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Canada's Wildest Winter Storms

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

The Weather Network takes a compelling look back at some of the biggest winter storms that have devastated regions across the country.

Ice storm of 1998 deemed to be one of the worst in Canadian history
Ice storm of 1998 deemed to be one of the worst in Canadian history

Canada is known for its winter storms and the impact they can have on a community.

Starting on January 26 at 8:30 am EST, Canada's Wildest Winter Storms will air on The Weather Network on TV. It's an in depth look at some of the biggest and most powerful storms to hit the country.

“I'm astonished of the amount of damage and in turn the environmental and human toll these powerful storms have on communities and entire regions of the country,” says Jim Bamboulis, producer of this heart-thumping feature. “In general, as Canadians, we stand up to snow and know how to deal with it, but sometimes they are unexpectedly too powerful and have the ability to debilitate. The most refreshing thing I learned was Canadians' ability to jump to action when a neighbour needs help.”

After spending countless hours researching Canada's wildest winters, Bamboulis says the ice storm of 1998 stands out to him the most.

“As many as 35 people died, millions were left without power, $2 billion in damages. To see roads turn into rinks and field upon field with crumpled and collapsed electrical pylons and wooden utility poles was surreal. It says a lot when over 15,000 troops are deployed.”

Bryn Jones, a meteorologist at The Weather Network says he couldn't agree more.

“The ice storm for sure in terms of monetary and human impacts simply due to the nature of the storm and the high density population area. Then, there was White Juan, but I can’t think that the impact was as high in those terms due to the sparser population involved”.

Winter storms can have a dangerous impact on communities
Winter storms can have a dangerous impact on communities

Significant winter storms like this leave a lasting impact on communities. We asked the question, “can weather history repeat itself?”

According to Weather Network meteorologist Chris Scott, the short answer is “no.”

“There is an expression that 'history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.' Weather patterns can be thought of in the same way. A given storm or winter will never be exactly like a previous one, but there are often many similarities.”

Scott adds that pattern recognition is a big part of meteorological analysis and meteorologists look at history as a guideline for what a given winter or weather pattern/storm may bring.

“However, the atmosphere is incredibly complex, chaotic and non-linear. Meteorology dwells in the land of probabilities,” explains Scott.

No matter the probabilities though, it's safe to say that Canadians are extremely passionate about weather. Canada's Wildest Winter Storms is a feature you won't want to miss.

“It will explore the devastation left behind, but also the resiliency of entire communities to bounce back and prepare for ever changing weather conditions and types of storms. Everyone across the country remembers how certain storms affected them and we encourage viewers to share their stories and memories of the storms in question,” says Bamboulis.

The half-hour program is hosted by Chris St. Clair and will air January 26-28 on The Weather Network on TV. Check out the full schedule here.

You can also join Chris St. Clair for a LIVE Twitter chat about the show on Friday, January 27 from 6-7 pm EST.

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