON THAT
ACTUAL FARMER'S ALMANAC?
ARE FARMERS -- WERE THEY
SWORN TO IT AND KIND OF
GIVEN TO IT FOR THEIR CROP
PLANTINGS AND EVERYTHING
ELSE, AND DID THEY, YOU KNOW,
USE IT IN TERMS OF USING ALL
OF -- I MEAN, HAS IT BEEN A
BIBLE AMONG THEM AND IN
TERMS OF WHAT THEY USED IT
FOR?

MAUREEN says OKAY, MIKE.
OKAY.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YOU KNOW,
IT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
IT'S VERY REVERED
PUBLICATION, AND SO YOU HAVE TO BE
CAREFUL.

MAUREEN says YOU BE CAREFUL!

DAVID PHILLIPS says ON WHAT
YOU SAY ABOUT THE FARMER'S
ALMANAC.
I LOVE THE FARMER’S
ALMANAC.
I GET IT EVERY YEAR FOR THE
MOON PHASES AND THE
ASTRONOMY PART OF THE
FARMER'S ALMANAC, THE
HOLIDAYS, I LOVE THE ADS
FARMER'S ALMANAC AND THE
RECIPES AND LITTLE ANECDOTES
CAN THINGS LIKE THIS.
BUT I HAVE NO QUESTION IN MY
MIND THAT THE WEATHER
FORECASTS ARE WRONG.
THEY'RE JUST NOT -- THEY
JUST HAVE NO SKILL AT ALL TO
IT.
AND YOU KNOW, THE THING THAT
I MOST -- I LIKE MIKE'S
QUESTION BECAUSE HE ASKS
ABOUT WHETHER RURAL PEOPLE
WOULD USE IT AS A BIBLE.
AND THEY CLEARLY BOAST ABOUT
IT.
BUT I'VE NEVER MET ANY
FARMER WHO HAS EVER BET HIS
LIVELIHOOD OR LIFE ON THE
PRONOUNCEMENTS OF THE
FARMER'S ALMANAC.
THEY KIND OF KNOW THAT IT IS
JUST, IT'S JUST BIT OF A
ROLL OF THE DICE.
EDITORS OF THE FARMER'S
ALMANAC BROUGHT THEIR SECRET
TO THE GRAVE BUT LET ME GIVE
YOU THE SCOOP ON WHAT THEY
DO.
THEY'RE REALLY GOOD
CLIMATOLOGISTS, FARMERS --
EDITORS.
THEY WOULD NEVER FORECAST A
HURRICANE IN WINNIPEG OR
SAND STORM IN WINDSOR, IT'S
JUST NOT POSSIBLE.
BUT WHAT THEY DO HAVE ALL OF
THESE LITTLE COMBINATIONS OF
WHAT'S POSSIBLE WITH REGARDS
TO THE WEATHER TO OCCUR.
THEY WOULD SAY COLD AND
BLUSTERY AND WARMING UP
TOWARDS THE END OF THE WEEK
SO ALL OF THESE LITTLE
SAYINGS ARE LEGITIMATELY
POSSIBLE.
AND SO THEN THEY JUST PULL
THEM OUT OF A HAT.
LIKE A RANDOM NUMBER
GENERATOR AND THEN THEY DO
IT.
SO OF COURSE PEOPLE REMEMBER
THEIR SUCCESSES, NEVER THEIR
FAILURES.
SORT OF THE OPPOSITE OF
ENVIRONMENT CANADA.
THEY REMEMBER OUR FAILURES
AND NEVER OUR SUCCESSES.
YOU SEE, IT'S NOT A LEVEL
PLAYING FIELD OUT THERE.
AND SO -- BUT THEY'RE A LOT
OF FUN, THE FARMER'S
ALMANAC, BUT I JUST DON'T,
I'VE NEVER REALLY MET A
SERIOUS PERSON WHO WOULD
EVER REALLY BET TOO MUCH
MONEY ON THE PRONOUNCEMENTS.

