Digging out of a Record-Breaking Snowfall

Yesterday was a busy day, and I can sure feel it in my old bones this morning. I haven’t seen official confirmation that the snowfall that ended about noon yesterday was a record, but I’m quite sure that it was. The Environment Canada weather statistics say that the record one-day snowfall was 27.2 centimeters (10.7 inches), on March 8, 1967. At 04:00 yesterday morning, 24 cm (9.5 in.) had fallen in Whitehorse according to The Weather Network, and we got a lot after that, so I expect that the total was in the 40 cm (15.7 inches) area.

I know that many people think that we get buried in snow on a regular basis, but as you can see, that’s not so. The Yukon is actually a very dry place – in the case of Whitehorse, that’s largely because we’re in the rain shadow of the coastal mountains.

When I shot this picture from the back door at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday night I was already wondering aloud on Facebook what the record was, and it continued snowing all night.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The view out the front door at 05:13 yesterday (Thursday). Time to get to work.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The plow truck looked like it had been sitting there for weeks…
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
…but I had just parked at at 1:00 p.m. the day before, so that’s what had fallen in just over 16 hours.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The first pass up the driveway with the truck plow. I dump the snow in the ditch across the road, which is technically contrary to bylaws, but everyone does it. When I saw the condition of Sage Place, I thought about my neighbours who have little cars – it could be days until City plows get out here.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
So I made 4 passes up and down the street – the main street in Mary Lake, Fireweed, was not too bad, as it gets a fair bit of traffic. It’s always good to live on a street with a retired guy with lots of toys 🙂
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The preferred snow dump on our property is down the north side by the wood pile.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
By the time Cathy headed into town at 08:30, things were in pretty good shape so I got back on the computer for a while.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The truck uses an enormous amount of fuel plowing in low range 4-wheel-drive, so to get back to work at 10:30 Monty and I had to go into town for fuel. This is where the long-abandoned tracks of the White Pass & Yukon Route railway cross the Alaska Highway at Macrae.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The North 60 card lock at Macrae.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
I often wish that I could make one more road trip with a semi – but not on days like this! I cringe when I recall some of the trips I made with semis and buses in weather like this over the 35 years I drove them.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
With the front yard basically done, it was time to move into the back yard, which requires different equipment and much more hand work.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
Big sigh* – get at ‘er, buddy!
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
The snowblower, a fairly new addition, does a great job of putting in trails out to the barn, to the doghouse, to the storage shed, and moving the snow accumulation from around the deck.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
Lots of shovel work is needed on the deck, then it’s back to the snowblower to move those piles further away.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
At about 3:30, I had had enough and quit for the day. I took this photo at 3:54, 7 minutes after sundown. That’s a pretty end to the day. I went downstairs, turned on the Spa Music channel on the TV, and cuddled up with Monty – that’s where I was when Cathy got home almost 2 hours later.
Record Snowfall in Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013
As I finish this post, the weather forecast is interesting – 0°C (32°F) tomorrow, dropping to -35 (-31°F) on Tuesday night. Note the wind chill in town right now, -29 (-20°F).
Weather forecast for Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2013

There’s still a lot of snow work to be done around the property. I just got started on the upper deck, and then I’ll get some of the snow on the roof raked off the spots where the drift are deeper then I like. But, I also have lots of finishing work to do in the basement, putting baseboards and door and window trim in the areas I’ve otherwise completed. Now, it’s time to post this and get breakfast made for Cathy so she can head out into the real world 🙂


Comments

Digging out of a Record-Breaking Snowfall — 8 Comments

  1. That is a lot of snow, but isn’t that area known for getting a lot of snow? I remember seeing photos of the narrow gauge train with the giant snow blower on the front…

  2. Looks like a lot of hard work. I get so tired of shoveling snow. We’re suppose to get 4-6 inches tonight so that probably means 6-8.

  3. Taking the opportunity to wish you, Cathy, and Monty a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2014.

    I am sure that snowfall will be with you until spring, with additional snows compounding the depths. In our winters here in Viriginia,USA, if we get a larger than normal snow, most of the time the weather will warm up and lot of snow will melt.

    As I worked for the DOT here in Virginia, I hated the word snow, not so much for the snow, but the self induced hysteria panic by the powers to be, now I am retired, a big snow would be nice 🙂

  4. Warm wishes from the sunny southern hemisphere as we prepare to whip up mouth-watering pavlova, accompanied by strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries for our Christmas dessert to follow our barbequed lamb, green salad and new baby potatoes. I do think the northern snowy scene seems to fit the story of Christmas better, though. However, we all live where we live, so Vive la difference and enjoy that plum pudding and a glass or two of Pinot Noir, Merlot or Shiraz!
    Merry Christmas and very best wishes for health and happiness in the New Year ahead from Marie G.

  5. Hello, Happy Holidays to all of and thanks again, and again, for sharing all of your adventures, big and small with your followers…