The temperatures are soaring out here in Morris, Minnesota, rising to a balmy -9°F/-23°C today, after a miserable week in which both our cars show signs of failure (one is still dead in the driveway) and we discovered the limitations of our house heating systems and insulation — once Spring arrives, some lucky contractor in our neighborhood is going to pocket a bunch of our money to fix this place up. But today…woo hoo, gang, let’s get out on the deck and barbecue. Or not.
Now I’m wishing I could have made it to the Science Online ’09 conference, in tropical North Carolina. Unfortunately, uncertainties about money, the definite certainty that I will be scraping by on half pay next year, and the emerging certainty that we will face some serious home-owning expenses soon nixed that whole plan. I know, it’s so disillusioning — y’all think I’m living a life of glamor and luxury up here in the exotic northlands, but the truth is that I’m living on the average professorial salary, and the only way I can keep the luxurious Trophy Wife is by making sure she’s snowed in most of the time and can’t escape.
it’s 44 degrees F in my part of Alaska right now. and when we call it “balmy” it’s not in irony
Chuck Lunney says
Ummm, you might want to double-check your conversion factor, Dr. Myers.
The Celsius temp in your locale is only -12.7 deg, not the bonechilling -23 you mention. I’d consider 9 deg F positively balmy after the last few days!
Glen Davidson says
The beard doesn’t do it?
PZ Myers says
The formatting is screwed up, and it broke the line at what it thought was a hyphen. It is -9°F right now. Emphasis on the –.
Nerd of Redhead says
I woke up to -12 F this morning. The cold will move out overnight. The car did not want to start this morning. Now, If was still in Da YuPee, the back picket fence in your picture would be invisible, along with your grill.
Pen the right book and you & The Trophy Wife™ will be sipping tequila on the beach in Cozumel. Your Appleyard refutation is gold.
A heat wave? Proof that AGW is a myth…! </snark>
Where I am in south France it’s currently c.5°C at c.20h25 at night: Solset was c.3 hours ago. The outdoor grill, however, needs to be cleaned and I haven’t got any fuel for it.
“Tropical North Carolina”?
Relatively speaking, perhaps. This morning when I was feeding the farm beasties it was a lovely 12°F here in the Piedmont Triad region of NC. Oh, and the breeze was not quite balmy!
Still, no matter how cold it gets down here, I know that everyone up north is much, much colder.
Jared Lessl says
Well, I dunno about you guys, but I thought it got downright _chilly_ here in Tampa, FL. Why, I do believe it’s not expected to get above 70°F all weekend! I ask you, just how am I expected to do all this outdoor construction work I have planned in such inhuman conditions?
Bill Dauphin says
I guess I’m just a wuss: It was only -5F here when I left for work this morning.
Richard Harris says
PZ, … the definite certainty that I will be scraping by on half pay next year, …
That sounds dire! I think I speak for many when I ask how did this come about?
*waves at PZ from sunny, tropical Canada :P
Sounds nice down there! Perfect weather to break out the steaks and BBQ.
I’m rather envious really, we wont have that sort of balmy weather for some time now.
I’m missing all the winter weather! It was nice and cold and rainy here, and then this week it’s been in the 70s!
Yes really why are you going to half pay?
Book more UCF/Rollins gigs here in Orlando. Our cold snap of dipping into the high 50s should be over soon.
I wonder if this will placate the trolls who have convinced themselves that your evil godless hedonism rakes you in millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars?
Eh, probably not.
Nerd of Redhead says
His application for sabbatical was approved.
I refer you to an earlier post from PZ.
tl;dr He’s taking a sabbatical next year, and supposedly is going to have a busy schedule doing lots of work rather than lying on a beach, sipping one of those drinks with the little umbrellas in them.
We may one day experience a winter on Mars, and wish for the tropical Morris, Minnesota!
PZ Myers says
Yeah, it’s my sabbatical year. I’m going to be visiting a few places, but somehow, they’re all very northerly so far. Maybe I should think about a southern state for a working visit next January.
Mike Haubrich, FCD says
We just hit “Zero” F, right now in St. Paul. We ended a streak of 82 hours below zero.
It’s time for skinny-dipping.
AJ Milne says
Yeah. Cars and winter. This morning’s unplanned activity: taking a battery out of a stubborn car in order to charge it in relative safety and warmth.
Removing a battery from a car at -25C is less fun than it sounds… On the bright side, the thing did start, after this ritual.
Note to self for future: start that car more frequently than every two weeks. At least for the balance of January and February, anyway.
watchful stone guardian says
It is a wonderful 0°C here in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan! (Google Earth @ 52°08’N 106°40’W)
Wednesday was -30°C and last week was -40°C so 0°C seems unreal.
