As a blast of arctic air envelopes Montreal to start the week, the age-old debate arises. On buses, subways, on radio and in bars and cafes the discussion can be overheard: extreme cold vs. extreme snow. Certainly no one wants both, but given the choice which would you prefer.
Snow is inconvenient and costly; it makes for dangerous driving conditions; it can be harmful if mishandled (i.e. out of shape people – usually men – who decide to shovel a driveway only to suffer a heart attack). On the other hand it can be pretty and fun and, under the right circumstances can provide a cozy sense of comfort.
While you don’t have to clear or remove it, extreme cold provides no lovely vistas; it results in increased heating costs and puts a strain on the electricity grid; it can also create dangerous roads with the formation of black ice, and it reduces people to mummified lumps as they pack on layer upon layer of clothing. But most of all, cold friggin’ HURTS!
Yes indeed, there is nothing quite like the bite of a gust of extremely cold wind in the chops. Like having a nail driven into your forehead (or so I imagine), there is more than inconvenience, there is downright pain.
This morning the temperature in Montreal is -23°C but when you factor in the wind, and believe me you’ll be in for a shock if you don’t, it is -36°C. That’s -9°F and -29°F respectively. The wind is howling at 176 kph or 103 MPH. You just know it has to be Monday!
So from this agent’s vantage point, faced with snow or cold, I’ll take snow thanks.