Monthly Archives: December 2016

Not Much Snow Or Cold

Statements

POSTED: 10:43 AM EST Friday 23 December 2016
Special weather statement in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

Not much snow or cold weather in the Christmas stocking for this year. Stormy and very mild on Boxing Day.

Mother Nature seems to be at odds with Santa and Old Man Winter this holiday season, as generally mild air is expected to prevail for most regions over the holidays.

For travellers over the coming days, two main weather systems are expected. The first is tonight into early Saturday when a fairly moist disturbance from southern California will race towards Southern Ontario. A few hours of snow will likely leave a blanket of fresh snow for many parts of Southern Ontario by Saturday morning, with 5 to possibly 10 centimetres over the higher terrain of the Dundalk Highlands, and less elsewhere. It should help whiten the Christmas landscape for jolly Old Saint Nick and his furry travelling companions on Christmas Eve.

While Christmas Day will be quiet weather-wise, a Colorado storm is forecast to head towards Northern Ontario for Boxing Day. This will bring rain and near record mild temperatures Monday. It will likely start as some freezing rain for areas well north of Lake Ontario into Central Ontario as well as Eastern Ontario. Freezing rain warnings may be required as the event approaches.

On behalf of the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre, have a safe and happy holiday.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ec.cpio-tempetes-ospc-storms.ec@canada.ca or tweet reports to #ONStorm.

Flu Activity In Niagara Region

(Source: Niagara Region public health)

The Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can be a serious illness for some people.

Niagara Region monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses on an on-going basis. During the months of October to May, activity will be reported.

Only laboratory confirmed cases are reported. Most people infected with influenza do not get laboratory testing and so actual infection numbers are likely much higher.

Weekly Flu Activity (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B Total
December 19 – December 23 55 1 56

Totals include lab confirmed cases in the community and cases associated with outbreaks in health care facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Total Cases by Municipality
Municipality Influenza A Influenza B Total Five Year Average
Fort Erie 3 0 3 12
Grimsby 5 0 5 21
Lincoln 1 0 1 19
Niagara Falls 6 0 6 29
Niagara-on-the-Lake 3 0 3 19
Pelham 5 0 5 5
Port Colborne 4 0 4 11
St. Catharines 21 1 22 62
Thorold 2 0 2 10
Wainfleet 0 0 0 2
Welland 3 0 3 27
West Lincoln 2 0 2 13
Total 55

Christmas Week Forecast: A Mixed Bag Ahead

rob

Meteorologist and “Welland boy” Rob Paola. (Supplied photo)

Editor’s Note: I asked former Wellander Rob Paola, a meteorologist, for a Christmas week forecast for his hometown, which he was more than glad to do, as he did last December when first approached.

He has been a meteorologist with Environment Canada for over 30 years.

Rob became interested in meteorology as a teenager in Welland, the catalyst being the great Blizzard of ’77 that paralyzed southern Niagara and western New York back in January 1977.

He wrote: “That blizzard was something our region had never experienced before (to that extreme) and it impressed upon me how powerful a force Mother Nature could be, and how mankind was no match for Mother Nature at her worst. That storm, more than any other, triggered my lifelong interest in weather, especially with trying to forecast and experience its extremes.  ”

 A Forecast for Welland, By Rob Paola

 Looking at the weather this week for Welland/Niagara area:

Looks like temperatures will be seasonal this week, with average highs just above freezing and lows around -5C or so. Could see an occasional dusting of snow or sprinkle this week, but overall no major storms expected over the next few days (although it will be windy for Tuesday). That means the snow you have on the ground should stick around for the rest of the week, although it looks like there’s going to be a significant warming trend for the Christmas holiday weekend (Dec 24-Dec 26)

Depending on how fast you warm up, you may lose a lot of your snow cover by Christmas morning, although I think there’ll still be some around to make it look at least a little like Christmas (much more than last year’s totally green Christmas after a high of +16C on Dec 24th)

The warmup really kicks in on Boxing Day when Welland/Niagara could be looking at highs of +10 – +13C, springlike conditions along with gusty winds and some rainshowers likely. That would eat up most of the snowpack, and put a damper on any plans for tobogganing or outdoor ice skating.

That’s how it looks for now… hope you enjoy the holidays no matter what the weather brings!

Light Freezing Rain Possible In Area

First Avenue near Woodlawn, looking north around 7.30am today. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

First Avenue near Woodlawn, looking north around 7.30am today. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)

Statements

POSTED: 5:03 AM EST Saturday 17 December 2016
Special weather statement in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

The snowfall is gradually winding down this morning.

A Colorado low continues to trek towards Southern Ontario. Snow continues to affect the district early this morning but should become patchier and lighter during the morning hours. There may some light freezing rain later this morning into the afternoon as well, followed by some rain for regions closer to Lake Erie. Total snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 centimetres are likely before the mixed precipitation begins.

The precipitation will change back to a little snow or freezing rain tonight or early Sunday, as cold arctic air returns in the wake of the low. A couple more centimetres of snow are possible by Sunday morning.