MAUREEN says AND FARMERS
TODAY ARE GETTING QUITE
SCIENTIFIC.
TECHNOLOGY'S MOVED INTO THE
FARM AND I HAVE A FEELING
THEY'RE ON THE INTERNET
LOOKING AT YOUR WEBSITE MORE
OFTEN THAN THEY'RE
READING --

DAVID PHILLIPS says OH,
CLEARLY.
IN THE COMBINES, ON THE
PRAIRIES, THEY'RE CONNECTED
UP TO THE MARKETS AND TO THE
INTERNET AND THEY'VE GOT
INFORMATION AT THEIR
FINGERTIPS.
THE OTHER THING THAT I
ALWAYS THINK ABOUT FARMERS,
THEY MAKE THE BEST
FORECASTERS.
BECAUSE THEY DEPEND ON IT.
SO THEY CAN SNIFF THE AIR
AND READ THAT SKY LIKE
NOBODY CAN.
LIKE METEOROLOGISTS.
AND SO THEY CAN -- THEY KNOW
WHEN WEATHER IS ABOUT TO
CHANGE.

MAUREEN says WHICH REMINDS --
DO INSECTS DO ANYTHING THAT
SHOULD CLUE YOU INTO WHAT
THE WEATHER'S ABOUT TO DO?

DAVID PHILLIPS says I THINK
THEY DO.
I OFTEN WONDERED WHY BEES
ARE NEVER CAUGHT OUT IN A
RAIN STORM AND THEY HAVE
THAT SENSE, AND THEY SAY
IT'S BECAUSE THEY NAVIGATE
BECAUSE OF THE SUN AND WHEN
THE SUN IS OBSTRUCTED BY
CLOUDS, THEY KNOW TO GET
BACK TO THE HIVE BECAUSE IT
MAY RAIN.
CERTAINLY INSECTS CAN GIVE
US A CLUE AS TO THE WEATHER
COMING UP.
NEVER ABOUT THE SEASON
AHEAD.
THE WOOLLY BEAR CATERPILLAR,
BECAUSE OF HIS DIFFERENT
BLACK AND BROWN BANDS, NO
CLUE AS TO WHETHER WE'RE
GOING TO HAVE A TOUGH WINTER
AND ALL.
BUT CLEARLY THERE ARE
INSECTS THAT CAN SENSE THOSE
CHANGES OF THE ATMOSPHERE
WAY BEFORE HUMANS DO.
WE WAIT FOR THE BLACK CLOUD
BEFORE WE SAY RAIN BUT
INSECTS GET THE CHANGE OF
HUMIDITY, TEMPERATURE,
PRESSURE AND THEY, BY JUST
CHANGING THEIR BEHAVIOUR,
THEY GIVE US A KIND OF A
CLUE.
THEY'RE NOT FORECASTING THE
WEATHER, THEY'RE JUST
REACTING TO A CURRENT
SITUATION WHICH TELLS US
THAT HEY, THERE MUST BE
SOMETHING IN THE WIND.

MAUREEN says WE HAVE AN
E-MAIL APPARENTLY ABOUT ANTS
CLIMBING UP A TREE JUST
BEFORE RAIN AS OPPOSED TO
DOWN.

DAVID PHILLIPS says I'VE
NEVER HEARD OF THAT ONE.
SOMETIMES I KNOW THAT ANTS
WILL FOLLOW IN A STRAIGHT
LINE AND BEFORE A RAIN THEY
WILL SCURRY IN DIFFERENT
DIRECTIONS.
AND SOMETHING ABOUT PERHAPS
ODOUR THAT IS CAUSING THAT.
I'VE HEARD-I'VE NOT HEARD OF
GOING STRAIGHT UP A TREE.
THAT'S INTERESTING.

MAUREEN says FLIES FIGHTING,
YOU KNOW THAT ONE?

DAVID PHILLIPS says YES,
EXACTLY.
LOTS OF FOLKLORE OUT THERE.

MAUREEN says KATE IS NEXT IN
WHITBY.
HI KATE.

Kate says HI.

MAUREEN says HI.
WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION?

Kate says IS IT TRUE THAT
AIR CRASHES INTO EACH OTHER
AFTER A BOLT OF LIGHTNING
WHICH MAKES THUNDER?

