Herring Cove is near Halifax and has been the coolest event in the area since 1992. Jumpers are sponsored by local groups with funds raised going to Feed Nova Scotia. There was shell ice covering the cove near this wharf but a lobster boat soon cleared it. Mr Ross had been taking the plunge for 21 years and was followed into the water by about 250 other stalwart souls. While similar events elsewhere in Canada were cancelled or delayed because of extreme cold it was not as daunting here with the temperature at -9.6ºC + wind chill.
Here is how things looked down in the extreme south west near Yarmouth, where the temperature was a full degree colder with even more wind chill. When the South Shore only demanded insulated boots once in December 2917, I began to think anything was possible. Certainly travel here was not risky on most main highways this year provided one stayed off those icy early morning roads.
As New Years Day progressed, this was about as good as it got in terms of air temperatures. In such situations salt water temperatures can be a brief respite. I know having tried January dips in my misspent youth. On this day Cape Breton was the warm place in Maritime Canada.
In the above case, Donna Hatt marketing manager at White Point (orange jacket) was seen leading a solstice walking event at this all-year resort. These winter walkers went forward to the tip of Whites Point, before pulling the cork on a bottle of Nova Scotian sparkling wine at 12:28 pm and toasting the ascendant sun with the words "May your winter be frisky and frolicky". That said, a lot rides on the weather.
Weather aside, there were quite a few rock-crawlers at Peggys Cove, but with most places closed there is not a lot available indoors or outdoor things to do in Nova Scotia. R&R have not included beer when provisioning for New Years Day.
Indoor activities paled and restaurants featuring an attractive menu were all closed. In fact we had better eats at home.
A phone call to the Mug & Anchor Pub in the afternoon produced no result and there website was dicey about whether they were open or not. I made a reconnaissance of South Main Street passing our Quarter Acre Forest on the way. The pub appeared to be flying a flag, usually a sign that they were open. I convinced Ruth to brave a slightly cold wind.
The Civic Marina seen from our walkway. Take note of the two sailboats in cradles near the middle of the picture, the figure in this sad tale a bit later.
There was a dusting of snow overnight.
The flag was a Canadian banner left up overnight and not their open flag. The number of beers on tap has gone down recently.
Winter wind direction was preserved in the lean of these two Christmas trees.
Because there was not much happening on New Years Day and government liquor stores were closed, micro-breweries including this local one on the other end of Main Street, were attracting walk-in as well as we'll fill your bottle trade . We tried their "Nun On The Run" brand but prefer their IPA and Spruce beers. Their take home Growler bottle at $15 is competitive.
They had a good indoor crowd.
On the way home we thought of taking a briefly walk down the Dynamite Trail, but feeling the wind, thought better of this idea. Sometimes a warm room and a couple of cold beers is the better part of bravery! Things are a bit austere at this season with no snow to prettify the scene? But there were promises:
That word "MIX" has bad connotations when applied to winter storms.
By the following day the warnings were more strident.
Usually we defrock the tree on the Twelfth Day of Christmas (or Old Christmas), January 6, but we decided to consign it to the birds a bit earlier.
These days weather mongers are as excitable as news mongers.
In fact ,150,000 Nova Scotia Power customers did hit a wall with that Christmas storm, but not all at once as this story suggests. Closeups of a wave support all those nice adjectives see above?
The good news? It has been a good season for solar panels. To bad that The Meadows condos have not yet embraced sustainable energy sources and trees. As seen from our cabbage patch.
Aside from politics, there is always a surfeit of bad news. This was one of the worst this year and last. Thank whatever gods or goddesses that be that we do not live in Karst Country.
Troubled times, bad conscience? Grind coffee beans! Thanks Allison.
That day had been quite...hummdrumm.
Things did not look a great deal more interesting in downtown Halifax. Yet another "Storm of the Century"?
You can get a lot of blow but not a lot of snow when temperatures are this low.
Back at the Anney River estuary for water and food at the grocery store to the left of that picnic table.
Idyllic; in a cold, hard, frozen manner.
However, new reports did say that the United States was taking bruises.
Not exactly banana land, but we were unnaturally happy considering the season.
It was good to see the latest 28-unit condominium was progressing off Kinburn Street, in spite of the fact that it came to late to meet our needs.
On January 3, none of the weather mavens were promising a "rose garden", although it did appear that Nova Scotia might not be "impacted" as seriously as suggested earlier.
