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NF-Sweerts boy

Brrrr: January in Northern Minnesota.

Posted on 2011.01.21 at 12:50
Tags: , ,
Yep, it's cold in these thar hills! 

I came back recently from a week and half visiting and caring for my mom in the Washington D.C. area, where people were carrying on about how cold it was.   Their highs were in the thirties (Farenheit).   Spring-like, I thought. 

Outside the window where I'm sitting, there's a thermometer affixed to the framing, so we can check the outdoor temperature from the safety of the house.  Here's what it said at 4:37 am (I was walking off a hot flash).  

"Well," I thought," this is the record cold temperature for the year; ya, sure, you betcha,"  and got back in bed.  Nope.  Here's what it said when I next looked out.  It was 8:09 am:

Yep, even colder after the dawn.   

Still, I didn't feel right complaining, checking the temperatures north of here.   It might have been -23 at the airport (it's a few miles inland from the lake, thus colder) but it was -31 in Babbit, MN.   Now, that's brrrr.   

The weather guys warned this would be the coldest night and day of the year (so far).  I admit we take morbid pleasure in seeing how cold it can get.   From the comfort of heated a heated room it's fun to look out there and shiver.   The good news is that in a few days it will be "warming up", meaning it will be above zero.
This is the view out the kitchen windows, looking southeast to Lake Superior:

Here's looking out the living room window, same direction (Elsa in silhouetted in the foreground), the snow in mounds under a wan northern sun:

It's noon now, and I see things outside have warmed up to a toasty -5.  Swim-suit weather!  :)

~ Mechtild


bagma at 2011-01-21 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
Brrr! I'm really happy I'm not living in Babbit!:) It's only -5°C (23°F) here, and I feel like I'm freezing all the time, even at home.
mechtild at 2011-01-21 19:32 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I don't live in Babbit, either, Bagma. It's all relative though, isn't it? I suppose people in Babbit are saying, "I'm sure glad I don't live in Antarctica!" If I lived in a warmer place, my body, and my expectations of winter weather, would certainly adjust. (*ponders appreciatively life on a tropical island*)
belleferret at 2011-01-21 19:13 (UTC) (Link)
The coldest it ever was when I lived in Duluth (early 80s) was -38! One time we had a wind chill of around -60 or so. *shivers remembering*
mechtild at 2011-01-21 19:34 (UTC) (Link)
-38! That must have set a few records, even in Duluth. My husband says he doesn't remember lows lower than -30, but maybe he means more recently. I should ask him about record winters in his childhood (he grew up around here but left the area when he entered the service).
(Deleted comment)
mechtild at 2011-01-21 19:40 (UTC) (Link)
I agree, Mews. Context (what one is used to) makes a big difference, but wind makes the biggest difference. Outside I see very little movement in the cedars, which is good since I have to do some errands soon (could I take that hot chocolate with me???). Wind makes any low temperature feel much worse. But wind at super-low temperatures causes more than pain and suffering, it can destroy tissue. I think a muffler will do for today, since it's not windy, rather than one of those horror-movie-killer ski masks, lol. But it must be admitted that even in the house I am sitting here typing in wool socks, long underwear top and bottom, sweatpants, a man's turtleneck and a giant sweatshirt. :)
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shirebound at 2011-01-21 20:55 (UTC) (Link)
mechtild at 2011-01-21 22:39 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. Poor Pip-dog would have to wear a down dog parka and boots!
not_alone at 2011-01-21 21:13 (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear, I think I'd better stop moaning about how cold it's been here today. Not sure what the temp has been but we have had a frost on the ground in some areas - however, compared to there it's been downright tropical!!
mechtild at 2011-01-21 22:41 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha, yes, tropical. Well, -20 is cold for here, too, although that doesn't break any record. But as I was saying to Mews, it's the wind that makes cold weather painful, whether it's just at freezing or well below. It wasn't windy today so I could dress adequately for the temperature and not suffer at all as I did my errands. :)
primula_baggins at 2011-01-21 22:28 (UTC) (Link)
lol! Oh yeah, -20 is waaay warmer than -31. :D

What's weird is that when one is having a hot flash, even -20 doesn't feel cold. Or at least that's how I imagine it. When I have bad hot flashes, I could climb in the freezer and not feel the cold, I believe.

I must say, your view through the windows is just lovely.
mechtild at 2011-01-21 22:45 (UTC) (Link)
Ha ha! I know all about the pleasures of a freezing room when flashing. We turn the heat down at night so that it's probably 62-63 by the time we get up. No suffering is involved since the blankets on the bed are up to it, very yummy and warm. But when I'm having a flash I have to get up and walk around - that's with no clothes, since I don't wear nighties or pajamas. If it's taking too long, I'll go downstairs and stand in the [tuck-under]garage, typically in the upper twenties during this sort of cold. That does the trick!

Yes, cold as it is to be in it's a pleasure to look at. It's very cozy to sit and drink something hot (or with ice cubes) and look outside, read a book, pet the kitties. Yes, indeed.

