Hailers, deluges, plough winds, back-to-back droughts, weather bombs and megabursts - if you think we've been cursed and getting clobbered a lot harder and a lot more often recently you are not imagining it. It used to be that weather was dependable - summers were hot and humid and winters cold and snowy. More and more people are asking: What's happening to our weather? It's almost as if extreme weather has become the norm. A majority of experts suggest that we may be witnessing the beginning of profound climate change and bad weather may be proof of an overheated, out-of-control planet.
We can no longer assume that yesterday’s weather will apply tomorrow. Coping with more variable and extreme weather will take more ingenuity and adaptability – something Canadians are good at. Whereas, it is generally the same weather, what has changed is the statistics of weather – its frequency, intensity, duration and location. It might still be our grandparent’s weather; however, it is different in character and impacts on people, places and things. Consequently, more communities and agencies need to mainstream extreme weather considerations and more variable climate conditions into their existing public health policies and programs, disaster-risk strategies and emergency preparedness planning.