Experiencing a Canadian winter for the first time can be a worrisome experience for people new to Canada, especially if you are coming from a climate where most of the year it is sunny and warm.
What do you need to know about winter?
December 21 is the shortest day in the year. After that, daylight hours increase and days begin to be brighter. To get information on winter conditions check the radio, TV, newspapers or websites. Most people listen to radio in the morning for road conditions and school cancellations.
The temperature in Nova Scotia can vary a lot during our winter months. By mid-December, the temperatures drop more frequently to 0 c or below. Snow flurries usually melt right away. From early January the weather is usually very cold and snow stays on the ground. Temperatures vary from +2 to -15c. It is important to consider the wind chill factor: the cold we feel when strong winds combine with freezing temperatures. The wind chill temperature is a good indicator of what you should wear to protect yourself from the cold.
How does the cold weather affect your body?
Everyone reacts differently to cold temperatures. It is very important to dress properly to avoid loss of body heat. The best way to dress is to use several layers of loose clothing instead of one heavy layer. This way air is trapped between each loose layer of clothing and provides extra insulation. Good winter boots, with a tread that grips the snow or ice, will help to prevent you from falling and possibly fracturing a bone.
How can you keep active in winter?
During the winter, it’s important to keep active – to release that locked up feeling we experience from spending most of our time indoors. Activity also creates body heat to keep you feeling warmer. There are many activities that you can get involved in during the winter months. Outdoors, you can play hockey, go skating, skiing, hiking, bird watching, jogging, tobogganing, make snowmen. Point Pleasant Park is a favorite spot for a lot of people to walk in winter. One of the wonders of winter in Nova Scotia is it offers much beauty to the eye.
Winter is a challenge for all of us. The key to successfully managing winter is to be prepared and think positively!