Islanders are defined by the weather. We are at the whim of Mother Nature and the weather she brings. It keeps us at home, keeps us from work, keeps our kids from school, yet it brings communities together.
There’s nothing like the weather as a conversation starter. “Some Weather We’re having!”, the 2016 Prince Edward Island weather trivia calendar, will help that banter.
Co-authored by Don Jardine and Dr. Adam Fenech and published by the Climate Research Lab at UPEI, this second edition of the weather trivia calendar is filled with 366 stories about real local weather events from across the Island over the past 400 years.
“There are so many stories,” said Jardine, the climate station manager at the Climate Research Lab. “There are some sad ones and some funny ones. Everybody has a story, we could probably fill a hundred calendars.”
Jardine and Dr. Fenech recently put their like minds together for the P.E.I. weather trivia calendar, tapping into Jardine’s stockpile of photographic images and research he’s been gathering since 2009 when he was working on a climate change project.
The 2016 calendar includes sections about the frequency, location, and seasonality of hurricanes that struck Prince Edward Island. It also contains details of PEI’s winter of 2015, the snowiest in recorded history. The winter of 2015 set a new record for the most snowfall recorded in one year on Prince Edward Island: 551 cm, 12 cm more than the previous record set in 1972.
“Because of the nature of the Island, the way that we live, we’re very affected by weather; sometimes it keeps us at home or away from school and sometimes it drags us to the beaches because it’s so nice,” Dr. Fenech says. “The weather really controls a lot of what we do and who we are. We say in our calendar ‘Our weather is our story.’ It’s the stories around the weather that are so intriguing.”
Some examples of these stories:
- With the roads closed due to the ice storm of 1956, Joe MacDonald brought his kids to Tryon Consolidated School by skating down the road with one child under each arm.
- The Mount Stewart Fire Department waded into chest-high, ice-cold water to guide a boat to the front steps of the Birt family home on Egan Street so the family could be taken to safety after the Hillsborough River spilled over its banks and flooded the neighbourhood in 2000.
- One hundred school children had to spend the night at the Englewood High School in Crapaud due to a major snowstorm in 1964 which caused roads to be blocked.
- After a windy, stormy night in 1989, the Giddings family of White Sands awoke to find 15 herring fish on their driveway about 80 metres from the shore. It was believed to be the result of a waterspout.
- The high tide reached such a height during a particularly nasty storm in 1915 that seaweed was deposited on sidewalks throughout Charlottetown.
- In 2004, Gordon Ellis took home the largest pumpkin prize with his 913-pound pumpkin, the first time in eight years that the winning pumpkin weighed less than 1,000 pounds. The smaller pumpkins were blamed on a cold, wet spring and Hurricane Arthur.
The calendar can be bought at The Bookmark, all Murphy’s Pharmacies, and the UPEI Bookstore.