Tuesday, October 20, 2009

71% chance

We had the nicest Summer I can remember in my entire adult life. Really.

I'm not entirely sure what constitutes a "mild Winter" here in the Northern Midwest. We're supposed to get one, I guess. And, based upon Sunday's visit to an orchard, the woolly bear caterpillars support NOAA's predictions. (A fact I pointed out as one was crawling up Jr.Gopher#2's arm, to the great distress of Jr.Gopher#1.)

The 10-day straight run of temperatures below 0°F ( -18°C) last January reinforced my need for long johns to survive waiting for the bus/train. It actually got to -25°F ( -32°C) one night; it was up to -22 at 7 a.m. Mind you, that's here in urban-warmed Minneapolis. Up in Ely & Embarrass, it was -36°F ( -38°C) with a wind-chill of -52°F ( -47°C).
The metric units are for Mr.Gopher & Dr.Nuke. Sorry, Joachim, I figure everyone ought to have goofy names, and The Nuclear Physicist takes too much time to type. If you'd rather something else, let me know.

Ug. I'm okay if the temps get to 0°F; they don't really need to go further to convince me it's Winter here.

Now, for those of you who get annoyed when older people - say, your parents or grandparents - say "it was colder in my day" ... well, it isn't really global warming. The method used to calculate windchill changed. Rather than measure wind speed at 10 feet above ground, they now calculate it at 5 feet. Less wind = less windchill.

At 0-10 mph, the old & new are about the same. By the time you get up to 100 mph, they're back to be the same again. So, if it's calm, or if you're in the middle of an F-5 tornado, you can tell Grandma that it's really the same as the last century.

1 comment:

ccyager said...

I don't think we've had a real, honest to God, Minnesota winter since you arrived here. Back in the 1980's, we'd have blizzards that would drop several feet of snow in a couple days, much longer periods of subzero weather. The city shut down a couple times in 1983 -- I can remember a friend not being able to get into work because the snow plows hadn't gotten below Franklin yet. It can be brutal here, and it can be dangerous, too. Why on earth do I live here? I thought the summers would be cool if the winters were so awful.... I hate hot, humid weather.