It looked like Hay River was in for some serious snow on Nov. 23.

As the day began and into that afternoon, there was a snowfall warning in effect. It said so in a serious-looking red banner on the Environment Canada’s weather page for Hay River.

We were told that the community was going to experience “Snow at times heavy. Amount 10 cm.” (We printed off the pages, so we’ve got documentary proof.)

If we remember properly, the warning was there until early in the afternoon of Nov. 23 when the banner turned to a calming green and advised that the snowfall warning had ended.

So how much snow did Hay River receive on Nov. 23? According to Environment Canada, we were hit with 0.4 centimetres of snow.

All that drama – not to mention the use of a red banner – for just 0.4 centimetres of snow. We’re not even sure if we believe it was only 0.4 centimetres of snow. Maybe it was closer to a couple of centimetres.

Either way, it was not heavy snowfall and nowhere near 10 centimetres.

Sometimes we wonder how Environment Canada can be so consistently wrong with forecasting the weather for Hay River. (We can’t speak for the rest of the NWT, but we can look out the window and see the weather in Hay River.)

We admit to being somewhat weather obsessed. We check the Environment Canada webpage several times a day, although we can’t really explain why.

And if we happen to be planning a drive out of town, we check the forecast constantly and for days in advance.

The only thing we have learned is the forecast is basically useless.

How difficult can it really be to predict the weather in our part of the NWT?

No offence, but the weather here – aside from the occasional bone-chilling cold – is uneventful compared to many other parts of Canada, especially the coasts. We don’t want to use the word “boring,” but there, we’ve said it.

We remember years ago hearing an excited CBC announcer from Yellowknife tell his listeners that the NWT was being hit by a blizzard. We were driving from Fort Smith to Hay River at the time, and we were surprised to hear we were in a blizzard.

Admittedly, it was a little windy, and some snow was falling and drifting. In other words, a normal winter day in Atlantic Canada.

Ah, Atlantic Canada. Where the snow can be horizontally driven by 120-kilometres-an-hour winds. Where snow can actually be a mixture of snow and ice that feels like rocks hitting your face. Where you can literally be knocked down by the wind. And where snowdrifts can cover houses and occasionally transport trucks.

That’s a blizzard.

We have yet to see a real blizzard in the South Slave.

In an odd way, we were a little excited when Environment Canada was predicting heavy snow for Nov. 23.

Yet, virtually nothing happened of much note meteorologically.

Based on our past experience as consumers of weather forecasting for Hay River, we were not surprised.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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