Poor winter driving conditions are expected to continue especially this morning. Motorists should adjust their travel plans accordingly and allow extra time to reach their destination.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ec.cpio-tempetes-ospc-storms.ec@canada.ca or tweet reports to #ONStorm.

Wanted: Social Justice Writer

From A Reporter’s Notebook is looking for a Welland-based writer with interest in hot-button social issues.

Once or twice monthly, you will provide a feature story for publication on the blog, having to do with: hunger, homelessness, the working poor, food banks, unemployment, struggles for economic justice, refugees/migration and more.

You must be passionate about social justice and charity, so much so that you are willing to work without financial remuneration. Your work will be recognized on the blog with your published byline, credits for photos that appear with your copy, and a prominent head and shoulder type photo that will enhance your public profile in the community.

Your work will consist of assigned stories, photo essays and from time to time your own personal enterprise.

If you think you have it what it takes help make social justice a front-burner issue in the local community, it’s time to hear from you.

Please provide a brief resume with a focus on why social issues and social justice are important to you, details on prior or current experience as a writer and/or activist and what you think can/will be accomplished by shining a spotlight on these issues.

Please respond by email to: fromareportersnotebook@gmail.com

Deadline for application is Saturday, December 17, 2016. Projected start-up is early-January, 2017.

THE WEEK AHEAD: Meetings In Welland

Meeting Calendar

Meetings are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Information is obtained from the applicable agency, board, committee, or commission and downloaded to this calendar as it becomes available. Information is subject to change. Please check back often for the most up-to-date information, including cancellations.

December
20
Council Meeting in Committee-of-the-Whole In-camera (Closed to the Public),  ≫

5:35 PM Tuesday Dec. 20  2016 – in the Council Ante Room, to discuss the following:

  • Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees.
    – Committee Appointments for the Property Standards Committee/Dog Control Appeal Committee.
  • Proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land by the municipality or local board.
    – Youngs Sportsplex update.
    – Tax sale update.
  • Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.
    – Legal update.
    – City Insurance Renewal.

20
Council Meeting, in Open Session,  ≫

7:00 PM Tuesday Dec. 20  2016 – in the Council Chambers.


21
Accessibility Advisory Committee Meeting  ≫

3:00 PM Wednesday Dec. 21  2016 –
LOCATION: Welland Community Wellness Complex, 145 Lincoln Street.

Flu Activity In Niagara Region

(Source: Niagara Region public health)

The Flu (Influenza) is a highly contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by the influenza virus. It can be a serious illness for some people.

Niagara Region monitors the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses on an on-going basis. During the months of October to May, activity will be reported.

Only laboratory confirmed cases are reported. Most people infected with influenza do not get laboratory testing and so actual infection numbers are likely much higher.

Weekly Flu Activity (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B Total
December 12 – December 16 30 1 31

Totals include lab confirmed cases in the community and cases associated with outbreaks in health care facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Total Cases by Municipality
Municipality Influenza A Influenza B Total Five Year Average
Fort Erie 3 0 3 12
Grimsby 4 0 4 21
Lincoln 1 0 1 19
Niagara Falls 2 0 2 29
Niagara-on-the-Lake 3 0 3 19
Pelham 3 0 3 5
Port Colborne 2 0 2 11
St. Catharines 6 1 7 62
Thorold 2 0 2 10
Wainfleet 0 0 0 2
Welland 2 0 2 27
West Lincoln 2 0 2 13
Total 30 1 31 230

 

Institutional Outbreaks (Updated Each Friday)
Week of Influenza A Influenza B
December 12 – December 16

City Shorts, Try ’em On For Size

dsc_1345-2

CITY SHORTS ART: If the forecast holds true, more of this could be on the way later today and into tomorrow! (File photo)

Compilation by Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large

city-shorts

City Shorts

City Shorts is a compilation, from various sources (government websites, news announcements, press releases, church bulletins, advertisements, community service information and events, bulletin boards, requests, telephone requests, web postings, email requests etc.) of short items (in most cases) about matters of local interest in Welland. Want to submit an item for consideration? Please send to: joe0606barko@gmail.com

CHRISTMAS AT THE MARKET

proxyWELLAND – Purchase all your holiday needs at the Welland Farmers’ Market. Come and enjoy holiday crafts, face painting, colouring and winter activities. Get your picture taken with Santa. Christmas carolers for all to enjoy!

When: Saturday, December 17;Time: 9am to 11am; Location: Welland Farmers’ Market, 70 Young Street; Tickets: This is a free event; More Information: 905-735-1700 Ext. 4000 or recreation@welland.ca

MIDNIGHT MASS AT THE CATHEDRAL

ST. CATHARINES – This year’s will be the 84th annual broadcast of Midnight Mass from the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catharines, and the broadcast is over Newstalk 610 CKTB. Christmas music will be by the Cathedral choir under the direction of Lucas Chorosinski, beginning at 11:30 p.m.