We did not stop her for another "Growler" but proceeded north on Clearwater Street.
Parts of Clearland are still cleared lands as this photo shows.
Down the hill to Edgewater Street during another surprisingly bright winter day. Pioneer Cemetery at right. Oakland across the harbour.
Air temperatures were higher but shell ice remained on parts of the water.
Note the offshore fog bank. Turing right on Edgewater.
In this shoulder season, the lack of people is appreciated.
We were stopping for gasoline, so this photo is flawed.
Photos, like histories, always lie.
The truth? The folk were a bit more worried at this juncture, and gassing up in case they had to resort to automobiles as warming centres.
Strums Island at 10x from that Irving station. No one lives there. Pity it was ever stripped of trees.
Paranoia? Hardly! All of the locals know what happens where the high winds blow.
Since high winds can put Ruth out of business, she was trying hard to work since the "night" might be coming.
By the following day rain was being suggested rather than freezing rain or snow.
It seems you can never have it all? Waves that high seem a lot worse in feet.
This January 2018 North American blizzard caused severe disruption along the East Coast of the United States and Canada. It dumped snow and ice on Florida and Georgia, and produced snowfall accumulations of up to 2 feet (61 cm) in the Mid-Atlantic states, New England, and Atlantic Canada. The storm originated on January 3 as an area of low pressure off the coast of the Southeast. Moving swiftly to the northeast, it deepened while moving parallel to the Eastern Seaboard, causing significant snowfall accumulations. By dawn it was clear that Mahone Bay had missed another snow storm.
The 2017–18 North American cold wave gripped much of the Central, Eastern United States, and parts of Central and Eastern Canada and coincided with that winter storm that affected much of Atlantic coast. In the first few days of 2018, the cold front stretched as far south as the Caribbean including Cuba and fueled the formation of the blizzard. Those able to read maps will notice that some of Nova Scotia was no worse off than the southern Atlantic States.
While it was relatively mild in some Nova Scotian coastal locations, Ski Martock in the uplands was not a popular place on January 3.
While the hills at windy old Wentworth in the Chebucto highlands was virtually deserted that morning.
.Pearson Airport near Toronto reported a new record low of -21ºC two days after this.
World Climate Change opposition centred on this winter anomaly, which has to be considered in the overall balance between warm (red/orange) and cold (shades of blue) regions. Clearly, overall 2018 started as a relatively warm winter in terms of climate, local weather notwithstanding.
Speaking of which, Mahone Bay had been gusty the previous evening, but by half-past-eleven remained wet and ominously silent.
Various weather reports advanced conflicting views of what lay ahead. No rain or snow sounded encouraging.
A bit later high winds were being predicted, with rain commencing at 3:30 pm.
The storm moved in more rapidly than anticipated and the rains came at 11 am. At first it was light enough to allow a trip out to NSLCB, the pharmacy and food store. We tuned west on Clairmont Street near the footbridge.
We followed Kinburn across the Anney bridge and looped across to the right stopping at the NSLCB on an unnamed cross street.
Exiting the cross street for West Main we progressed toward down town. It was now beginning to rain in a meaningful way.
These photos were timed to fall between the sweeps of windshield wipers. At right, Clairmont Street. The PO is beyond that dental building.
Her is Ruth leaving to pick up mail. With wind intensity increasing we were beginning to take this storm more seriously.
It was now about 12:30 pm, so serious wind warnings had yet to be posted.
In the groceteria parking lot there was some argument with car doors as wind gusts increased.
The closure of the shoe store suggested rough weather ahead. It is almost perpetually in business.
As we left the parking lot for home: Downpour!
The pizza shop remained open, but note that flapping flag.
The Brinks boys did not have this day off. They were taking collection from the pub rather than the ice cream shop.
The Civic Marina area, where action was scheduled to become intense in the hours ahead.
Noticing more whitecaps on water than seen at any previous time, Ruth decided to make a run on the harbour road to see what she could see.
We had heard that Nova Scotia Power had anticipated outages following the Christmas storm and posted work crews in advance, some brought in from other provinces. Here we saw a truck headed off to work.
Even a video would not do justice to the sound and fury of wind. This sailboat was cradled on a private wharf.
Waves were breaking at the two foot level.
The head of Maders Cove opposite Strums Island, where there is easy turning at a junction of roads. This part of that body of water was iced in.
Areas further north west were not.
