We were watching the news last night and the weather report referred to Environment Canada's weather warning that predicted "Snowmageddon" for southern Ontario. To quote Peter Mansbridge "..the storm that Environment Canada is referring to as Snowmageddon..." A huge series of snow storms that would drop 50 cm of snow over night with high winds and really low winchills in the -30ºC ranges. According to CBC's "The National" the airlines were encouraging people to change their flight plans as they expected the airports to be shutdown due to the bad weather.
Mr. Mansbridge went on to report that some passengers were already stranded due to the "high numbers of people changeing their flights", one family from Newfoundland being told it could be a week before they can get home. A week? Spent sleeping in plastic chairs at the Toronto Airport? Poor souls. I would be demanding my ticket money back and finding a Via train home. It might take three days but at least I'd be home for Christmas.
Needless to say I was expecting a blizzard this morning when I woke up but low and behold we have some wind and a few, and I mean a very few, snow flakes coming down. Like any reasonable person I decided to research the threat and find out what happened. I checked CBC and CBC "The National" and there was not a peep or a mention of the word Snowmaggedon anywhere that I could find. I did a Google search and was able to find only one news reference to the word in a Guelph Newspaper.
I went to Environment Canada's website and looked at the weather statement and of course could not find any reference to Snowmaggedon anywhere in the warning. In fact the only real warnings, I could find, centred around Toronto. Many Torontonians believe that Toronto is the centre of Canada or even the world, but the rest of Canada considers it just another big, busy, noisy city. So why would a weather warning that really only effects Toronto and locales surrounding it become such a huge news story using words guaranteed to incite panic?
Perhaps the blame doesn't lie completely at the feet of Environment Canada since it is well known that they update their weather warnings several times a day and weather, like the stock market, changes minute by minute. Instead the blame should, perhaps, be placed at the feet of the news agencies that latched on to such a dire and grim warning in an effort to sell more newspapers and encourage people to watch their programs.