Weather, Weather, Weather …

Is anyone out there still have trouble with concepts like “climate change” and “global warming”?

OK, the weather is truly nuts!!!   For those friends who have been wondering, we’re still here and haven’t washed away yet.

An explanation of “atmospheric rivers”.

We’ve been incredibly lucky.  We got back from our trip to Comox the day before the first bad “atmospheric river” hit.  We’d actually been scheduled to meet someone in Sayward that day, and our plans fell through.  So we ended up coming home a day earlier than anticipated.  Talk about timing!  Although it rained heavily at our site, we have such good drainage, nothing pooled, and the creek is far enough from the cabin that we are in no risk of flooding.  We didn’t get the nasty southeast winds either (we seldom get bad southeasterlies due to our protected location), but in some of the following days, we got some ugly northwesterlies that had the surf up pretty hard on the beach.  Again, we were lucky.  Everything was well secured and survived the storms without damage, although the blocks under our speedboat, which is normally sitting high and dry on the beach, got washed out.  Since everything was well chained in place, nothing serious happened to her, except she was suddenly free to float with the rise and fall of the tides.

Since then, we’ve had way too much rain, but amazingly enough, even the usual leak in the roof only had a couple of drips.  About a week ago, we woke up to 6 inches of heavy wet snow.  We both spent the morning getting snow off the electric fence, roofs, and boats.  Kind of a pain, and it looks like the snow is here to stay and winter has arrived a little earlier than usual for us.  However, given what’s been happening out in Abbotsford, Princeton, and Merrit, I can only feel really lucky to be living where we are.

Taking the year as a whole, the weather is even more worrisome.  For us, the year started with a cold, wet spring.  Then we got a blast of very early hot weather, more rain, and finally, the “heat dome” arrived.

Explanation of the formation of the “heat dome”.

Its been a year of extremes – cold and wet alternating with hot and dry, with record-setting conditions at both ends of the spectrum.

Climate change and the environment.

The year’s weather has been a forceful reminder that we will need to find better ways towards sustainability than we have currently been practicing. In particular, our current method of gardening is not going to be successful on our site’s sandy sloping soil with it’s southern exposure during the “new” hot summers that we’ll be seeing more often. Soil erosion from both wind and rain, poor retention of water and nutrients, and intense exposure to the summer’s sun are all things that we’ll need to deal with if we would like to continue with our experiment in self-sufficiency. And we need to recognize that the ecosystem that fares best here is a forested one, not open, exposed fields.

Intact old-growth forests help prevent floods and landslides during the climate crisis (infographic from the Sierra Club of BC).
Clearcuts and tree plantations increase wildfire risks in neighbouring communities amid the climate crisis (infographic from the Sierra Club of BC).