Thursday, January 15, 2009
Hunkering Down in the Coldest Weather Since 1994
This is the first time I can honestly say I remember telling folks that layers, hats, and gloves will not be enough in this weather. Basically you will have to limit your exposure outdoors and if you do not have to go outside do not do so. You see a picture above showing how you can make your own clouds in this cold, arctic air mass. I did this last February when temperatures were near zero in the picture above. Take a cup of boiling water and throw it into the air. It never reaches the ground but instead vaporizes into a cloud. Now that is how you know it is cold outside. Just in case you need another reminder, frostbite is possible in the 10 minute range and I am relieved to find out my kids do have a snow day today. Although it could get interesting with all of us cooped up inside. It is too cold to take them sledding. I will see to it that they don't get cabin fever! It will be a good test for me. I better get to bed a little earlier tonight. :)
Make sure not to just protect the kids, but your pets and pipes. Bring in the dogs and cats and make sure the farm animals have dry bedding and good ventilation. Mary Anne Best sent in a great story and picture of her new baby Charlie. Charlie wanted to make sure we remember the pets in this cold outbreak. Mary Anne shares another wonderful story for us here on the blog!
Mike..this is our new "baby" looking out the window yesterday afternoon. The window faces south (see the creek in background) and he loves sitting there to watch birds--AND snowflakes! He tries to catch them through the window! He is VERY glad he is inside tonight! We adopted him from the animal shelter in Lafayette Dec 20th. He is 4 months old and is a delight.
Thanks again Mary Anne! I can tell you my dog BJ actually ran from me last night when I asked him if he wanted to go outside. He does like looking outside our window as well in a makeshift bed we made him so he can guard his house or should I say igloo. How I will get him to go outside for just a short time in this weather so he can do his business will be interesting. He may need Charlie's litter box. :)
Now while you are inside with your pets today make sure to check out all the closings and delays on our web-site. This really is of course not a snow day but a "cold day" for many kids that are out of school. After all, it is the coldest day of the 21st Century and officially our first sub-zero daytime temperatures since January 15, 1994.
Weather Blog Question of the Day:
Do you remember how cold we were on January 15, 1994 and how low our wind chills dipped? Think about it and I will tell you how this cold outbreak compares.
I can tell you our wind chills went below zero yesterday at 5 p.m. and will stay below zero until Saturday morning. This will be an amazing 62 hours of sub-zero wind chills and it looks like we will have actual air temperatures that could be sub-zero for more than 30 hours!
The core of this cold air is actually going to be over us tonight with the area of high pressure you see above. I actually told folks last night on the air that it might as well stand for "harsh" because we could very well challenge a record low of -20 set back in 1972. It depends on wind speed and cloud cover. The other amazing story developing and I do hope we hear from our Alaska blogger friends is that we were almost 30 degrees colder than Fairbanks, Alaska this morning in January! This may be unprecedented and I will let you know more about how this is possible here on the blog and on the air tonight.
For now though I leave you with a warm picture I took while in Jacksonville, Florida just a few days ago. See it could always be worse! At least you are not going through a temperature swing ranging from 80 degrees to feeling like -30 degrees. This 110 degree temperature swing in the same week is something I will never forget. Stay safe and warm and I had better get a little shut-eye before the big "cold day"!!