CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – UPEI’s Climate Research Lab has released its fourth annual weather trivia calendar.
The 2018 calendar is called “Some Weather We’re Having!” and was available for sale on Dec. 21 at The Bookmark in Charlottetown, Murphy’s Pharmacies in the capital city and from the climate lab itself.
Co-authored by Don Jardine and Adam Fenech, the weather trivia calendar features 365 stories about real local weather events from across the Island over the past 250 years and their impact on the everyday lives of Islanders.
“There are so many stories in there,” said Jardine, climate station manager. “There are some sad ones and some funny ones. This year we have a focus on extreme rainfall events and on storms in the Greenwich area.”
The 2018 edition also features 12 full-colour P.E.I. weather photographs, stories of Prince Edward Island as told by the weather, information about extreme rainfall events and a history of storms in the Greenwich area.
“Because of the nature of the Island and the way that we live, we’re very affected by weather. Sometimes it keeps us at home or away from school, and sometimes it drags us to the beaches because it’s so nice,” said Fenech, director of the lab. “But the weather really controls a lot of what we do and who we are. We say in our calendar, ‘Our weather is our story.’ It’s the stories around the weather that are so intriguing.”
Some examples of the stories in the calendar:
Jan. 9, 1963: Sixteen-year-old Kenneth Blacquiere of Summerside was adrift on an ice pan in the Northumberland Strait with 40 km/h winds and near zero visibility until the early morning. The car ferry, the Abegweit, was called from her Borden berth at 2:16 a.m. with Captain Gideon Kean in control. Captain Kean worked out where he thought the boy could be, based on the tides, and found the boy about 2.5 miles offshore from the Seacow Head Lighthouse.
April 20, 1907: Frank McKenna, who drove the mail between Charlottetown, Pownal, and Cherry Valley, had stopped at Mr. Murphy’s in Southport (Stratford), and left his horse standing outside unfastened. The horse decided to try the river ice back to Charlottetown on his own, having no trouble until about halfway across when he broke through. Mr. McKenna rushed to rescue the horse with a pole and was able to recover some mailbags, but unfortunately the horse was lost in the channel of the Hillsborough River.
Feb. 2, 1936: During snow storms over the previous two weeks, hundreds of pounds of lobsters washed up on the banks of the North Shore and near the North Cape. While the farmers were busy banking the gravel, fishermen were gathering up the lobsters for a mid-winter feed.
June 21, 1899: Five girls were clam digging on the bar off the west end of Summerside during the afternoon low tide. They wandered along the bar until they finally found themselves surrounded by a rising tide. They started to wade ashore and only one, Angie Gallant, succeeded. She waded in many places up to her neck and arrived home at 4:30 pm in a very exhausted condition. The others, girls ranging in age from 7 to 11, tragically lost their lives.
Dec. 3, 2016: A seaweed diet dramatically cut the methane output of cows. A PEI dairy farmer from Seacow Pond, Joe Dorgan, harvested seaweed collected after storms washed it up on the beaches and fed it to his cattle. The seaweed saves food costs and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions (methane) by about 20 per cent versus normal cattle feed. The seaweed diet helps the cattle to be healthier and produce more milk.