Edited at 2011-01-21 10:45 pm (UTC)
Jo Ann
yeuxdebleu at 2011-01-21 23:11 (UTC) (Link)
I live in northern New Hampshire and we've been getting clobbered with one big snowstorm after another. It hasn't been as cold as some winters (so far), but it's supposed to go down to -25 tonight. The wind has been dreadful this year. We're in a valley surrounded by the White Mountains and the wind roars down the mountains.

This is what we've been doing every two or three days for the past two weeks. (Click on the thumbnails.)

The town's snow plow has had a hard time keeping the back roads (like mine) cleared.

Elsa is beautiful. I have cushioned cat perches in front of four windows and my five cats love them.
mechtild at 2011-01-21 23:28 (UTC) (Link)
As folks tend to say about my winter shots, it may be cold but it's beautiful! That second shot is just gorgeous.

I would have thought -25 extremely cold for New Hampshire, yet you say it's not as cold as other years. I know you're at the top of New England, but I thought the temperatures in the New England states (and coastal Canada) were buffered by relative proximity to the sea, thus seeing less extreme temperatures than the interior. But apparently not! With the wind, it must be -- as you say -- dreadful. I've been reading the news for the snows in the northeast this winter, just in case they should stretch down to where my mother lives (her area has largely escaped so far), and I've seen there have already been massive snows. Here we are having above average snow, but nothing that will set records. Even -20 is not going to set any record. Above, Belleferret said it was -38 in this town back in the '80's. I've not lived here long enough to see the thermometer drop below -26. It has been lower a few miles from here, but we are just a few blocks from the water, which moderates the temperature.

Yes, you live in a remote location, I remember that - did you ever get some kind of good internet? You were suffering with ultra-slow dial-up then. :)

You have five kitties? Lucky you! We had four at the most, now we are down to two, two new ones. All our original sweeties have died. We're still working on these two, training them to be as silly and bothersomely needy as their predecessors. :)
pearlette at 2011-01-22 09:32 (UTC) (Link)
Temps in Scotland hit minus 20 during the UK's big freeze in December. Me, I'll be happy if I never see snow again. :D. It's very pretty, of course - and I love the silence that settles over everything with a snowfall. The trouble is that the UK doesn't have the infrastructure for dealing with big snow, unlike North America, Scandinavia and central Europe. Because we have had very mild winters for about 20 years now. But there's no predicting the climate here ...

I would miss the seasons in the northern hemisphere. I don't like winter but I love the spring, and also the mellow calm of autumn.

How is your mum?
mechtild at 2011-01-22 15:10 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Pearl. Yes, not being prepared for snow in our sort of world is pretty difficult. It's not like we are going to just bring the cows in the barn (having made sure there's plenty of fodder in the fall) and hunker down in our cottages. With all the travel that's expected of people in modern life, not being able to get around on roads is the devil.

Yes, I'd miss the seasons living in a tropical place, too. Perhaps even more the dawn and twilight. The sun goes up and down so quickly there. The time of the "mixing of the light of the two trees", or the closest thing earth has to it, is an enchanted time.

My mom is o.k. She can barely walk now, in great pain when she has to bear weight, whether to get up and down from a chair or simply stand, much less walk. But still she refuses either to move somewhere with no stairs (and help present on site), whether to senior apartments or assisted living or our house (we'd get a stair chair, got the estimate years ago when she was toying with really coming to us) -- or get the bad hip repaired. She's very stubborn. But we had a good visit. My sister will be going to her next month and I'll be back in the end of April-beginning of May.
maewyn_2 at 2011-01-22 14:45 (UTC) (Link)
-20F!!! It doesn't even get that cold in my freezer which goes to a minimum of -18C (0F)!

You have a lovely view out of your front window! It's just all so...white and cold. :)

Elsa seems to be enjoying that bit of sun!

We had a lovely day today at 32C (90F). Relatively cool for now, but heading towards 39C next Thursday.
mechtild at 2011-01-22 15:12 (UTC) (Link)
32C! You wicked tease. Sounds lovely. It's less cold this morning, a roasting -8F at 9 am, so things seem to be warming up. It is very pretty and cheerful out: truly sunny today, with bright blue skies. Looks great from inside!
sayhello at 2011-01-23 02:18 (UTC) (Link)
Man, I thought it was sucky here, at -4 this morning! But yours is definitely suckier! It's a balmy 16 right now. :-S

mechtild at 2011-01-23 06:42 (UTC) (Link)
16 sounds really nice! But we're not complaining. In the paper yesterday it said that the low in Babbit, MN, which I noted was -31, actually got down to -46. People interviewed up there acted like it was no big deal, a record for the day but not an all-time record, but I'd call that seriously brrrr. :)
verangel at 2011-01-23 19:29 (UTC) (Link)
This makes me nipply just looking at it! Gorgeous Kitty by the way. I whine when it is in single digits only. I have really enjoyed snowcover this year but been lazy as heck. Stay warm!! hugs you warmly xooxoxox love v
mechtild at 2011-01-23 19:44 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Verangel. It's much warmer now, up to 9 degrees. Woo hoo! Even the animals feel more chipper. Yesterday three deer cantered across the back yard. When it's super cold I don't see them. I guess they hunker down together somewhere sheltered to get warm.
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