Help Help We’re Freezing Here!

OMG it is 17 degrees this morning!

(Below zero F, needless to say)

There is a six mph westerly wind. That is not too bad, but it puts our “feels like” (the index formerly known as wind chill) at about negative 32. Even in Minnesota, on a morning like this some cars will not start, some schools will have kids showing up late because the school buses will take an extra hour to warm up. (In some districts they never turned the buses off yesterday, knowing they would not be able to start them today).

It is expected to warm up, though! The high point will be Five! (Below.) As they say (somewhat inaccurately): “Hey, with luck it will warm up enough to snow.”

I’ve only got one pair of wool lined pants, and I wore them yesterday. So, laundry happens before anything else this morning, you betcha….

Comments

  1. #1 Anon
    January 13, 2009

    Below 0 C, I believe you mean.

  2. #2 elle
    January 13, 2009

    Summer is over here at Pole. Although we did get to zero on xmas day, today was -38F (with windchill). We are allowed 2 2-minute showers per week, and one load of laundry during the same period. Like they say, “it’s a harsh continent.”

    We have 4 weeks of outside work left, then it gets really cold: ie the Hercs, Basslers and Otters cannot fly. Season over, 47 remain to wage the winter. The next flight we see will be November.

    While at McMurdo Station (77 degrees South) this past week, it was in the upper 20s, and us Polies were in t-shirts!!!! There was dirt, birds, open water, the Icebreaker arrived and was followed by penquins. I bragged to everybody here at Pole I got a bug bite. AAAHHHH—real life, not fabricated Pole life. It was grand!!!

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Dirt! Cool!

  4. #4 elle
    January 13, 2009

    You could smell it in the air: beautiful! the first scent since leaving New Zealand in October. I actually got down on my hands and knees and made mudpies. Rather, volcanic ash pies, but none the less. McMurdo has dirt AND runoff water!!!!

    I never realized how spoiled i was before coming to Pole.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Anon: F.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    January 13, 2009

    Rub it in, why don’t you?

    It’s not even dawn yet and the temperature on the mountain is already over 20F, headed for the mid-40s this afternoon. All that lovely skiable snow we had in December is now a sheet of ice and I’ve got to pack up an unending train of idiot snowboarders with broken arms, road rash, and incipient third-degree sunburns.

    Then there are the weeds in the Valley, which are taking advantage of the rain and warm weather. At least we probably won’t have to start up the air conditioning for another month or so.

  7. #7 kevin
    January 13, 2009

    Greg: C.

    And, you are just all messed up. Fix your post before you confuse the young’uns.

    17 > 0. Thus: 17 is “above” zero. In C, F, or K. Possibly you meant: “below freezing”?

    And is the high point “Five!” or “Five below!”? They are different.

  8. #8 Joey
    January 13, 2009

    This is why I installed remote start asap last year when I moved up here. =D

    And if it doesn’t turn on, I don’t leave the house!

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    January 13, 2009

    Kevin, that is possibly the least competent concern trolling I’ve ever seen.

  10. #10 Rob
    January 13, 2009

    Oh no, he meant 17 degrees below 0 F, with a hi of 5 degrees below 0 F. Perhaps we should push for all measurements to be done in Kelvin. Somehow a high of 271 doesn’t sound as cold

  11. #11 kevin
    January 13, 2009

    Bad humor is indistinguishable from incompetent concern trolling. Sorry.

    But I really am surprised that Greg appears so confused about the F scale.

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    January 13, 2009

    Well, you know, the cold does seep into the brains.

    Actually, the walk to work today wasn’t too bad, at least not until I hit the wind tunnels between buildings downtown. That was pretty impressive. Extremities intact, though.

  13. #13 clinteas
    January 13, 2009

    Where the hell are you people??

    Its 32 degrees Celsius at 2am here in Melbourne,going to be 39 tomorrow.
    Snow?
    Seen pictures of it,didnt like it..:-)

  14. #14 Lilian Nattel
    January 13, 2009

    The temp is falling here, down to -9C this aft, then going down to -20C tonight. Highs for the next few days, around -17C, I think that’s about 0 F. This is in southern Ontario. I have a friend in Alaska who would find that balmy this winter. I have another friend in New Zealand, where it’s tomorrow.

  15. #15 Stephanie Z
    January 13, 2009

    Well, for one thing, clinteas, we’re where it’s winter. :)

    We’re also where the bugs stay small and carry fewer diseases, and where almost nothing that will bite you is poisonous. There are some advantages to being where everything has to pour its energy into surviving the deep freeze.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Of course, the roving packs of wolves are a problem now and then.

  17. #17 Rob
    January 13, 2009

    Hm, would be more like 245 K. No math before caffeine. Mea culpa.
    p.s. roving wolves…cackle

  18. #18 Stephanie Z
    January 13, 2009

    Greg, if you’d just take the Subaru instead of the troika, you’d be fine.

