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Remembrance Day ceremonies challenged by weather

Hundreds of veterans will take part in outdoor Remembrance Day ceremonies this week
Hundreds of veterans will take part in outdoor Remembrance Day ceremonies this week

Lyndsay Morrison

November 11, 2011 — On November 11, thousands of Canadians will head outdoors for Remembrance Day ceremonies. How does the weather play a role?

The weather can be unpredictable in November
The weather can be unpredictable in November

It's the time of year when just about any type of weather can be seen across Canada. That, in turn, can make it a tricky week for forecasters and organizers of outdoor Remembrance Day ceremonies.

“In November, we are fully entrenched in the Fall season, and this is a transition time,” says Patrick Cool, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. “As a result, we get cold arctic air sinking south, we get snow and freezing rain, but we also get stretches of dry, sunny weather.”

The Royal Canadian Legion knows that the weather can play a big role when it comes to outdoor Remembrance Day ceremonies. Peter Groeger is the Membership Chairman of the Oakville Legion Branch 114. He says the forecast on November 11 is an important one.

“The weather can have an impact on our attendance numbers at outdoor ceremonies, and it can also have an impact on our veterans,” Groeger told The Weather Network. “However, no weather would stop a Remembrance Day ceremony from taking place.”

Groeger says he has seen just about every kind of weather on Remembrance Day, from snowstorms and rainstorms to bright sunny skies. He says rough conditions can be challenging for veterans.

Veterans bundle up at a cool ceremony in Vancouver
Veterans bundle up at a cool ceremony in Vancouver

“Oh yes, the weather can make it difficult for them. Especially those that can't get around as easily,” says Groeger. “But they know the weather beforehand and they dress accordingly. That's the good part - they're only out there for about an hour.”

The Remembrance Day service in Goderich, Ontario will proceed Friday despite destruction from a deadly F3 tornado that tore through in August. Much of the Courthouse Park is taken up with portable court buildings, but event organizers say the east end of the park is still available for the Soldier's Memorial.

If you are heading to an outdoor ceremonies on Friday morning, be sure to check your local forecast.

“It looks like the most active part of the country will be Atlantic Canada,” says meteorologist Dayna Vettese. “It will be wet and windy on Friday, but temperatures should remain relatively mild.”

In fact, Vettese is expecting relatively seasonal temperatures across much of the country. There will, however, be pockets of active weather.

“Watch out for breezy conditions and a risk of mixing in central parts of Ontario,” she says. “We could also see light flurries across the Prairies, and on-and-off showers on the coast of BC.”

With files from Andrea Stockton

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