When Les Suêtes winds blew over The Weather Network's chief meteorologist

When Les Suêtes winds blew over The Weather Network's chief meteorologist

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


Les Suêtes winds are strong foehn (dry, warm, downslope) winds, which blow on the west coast of Cape Breton Island, N.S. The term "suête" is a contraction of the French "sud-est," meaning southeast.

"Strong" winds may be an understatement. The weather station in Grand Etang (the community that gets these winds) is no stranger to wind speeds exceeding 200 km/h.

Condé Nast Traveler readers have voted Cape Breton as the best island in North America.

The Weather Network's (TWN) chief meteorologist, Chris Scott, wanted to visit Cape Breton, not for its beautiful geography or stunning vantage point for migratory whales, but for those Les Suêtes winds.

On March 26, 2014, Scott was sent there to make his dreams come true, and report on a very dangerous situation. Colleague and Storm Hunter, Mark Robinson, joined Scott for the snowy and blowy adventure.

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This is the exact reason why live television was invented.

The cameras were rolling with Scott and Robinson reporting live from Grand Etang. Scott travelled to Nova Scotia for some winds, and Mother Nature produced. The two men started off reporting on what they were experiencing. Robinson was explaining that the loud noise the wind was making is called a "roar."

Scott and Robinson did the best they could, they were in a planted-squat position, like they were catchers getting ready for a runner to slide into home plate. But Mother Nature won. An even stronger gust of wind took both men out and blew them off camera.

Steve Perko was the director at the time, stationed at TWN's office in Oakville, Ont. He was shocked and didn't know if he should cut away or keep the live camera on the empty screen. Perko kept the camera on Scott and Robinson, and it took more than 20 seconds for both men to find their footing and appear back on camera. They were both OK, so we want to say it's OK to laugh.

To learn more about Les Suêtes winds, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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