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT'S
RIGHT, KATE.
THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THUNDER
IS AS I MENTIONED EARLIER,
YOU DON'T GET THUNDER
WITHOUT THE LIGHTNING, AND
WHAT HAPPENS, A LIGHTNING BOLT,
IT'S GOT A TEMPERATURE OF
FIVE OR SIX TIMES THE
SURFACE OF THE SUN.
33, MAYBE 6 THOUSAND DEGREES, AND IT'S
VERY HOT.
SO WHAT IT DOES IS IT CHARRS
THE AIR.
IT COMES DOWN AND JUST IN A
VERY INSTANT IT WILL
CREATE -- IT WILL HEAT THE
AIR AND THAT AIR WILL EXPAND
AND THEN AS IT CONTRACTS,
THAT CAUSES THE THUNDER.
AND SO YOU CAN'T HAVE --
THAT'S RIGHT.
IT'S DIRECTLY RELATED TO
LIGHTNING, AND SOMETIMES
WHEN YOU HEAR THOSE PEELS OF
THUNDER WAY IN THE DISTANCE,
WHAT'S HAPPENING IS THAT'S
LIGHTNING THAT YOU'RE
SEEING -- WE USED TO CALL
THAT HEAT LIGHTNING, WHERE
YOU SEE OFF IN THE DISTANCE
AND YOU SEE A KIND OF A
FLASH AND YOU DON'T HEAR THE
TUNDDER BUT YOU ACTUALLY
SEE THE FLASH.
WELL YOU CAN BE SURE THAT
RIGHT UNDER WHERE THAT
LIGHTNING'S OCCURRING,
THERE'S A LOUD THUNDER
BOOMER THERE.

MAUREEN says THEY'RE HEARING
THE THUNDER.
THANKS VERY MUCH, KATE.
THE LAST BIT OF VIDEO WE
HAVE WAS OF ANOTHER TORNADO.
THIS WAS IN GUELPH.
IT DIDN'T MAKE YOUR TOP TEN
LIST.

David says NO, IT WAS A RUNNERUP
STORY.
THIS WAS JULY 17th, I THINK
IT WAS AN F-2 IN THE SCALE
OF F-0 TO F-5.
IT DID ABOUT 100 MILLION DOLLARS
DAMAGE.
ABOUT 125 HOUSES AND BARNS
AND GARAGES WERE DESTROYED.

An aerial view of ripped roofs and broken houses in a suburban area appears.

He continues WHAT WAS SO INTERESTING
ABOUT THIS STORM, LIKE ALL
THUNDERSTORMS OR TORNADOES,
THERE WAS SOME HOUSES
UNROOFED AND YET PETALS
STILL ON THE FLOWERS NEXT TO
THE ONE HOUSE.
WE CALL THEM TERRORISTS OF
THE SKY.
THEY'RE ALMOST -- YOU KNOW,
VERY SELLECTIVE IN WHAT THEY
DO BUT THERE WERE A LOT OF
FENCES KNOCKED DOWN, TREES
UPROOTED AND IT WAS WELL
FORECAST, AND NOBODY HURT,
WE DON'T THINK.
A FEW MAYBE SCRATCHES BUT
NOBODY HURT SERIOUSLY OR
HOSPITALIZED BY THE TORNADO.

MAUREEN says WELL THAT LEADS
TO THIS QUESTION ABOUT
TORNADOS AND TWISTERS.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM,
EXCLUDING THE POWER AND THE
SHAPE, AND WHY OR HOW DOES A
TWISTER MULTIPLY ITSELF?

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL,
THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE IN
TERMS OF THE NAME
TORNADO/TWISTER.
AND IN FACT IN THE EARLY
PART OF THE 20th CENTURY,
PEOPLE USED TO CALL THEM
CYCLONES.
IN FACT THEY ARE ALL
CYCLONES.
HURRICANES, THUNDERSTORMS,
ARE ALL CYCLONES.
THEY'RE SORT OF LIKE THE
FAMILY OF CYCLONES.
BUT A TWISTER IS JUST
ANOTHER NAME FOR A TORNADO.
IN FACT THE WORST TORNADO IN
CANADIAN HISTORY WAS 1912 IN
REGINA AND IT WAS CALLED THE
REGINA CYCLONE.
THEY DIDN'T EVEN CALL IT A
TWISTER OR TORNADO.
AND WE CLEARLY, WHEN WE --
THERE COULD BE FAMILIES OF
TORNADOES.
IN FACT ONE OF THE WORST
TORNADOES IN RECENT YEARS IN
ONTARIO WAS THE BARRIE
TORNADO.
IT'S OFTEN CALLED THE BARRIE
TORNADO EVEN THOUGH THERE
WERE TORNADOES IN GRAND
VALLEY AND I THINK THERE
WERE A FAMILY OF TORNADOES,
THREE OR FOUR OR FIVE
TORNADOES, AND THEY ALL
SPAWNED BY THE SAME SYSTEM,
AND TOUCHED DOWN IN
DIFFERENT AREAS AND
COLLECTIVELY, I BELIEVE THEY
KILLED ELEVEN OR TWELVE
PEOPLE.
I THINK THERE WERE EIGHT IN
BARRIE, BUT IN GRAND VALLEY
AND OTHER AREAS THERE WERE
DEATHS FROM THAT PARTICULAR
TORNADO.
AND THEY'RE JUST -- YOU
KNOW, A TORNADO IS REALLY
JUST A CLOUD THAT SPINS.
AND IT'S REALLY A CLOUD THAT
REACHES THE GROUND, AND SO
WHEN THAT CLOUD, YOU LOOK UP
AND YOU SEE IT MOVING, THEN
THERE'S A POTENTIAL FOR IT
TO COME OUT AND BE A FUNNEL
CLOUD, NOT YET A TORNADO
UNTIL IT TOUCHES THE GROUND
AND THEN IF IT TOUCHES THE
GROUND IT'S A TORNADO.
SO THERE ARE ALL KIND OF
CLOUDS TWISTING AROUND.
SO YOU HAVE ONE, CAN BREED
OTHERS.