High tides were predicted so storm surge was expected to put structures like this briefly under water.
At this point, Ruth decided that fighting wind had been a bad idea.
Those circular sailboat medallions tacked to power poles tell you that you are within the "Town of Mahone Bay".
This craft seemed precariously perched, but was not alone.
The trees tell the tale of gusting wind.
Air temperatures precluded the possibility of frozen precipitation.
The Civic Marina in storm, see from the plastic factory parking lot.
By the time we reached home wind speed was highest in our part of Nova Scotia, and increasing in intensity.
These factory workers probably faced a dangerous drive home after their work day.
Their plant south of Fauxburg Street.
And dat was dat!
Lawrencetown Beach, the following day, January 5.
Orientation map indicating our closeness to Mahone Harbour and amenities. Orange line: asphalt walkway.
Infirmity ultimately catches up with our population of seniors and two have moved on in this cold season.
The winds did blow that afternoon and into the evening before moving on to the east. Somewhat sleep deprived, we remained abed longer than usual. Rod decided on a walk to see if there were branches down or signs of damage.
The walkway east from the condo terminates at South Main and overlooks the Civic Marina. At first glance they only thing unusual seemed to be a bit or ragged canvas blowing in the wind at the end of the wharf.
Crossing the road and looking back toward the condos. You have heard of marine "wrack and ruin"? There was only minor ruin seen here, but lots of wrack, bladder floated seaweeds, marking the high tide line driven by sea surge on the previous tide. Those small ice pans measured up to two feet in maximum length.
Looking northeasterly in the opposite direction we saw that the sailing ship "Defiant" had toppled from her cradle during the storm.
In years past this wharf and breakwater has suffered undermining in sea surge incidents. That left pits in the roadway. An effort to prevent this involved refilling holes and caulking them with concrete, Floats were positioned to moderate wave action.
At its most extreme waves probably overrode this southeastern breakwater and carried ice into the parking lot.
Aside from that most of the boats parked here and next door on the Mailman & Kelley property seemed to escape with nothing worse than torn plastic sheathing.
Although it was well below zero, this stalwart gentleman was assessing damage to that yacht in shorts!
Again, looking back, more signs of waves breaking not many hours earlier.
The gods of the sea are fickle and up to any human challenge.
That metal mast represents a considerable financial loss. Two craft were somehow involved in collision during the night hours. With the winds remaining high not much could immediately be done to disentangle and bring them upright.
Other sailboats on the wharf seemed to have served as windbreaks for one another. Then again, divine intervention may have been a factor.
This sign is ironic since these craft are each a heavy load.
Not so windy but still a cold day!
As I was leaving at 11 am, news of the happening had spread and vehicles gathered to turn and stare, without braving the cold.
Old Christmas Eve was on its way, so I guess it is not surprising that a marine version of Old Nick was overseeing the mayhem.
The grass was no longer as green as on Christmas Day.
The burlap on cedars in enigmatic.
However, not much on this planet has rational explanation.
We experienced a couple of short power blips and did not have to resort to using flashlights. Early news stories had little to report concerning infrastructure damage but considering the report of local gusts as high as 140 km/hr we had to expect damage.
Later in the day it was seen that that inconvenience was widely spread along the Atlantic coast.
Everybody in Lunenburg County seems to have photographed those two boats.
Web cams from January 5 were interesting. This one at Chester shows a relatively calm Atlantic behind drumlin islands in Lunenburg County.
At Peggys Cove, hardly any distance east, wind and waves were still up, but notice that there was a procession of vehicles observing the spectacle.
Lawrencetown Beach on the far side of Halifax, reported that the surfer's parking lot was a wipe out. High winds and cold meant that nobody was in the water.
This satellite photo shows that the storm had moved inland over Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador.
So what did go wrong? Liverpool's streets and parking lots closest the water flooded yet again.
Peggys and Cape Breton had to deal with the highest winds.
Scaffolding bolted to Lunenburg's Academy blew away doing some damage to the building.
The Queensland Road on the coast near Peggys Cove attracted thrill seeking drivers.
But not for long. It soon became impassable.
There was more, but 2017 is not a year we remember fondly, so it can go out on the tide of lost memories.
At this writing, things were looking cool but good.
The long range forecast did not look disruptive.
And we had been promised a mild winter, and this seemed to confirm it.
But this planet is filled with unpleasant truths!
There is our word of the day.
More weather trivia only if spectacular.