Manitobans choked by spring's cold grip

It's just not funny anymore. It's -19.5 C in Winnipeg this morning but it feels more like -27 with the windchill.

People searching for relief in Winnipeg greenhouses

Manitobans feel blue over never-ending winter

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

8 years ago
It may be April, but the weather in Manitoba feels anything but spring-like. The CBC's Chris Glover asks people how they're coping with the cold. 1:51

It's just not funny anymore.

It's -19.5 C in Winnipeg this morning but it feels more like -27 with the windchill. The normal temperature for this time of year is a daytime high of 9 C and overnight low of -3 C.

The record low for this date is -21.6 C in 1997.

In Brandon, a new cold record was set overnight Monday into Tuesday when the mercury dropped to -17 C. The old record, from 1956, was -16.7 C.

The forecast calls for southern Manitoba to struggle to a high of -2 C on Tuesday and -1 C on Wednesday before temperatures start to break into the positive digits.

CBC News meteorologist John Sauder is even calling for 6 C by Saturday, though winter isn't quite ready to call it quits. Flurries are expected on Sunday and possibly Monday.

Desperate for signs of spring

Many Manitobans have become so desparate for a sign of spring they are flocking to greenhouses just to see and smell some greenery.

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Lenore Chartrand popped into Shelmerdine's on Roblin Boulevard for some warmth and sunshine this week. She said it beats the view from her front window in Gimli.

"You know what? Living right by the lake, looking at a big ice cube everyday in April, really isn't that pleasant," she said.

"But you know … you gots to deal with it right? And hope for a  nice summer and a long fall."

Shelmerdine's co-owner Chad Labbe says customers come through the doors and start taking in "the relief of having some sort of sense of spring — the colors, the smells, the humidity, the feeling you get in the greenhouse."

One of those, Helen Dilworth, told CBC News that last year at this time she was golfing and gardening. She went to the greenhouse to help get through another cold, bleak week.

"It''s heartbreaking to come back to this [type of winter]. This actually brings hope and it's warm in here and the sunshine."

Depression cases soar 

The Mood Disorder Association of Manitoba is swamped with calls from people who are depressed.

The association's Tara Brousseau Snider says in the past week, calls have jumped 25 per cent. Many of the calls are from people who don't live with depression on a regular basis.

"They are just tired of the winter. You know. they are finding it really hard and long and it's getting to them," she said.

"People just aren't going outside. People are complaining because it's icy so they can't walk."

Brousseau Snider says the association typically rents out about 60 special lamps for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but this winter 240 of the lamps went out. And none have come back yet.