MAUREEN says OKAY.
DO THEY ACTUALLY MULTIPLY
THEMSELVES OR IT'S NOT
EXACTLY THAT --

DAVID PHILLIPS says NO, ONE
DOESN'T SORT OF MEET WITH
ANOTHER AND SPAWN OTHERS.
THEY COME FROM THE SAME KIND
OF A SYSTEM, AND SO THAT THE
DOWN DRAFTS THE REALLY COLD
AIR THAT'S DESCENDING THAT
COULD COME OUT OF CLOUD, YOU
COULD HAVE LITTLE
PROTURBATIONS OUT OF OTHER
CLOUDS.

MAUREEN says HAVE THEY
PHOTOGRAPHED TWO TOGETHER?

DAVID PHILLIPS says YES, THEY
HAVE.
SOME OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR
SHOTS IN THE GREAT LAKE,
THEY'RE NOT REALLY TORNADOES,
THEY'RE CALLED WATER
SPOUTS OR GEE, THE NAME JUST
ESCAPED ME, BUT THEY'RE COLD
AIR FUNNELS, AND THEY HAVE
THE SAME LOOK OF A TORNADO,
AND SO WHAT'S NEAT ABOUT
THAT, THERE'S ACTUALLY A
PICTURE IN THE CALENDAR OF
ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE OF THEM
ALL SORT OF LINED UP LIKE
BOWLING BALLS AND SHOWING
THEIR STUFF ON LAKE HURON.

MAUREEN says MM-HMM.
OKAY.
BRIAN IS IN LINDSEY.
HELLO, BRIAN.

Brian says YES, GOOD
AFTERNOON, HAPPY NEW YEAR.

MAUREEN says YOU TOO,.

He says RECENTLY I HEARD
IN THE NEWS OF A VOLCANO
ERUPTING DOWN IN MEXICO OR
SOUTH AMERICA.

DAVID PHILLIPS says RIGHT.

Brian says I REMEMBER WHEN
MOUNT PINNUTOBO ERUPTED IT
BASICALLY BLANKED OUT THAT
ENTIRE FOLLOWING SUMMER.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YOU'RE
RIGHT.

He says DO YOU FORESEE
ANY HAPPENINGS SIMILAR.

