15 January 2009

40 below

Bismarck set another weather record today. And NO, this is not a weather blog, it's just that weather is the most blog-worthy thing going on around here lately, especially today. 

So ... drum roll ... the record ... coldest temperature on record for today's date - negative 44. That's -44°F air temperature, not counting wind chill. That's darn cold. 

I did a bit of research about the significance of a temperature of 40 below zero. 

To my surprise there is a tourist attraction in Alaska (Fairbanks and Denali) called Alaska At 40 Below. They take visitors into a glorified cooler at -40°F and teach about how to dress for the weather, how animals adapt and send folks home with certificates, welcoming them into the "40 Below Club." No fair! I want one!

More fun facts:

40 degrees below zero is the only temperature where Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same. wow. amazing.

Water will vaporize at 40 below. I so should have tried this! Just throw a cup of water in the air and watch - nothing will hit the ground.

Helicopters stop working. Airplanes have trouble running. Gas pumps freeze up and stop working. Car radios don't work right. Mercury freezes - that means most thermometers don't work. Skin freezes almost instantly (I can vouch for this one). 

The folks up at work today all made a point to go out and start their cars over lunch break so that they would warm up for a while. Just so that the cars had a better chance of starting at the end of the day. (mine did just fine)

Even though it is darn cold. I do love it here. We joke that the cold keeps out the riff raff. It's so true.

Anyway, here are some photos I snapped today from my car window because it was too cold to go 'out' and take them.

stuck truck
This guy won't be going anywhere any time soon. The snow plow totally plowed him in. bummer.

up to the street signs
The driveway to our church parking lot has the snow piled so high that it almost touches the street signs.

mailbox snow piles
This is our mailbox. Our neighborhood is nice to the mail people - this box has the mailboxes for 12 homes. Since it's in front of our house, we're responsible for keeping a path to it when the snow gets too high and the snowplow drops huge mountains in front of it. (notice the nice little snow cave that's carved to it).

finished puzzle - bugs
This is some of my 40 below entertainment. 

1 comment:

Don said...

Are these brightly colored bugs the tundra ticks you found under the snow in your front yard?