Snowing in Churchill today, should be enough to dust the tundra and make for some nice photos for a few days. These first batches of snow usually disappear a week after – with an inevitable warm spell. The real snow shows up around Halloween like most places in Canada.
Churchill’s winter does not really start that much earlier, it just has a way of lasting a lot longer. Once Hudson Bay freezes, by late December, the temperatures really plummet and we settle in to a long, dry winter. This giant mass of ice creates its own mini-arctic environment and keeps Churchill in the deep freeze while the rest of Canada emerges into spring. Something that can kind of break your mind while you listen to stories of spring on CBC before returning to shovel out your truck.
While Churchill is fairly cloudy, snowy and stormy in the fall, there are also some great northern lights during bear season. This year, it seems we are once again emerging into a solar maximum – which just means that there will be a lot of aurora borealis this October and November.
Basically, the sun shoots out particles with every solar flare. When these particles get charged in the ionosphere, they funnel into the magnetic fields around the poles. This energy shows up as green, purple, bluish and even red waves, curtains and pulses. Or it could be the spirits of the dead playing a game of soccer with a muskox skull. Either one seems fairly plausible.
Regardless of the true cause (I haven’t even talked about the HAARP project yet…), the lights are very active this fall – showing up in the southern Yukon, Wisconsin, etc… places on the outer edge of the Auroral Oval, a rough circle around the pole. The oval passes directly over Churchill making it one of the best places to watch northern lights. So, if its good in Whitehorse or Winnipeg… its great in Churchill. Definitely, bodes well for bear season.
Aside from that, I have posted some articles about Churchill and its port on the facebook page, some advice on how to use cocaine to cure snow-blindness and another sasquatch sighting in Nunavik. The usual stuff.