DAVID PHILLIPS says THAT'S A
GOOD QUESTION.
YOU REMEMBER THAT.
THAT SUMMER OF '92 WHICH WAS
PROBABLY THE WORST SUMMER IN
53 YEARS, CLOUDY AND WET AND
COOLISH.
I MEAN IT WOULD MAKE THIS
PAST SUMMER LOOK LIKE A
BREATH OF WARM AIR, AND
YOU'RE RIGHT.
AND THAT PINATUBO WAS '91.
SO IT TOOK A YEAR FOR THE
EFFECTS OF THAT VOLCANO TO
REALLY FEEL AND MAKE ITS
PRESENCE FELT HERE IN
CANADA.
I DO KNOW THAT THERE WAS A
VOLCANO IN MEXICO.
NOT EVERY VOLCANO WILL
PRODUCE WEATHER EFFECTS
AROUND THE WORLD.
IT DEPENDS ON SEVERAL
FACTORS.
ONE IT DEPENDS UPON WHETHER
THE VOLCANO SHOOTS STRAIGHT
UP IN THE AIR OR OFF TO THE
SIDE.
MOUNT SAINT HELENS, FOR
EXAMPLE IT SHOT OFF TO THE
SIDE, SO THE CRUD THAT IT
PRODUCED JUST LIVED A LITTLE
WHILE, A FEW DAYS AND THEN
IT FINALLY FELL TO THE
GROUND.
SO IF IT GOES STRAIGHT UP
AND IT'S A VERY TALL VOLCANO
THAT GETS UP INTO THE
STRATOSPHERE WHERE THE AIR
CAN CIRCULATE AROUND THE
EARTH AND THEN HAVE A VERY
SLOW RESONANCE TIME, THEN
WE'LL HAVE MORE OF A
LONG-LASTING EFFECT.
ALSO THE TYPE OF MATERIAL
THAT COMES OUT OF IT.
IF IT TENDS TO BE MATERIAL
LIKE SULFUR DIOXIDE, WHICH
CAN ACTUALLY BE -- CAN
PRODUCE KIND OF LIKE SHINY
CLOUDS, WHICH WILL REFLECT
MORE OF THE SUN'S RAISE AND
THAT WILL TEND TO COOL
THINGS OFF.
AND ALSO WHERE IT OCCURS.
THE MOST IMPORTANT VOLCANOS
GLOBALLY TEN TO BE AROUND
THE EQUATOR.
IF THEY GET AROUND THE
EQUATOR, WEATHER SYSTEMS ARE
SUCH THAT IT CAUSES THE
MATERIAL TO BE CIRCULATED
AROUND THE ENTIRE GLOBE AS
OPPOSED TO ONE LITTLE AREA.
SO ALL OF THOSE FACTORS
WOULD HAVE TO BE LOOKED AT.
BUT ALSO THE AMOUNT OF MATERIAL
THAT'S INPUT INTO THE AIR.
PINATUBO WAS THE MOST
POWERFUL VOLCANO IN THIS
CENTURY IN THE WORLD SO, IT
CLEARLY HAD 35 MILLION TONS
OF SULFURIC, SULFURIC ACID
DEPOSITS, WHICH CAUSED A
SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE CHANGE
AND WEATHER CHANGE AROUND
THE GLOBE.

MAUREEN says OKAY.
INTERESTING.
THANKS, BRIAN, FOR THE
QUESTION.
DOROTHY IS IN MISSISSAUGA.
HI DOROTHY.

Dorothy says HELLO, MAUREEN,
YOU HAVE THE MOST
INTERESTING PROGRAMS, AND
YOU FIND THE MOST
INTERESTING SPEAKERS.

MAUREEN says YOU DO, HE'S
ONE.

She says WHAT A LOVELY DAY
SIT HERE AND SEAT SNOW
FALLING AND HEAR ALL THIS
I'VE JUST COME BACK FROM HE
CAN ENGLAND WHERE THEY'VE
HAD AS MUCH RAIN AS THEY'VE
EVER HAD IN OVER 100 YEARS
IS THERE ANY REASON WHY IT'S
SO THERE OVER THERE NOW?

DAVID PHILLIPS says GEE
DOROTHY, I DON'T KNOW.
ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE
RAIN THEY'D THIS PAST SUMMER
AND FALL?

She answers NO, NOVEMBER.

DAVID PHILLIPS says NOVEMBER.

Dorothy says YES, THEY'VE HAD
WEEKS AND WEEKS OF FLOODS
AND GAYLES.

DAVID PHILLIPS says WELL
CLEARLY, I HEARD A LOT ABOUT
IN YORK REGION ENGLAND SOME
OF THE WORST FLOODING IN 250
YEARS.
ONE OF THE FASCINATING
THINGS ABOUT THE CLIMATE IN
THE BRITISH ISLES IS THEY
HAVE SUCH LONG RECORDS.
IT'S HARD TO BEAT RECORDS
THERE, WHERE IN CANADA WE
HAVE RECORDS THAT BACK MAYBE
100 YEARS, ALWAYS EASIER TO
BREAK RECORDS HERE.
BUT NO, CLEARLY THERE HAS
BEEN A VERY WARM WATER IN
THE NORTH ATLANTIC, AND THAT
PERHAPS SOME OF THE STORM
SYSTEMS WHICH ARE COMING,
WHICH CLEARLY COME ACROSS
NORTH AMERICA PICK UP STEAM
OVER THE WARM WATERS AND
STILL HAVE LEGS AND
EVENTUALLY MOVE ACROSS
NORTHERN EUROPE.
SO I THINK THAT PERHAPS
MAYBE THERE'S BEEN ENERGIZED
STORM SYSTEMS HAVE CAUSED
SOME OF THIS ENORMOUS WET
WEATHER THEY'VE HAD THERE.

