There may not be a heck of a lot of snow for Christmas this year, but we’ve filled our shovels with the latest headlines about the fluffy stuff. You just sit by the fire, drink your hot cocoa, and let it snow! Maybe… eventually.
Canada is always blanketed in snow at Christmas, right? Well, as of this writing The Weather Network reports that El Niño will make this the first Christmas on record on which all Canadian capitals from coast to coast might be snowless. Some may get a sprinkling, but according to the National Weather Service, the official definition of a “White Christmas” is one inch of snow on the ground at 7 a.m. on Christmas Day.
The U.S. is faring no better. Meteorologists are predicting the lowest country-wide snowcover on Christmas Day in 20 years—with only 13.2% of the country seeing the white stuff. (2003 held the last record for the least snow cover at 21.2 percent of the country; 2009 had the most with 63 percent.)
El Niño occurs in just a small part of the eastern Pacific, but the climate ramifications are felt throughout the world all winter and spring. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center says there is a 54 percent chance that this season will bring “historically strong” El Niño events, meaning both Canada and the U.S. can expect drier and warmer weather (and less snow!) this winter. Hopefully it’s still cold enough to play hockey, eh?
Snow Pro Reindeer Goggles
As the snowy winter months approach, the eye color of reindeer transitions from a golden-orange color to a rich blue. The purpose of the eyeball color transition has been a long-standing mystery, but thanks to a recently published study we finally have the answer. It turns out the blue version of their eyeballs serves as a type of natural night vision goggles, helping the reindeer to see each other and find food during the dark and snowy Arctic winters through the ocular absorption of ultraviolet light. This function is an important, life-or-death one: Reindeer survive the winters by eating a species of light-colored lichen that is difficult to find amongst snowy landscapes. Dr. Catherine Hobaiter, one of the researchers, explains, “To our eyes, just like for most mammals, pale lichen in the snow is incredibly hard to spot. But to reindeer eyes, the species they need to feed on would stand out in the much more reflective snowy landscape.” Now we know how Rudolph always nails those landings on snow-covered rooftops.
Plowy McPlowface has left the building
Snow or no, it’s name-the-snowplows season. And while we love old chestnuts like Clearopathra, Ctrl-Salt-Delete, and Plow Chicka Plow Plow as much as the next website, as news gatherers, we had to plow through contests across the country in search of extra-zeitgeisty 2023 entries. Here’s what we’ve found so far.
While we’ve seen snowplows called Taylor Drift across the country for a few years now, but in Kansas City they’ve also named one for her new boyfriend (and Chiefs tight end), Travis Kelsleet. Meanwhile North Liberty, Iowa also chose Taylor Drift – just in time for the home release of the Eras tour film – but they also picked a new one for 2023: Snojo Dojo Casa Plow. Ryan Gosling’s Ken would be so proud! As for us, we’d personally like to nominate Buy Myself Plowers, after Miley Cyrus’s 2023 #1 hit song. Where’s our nearest polling place?