I’m sitting here at my computer and the Chinook wind is whistling outside! The soffit on the roof is being peeled back and is blowing across the property to never be seen again. We just spent a tidy sum on fixing our roof from the last wind storm, and looks like we’ll be replacing eavestroughs and soffiting next. *sigh*
We knew that the winds here at the Ponderosa would be brisk at times. We live right in that special corridor close enough to the foothills where the Chinook winds gain their ferocity by skipping over the Rockies towards our homestead.
What are Chinooks, you ask?
Chinook winds – also known as Foehn winds in other parts of the world – are a type of warm, dry wind that occur on the downward slope of a mountain when warm air has lost its moisture.
In Canada, the winds originate from the Pacific Coast. Cool as they blow up the Canadian Rockies, they warm significantly as they drop down the eastern slopes, freeing us from the grip of winter weather and “snow eating” the white stuff in their path.
Source: Weather Network
For the most part, I love Chinooks! The temperature rises significantly, today it’s supposed to be close to 10 degrees Celcius, but the wind wrecks havoc at times. We have a favourite expression here: “If it’s not tied down here, it will blow to Airdrie!” (That’s a town about 45 km. east of us.) That’s where my soffiting is headed now…
Chinooks also have a tendency to cause migraines because of the barometric rise and falls that accompany the weather phenomenon. Although some say that’s just a myth, tell that to my many friends, including myself, who can clock the progress of a Chinook by the headaches we experience before, after, and during the storm. When I was a young mom and ran my own Preschool, I could also tell when a Chinook was on its way by the way my children reacted prior to and right after the winds came and went. I don’t know what it is about Preschoolers but they have a sixth sense when a Chinook is on its way and their moods, tears and energy levels reflect how nasty the winds will be. Another myth? Trust me, it’s no myth!
Chinooks are a constant reminder to me that we have so little control over the weather. I have never experienced a hurricane but these 100 km./hr. Chinook winds do pack a wallop. We have experienced flooding in Calgary during the spring melt in June, and I have witnessed tornadoes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ve had golf-ball sized hail here and we have marveled at the spectacular thunderstorms in summer. These weather events always remind me that we are small and insignificant and powerless to stop what insurance agencies call these “acts of God“.
This term: “act of God” has been around since the 13th century, but now is considered a legal term which describes a natural hazard outside human control, such as an earthquake or tsunami, for which no person can be held responsible. Personally, I’ve never liked the term because we tend to blame God whenever bad things happen to us. That’s not right. Instead, we should be in awe of the power and might of an Almighty God, Who can bend the weather to His Will, and we should praise God for His Provision during the storms of life. (see also this article: “Does God Control the Weather?”)
So, as I say farewell to yet another soffit piece sailing east to Airdrie, I will lift up another prayer to the One Who knows my anxious heart during these Chinooks. The winds may blow but I will not be shaken!