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"Snowmageddon"

Hamilton, Ontario - Dec. 20 2008

  • It's not every day that Environment Canada issues a special weather statement like this:
  • ...Could this be snow-mageddon?..
    Environment Canada is generally not prone to exaggeration unless there is deemed to be a real threat. We evaluate weather information and prediction models in a measured, scientific manner and couple that with overall impacts for significant events.
     
    Mother nature from time to time will line up a near perfect set of conditions that generate a series of significant events. That time appears to be the coming week or so for many portions of southern Ontario in the form of snow storms.
    The term 'snow-mageddon' is not meant to alarm anyone or make light of the
    situation, but to highlight the cumulative effects and impacts that A series of snow storms can have on a wide region...
     
    I chased this event with a small group of other storm chasers including Mark Robinson, Jayson Mills and David Piano. We began the chase in Burlington where high winds whipped up blowing snow and made for very limited visibility. We then moved on into the Hamilton region where lake enhancement contributed to even greater snowfall levels. While there, we experienced several instances of thundersnow as we filmed numerous cars getting stuck in the deep, drifting snow. We then continued on to the shoreline to capture some of the impressive wave action that was now pounding parts of Lake Ontario.
     
    Although it wasn't a doomsday storm, it was still impressive with heavy snow, bone numbing windchills to well below minus 20 degrees, huge waves and near zero visibility at times. Hundreds of accidents were reported, schools closed and it was chaos at the Toronto international airport. All this and the official start of winter is not even here yet.

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    Strong wind chills along Lake Ontario.

    Blowing snow creating very poor visibility at times.

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    Mark, documenting the terrible driving conditions.

    More blowing snow.

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    Snowplows were out in full force.

    Snow drifts on stairs.

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    Getting around became a challenge for most.

    Christmas shoppers braving the storm.

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    Emergency services at the ready.

    A pier in Hamilton.

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    Frozen flowers.

    Ice encrusted plants.

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    Barbed wire encased in ice.

    Huge waves at the Burlington lakeside park.

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    Incredible icicles.

    Chunks of ice, frozen onto my boot laces.

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    Self portrait.

    David Piano, gets close to the waves in Hamilton.