The weekend may have brought a reprieve from frigid temperatures, but it also brought a fresh snowfall.
Thunder Bay residents were left shovelling out the accumulation from the snowstorm that began Friday afternoon and carried into early Saturday morning.
Local climatologist Graham Saunders estimated that between 20 and 25 centimetres fell throughout the city.
The two climate elements have combined to make this one of the harshest winters in quite some time.
“We haven’t actually been able to enjoy winter because we’re either shovelling out or bracing for the cold,” Darlene Borosko said while shovelling her Ryerson Crescent driveway.
“We were starting to get used to tropical winters. We were getting spoiled, and this is just a wake-up call reminding us where we live. This is Northwestern Ontario; it should be like this.”
Much of the past week the city has been hit by a cold Arctic air mass that has set dubious records for daily low temperatures.
Record daily low temperatures were set on Dec. 30, Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 with a recording of a windchill value of - 51C on the morning of New Year’s Eve.
The city received 73.4 centimetres of snow during the month of December
Peter DeBoer was finishing clearing out his James Street driveway early in the afternoon and said that he would take snow over harsh temperatures, but only if it arrives sporadically.
“As long as it doesn’t snow all the time it’s okay,” DeBoer said. “If you have to shovel it every day twice a day then it gets a little bit daunting.”
The Ontario Provincial Police had to make a pair of highway closures as a result of the weather system. Highway 17 near Marathon was briefly closed overnight, and then a section of Highway 11 between Longlac and Hearst was closed for an extended period of time in the afternoon.