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Grandma Says: “The Answer is Blowing in the Wind”

A lone duck battled the high winds in Sydney on Friday in a failed attempt to cross the harbour. After several attempts, the duck gave up and decided to huddle with some friends on the boardwalk.
A lone duck battled the high winds in Sydney in this file photo. - Cape Breton Post

This is it … the last full day of winter! Now before I go any further, I want to remind you that it doesn’t mean we won’t get any more wintry weather! Inevitably though, I will be asked by most people I meet, what kind of summer we can expect.

That is such a tricky question to answer — for many reasons, but here’s one example. Let’s say a strong high pressure system stalls over Central Quebec in June. A north wind would blow down across our region and temperatures would therefore be below normal … in some places.

However, if you live along a south-facing coastline, a north wind is welcome in June. A north wind would be warmed by the sun as it moves over land before reaching you. The south wind blowing in off the water would be colder. So the same system would have some of us reaching for a sweater while others would be getting out the deck chairs.

That little example attempts to explain why it’s almost impossible for me to answer the question “what kind of summer will it be?” Grandma, on the other hand, had less trouble with it. She had theory!

Grandma watched the wind direction at the precise time of the equinox. She believed that it pointed to the type of summer we could expect.

Here’s how: a south wind meant the summer would be warm. If the wind was from the north it would be colder than average. An east wind would bring lots of damp or wet weather and a west wind promised a dry season. If the wind was light, less than 5 km/h at the precise time of the equinox, the wind direction could be considered variable and not a good indicator.

I have some homework for you: make a note of the wind direction at 1:14 pm (ADT) Tuesday and let me know … Grandma kept a weather journal for all those important observations! Now wouldn’t that be a great Mother’s Day gift!

Cindy Day is chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network. Get your regional forecast at weatherbyday.ca.

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