  19. #19 Cal Harth
    January 13, 2009

    Greg,
    Maybe it would be helpful if you could post a link to the old video: “How to Talk Minnesotan” in order for non-residents to understand how we talk about the weather. We had 22 below at 6 AM. Now it has warmed up to minus 11 and that feels good. (That’s FARENHEIT!!, STUBBORN PEOPLE).
    There is no perceptable difference between 17 and 22 BELOW.
    Embarass MN had minus 43 unofficially today and International Falls set a new record for the calender day this morning. Yah, it’s cold.
    Minnesota speak: Do you have anymore of that good venison jerky? While you are up can you put some more wood on the fire?
    Maybe (if you have not yet) make the transition from Patagonia to Carhart for outdoor clothes. And stay out of the wind.
    The roving packs of wolves are frightful. We see them here east of Hinckley once in a while.
    I say that tongue in cheek. Any poll of qualified wildlife biologists in MN will indicate that wolf sightings are rare, despite the fact that we have a healthy population. Once every two or three years is usual.
    I have more to say about wolves but will hold that to another time.
    Cal

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    So far I’ve only seen wild dead wolves. My daughter spotted one (live one) once.

  21. #21 Elizabeth
    January 13, 2009

    At some point the cold is cold enough to freeze exposed flesh in a few seconds. It does not feel any different, but later your flesh turns black and you die.

  22. #22 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    right… we just lost a degree F (neg 18 just now)

  23. #23 elle
    January 13, 2009

    Weather for South Pole Station
    The date is 01-14-2009 at 5:51 AM

    Temperature
    -26.4 C -15.5 F
    Windchill
    -39.2 C -38.6 F
    Wind
    12.2 kts Grid 24
    Barometer
    683.5 mb (10496 ft)

    It’s a pretty nice day out today! Enjoy yours as well.

  24. #24 Stephanie Z
    January 13, 2009

    Okay, L, now you’re just bragging. :)

  25. #25 freelunch
    January 13, 2009

    Well, Greg, if you get to -40, you won’t have those whiny C folks complaining that they don’t understand what the F is.

    Right now we’re around zero F (-18 C for those who need help) in Madison.

  26. #26 Cal Harth
    January 13, 2009

    “So far I’ve only seen wild dead wolves. My daughter spotted one (live one) once.”

    Greg,
    Be patient. When they show themselves it is kind of a gift.
    One story here – my favorite sighting: We were coming out from a backpacking trip of several days from a North Shore state park on the Manitou River. The dirt road back to Finland MN follows the Baptism river for a while.
    Two wolves were swimming towards the road in a wide spot in the river. I slowed to wait for them. They crossed the road about 30 feet in front of us. Their coats were soaked and as they ran the spray went up in the air. We saw a rainbow in it. The whole road was wetted for about 20 feet wide.
    My wife started screwing around right away with changing the lense on her camera to get a picture. I admonished her to just watch because it would not last long. I’ll never forget it.
    Cal

  27. #27 6EQUJ5
    January 13, 2009

    I’ve seen forty below zero (the point where F and C agree) with a 40 knot wind. Months later, on the last day of June, the frost on the grass was hard enough to stand on. That was the day I moved to the Southwest.

  28. #28 steve s
    January 13, 2009

    OMG it is 17 degrees this morning!

    (Below zero F, needless to say)

    There is a six mph westerly wind. That is not too bad, but it puts our “feels like” (the index formerly known as wind chill) at about negative 32. Even in Minnesota, on a morning like this some cars will not start, some schools will have kids showing up late because the school buses will take an extra hour to warm up. (In some districts they never turned the buses off yesterday, knowing they would not be able to start them today).

    Why would you live in such a ridiculous place? They have these things called compasses. Get one, point it in the S direction, and start driving.

    There’s a cold snap here around Gainesville Florida the past two days. The high’s only gonna be 58 degrees. Brrrrr.

  29. #29 Julie Stahlhut
    January 13, 2009

    We’ve got some single-digit-Fahrenheit weather upcoming here in Rochester, NY. This often means that the carpenter ants in the walls of the apartment building will stream into our living space. I’m gonna have to buy another AntWorks habitat!

  30. #30 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    I’ve been to Gainesville. There, “snap” means something entirely different and can take your arm off!

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Hey, we’ve reached minus eleven!

    But there will be a warm front coming in tonight. Could reach five below.

  32. #32 Eric Lund
    January 13, 2009

    My Ph.D. work included some wintertime field work near Fairbanks. Climatological averages this time of year: high -2F, low -19F. Actual temps can be quite a bit colder; I’ve seen -59F (actual temperature, not wind chill), which is hardly a record. Then again, there are the occasional heat waves where temperatures rise above freezing–the latest forecast says that will happen on Thursday, and I have seen rain there in January. In town, you never worry about starting your car; you just plug it in, and remember to unplug after starting it in the morning. However, you might have to worry about the gasoline (or diesel, if you didn’t get the special cold weather blend) turning to slush–that’s why we were not allowed to work when temperatures fell below -55F (the work site was about 30 miles out of town).

