The title to this post is a reference to an annoying Tim Horton’s ad from a few years back in which an employee looks out the window an announces, “Weather’s coming,” before she gets a bunch of drinks ready for all the folks who will stream in on cue. Thing is, as any child can tell you, “weather” is out there all the time; bad weather might be on the way, or rough, stormy, cold, or whathaveyou, but weather itself is always there.
Aaanyway…. On days like this, where storm fronts are headlines, it’s good to have a few aces up one’s sleeve to check. If I’m near the TV, I will check The Weather Network (though I am often frustrated by commercials for allergy or cold remedies, depending on the season) but it’s usually faster to check online.
My favourite place to check is the UVic School-Based Weather Station Network — all of the forecasts and info on the site is under a Creative Commons license (non-commercial, though commercial licenses are available) and I can check Victoria’s many microclimates to see how things look very close to where I work and where I live — these are often several degrees different and the amount of precipitation frequently varies — though not as much as it did when I lived in Vic West.
The other blog I recently found (thanks to Anne who I think referred to it on Facebook) is the Cliff Mass Weather Blog. It’s based out of Seattle, Washington; Cliff Mass is a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington. His blog is a wonderful peek inside the thought process of someone trying to forecast the weather from the data available plus it’s full of geek-tacular radar images, graphs and other stuff. Also, I’d love a copy of his book, The Weather of the Pacific Northwest, which comes well-reviewed from a wide range of sources.
Then there’s always webcams to give you a good idea of what’s going on around the region. BigWaveDave features a bunch of cams pointed out at the water (for windsurfing) including Dallas Road, Ogden Point and Willow’s Beach. When considering a trip that includes the Malahat drive, checking the BC Highway Cams for Highway 1 on Vancouver Island are essential — they have three cameras, near each entrance (Goldstream, Bamberton) and the summit. Of course at this time of year, you’d be stupid not to have good winter tires and/or carry chains on that route.
Finally, as you can see from the photo, it is snowing. It wasn’t when I left for work; it started around 9:00 and it’s cold enough that I expect it to stick around for a while. I wonder how many of those who braved the cold to bike in this morning will ride home in the snow?