EDITORIAL – Is the weather this winter going to be the new normal?

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.


Here it is January, always the coldest month of the year, and we’ve been having temperatures either barely below zero or a few degrees above.

That might seem like good news for everybody but skiers but it comes with a  frustrating and dangerous rotation of rain and snow. The snow melts to slush, freezes, receives a coating of rain, and the cycle begins all over again.

In town, where crews keep everything under control, streets remain, for the most part, clear and dry but in rural areas it’s a nightmare. Roads, driveways and yards are frozen rinks of treacherous ice.

On major highways, crashes accumulate day by day.

It is, in short, the worst possible kind of weather. If you were born yesterday, it might seem normal but if you’ve been around awhile you know that things are changing, and changing rapidly.

The phenomenon of freezing rain in the middle of winter is new, making its appearance only in the past few years. It is, of course, no coincidence. Our climate is in transition.

It’s as if our weather this winter is a wake-up call, confirmation that something’s going on and we’d better pay attention.

Deniers will, no doubt, pooh-pooh the whole thing and insist it’s all just normal, a blip in the grant scheme of things. And that’s exactly the kind of attitude that will guarantee it keeps on happening.

No doubt, we’ll have a cold spell or two before this winter is done, and we’ll all be complaining about minus 20 temperatures but that should be cold comfort, if you’ll excuse the pun.

For anyone who still has doubts that our climate is changing big-time, just look out the window.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8040 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on EDITORIAL – Is the weather this winter going to be the new normal?

  1. 4 feet of snow( Cent.? ) up East Lake just out of Barriere. The older folks in the area say they’ve never seen this much before.

  2. Bob Boonstra // January 6, 2020 at 5:44 PM // Reply


  3. John Noakes // January 6, 2020 at 8:26 AM // Reply

    It’s hard to imagine that the Great Lakes were carved by an enormous glacial ice mass. A visit to SW Ontario will enlighten folks as to why downhill skiing is not a major past time there (except in Collingwood perhaps).

    A visit to some parts of Alberta would be educational in that fossils of (what appears to be) sub tropical plant life exist with fossils of the huge reptiles that once lived there. Apparently, the deposits of crude oil (bitumen) in Alberta are remnants of the subtropical plant life.

    The last Wooly Mammoths in the Northern Hemisphere died some 3,600 years ago.

    In the mid 1700’s came the Industrial Revolution and man’s relentless pollution of our planet.

    Wildfires are burning up large areas of land in Australia and marine life in our oceans is dying from plastics.

    Tie some of these things together and maybe I won’t have as many questions about climate change.

    • Really John? Have you read anything yet from reputable scientific sources regarding climate change? Look up the graphs showing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere as a start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: