After a warm and sunny Easter long weekend of t-shirt temperatures, or at the very most, sweater weather, it was looking like winter might be gone for good in 2021. Even local stores were preparing their spring merchandise for any who would consider growing a garden in this ever-changing and unpredictable climate. As of Saturday, April 10th, many families were out making use of local parks and cycling paths to get out and get active in the beautiful early summer conditions. Anybody who neglected to keep up to date with the local weather forecast would be in for a doozy of a surprise the following day when they found out that Mother Nature had some drastically different plans.
The violent return of winter weather conditions started with a heavy and wet snowfall on Sunday, April 11. The snow was accompanied by rain in the afternoon and fairly mild temperatures considering the amount of white stuff that blanketed the city. Snow continued throughout to Tuesday and by the time it stopped, more than a foot of wet, heavy snow was estimated to have fallen, with banks adding up to several feet deep in some places.
The storm resulted in dangerous driving conditions with most of Highway 1 between Whitewood and Balgonie closed from Monday at around midnight until Wednesday morning. Travel was also not recommended on many other highways throughout the area including Highway 47 between Melville and Grenfell.Road conditions caused the cancellation of most school buses throughout the Good Spirit School Division, both in the city and other GSSD communities. While highways re-opened on Wednesday morning, travel was still not being recommended due to icy conditions.
City of Melville crews began clearing some of the city’s streets and sidewalks on Tuesday and were still removing piles of snow on Wednesday. Residents across the city also took to their driveways and sidewalks, shovels in hand, to try to keep on top of the spring snowfall, some even chipping in to help their neighbours, many of whom are seniors.
While it is very possible that this may be the winter’s last hurrah of the season, it seems to want to go out with a bang.