MAUREEN says I THINK, TOO, WE
DO TEND TO HEAR ABOUT
EUROPEAN WEATHER OVER HERE
NOW MORE THAN WE'RE USED TO,
AND IT'S JUST WE'RE MORE SAVY
ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE
REST OF THE WORLD BECAUSE I
KNOW EUROPE'S HAD HEAT
WAVES THAT HAVE BEEN
DEVASTATING, I'M NOT SURE IF
THEIR WEATHER'S DIFFERENT OR
WE'RE HEARING MORE ABOUT
THEIR WEATHER.

DAVID PHILLIPS says YOU'RE SO
RIGHT, MAUREEN.
I OFTEN WONDER IF IN FACT
WE'RE SEEING A LOT MORE
EXTREMES OR JUST HEARING
MORE ABOUT THEM.
CLEARLY WE'RE SEEING MORE
AND HEARING MORE FROM
TELEVISION.
PEOPLE SAY TO ME GEE,
THERE'S MORE WEIRD, WILD
WEATHER NOW THAN WHEN I WAS
A KID AND MAYBE REALLY
WHAT'S DIFFERENT IS THAT
WE'RE HEARING MORE ABOUT IT
FROM AROUND THE WORLD.

MAUREEN says YEAH, YEAH
PROBABLY.
I DID HEAR YOU SAY ON
“STUDIO 2” LAST NIGHT THAT
WE'RE NOT EVEN HALFWAY
THROUGH WINTER YET?

DAVID PHILLIPS says I KNOW.
THE DEAD OF WINTER FOR
SOUTHERN ONTARIO IS ABOUT
TWO DAYS AFTER GROUNDHOG DAY
SO THAT MEANS THERE'S MORE
WINTER BEHIND YOU THAN AHEAD
OF YOU.
AND THAT'S A GLORIOUS DAY.
IF YOU'RE IN THE A FAN OF
WINTER, THAT'S A GLORIOUS
DAY TO CELEBRATE.
BUT GOSH, WE'RE STILL A
MONTH TO GO BEFORE WE REACH
THE DEAD OF WINTER.
THERE'S A LOT OF WINTER LEFT
IN THE SYSTEM.

MAUREEN says DO YOU WANT TO
MAKE ANY PREDICTIONS ABOUT
WHAT YOU THINK THE REST OF
IT WILL BE LIKE?

DAVID PHILLIPS says I THINK
WE'RE GOING TO SEE SOME WARM
WEATHER IN JANUARY, MAYBE
NOT AS BALMY AS WE HAD IN
FEBRUARY, WHERE YOU HAD
20 degrees IN WINDSOR AND STRATHROY,
AND THE WARMEST EVE SEEN
EVER IN FEBRUARY, THE
CARDINAL RULE OF FORECASTING
IS LOOK OUT THE WINDOW WHAT
YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU'RE GOING
TO GET SO I'M PUTTING MY
MONEY ON THE FACT THAT WE'RE
GOING TO SEE A LOT MORE WINTER,
AND THIS IS GOING TO TRULY
BE A GOOD OLD FASHIONED
CANADIAN WINTER.

MAUREEN says MORE COLD, MORE
SNOW.

DAVID PHILLIPS says BUT JUST
THINK OF THE ECONOMY.
WE ACTUALLY MAKE MORE MONEY
OFF THE SNOW THAN IT COSTS.
SNOWMOBILERS AND SKIERS ARE
JUST SO HAPPY.
AND YOU KNOW, MAUREEN, YOU
HAVE TO ADMIT, THE LANDSCAPE
HAS NEVER LOOKED MORE
BEAUTIFUL THAN IT DOES WITH
THAT FRESH, WHITE SNOW FALL.

MAUREEN says IT'S NOT MUSHY
AT LEAST.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR DOING
THIS.
IT WAS FUN.

DAVID PHILLIPS says THANK YOU,
MAUREEN.

MAUREEN says THAT IS DAVID
PHILLIPS, SENIOR
CLIMATOLOGIST FOR
ENVIRONMENT CANADA.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
THE WEATHER YOU CAN CALL
ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT
1-800-668-6767.
OR VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.EC.GC.CA

Maureen says THAT WRAPS UP OUR SHOW ON WEATHER, METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY THIS AFTERNOON. THANKS FOR WATCHING MORE TO LIFE, I´M MAUREEN TAYLOR, HOPEFULLY YOU’LL JOIN US, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AT ONE O’CLOCK.

Watch: Meterology