CITY OF WELLAND HOLIDAY HOURS

WELLAND –All City Hall Departments will be closed from Monday, December 26, 2016, to Monday, January 2, 2017, inclusive, and will re-open on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. For a comprehensive list, visit: https://www.welland.ca/HotTopics/HolidayHours.asp

HOLIDAY HOURS AT LIBRARY

WELLAND – Yule holiday hours for the Welland Public Library Main Branch are as follows:

Saturday, December 24th: OPEN 9 am – 12:30 pm Sunday, December 25th: CLOSED Monday, December 26th: CLOSED Tuesday, December 27th: CLOSED

December 28th-29th: OPEN 9 pm – 9 pm December 30th: OPEN 9 am – 6 pm

Saturday, December 31st: OPEN 9 am – 12:30 pm Sunday, January 1st: CLOSED Monday, January 2nd: CLOSED

Regular hours resume on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

The Diamond Trail Branch will be CLOSED from Friday, December 23rd to Tuesday, December 27th and also from Friday, December 30th to Monday, January 2nd.  The Branch will be OPEN from 3:30 pm – 8 pm on Wednesday, December 28th and Thursday, December 29th.

SOUP’S ON! NEARING A SELLOUT!

dsc_0619WELLAND –Soup’s On! tickets are hot, hot hot! The 15th annual fundraiser is being held Friday, January 27, 2017 at St. Kevin parish hall.

Participants include Niagara College’s Canadian Food and Wine

Institute, Blessed Trinity, Eastdale, Confederation, Lakeshore Catholic and Notre Dame soup prep teams and Stephanie the Lunch Lady.

Tickets are on sale now! They are going quickly! Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, or you may be too late!

Tickets are available from the parish office Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and before and after weekend Masses. Ticket price is $10 per person. Eight soups are on the menu.

SHARE HOLIDAY SPIRIT AT THE LIBRARY

WELLANDIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! Library staff have been decorating for the holidays. Come visit at the library to share in the holiday spirit.

FREE eBOOKS, eAUDIOBOOKS

WELLAND – Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks from the library? Use your library card to access Overdrive to discover thousands of eBooks. You can also download the Overdrive app to read on your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet!

COLLEGE’S HOLIDAY HOURS

WELLAND – Niagara College wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

The campuses will be closed on Dec. 23 at 4:30 p.m. and will remain closed until Jan. 2, 2017 at which time normal hours of operation resume.

Some services may be operating on modified hours leading up to the holiday closure and early in the new year. Here is a list of operating hours for our services and enterprises over the holidays.

Transit:

Reduced transit schedules will be in effect for the holiday season. Visit http://ncsac.ca/reduced-transit-schedules/

NC Libraries:

Evening hours for the NC Libraries will end on Dec. 15. The Libraries will be open:

Dec. 19 to 22: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dec. 23: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 2 to Jan. 6: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jan. 9: Regular hours resume

Jan. 14: Weekend hours resume

Visit http://nclibraries.niagaracollege.ca/library.

NC Bookstores:

At Welland and NOTL campuses:

Dec. 23: Close at 2 p.m.

Dec. 24 to Dec. 31: Closed

Jan. 1 to Jan. 2: Closed

Jan. 3 to Jan. 6: Regular business hours resume, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Athletics and Recreation:

A modified holiday schedule will be in effect from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8 at the Welland and NOTL Campus.

Dec. 17 to Dec. 18: Closed

Dec. 19 to Dec. 22: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Dec. 23 to Jan. 1: Closed

Jan. 2 to Jan. 6: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 7 to Jan. 8: Closed

 

 

 

 

 

‘Significant Snowfall’ Headed Our Way

Statements

POSTED: 5:19 AM EST Friday 16 December 2016
Special weather statement in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

Another significant snowfall on the way tonight into Saturday.

A Colorado low is expected to trek towards Southern Ontario tonight, with snow spreading across much of the region this evening. Snow will continue overnight into Saturday morning. Snowfall amounts of 5 to 10 centimetres are likely with a few locales receiving in excess of 10 cm. The snow is forecast to change to rain on Saturday as mild air pays a brief visit. The rain will then change back to some snow Saturday night as colder air returns in the wake of the low, with perhaps a couple more centimetres of snow possible.

This snow is expected to cause deteriorating winter travel conditions Friday night and Saturday.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ec.cpio-tempetes-ospc-storms.ec@canada.ca or tweet reports to #ONStorm.

‘Significant Precipitation’ Ahead

Statements

ISSUED: 4:07 AM EST Thursday 15 December 2016
Special weather statement in effect for:

  • Niagara Falls – Welland – Southern Niagara Region
  • St. Catharines – Grimsby – Northern Niagara Region

Significant precipitation Friday night and Saturday across all of Southern Ontario.

A large system from the southwestern United States will spread snow across Southern Ontario Friday night. Some guidance suggests that the snow may mix with or change to rain over portions of Southwestern Ontario and the Golden Horseshoe later Saturday while other models indicate that snow could continue into Saturday night. This will be determined by the eventual track of the low.

Poor travel conditions are expected to develop from west to east across Southern Ontario Friday evening into Saturday.

Drier weather is expected in most places Sunday with the exception of areas to the southeast of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay where snow squalls may develop.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to ec.cpio-tempetes-ospc-storms.ec@canada.ca or tweet reports to #ONStorm.