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posted November 11, 2006
That's when the compressor-run outdoor rinks used to open when they were first built (in the seventies and early eighties). And they closed on the first Sunday in March. Their operation was matched to the angle of the sun -- and those are the weeks when the sun is weakest.
This year we'll chart the weather every day during that 14-week period, to see how it would work. But we have to start 4 days before, to include the start-up days when the ice is laid down.
High: 7 celsius, low 0 celsius, light rain most of the day. Great day to start ice-making.
High: 4 celsius, low 2 celsius, no rain but cloudy except for a few 20-minuter periods, no bright sun ever. Good day to keep making ice.
High: 6 celsius, low 4 celsius, cloudy all day with light drizzle. Excellent to make more ice.
High: 6 celsius, low 3 celsius, cloudy, no rain. Good for ice-making. This is the day Harbourfront Rink started making ice for their opening on Nov.18.
High: 9 celsius. Low: 5 celsius, weak sun. This is the day the rink would have opened. Judging by other years of this temperature in the low-sun months, the ice would have been fine, maybe a little wet around 2 p.m., then fine by 5 p.m.
High: 13 celsius, low 6 celsius. Periods of heavy rain (25 mm), and short periods of sun. Tricky for ice-making. Today the rink would have been closed all day, and the zamboni would have had to go over the ice a lot, to remove the deep rainwater. Even so, the accumulated rain would have doubled the ice thickness when the sun went down and the rain stopped, and froze overnight.
But that didn't work for Harbourfront because they only began their ice-making two days ago, and the volume of rain was more than the volume of ice -- so it melter the ice down lower.
High:6 celsius Low: 2 celsius. Very dark day but only a small amount of drizzle in the morning. Dufferin Rink ice would have been fine again.
High: 5 celsius Low 1 celsius. Cloudy all day, no sun. Dufferin Rink ice would have been excellent. Harbourfront, still catching up from the rain on Thursday, did NOT open today as planned, but the staff are making ice all through the night and they hope to be open tomorrow.
High: 2 celsius Low -1. Cloudy all day but no rain. Harbourfront opened their rink.
High: 4 celsius, low -3. Cloudy with sunny periods. Harbourfront open and good ice
High: 6 celsius, low -2. Sunny with cloudy periods. Ice good at Harboufront
High: 8 celsius, low -3. Sunny, with fog in the morning. Ice good at Harbourfront.
High: 5 celsius, low -3. Sunny, ice good at Harbourfront.
High: 8 celsius, low 0. Unusually clear and bright sun all day. At 3.15, Harbourfront had a dozen skaters and the ice was a bit wet where the sun hit it but skaters could still go everywhere. Nancy the rink attendant said that the ice is about one-and-a-half inches thick. Last night they didn't do extra floods.
City Hall Rink is due to open tomorrow. the ice looked excellent except for an unfrozen strip in the middle where the water outlets are in the summer -- if benches were put there, the rink would be even nicer. But the zamboni driver told people that they might not open tomorrow.
High: 6 celsius, low -2. Sunny. City Hall Rink opened and the unfrozen strip was frozen (Clyde the zamboni operator, said they just added extra water in the evening and it froze up fine.) Harbourfront was good too.
High: 14 celsius, low 2. Cloudy. Both rinks fine.
High: 15, low 5. Cloudy. Both rinks fine.
High: 10, low 5 celsius. Harbourfront message says that their rink is fine. City Hall rink has water on it (all over), although skateable. The mechanic from Tech Services says he thinks it's because the zamboni driver put hot water on it when he was cleaning it. He said they should never flood when it's warm. But today was not really warm -- a puzzle.
Dufferin Rink had the compressors turned on in the morning. Rec staff helped the rink foreperson to get the rink surface clean before all the leaves had a chance to freeze onto the surface. Rec staff also painted inch markings onto the hockey boards in various places, for ice-measuring later in the season.
High 16, low 13. Harbourfront ice holding -- no puddles, more than 100 on in the evening. Olympia operator says he doesn't flood or scrape in this weather. City Hall had about half an inch of water; 2 skaters.
Ice maintenance crew flooded at Dufferin but nothing froze.
High 15, low 2. Rain off and on. The temperature started out very warm but by mid-afternoon it dropped to 5. By evening, Dufferin Rink began to show patches of ice.
This is the last "what if" report. Now the rink reports will be switched over to individual rink diaries.