HOw do people live during winter (am new at this kind of winters)


atfa
#1
Hi!:
i'll be moving to edmonton next year and am a little worried about the weather in winter. Can you actually get out of your house?, does the car star under that cold? do people keep working normally? can someone please explain to me how bad exactly is winter up there? I should say am from mexico, and i was born and raised in cancun but lived up north barcelona for 5 winters. I love cold, but am not sure how things are with those cold temperatures you have in Edmonton!!
Please any tips??
thanks!
 
karrie
#2
Hi atfa.

The winters here can get quite cold, but, usually that doesn't stop us from carrying on about our normal daily routines. If you invest in good winter clothes, plenty of people even carry on walking to work, etc. You do need good winter gear though, you can't get away with a light jacket and hiking boots. You need winter boots, a warm coat, ski pants, heavy mittens, scarf, etc.

The only time stuff starts to shut down is when either temperatures drop below -40C, or, freezing rain makes the roads treacherous. But, even then, many businesses continue to run.

My biggest advice to you would be, DO NOT MOVE HERE IN THE WINTER. lol. Move in the summer so you can acclimatize through the fall.
 
DurkaDurka
#3
You picked a particularly cold part (winter anyways) of Canada to spend your first winter, listen to Karrie's advice.

You might also want to purchase a sled dog.
 
lone wolf
+1
#4  Top Rated Post
It's only cold when you have to plug in the huskies....
 
karrie
#5
lol.. I forgot about the car question..... most vehicles have block heaters this far north, to keep the oil warm, so you plug the block heater in for a while before you need to leave, then start the vehicle, and you're good. Newer vehicles with synthetic oils don't even need that much attention... my car starts fine without needing to be plugged in.
 
DaSleeper
#6
I have a nice letter (in french) about the first winter of a French immigrant's first winter in Quebec but I can't find the english translation
 
Praxius
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by atfaView Post

Hi!:
i'll be moving to edmonton next year and am a little worried about the weather in winter. Can you actually get out of your house?, does the car star under that cold? do people keep working normally? can someone please explain to me how bad exactly is winter up there? I should say am from mexico, and i was born and raised in cancun but lived up north barcelona for 5 winters. I love cold, but am not sure how things are with those cold temperatures you have in Edmonton!!
Please any tips??
thanks!

Well it does get quite cold in that area of the country compared to where I live (Nova Scotia) Basically the eastern and western coasts are generally not affected by the winter as much as the rest of the country.

My wife's from Australia so she's used to the heat and never experienced winters like what we have here. She actually prefers the winter over the summer because she finds it easier to warm up in the winter compared to trying to cool down in the summer.

She arrived in January a few years back, straight out of the middle of her summer to the middle of our winter basically.... it was -16 C and some snow was coming down when she arrived. Near the end towards March, she was starting to freak out that it'd be winter all year long and never warm up..... I had to assure her that it would warm up quite considerably...... and that we didn't plant all these trees for looks (they had to grow sometime)

Then she went through spring.... then summer, dealing with +30 C temps...... and something she never had to deal with much.... Humidity. She actually hates the summer heat in Canada then she does with the summer heat in Australia, even though they can go weeks with temps above +40C

Your question's answers can vary depending on how cold the day is.

For me personally, Western Canada is a little too cold for my liking, since it can remain bitterly cold for long periods of time, but the windchill is what really gets you.

Sometimes cars won't start, but that's why you plug them into the house so that they don't completely freeze up in the morning.

You can go out of your house, it's no space.... though it's close. When it's -5 to about -15 Celsius out, it's manageable and you can stay outside for a considerable amount of time before frost bite kicks in.... so long as you have good boots, gloves/mittens, hat and especially a good winter coat.

around -16 to about -25 or colder, I'd recommend tossing on a second layer of pants.... I normally use jeans with pajama pants on underneath.

I don't have the official numbers in front of me, but beyond -20 C, exposed skin can freeze in a few minutes.

The real pain in the butt is the Windchill that I mentioned before. In colder temps. like -10 or lower, depending on how windy it is outside and how fast the wind is blowing, while the temperature will officially show something like -17 outside, to living creatures (Humans, Cats, Dogs, Birds, etc.) it can actually feel like -25 or -30..... sometimes -40 C which means exposed skin can freeze in seconds.

Watch your local weather stations/news in the morning before you head out for the day and they will tell you how cold it is and how cold it will feel.

