By Jenn Watt
Belatedly Jack Frost made his way to the Highlands last weekend with bitter temperatures between -41ºC and a relatively balmy -17 by Sunday afternoon. It was more than we bargained for.
Over the last two months we’ve lamented the lacklustre season which over Christmas melted ski hill slopes and stymied snowshoeing buffs with a thin layer of icy snowpack.
The warm weather made lakes dangerous across Ontario and we lost several people to falling through the lakes’ ice.
Then like a hungry predator starved all season winter returned for Valentine’s Day filled with bitter cold causing cancellations of events stalling cars and busting water pipes for three days straight.
On Sunday our region at least equaled the record low for Haliburton of -41ºC set in 1934.
(The record high was in 1886 at a toasty 8ºC according to the Weather Network.)
Casualties of the recent freeze up include Haliburton Village’s Frost Fest and the Lions Club’s Polar Bear Challenge both of which were called off on Thursday when extreme cold warnings became certain. It was just too dangerous to ask people to play outdoors in temperatures that could lead to frostbite in a matter of minutes.
(The Kinmount Winterfest scheduled for Feb. 20 was also called off but those organizers said it wasn’t wintry enough in their estimation. That was before last weekend’s cold blast.)
It seems with weather you just can’t win. This winter’s cancellations are just the cold cousin of the summer washouts which have called off their fair share of concerts and festivals.
With weather becoming more unpredictable and wild as the years progress it’s becoming increasingly necessary to create back-up plans. Frost Fest may have been cancelled this year but a couple of its events continued on nonetheless.
Indoor skating and the lasagna dinner were unaffected by the cold snap for example.
Following this lead in the future – ensuring there are both indoor and outdoor options or at least contingency plans – will help us preserve our touchstone events no matter what weather comes our way.