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Sunday, January 11, 2009

You Don’t Know What Cold Is

I’ve always considered myself a hearty New Englander. Poor weather conditions come with the turf of living in the Northeast of America. On the bright side, if you wait a minute the weather will change. All but one of my six brothers and sisters immigrated to Florida for the warmth and yes they do call when blizzards hit and brag about being out on the patio.

We had a small snow storm the other night and I was boxing up the fluffy white stuff into very compact snow balls to ship to my hateful siblings so they can enjoy our pain and suffering. I cleverly installed a launching device to throw whatever is left of my snowball in the box by the time it hits West Palm Beach right in their smug face when they open the care package.

Then I came across this on Yahoo from the AP on what the folks in central Alaska are putting up with. 60 below ZERO! No wonder there is less than a million folks living up there! The rest of them froze to death! God bless them for their stamina for not packing up the truck and moving to Arizona, Texas, Nevada, or even Florida where the temperatures are always moderately warm in comparison. So now I don’t feel so bad when it is 22 degrees out and the heating system kicks in. At sixty below zero I would be busting up the kitchen table and cooking it for heat in the friging oven. Basting it with lighter fluid from the charcoal grill every twenty minutes. Check out what Yahoo News has to say…

By STEVE QUINN, Associated Press Writer Steve Quinn – Thu Jan 8, 5:59 am ET

National Weather Service meteorologist Andy Brown said high pressure over much of central Alaska has been keeping other weather patterns from moving through. New conditions get pushed north or south while the affected area faces daily extremes.

"When it first started almost two weeks ago, it wasn't anything abnormal," Brown said.

"About once or twice every year, we get a good cold snap. But, in this case, you can call this an extreme event. This is rare. It doesn't happen every year."

Temperatures sit well below zero in the state's various regions, often without a wisp of wind pushing down the mercury further.

Johnson lives in Stevens Village, where residents have endured close to two weeks of temperatures pushing 60 below zero.
- Yahoo News/AP

I don’t know about you but I get the chills just reading 60 below zero? How the hell do you insulate a home against that kind of extreme cold? The walls of the house would need to be eight feet thick and filled with the stuff to keep the cold out. How many heating systems do you need to keep up with keeping the house at a comfortable temperature? God bless the hearty folks of Alaska, I will stop bitching about the cold in New England. I'll be tossing an extra comforter on the bed just thinking about this story.


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Blogger B.J. said...

Although I’m a Southerner, I’ve experienced that kind of cold. When I was in Plattville, Wisconsin, in the winter of ’81-’82, the actual temperature was 50 below zero on several occasions. (The Mississippi River, 20 miles to the west, had 24 inches of ice!) You really layer clothing on top of longhandles! Yet, up there you have “dry cold,” whereas Southern “wet cold” is worse!

The coldest I’ve ever been in my life: my former husband and I took my sister and brother-in-law to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi River and just up the road from me. While the weather was pleasant when we left here – at 800 feet above sea level – the weather station at the top of the mountain (6,450 feet above sea level, I think) was recording 65 below zero wind chill factor. We made it to the top and the observation tower, and the wind was beating so hard against the Plexiglas windows, we thought we were going to be blown off the mountain. Couldn’t get to the car fast enough! BJ

6:47 AM  

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