Whenever I see the temp outside, I automatically assume it'll feel an additional 10 degrees colder due to the wind. Better be safe then frozen.

But it's not really that bad, you'll get used to it after a while.

What does it feel like?

Well a meat cooler doesn't exactly give you the experience since there is no wind to blow that cold directly to your body...... but it's that cold, dry, fresh air that hits your lungs and your skin that can wake you up pretty quickly in the morning...... sometimes you can feel the heat from your body being sucked away pretty quickly.

The windchill can sometimes feel like a million frozen pin needles sticking into your exposed flesh..... after a few minutes it can turn into an expanded throbbing of pain.... nothing too serious right off the bat..... but after about 10-15 minutes outside waiting for a bus (as an example) you can feel your fingers and toes start to become more painful.... your cheeks will be one of the first things on your face to start to cool quickly and if your ears are exposed, those can really begin to hurt.

If you are outside for too long.... say 30 minutes and not properly dressed for it, by that time you will most likely be experiencing your body attempting to keep itself warm, which is induced by shaking in order to keep the blood flowing.

If you are outside for too long, your body will start to go into survival mode by reducing the amount of blood flow to your hands and feet...... the moment you begin to stop shivering/shaking or you notice the pain going away...... you better get inside to some place warm quick, because hypothermia is in effect.

Frost bite can cause serious damage to tissue and in extreme cases, such as in the hands, feet and ears, prolonged exposure will destroy tissue and to put it nicely, rendering your toes and/or fingers dead and will require amputation, otherwise when you do get back into a warm area (which would probably be a hospital at this stage) those dead areas of your body can become infected and cause even more problems that can spread throughout your body.

Now this is all just from memory so a few things might be a little bit off, which I'm sure someone in here can correct me on..... but you can find more information online, such as:

Canadian Winters - Be Prepared

Canadian Winters - Be Prepared

^ Interesting, just found this from someone who recently moved to Nova Scotia and experienced their own winters. They have a list of items and things to prepare for, but seem to be more geared towards power outages and snow storms.

Surviving a Canadian winter.
Surviving a Canadian winter. - Canada - Epinions.com

^ This is from someone who lived in Australia and spent a bit of time in the US, explaining their own first hand experiences halfway through their first winter here and what they learned so far.

Travel tips for Canadian winters if you have no experience with snow and cold!
Canada Snow | Winter in Canada

Now that I have probably scared the living B-Jesus out of you with all of this, thinking that you might die..... chances are you won't and it's really not that bad (So long as you are properly prepared)

When you're outside, the easiest thing to remember is to make sure you dress warmly and when you start to feel pain in your feet and hands/ears (which will happen very often) you still have time to not worry too much about any serious harm done to you so of course, just relax...... but use that as a sign to try and get inside someplace warm as soon as you can.

If you know anybody who lives here, such as friends, family or co-workers.... they will help you along to know what to do and what not to do.

And watch your feet..... it's pretty easy to slip on some ice and land on your ***, as my wife found out shortly after coming here. It's usually just embarrassing, but if you slip the wrong way, you could bruise or injure yourself.

But with all of what I said and no matter how much you read, nothing can prepare you other then experiencing it yourself.

Some don't mind it, some enjoy it.... others completely hate it.

Good luck.











 
atfa
#8
Hi Everyone!!
thanks for all the comments. The plan is to move in before the summer ends or before summer. It depends on the resident visa process time (we are applying this december and it takes from 6 to 10 months).
I love big coats, big hairy boots and heavy scarfs, so thats not a problem. I never though i might had to use a sled dog within the city.
I though that people hibernate like bears when it was that cold (-40C) and had to buy large amounts of food to stay at home lol! i guess i've seen that alaskan movie many times!!
So everybody still works and even walk to work with the snow and there is no problem. and how about the salt and the snowploughs?
you can post the letter in french no problem!!

thanks again!
 
karrie
#9
lol... no dogsleds. The road is sanded for the most part, instead of salt (easier on the plants around the road that way), and the snow ploughs are pretty good about getting out and keeping the main roads clear. Your side streets will likely never get cleared though, so, WINTER TIRES are a must, as are a shovel and bag of sand in your vehicle at all times during the winter. Even if you never leave the city, a blanket, a candle, and some emergency food are still good ideas to have in a vehicle in the winter as well. I've seen people stuck for hours if they hit a ditch or get in a minor accident during a bad snow storm.
 
atfa
#10
wow thanks for those pics!!! am not scared! am brave! i can handdle the winter!! i might stay inside bed and under a ton of blankets but am sure giving it my best shot even if i have to wear ALL my cloths to get out!!
any more advice is welcome!!
 
karrie
#11
If you have kids.... teach them ahead of time so the kids at school don't, that YES, your tongue will freeze to metal in the winter. It's a very painful thing to be the kid frozen to the playground equipment.
 