    Here in New Hampshire, we are looking at subzero temperatures by Thursday AM even along the coast, after the front pushes through tonight.

  33. #33 SimonG
    January 13, 2009

    I’m with steves: I find it hard to understand why people would endure such horrible conditions. I’m really glad to be in the UK, with our much more moderate weather. I’ll put up with dodgy summers for the assurance that I’ll never run out of water and am not likely to have to endure sub-zero (C) temperatures for more than a few days at a time.

    Minnesota better be paradise in the summer.

  34. #34 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    These 11 below (F) days are hard to take for day to day, but the winters are not that bad. It is usually closer to zero, the cross country skiing is pretty good, our winter air is extra clean, etc.

    And summers are quite nice. People come here for the summer. All two weeks of it.

  35. #35 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    OK, negative 8. I can go out now. Big plans for the evening.

  36. #36 Margaret Morgan
    January 13, 2009

    Meanwhile, here in Sydney, it’s going to get up to 38C, and tomorrow over 40C. And no, this is not gloating. Not when it kills half your garden.

  37. #37 D. C. Sessions
    January 13, 2009

    And summers are quite nice. People come here for the summer. All two weeks of it.

    Which leaves the mystery of where they go in the gaps between leaving you at the end of summer and when they show up here in November, and then again after leaving here in April and before showing up on your doorstep.

    The migratory habits of the American Snowbird. There must be a research possibility there.

  38. #38 Peggy
    January 13, 2009

    The longer I live in Southern California, the less likely it gets I’d be able to survive in the upper middle part of the US (let alone Canada). Current temperature: 72F.

    It’s cooler than it is in Sydney, but at least it’s summer there.

  39. #39 PZ Myers
    January 13, 2009

    Yeah, we just warmed up to -7°F, so I was able to go outside and clear the driveway before my wife gets home. Plowing out 2 feet of snow in that much cold with 20mph winds is not pleasant. I had to stop when I noticed I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. And then I noticed I couldn’t feel my feet either.

    I’ve also discovered that when my body temperature starts to drop, I feel acute nausea. That’s a useful warning signal, I think, because otherwise it sneaks up on you.

  40. #40 D. C. Sessions
    January 13, 2009

    I’ve also discovered that when my body temperature starts to drop, I feel acute nausea. That’s a useful warning signal, I think, because otherwise it sneaks up on you.

    I’ve never heard of that one before. What core temp triggers it? (Although I note that it didn’t save you from some pretty severe peripheral circulation shutdown, which could have progressed to frostbite a bit too easily for my taste.)

    Of course, I don’t really suppose that the first thing you did when you went inside was go searching for the rectal thermometer. We can’t all be obsessed over cold injuries; perhaps it’s better this way.

  41. #41 Cal Harth
    January 13, 2009

    Hypothermia is a dangerous condition. While I was an undergrad the navy department funded a bunch of projects relating to it through the med school at my college in Duluth MN.
    A “volunteer” could earn $300 for getting a little drunk and sitting in a bathtub full of ice water for a few hours. The rectal probe indicated when the subject’s core temperature had dropped to an interesting low temp. They all had to be helped to get back home.
    I took a pass on the opportunity to make some quick cash. The aftermath of hypothermia can stick with a person for days.

  42. #42 Greg Laden
    January 13, 2009

    Hey, it has finally “warmed up enough to snow!”

    We went into the gym and it was zero and windy. We came out of the gym (a pretty short while later) and it was five, less windy, and we were having a nice snowfall.

  43. #43 elle
    February 8, 2009

    Weather for South Pole Station
    The date is 02-09-2009 at 2:23 AM

    Temperature
    -41.3 C -42.3 F
    Windchill
    -54.6 C -66.3 F
    Wind
    7.3 kts Grid 93
    Barometer
    683.7 mb (10489 ft)

    UTC 02-08-2009 at 13:23 Z

    Manageable, just barely and in increments. Old man winter cometh, escorted by the lady luna: I’m very excited for stars!

    This is the last week of flights to the South Pole, as the magic number is -54 F for Hercs to fly. Baslers and Otters go colder, but it then takes 4-5 hours versus 3 on the Herc. 44 of us say goodbye to the outside world until November, or when it warms up to -54 F!

  44. #44 elle
    March 2, 2009

    Weather for South Pole Station
    The date is 03-03-2009 at 2:59 AM

    Temperature
    -50.9 C -59.6 F
    Windchill
    -69.3 C -92.7 F
    Wind
    10.6 kts Grid 90
    Barometer
    676.3 mb (10768 ft)

    UTC 03-02-2009 at 13:59 Z

    It’s starting to feel cold!!!!

    Take care.

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