Orillia's Fall Weather

Scrolling through the weather reports for this coming weekend, beginning with Friday we have
3 predictions of "mainly sunny", one of mostly cloudy, and then there is AccuWeather - undecided with a prediction of some sun and some clouds.

Temperature predictions run between 10C and 16C. That might not seem like that much, but given that it's in celsius, it's more than you might think. 10C = 50F (ish), while 16C = 60F and for the sun and heat lovers, a difference of 10F is a fair bit.


Weather reports from 5 different sources for Oct. 4 2018.
Screenshots: report sources

Yeah, I tend to grumble a lot about the weather. I don't like the cold, and long periods of cloud/overcast and rain drag me into the dumps.

What I find so annoying is the disparity in reports. While some are pretty close, others seem rather distant from each other, making it hard to settle on one weather site. And even when you do settle on one, lately, the day-to-day reports change so drastically it's hard to know what to actually believe - and yeah, I do know ... believe it when you see it. But sometimes the success of planned events will depend on weather.

Bass Lake Provincial park beach dressed in Autumn colours - taken on Thansgiving Day.
Thanksgiving Day, Bass Lake Provincial Park
Yesterday (in the afternoon, Oct. 3) I went to check out the weather reports for the coming weekend. I was hoping for something better than rain, cool weather, drizzle and predictions of thunder storms (which seems to be our constant forecast since mid-September). I'll be honest and say I don't remember which weather site came up first, but it wasn't the one I have bookmarked on my homepage.

It reported the sort of glorious fall weather reports that we usually get in mid to late September - sunshine, temps around 70-72 throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, and on into next Tuesday, and I'm like ... YAY!!!!  Finally. Then I came back down to earth ... and double checked the location on the page, just in case, and yes, it was set to Orillia, Ontario.  So then, there I am, I'm doing my happy dance.

Trick or treaters on Halloween 2010 dressed as a bride, a doll and a scary character.
Halloween 2010
Checked it again this morning and now ... misery. It feels like the weather reports are considerably less accurate and more prone to change than usual this fall. I know weather is changeable, and reports aren't always "right on the money", nor can they be, but they just seem a lot further away than they have been in the past.

Orillia usually has a fairly decent fall season from late September to October - sometimes as late as Hallowee'n. So far, this year feels like it's way off normal. We have had years where early October saw snowfall, but most years we have warm-ish days with sunshine, beautiful intense colours on the trees and and cooler evenings and nights.

What I did find was the video on this page (weather network) which might explain both the rotten weather, and the inability to predict what the days are going to be like. Except, it notes that southern Ontario should probably be seeing some unseasonably warm temperatures. We aren't exactly southern Ontario, but we aren't far off it, so ... hey, please send a little of that extra heat our way.

A late fall day in Westridge Park Orillia showing the trees in yellow, and autumn colours covering the ground.
Fall - Westridge Park, Orillia
We are sill waiting for Indian Summer. I thought about that phrase as I was writing it, wondering how not politically correct it might be. I've heard that phrase used for a warm fall period all my life (I'm nearly 63) and never thought much about it, except as a description for weather. I decided to look it up - it was in use in the UK as well (though they also use the term St.Luke's Summer, or St. Martin's Summer - see the phrases UK website here); and in the US, as well as Canada. The wikipedia.org site indicates the earliest use of the phrase in reference to weather was found in an essay written in 1770 in the United States. Who knew? 

The Farmer's Almanac says that most people's use of the phrase is wrong - because Indian Summer weather isn't just warm sunny days, but those days should also have a smoky, hazy atmosphere.

They also note the weather should fall between St. Martin's day (Nov. 11th - I didn't have a clue about that day) and Nov. 20th. If you have an interest in origin of phrases, the Farmer's Almanac page has some interesting reading with respect to Indian summer.

Several of the look-ups I did made reference to the reason the term was coined - in the US, possibly because it was when the American Indian would hunt to put food aside for winter, while the FA has another possible reason, other's say it relates to a "late flowering", while some made references that weren't quite as nice.

I guess that's my history lesson for today.  Happy Autumn, Orillia (and visitors).

Painting of Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia in the fall, showing part of the Port, the picnic pavilion, the boardwalk and park area.
Couchiching Beach Park



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