DaSleeper
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by atfaView Post

you can post the letter in french no problem!!

thanks again!

Didn't want to post it in your thread....see post http://forums.canadiancontent.net/fu...ml#post1327378
A lot of coloquialism in there
Last edited by DaSleeper; Sep 9th, 2010 at 09:53 AM..
 
Praxius
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by atfaView Post

Hi Everyone!!
thanks for all the comments. The plan is to move in before the summer ends or before summer. It depends on the resident visa process time (we are applying this december and it takes from 6 to 10 months).
I love big coats, big hairy boots and heavy scarfs, so thats not a problem. I never though i might had to use a sled dog within the city.
I though that people hibernate like bears when it was that cold (-40C) and had to buy large amounts of food to stay at home lol! i guess i've seen that alaskan movie many times!!
So everybody still works and even walk to work with the snow and there is no problem. and how about the salt and the snowploughs?
you can post the letter in french no problem!!

thanks again!

Yeah the sled dog thing was a joke.... unless you're way up North, which Edmonton isn't.

Simply put, just think of Winter as being the Extreme opposite of Summer...... as even in the Summer you need to be prepared and if you're outside, exposed to the elements for too long, it can be just as dangerous...... but you still have to work and you still have to go outside.
 
DurkaDurka
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

Yeah the sled dog thing was a joke.... unless you're way up North, which Edmonton isn't.

Simply put, just think of Winter as being the Extreme opposite of Summer...... as even in the Summer you need to be prepared and if you're outside, exposed to the elements for too long, it can be just as dangerous...... but you still have to work and you still have to go outside.


Coming from the guy who shovels snow in a speedo....
 
Chiliagon
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

You picked a particularly cold part (winter anyways) of Canada to spend your first winter, listen to Karrie's advice.

You might also want to purchase a sled dog.

really??

maybe another 600 KM's up North from Edmonton or so..

but Edmonton is very developed.
 
Praxius
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

If you have kids.... teach them ahead of time so the kids at school don't, that YES, your tongue will freeze to metal in the winter. It's a very painful thing to be the kid frozen to the playground equipment.

Indeed.... if you want a quick example of what moisture can do in the cold, go to your freezer, wet your finger and touch an ice cube.... chances are your finger just temporarily stuck to the cube...... However since metal isn't liquid like an ice cube, you'll have a much harder time removing your finger and could be a tad painful, to the point of damaging tissue/skin from pulling it off.

I grew up watching "A Christmas Story" so I learned at a young age not to stick my tongue to something frozen and metal.


Oh and with all this nightmarish talk about our winters..... trust me, by the time Summer is almost over, you'll be hoping for Winter to come back..... by the end of last week, I had more then enough of the heat and humidity, as did my wife.

Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

Coming from the guy who shovels snow in a speedo....

Just watch out for the snow snakes.
 
Chiliagon
#17
if you have a new Car.. the odds of ever having to plug it in during our winter is slim to none. if you have a car that's 12 years old or more, I'd recommend plugging it in at night.

the only time you really need to plug it in is when it dips to the -30 range, because there is that chance it'll freeze and then you're stuck.

Edmonton isn't exactly known for the best snow plowing for the country as we tend to wait and wait and a lot of citizens complain that their roads never get done.

last year the coldest it got I believe was -33? (anyone confirm that please? )

but we had a late start to winter, as October and November was quite nice, right up to the end of November and then like it hit. and it never left.

and it didn't end till oh, late February or the first week into March.. it started to get quite a bit warmer then.

but we did have a couple weeks where things were awful cold.
 
Praxius
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by ChiliagonView Post

really??

maybe another 600 KM's up North from Edmonton or so..

but Edmonton is very developed.

It's very developed indeed.... it's still in Western Canada which get's colder temps then say Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes, BC & Newfoundland.



