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Ontario just had its most depressing winter in decades and people definitely felt it

If you've managed to make it through the snowy season thus far in Ontario relatively unscathed mentally and emotionally, then consider yourself lucky, because new data shows that the province just had what could be considered its most depressing winter yet.

While analyzing solar energy readings across the continent last week, Alaskan climatologist Brian Brettschneider discovered a disturbing figure that residents of Toronto and beyond might feel explains their mood these past few months.

According to an atmospheric analysis from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, swaths of Ontario — the region around the Great Lakes in particular — just saw their darkest winters, in terms of solar energy, since records began since 1950.

That's right, we here in Toronto just saw less sunlight this winter than we have in a whopping 73 years, measured as a ranking between December and February annually.

"Consider Vitamin D supplements," Brettschneider suggested in a tweet sharing his findings on Wednesday.

Among the very relatable replies to the tweet are "this explains why I was so depressed this winter," and "I've been trying to tell people this winter was dogshit. Anyone who says "we live in Canada, what did you expect?" is gaslighting. This was a historically shit winter."

By mid-January, meteorologists were noting that the GTA was seeing a cloudier start to the year than usual, with only three hours total of sunlight since the beginning of 2023 amid a 22-day stretch of consistently cloudy skies — and, of course, residents began feeling less like humans and more like grumpy vampires as a result.

And now, halfway through March, the province is bracing for yet another big winter storm, set to bring a massive dumping of snow for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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