The fate of an oversized snowman in peril as the weather warms

Nature gives but hopefully won’t – with warmer temperatures to come – says the architect behind a towering Ottawa snowman.

Chris Moller took advantage of both the recent dumping of wet snow and the help of his family and neighbors to build a snowman almost five meters tall outside his home in the suburb of Kanata.

The oversized Frosty (he doesn’t yet have a proper name) required extra-large ornaments: tennis balls for eyes, hockey pucks for buttons, and a planter in place of the traditional top hat.

« Instead of a scarf, [a] a neighbor brought a hammock, » Moller said. « It was good to have neighbors and people to help me out because I could never do it myself. »

The whole project took about 40 hours, Moller estimated.

Ryan (left) and Keegan (right) Barnes pose in front of the snowman while their mother Bridget takes a picture. The giant snowman has hockey pucks as buttons and a planter as a hat. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Keegan Barnes and his family are from Virginia and are staying at a house near Moller.

« I think it’s amazing, » Barnes said of the towering snowman. « I want to know how he got it so high. »

Moller has one more addition to make to his front yard creation.

« We don’t have any guns on him yet, » he said. « Hopefully we’ll give him some guns later if he survives the heat wave that’s coming. »

Could reach 9 C by Friday

Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting temperatures above freezing for the rest of the week and into next week.

« It’s a pretty big change coming, » said meteorologist Gerald Cheng. « There’s a huge mass of warmer air heading into Ontario. And that will affect the Ottawa Valley as well. »

Temperatures could reach 9°C on Friday, the agency predicts. Up to 20 millimeters of rain are expected over the weekend.

« You want to make sure you get to shoveling because the rain is coming and it’s going to make shoveling difficult, » Cheng said.

Snow around the drainage should be cleared away, he added, as melting could pose a risk of flooding.

‘Fingers crossed’

This isn’t Moller’s first giant snowman. He says he’s been building bigger and bigger snowmen every year « when the weather cooperates ».

This time, he hopes the tarps will protect his creation from rain and heat and help extend its life.

« I don’t even know if the tarps are going to save him, » he said. « Fingers crossed, but we’ll see. »

A man on a ladder hangs an orange tarp over a large snowman.
Moller hopes the tarps will protect the snowman from the melt to come. (Radio Canada)


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