World of Thermo … Story 5. A Vacation in Canada

Thermo was very deflated after his encounter with Phoon. There appeared to be nothing he could do to avert the disaster along the Gulf Coast from Phoon’s last incarnation, Camille.  Thermo caught up with his friends Fluffy and Puffy and related the whole sad story to them.  Fluffy said, “Why don’t we go very far away from the Gulf Coast way up to the north where we have never been and just do some sightseeing?”

Puffy chimed in, “That’s an excellent idea.  We’ve never been north of Hudson Bay so let’s see what there is to see there.”

Thermo agreed and said, “O.K., I really need to chill, pun intended,” knowing full well how cold it was in northern Canada.

After several non-eventful days, the trio finally got as far north as Hudson Bay, which is a huge area of water in central Canada connected to the Arctic Ocean.  As early as late August, which was the case during Fluffy, Puffy and Thermo’s visit, it can snow in the northern territories north of Hudson Bay.   After crossing the bay, Thermo’s zipper-like thermometer, which ran from his stomach up to his throat, was giving readings well down in the teens.  Fluffy and Puffy, who really couldn’t feel either heat or cold; and thus, weren’t uncomfortable, were delighted at the change of scenery.  Fluffy and Puffy, who normally resided over the Plains during the summer, had never seen snow.

After playfully gliding around over the northern portion of the Hudson Bay, Fluffy noticed something odd happening under Puffy and was alarmed.  She said, “Puffy, there are white flakes of ice falling from beneath you. What is going on?”  Almost at the same time Puffy noticed that flakes were falling from Fluffy.

Thermo had to laugh. He said, “Guys these flakes are called snow. It’s very common for even small clouds like you to produce snow in the arctic, even when the sun is shining in between them.”  Puffy and Fluffy became giddy and delighted over producing the dancing flakes, which glided softly in the air.

Thermo was startled, however, when one of the snow flurries grew rather large and sprouted eyes, a nose and a mouth. The thing looked like a rather large star in the sky. The snow crystal said to Thermo in a fairy-like voice, “My name is Flake, is this my mother and father?” pointing to Fluffy and Puffy.

Thermo said, “Why yes, these two clouds helped make you. My name is Thermo, and they are Fluffy and Puffy.” Puffy and Fluffy were very happy to play with the many “flakes” produced that day. Fluffy and Puffy had never grown large or unstable enough to produce rain where they normally resided in the warmer United States except when teased and cajoled by Wispy.

After a few hours Thermo said, “O.K. folks I’m in a much better mood. Let’s move back towards our normal warmer habitat over the United States.”  Puffy and Fluffy agreed and the trio traveled towards warmer climes after saying goodbye to Flake and his many brothers and sisters.

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In the real world, snow showers or flurries, as they are generally referred to, can fall from cumulus clouds over the Arctic and during the winter over most of the Northern Hemisphere if the atmosphere is unstable enough for precipitation. Typically, temperatures must be below 25 degrees Fahrenheit for flurries to occur from cumulus clouds. I have seen flurries as far south as my home town of Atlanta from cumulus clouds during arctic outbreaks.

The Climate Guy

The text and artwork are copyright Guy Walton.

Artwork is by my friend, Alyssa Josue.

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