^ There's not too many other places in the country that have an entire city appear to have all heat and moisture sucked from the area as if Space decided to open up and vacuum it all into oblivion like the Day After Tomorrow.
 
Chiliagon
#19
ya I hear ya. we haven't had -40 (before wind chill) since 1990. from what I can remember.

the coldest it got recently was -37 a couple years ago but that was just 1 day.

the last few years, winter was pretty tame.. and short. PLEASE REPEAT!

so in the last 4 months of 2009 our average temperatures were:

September: 13.3 C
October: 1.1 C
November: -1.1 C
December: -18.8 C

and the first 3 months of 2010 the Avg Temperatures were:

January: -12.1 C
February: -9.1 C
March: -0.9 C
 
karrie
#20
Only Siberia was colder | Edmonton | News | Edmonton Sun
 
Chiliagon
#21
here's December of 2009


you'll have to click on it...
Last edited by Chiliagon; Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:46 AM..
Attached Images
untitled.JPG (88.0 KB, 3 views)
 
JLM
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by atfaView Post

Hi!:
i'll be moving to edmonton next year and am a little worried about the weather in winter. Can you actually get out of your house?, does the car star under that cold? do people keep working normally? can someone please explain to me how bad exactly is winter up there? I should say am from mexico, and i was born and raised in cancun but lived up north barcelona for 5 winters. I love cold, but am not sure how things are with those cold temperatures you have in Edmonton!!
Please any tips??
thanks!

Well to start with those minus 46C you read about in the paper happen once every five or ten years. Weather is quite variable in Edmonton, typically it will go down to minus 35 for a few days every year. You can also get days hovering around minus 5C or minus 10 in January. People go to work, drive their cars, play outdoor sports, 99% of the winter days in Edmonton.
 
Chiliagon
#23
humm
 
Chiliagon
#24
damn.. why can't I add info without it going all screwy?
 
atfa
#25
Quote:

If you know anybody who lives here, such as friends, family or co-workers.... they will help you along to know what to do and what not to do.

Right now you guys at the forum are my only canadian friens. I have a couple of friends but in vancouver and thats different.
Is there any particular pieces of cloth that i should consider better for the winter? i dont know what materials are warmer. I mean when i lived in up north barcelona the coldest i had was -8C and i have a long parka winter coat, a small hat and with boots that have rubber on the bottom and hair on the inside was more than enough.
any comments on the winter special gear?
thanks!
 
DurkaDurka
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by ChiliagonView Post

really??

maybe another 600 KM's up North from Edmonton or so..

but Edmonton is very developed.

You are interpreting what I said a little too literally. I have been to Edmonton....
Last edited by DurkaDurka; Sep 9th, 2010 at 10:55 AM..Reason: typo
 
JLM
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by ChiliagonView Post

damn.. why can't I add info without it going all screwy?

Who in their right mind is going to read through all that? The guy wants a "snap shot".
 
Chiliagon
#28
well honestly, you don't need ski pants!

that's a bit much.

just wear a good warm coat with gloves and a hat/toque. and you'll be fine.

it's easier to over dress than under dress cause you can always take it off but you can't add it on once you're on the road.

Ski pants are for when you're going skiing and for kids who go out to play in the snow all day.
 
atfa
#29
my boyfriend already told me it was cold, but seeing it on the weather channel its never the same as some personal experience comments and living it personally.

Quote:

If you have kids.... teach them ahead of time so the kids at school don't, that YES, your tongue will freeze to metal in the winter. It's a very painful thing to be the kid frozen to the playground equipment.

Quote:

Indeed.... if you want a quick example of what moisture can do in the cold, go to your freezer, wet your finger and touch an ice cube....

I dont have any kids yet, but we are planning on starting a family once we are settled down there. good to know about the metal thing.
On the car part...winter tires and chains?
i think i get the basic idea and its bearable if you take care, probably by the second winter i'll be used to it right?
thanks!!
 
mt_pockets1000
#30
Layering your clothing is the best way to combat the cold. Start with a tee shirt, add a warm long sleeve shirt, add a fleece vest or hoodie and finish it off with long downfilled winter coat. If it warms up during the day you can take off the coat and still be comfortable. You should also consider long underwear to protect your legs. Finish off the ensemble with a pair of warm boots (because if your feet are cold your whole body is cold) and you're ready to take on winter with a smile.
 

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