A Winter Wonderland

Never be cold again. That was on my retirement bucket list. We would spend six months south and six months north. Except the six months north in Canada so far this year are proving to be frigid.

Because of COVID-19 we came back to Canada early and I was shocked at how cold it was in April.

May is not looking any better.

The overnight lows are in the 20s Fahrenheit. In May. And the daytime highs are struggling to get much above 40 Fahrenheit.

Is it always this cold in this part of Canada during April and May? The short answer: no.

Environment Canada reported that a polar vortex will cover much of Ontario and it is expected to bring record cold temperatures to the province for at least the next week. Seasonal daytime temperature for Ontario during this time of year is usually around 17 C (60s Fahrenheit) with nighttime lows not going below 7 C (40s Fahrenheit).

Back on April 22nd, a Buffalo weather balloon captured a profoundly cold late-season trough and recorded -20°C at 3000 metres elevation, which is the coldest on record. We will break that late-season record, twice in one year. In May.

The bitterly cold weather means that we have to take precautions with our motorcoach. The water softener is back in the basement. We keep the water faucet at the service pedestal closed and only turn it on when we need to fill the fresh water tank. The main water supply hose remains in the wet bay and only gets used when topping the water tank. And the water tank only gets filled during the day when the temperature moderates.

I pulled our electric space heater out from the basement because I do not want to use diesel for heat. Our electric heat pumps are useless when the temperature dips below 4 Celsius. The space heater, combined with the electric floor heat, keeps the coach relatively comfortable overnight. We are equipped with tank heaters and I put those on at night and turn them off during the day.

A friend carries a heated hose in his coach. I should pick one up as well however Amazon’s COVID-19 algorithms de-prioritized delivery of heated water hoses — not viewed as essential — and delivery would take three or four weeks.

By then the temperatures should remain above freezing.

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