Walking barefoot, uphill, in a snowstorm.

What? Another freezing rain warning for Windsor and Essex County today? Oh joy! Oh rapture! Hey, It’s March 24… bring it on! Maybe because we’ve had such a miserably cold March, April will treat us a little better.

Hmmm, maybe not. I remembering reading somewhere that over the last 100 years or so, Windsor had April snow 97 years out of a 100. In fact, a one day snowfall record in the Detroit/Windsor area was set on April 6, 1886 of 24.5 inches with drifts 12 feet high! Doesn’t that sound like fun?? You can read about it here.

The photo above wasn’t taken in April. It was shot in May! This is a look back 100 years ago at a freak storm that coated Windsor and the Border Cities’s spring gardens with a blanket of snow. Pictured is “Foxley”, a stately Tudoresque home designed by Albert Kahn, (architect of the beauteous Willistead Manor) and built on the corner of Devonshire and Cataraqui in Olde Walkerville. You can read about this home here.

I find it difficult to remember one winter from another (unlike my husband Chris who has the weird ability to recall weather from years gone by. He can also remember how to find his way around if he’s been to a place just once. I wonder if there’s some bizarre connection there.) So I was surprised to read that in 2005 Windsor got 100 more cm of snow than the previous record! A freak snowstorm April 23/24 tipped the scales.

I think that I, like most people who are forced to spend one long winter after another in the cold white north, quickly bury (no pun intended) those kinds of memories as a coping mechanism.

Here’s the blurb I found with the dreadful details:

Windsor – Ontario’s New Snowbelt – 2005. Windsor is often referred to as “Canada’s banana belt” and one of the least snowy cities in Eastern Canada. Not this year! From November 2004 through April 2005, Windsor got an incredible 225.5 cm of record-breaking snow – about 100 cm more than a normal winter’s accumulation. The previous record was 199.6 cm in 1969-70. By the middle of winter, Windsor and its residents already knew they were into something exceptional. Hardware stores had sold twice as much ice salt and shovels as normal. By the end of March, the city had inched closer to its all-time winter snow record but with the season all but over, the record most citizens were now cheering for seemed out of reach. However, winter refused to die. A freak spring snowstorm lashed Windsor on April 23-24, awarding the city its snowiest winter on record. As a bonus, it could now boast the snowiest April ever with a total of 31. 6 cm.

I’ll leave you with some good news. The Almanac predicts we’re going to have a hot, dry summer.

Now that’s more like it.

Oh, and just one last teensy bit of weather trivia – on June 20, 1953, the highest humidex reading ever recorded in Windsor was 52.1ºC. And that was before most homes and offices had air conditioning!

Think about it!!

About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a series of peculiar events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, Walkerville Publishing Inc., (partner is Chris Edwards) launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999 and we produced 61 issues - the last in 2016. In 2004, we began producing local history books; that year we released "Best of The Times Magazine". Our current titles include 5000 Ways You Know You're From Detroit, 500 Ways You Know You're From Windsor, Walkerville - Whisky Town Extraordinaire, and Windsor Then - A Pictorial Essay of Windsor's Glorious Past. I also wrote a novel, Time Trespasser, that blends time travel with local history. I am working on a sequel. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, glass is nearly full person.
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3 Responses to Walking barefoot, uphill, in a snowstorm.

  1. Pingback: Springs, shoots and leaves.2 | Windsor Star

  2. Pingback: Springs, shoots and leaves. | windsor then windsor now

  3. karen d. likes this blog says:

    liked the blog.

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