Supersized snowman's fate in peril as weather warms

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

Nature giveth but hopefully won't — with warmer temperatures ahead — taketh away, the architect behind a towering Ottawa snowman says.

Chris Moller took advantage of both the recent dump of wet snow and the help of family and neighbours to build a nearly five-metre-tall snowman outside his suburban Kanata home.

The supersized Frosty (it doesn't have a proper name yet) required extra-big adornments: tennis balls for eyes, hockey pucks for buttons and a garden planter in place of a traditional top hat.

"Instead of a scarf, [a] neighbour brought a hammock," Moller said. "It was nice having neighbours and people to help me because I could never do it on my own."

The whole project took about 40 hours, Moller estimated.

Dan Taekema/CBC
Dan Taekema/CBC

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

"I think it's amazing," Barnes said of the towering snowman. "I want to know how he got it up that high."

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

"We don't have arms on him yet," he said. "I hope we will get arms on him later if he does survive through the warm snap that's coming."

Could hit 9 C by Friday

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

"It's quite a big change that is coming," meteorologist Gerald Cheng said. "There is a huge, warmer air mass that's coming toward Ontario. And that will affect the Ottawa Valley as well."

Temperatures could reach 9 C on Friday, the agency is forecasting. Up to 20 millimetres of rain is expected over the weekend.

"You do want to make sure that you get to the shovelling, because the rain is coming and it's going to make it hard to shovel," Cheng said.

Snow around drainage should be cleared, he added, as the melt could bring the potential for flooding.

'Crossing my fingers'

This isn't Moller's first giant snowman. He says he's built increasingly large snow-people every year "when the weather co-operates."

This time, he's hoping tarps will protect his creation from the rain and heat and help prolong its life.

"I'm not even sure if the tarps are going to save it," he said. "I'm crossing my fingers, but we'll see."

CBC
CBC