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Stormhunter: finding winter in the Arctic

Lyndsay Morrison

February 17, 2012 — Where's winter? Stormhunter Mark Robinson has been searching for it across Canada. This week, he said he found it.

Capturing the Aurora Borealis
Capturing the Aurora Borealis

He tackled Nor'easters in Atlantic Canada and snowsqualls in Ontario. He went dogsledding in the Prairies and investigated avalanches in British Columbia. 

Still, it took an 8,000 km road trip for Stormhunter Mark Robinson to truly find winter. Turns out, he found it in the north. The far, far north. 

"We made it to the Arctic Circle!" Robinson exclaimed to The Weather Network on Thursday. "This is winter. We definitely got winter."

Robinson and his Stormhunting partner, George Kourounis, haven't been in northern Canada long, but they have already seen some of the area's most amazing sights. A personal favourite for them was the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. 

"Seeing the Aurora Borealis was absolutely one of the most incredible things I've ever seen," recalls Robinson. "They went crazy that night. They were dancing and moving with green and purple colours. I was just standing there with my jaw on the floor, watching the unbelievable display."

Another highlight for Robinson and Kourounis on their Stormhunting adventure to the north has been driving along the Dempster Highway from Dawson City to Tuktoyaktuk. 

"I'm not sure what I was expecting on the Dempster Highway. but we've had incredible views of the mountains and snow whipping across roads. It's one of the most beautiful places I've seen, and I've seen a lot of Canada now."

Mark Robinson and George Kourounis arrive at the Arctic Circle
Mark Robinson and George Kourounis arrive at the Arctic Circle

The Weather Network's Stormhunter began his 'search for winter' back in January. While Robinson and Kourounis encountered some snowy weather in the eastern half of the country, they were surprised at what they saw, and felt, in the west. 

"What were hoping for as we came across the country was to get a good taste of the Canadian winter," says Robinson. "I came out to the Prairies imagining it would be nasty cold, only to find pretty much T-shirt weather!"

They continued their journey into the Rocky Mountains before heading to northern Canada. Still, that part of the road trip has had its challenges as well. 

"We made it to the Arctic Circle, and then got turned around," laughs Robinson. "They closed the highway and we could not see a thing. It was a white on white blizzard."

Despite finding a severe lack of winter in some parts of Canada this year, Robinson says people will enjoy the next few installations of 'Stormhunters.'

"We're talking adventures with ice roads, dogsledding and some of the coldest temperatures on earth," he says. "I finally found winter! The roads closing, the temperatures dropping, the winds blowing and the snow flying? Yes, this is winter."

Be sure to tune into The Weather Network on TV to catch the Storm Hunter's search for winter. The program will begin airing on Friday, February 24 at 8:33 am ET.

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