All aboard the Pineapple Express to Vancouver
They call it the Pineapple Express. It’s an unwelcome warm weather system which drags moist, warm air from the ocean near Hawaii, all the way north to the Pacific coast of Oregon, Washington State and southern British Columbia.
And wouldn’t you know it, right now there’s a massive Pineapple Express lashing Vancouver, host city of the 2010 Winter Olympics which start on Feb 13.
Usually, Pineapple Expresses last a few days. But this one has been around for five weeks, and shows no signs of abating.
That’s great news for global warming activists. Not so good for Winter Olympic organisers VANOC, who have commandeered every available truck, helicopter and moose to dump snow on Olympic venue Cypress Mountain.
Choosing Cypress as the snowboarding and freestyle skiing venue was always a massive roll of the dice for VANOC.
In their dream scenario, millions of viewers would be turned on by the twinkling lights of the city and harbour below the snowy hill, which rises steeply above Vancouver’s north shore.
Their nightmares would have consisted of pretty much exactly what’s happening now, and questions are rightly being asked why VANOC didn’t bank on the reliable snow of alpine skiing venue Whistler, 90 minutes up the highway.
By the way, Australia’s big medal hopes Lydia Lassila (aerial skiing), Dale Begg-Smith (moguls) and Torah Bright (snowboard half pipe) will all compete at Cypress. At least the gloopy snow will remind them of home.
That is, if their events actually happen. Publicly, VANOC is saying don’t panic everything’s under control. We have chemical snow stabilising agents! And we have hay bales! Loads and loads of hay bales!
Truth is, fashioning ski or snowboard courses out of rain-soaked snow is like trying to make a stable sand castle in the saturated sand at the water’s edge. Degree of difficulty: very, very high.
By the way, if you don’t give a toss about the Winter Olympics, I urge you to tune in next week when I compile a list of 10 reasons why the Winter games are worth watching.
Meantime, the weather vs VANOC is providing an intriguing prelude to the main event. I’ve been following the weather’s progress at this website.
As I write this piece, it’s currently 13 degrees in downtown Vancouver. You can almost smell those pineapples.
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