Friday, November 21, 2008
Cold Pattern Turns Dangerous Before We Boiler Up & Thaw Out!
Actually it is so cold outside you may need about 3 hot chocolates a day to keep the cold at bay. The good news is the worst of this cold pattern is almost over. By time we boiler up on Saturday afternoon it will feel much better. How cold has it been... I am talking about it feeling pretty good outside with a forecast high in the middle 30s on Saturday. In the meantime, a full-fledged hot chocolate advisory is certainly in effect and you can see why above with shocking wind chill chart showing single digits by Friday morning. Make sure the kids have gloves and hats and plenty of layers. Even bundling up will not be enough. We have gone from cold to dangerous cold. How seriously should you take it? With wind chills not far from zero this morning you can get frostbite in as little as 40 minutes. It is a good morning to wait with your kids in the car at the bus stop. You need to limit your outdoor exposure and cover all areas of exposed skin.
Speaking of kids I wanted to give a big shout out to some wonderful third-graders and teachers at Wea Elementary. Those kids made Thursday a very bright day for me even if it was cloudy outside. They learned about how extreme our weather is and how we have had tornadoes in every single month of the year here at home. Here are some smiles to warm you up on a cold day.
Lisa Fankhauser's class was excited when I told them at least two snow days are coming their way this year. The morning announcements were also a blast. Thanks again Wea!!
Pets are also impacted by wind chill. You will even want to bring in the big dogs. Have you had enough of all this cold talk. Okay, here is something to warm you up! I was forwarded this wonderful e-mail from our Chief Engineer Mark Brooks yesterday. It made my day and it took some of the bite out of this cold weather. Enjoy!
A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives.
Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups-porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite-telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand the professor said 'notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.
While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup you are drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases, it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What you all really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cup. And then you began eyeing each of their cups.
Now consider this: LIFE IS THE HOT CHOCOLATE; YOUR JOB, MONEY, AND POSITION IN SOCIETY ARE THE CUPS. They are just to hold and contain life. The cup does NOT DEFINE, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate. We choose the cups. THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE BEST OF EVERTHING. THEY JUST MAKE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING THEY HAVE. LIVE SIMPLY, LOVE GENEROUSLY, CARE DEEPLY, SPEAK KINDLY. AND ENJOY YOUR HOT CHOCOLATE.
They say chocolate reduces pain and gives you energy. I already feel a surge of energy after reading this and I haven't had my hot chocolate yet! I will never look at hot chocolate the same! This time of year I become part meteorologist and part psychologist so I hope that made you feel better.
The stats are staggering when it comes to cold weather and fatalities. Here is the list for the top 5 weather killers in the U.S. over the past 50 years.
1) Hot weather and heat waves
Cold weather and winter storms (New research puts them at top of list)
3) Hurricanes (Katrina and Ike causing big move up)
The one thing left off of most of these lists is cold weather and winter storms. It gets no real respect when it comes to safety and keeping your family safe. So I have a more realistic chart for you than you will find anywhere else. I put cold weather and winter weather at the top of the list along with heat waves that kill the most people every year when it comes to extreme weather. The reason being is that even though heat waves officially kill about 200 people a year and cold weather and winter storms kill about 100 people a year the cold weather deaths are usually way underdone. You can even make a case that cold and winter storms top the list. One New York Times study had over 12,000 people that died from hypothermia from 1979 to 1995 which comes out to about 3 deaths per 1 million people per year. So really it is not even close. During these cold waves and winter storms most people die in their automobiles and when they are caught out in the storm. So that is just another reason to stay tuned to WLFI for the latest this winter and of course here on the blog at WLFI.COM.
Now that I have your attention about winter weather, here is the latest NOAA Winter Outlook and what I think this means for us below. I will post explainers a little later today. Remember we will have less snow this year but a better chance for bigger snows! This is why I am in deep training for the Golden Snow Shovel contest. I better go pump some iron and run a few miles. Have a good day and I will see you soon!