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Weather phobias can be paralyzing: Here are 10 not uncommon to Canadians

Thursday, June 18th 2020, 11:52 am - Canada is home to a lot of different weather patterns. And for some, that can be a very scary thing.

Picture the scene: You’re having a picnic in the sunshine, basking in the warm summer rays, when, suddenly, a gust of wind comes from nowhere. There, on the horizon, a big, black cloud is looming – and it’s coming your way.

For most of us, it’s an annoyance; a rain cloud spoiling our al fresco lunch. But for a nephophobe, defined as someone with a "morbid fear" of clouds, a hovering cumulonimbus could strike fear into their heart.

Weather phobias are more common than you may think.

Here at The Weather Network, we love everything about the weather, but in the interests of balance, here's a list of the curious weather phobias that some people suffer from …

1. NEPHOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF CLOUDS

Kyle Brittian - clouds Courtesy: Kyle Brittain.

A nephophobe is afraid of clouds. From fluffy cumulus and wispy cirrus to the godfather of them all, cumulonimbus, there are plenty out there to be afraid of.

The Mayo Clinic recommends exposure therapy as a way to combat a fear of clouds. Under the guidance of a professional, people are often asked to start by visualizing clouds, then looking at photographs of them, and eventually heading outside to observe clouds in real-time.

2. OMBROPHOBIA: A FEAR OF RAIN

In Canada, the worst place for someone who suffers from a fear of rain is B.C., which typically receives more rainfall than anywhere else in the country.

Abbotsford, B.C., for example, typically sees more than 1,500 mm of rain a year -- but there are other rainy parts of the country as well.

St. John's, Newfoundland, isn't that far behind, with an average annual rainfall amounts hovering around 1,190 millimetres.

3. CHINOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF SNOW

People with a fear of snow may want to avoid northern Canada, which typically receives the largest snowfall amounts.

While most of Canada is susceptible to harsh winter storms, Atlantic Canada frequently bears the brunt of vicious nor'easters, an extratropical cyclone that can bring heavy snowfall if it occurs during the winter months.

4. ANCRAOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF WIND

Southern Alberta is one of the windiest regions in Canada, and Calgary is the windiest city.

5. HOMICHLOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF FOG

UGC - Clinton Johnson - Foggy bc File photo. Uploaded to The Weather Network by Clinton Johnson.

If you’re caught in a real pea-souper, driving or walking can be truly terrifying – especially for homichlophobes.

The 2015 Guinness Book of World Records cites Grand Banks, Newfoundland as the foggiest place on the planet.

6. HELIOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF THE SUN

Sun Courtesy: NASA.

The sun’s surface is 5500°C, and around one million Earths could fit inside it. That’s pretty scary when you think about it …

7. THERMOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF THE HEAT

Along with heliophobia, this fear is most likely to dominate during the summer months. The highest recorded temperature in Canada appears to have been on July 5, 1937 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, at 45 degrees Celsius.

8. FRIGOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF THE COLD

The coldest temperature in Canada was recorded in western Canada. The designation goes to Alberta, in Fort Vermilion. On January 11, 1911, temperatures dipped to -61.1 degrees Celsius.

9. ASTRAPHOBIA: A FEAR OF THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

Toronto lightning Yijie Lu UGC File photo: Uploaded to The Weather Network by Yijie Lu.

Electricity coming from the sky, accompanied by cannon-loud booms of thunder … Well, that is pretty scary. Who didn’t hide under the table as a little kid when a thunderstorm passed by? And finally …

10. IRIDOPHOBIA: A FEAR OF RAINBOWS

For some of us, rainbows are anything but picturesque.

With files from Jen Bartram.

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