Sorry but I don’t know what these temps are in Fahrenheit.
Shove another nail through a wafer. Last time you did that, it paid enough for a big screen TV, right?
It got down to about -6 C here last night. I live near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That’s not right.
The shotgun shack I live in isn’t well insulated, and I heat it via three small electric radiators. Maybe I need to invest in one of those thermostatically controlled quartz heaters.
God, the first year I’m down here is the first time in fifteen years they have a blizzard, and then horrible freezing cold.
DEWD! You *totally* shoulda been here in the sunny Triangle Area today; we’re outside tanning right now cuz it got up to almost 27F. Time to drive down I-40 and hit the surf (it’s only 2 hours away)!
Lilian Nattel says
I sympathize. We have a balmy -20C which is only -4F. (Being in the part of Canada that is south of the U.S.) However we do have a slight trumping in the weather dept because we also have a power outage in a big swath of the city core so we have had to leave our holey (no typo) home, which is in the process of being rewired from its ancient and amateur original. There is a hole in our attic, which is all that remains of a corroded exhaust pipe from one of the bathrooms. But it’s all getting fixed…as soon as the power is back.
While the rest of the nation gets a cold snap, wine country gets a heat wave. I wish we had some cold… the other day, we had a record high of 84 F, In contrast to the expected fifty-something.
At least one is easy: -40°C = -40°F
I’m up in Canada, eh? It was aboot -31 Celcius last night. We have an outdoor oil tank and the oil actually gelled up on us, so we lost our heat. I have a heater blasting on the pipe where it comes into the house now, and that seems to be doing the trick, combined with some diesel conditioner.
The wind chill pushed it down to -40 or so on the walk into work. I won’t bother putting a unit on that, since -40 is -40 in either system.
Still, I’ll admit that you guys get a lot of cold weather and snow where you are.
Most of northern states and Canada have been experiencing this cold snap. Here on the west coast of Newfoundland, we average a few degrees below freezing in the winter, and a healthy amount of snow, 16 feet average per year. But, it’s been -12C to -16 for the past few days, and a few more to come.
Still, much better than the -49C that my friend experienced in Winnipeg the other day. He did the “toss a saucepan of boiling water into the air, and watch as no water hits the ground” trick. I experienced that type of cold in Calgary one winter for a few days, and I have no desire to experience it again.
It’s amazing how we’ve populated some of the most extreme places on the planet and have thrived.
AJ Milne, having also done such things, I wonder who you know that thinks they sound ‘fun’.
On either Newton’s Birthday or Newton’s Birthday Eve, ne’erdowells popped the lock on my car and trashed the steering column and ignition in an attempt to steal it. However, it was -30°C at the time and I hadn’t plugged in the block heater, so the car wasn’t going anywhere, key or not. On each of those days I considered going out to plug it in, and each time decided to do it ‘tomorrow’. Three cheers for procrastination.
As for today, it’s a record-shattering plus 6°C outside.
I’m not sure how cold it was this morning at my house… late Wednesday night, the outdoor sensor for my weather-station stopped transmitting to the base unit. My guess: the battery has frozen solid and/or ruptured, but I won’t know for sure until I get out there and have a look.
And I’m not doing THAT until the temperature reaches a level where it doesn’t hurt to breathe…
(The last temperature reported by the base unit before it lost contact was -18F)
Heh. It’s about 80F here in LosA.
WHUT IS THAT WHITE STUFF?!
It was 79 degrees yesterday here in Phoenix, which is above normal for us (though not unusual). Supposed to be around 77 today.
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.
– Mark Twain
I feel your pain. Over here in Ottawa he have been hovering around -24 C during the daytime for the last couple of days and when I got up it was -28 C. Combining that with a public transit strike and a 30-40 minute walk to the university leads to really fun times.
I just got back from a week in denver – where the temp hovered around a balmy 45F – to sunny Atlanta and a temperature of 20F at the airport!
I thought I was south!
How far south do I need to go to ensure I stay within a liquid-phase water environment!
Marcie Dietrich says
-17°C here in Windsor, Ontario. -27°C with the windchill. Brr.
Actually, I see it warmed up to a balmy -21C now and tomorrow has a high of -18C! I might just go out naked tomorrow with that kind of heat.
By Sunday the high is back to being around -10C so I cannot complain much after Saturday.
Well, it could be worse. I am here in Santiago, Chile suffering stoically 94°F :) . Looking forward to a whole swimming pool weekend!
Of course, guys, Come August, I’ll be on here complaining it’s 115+ (that’s 46 C!) out, and my sister and mother, who live near Lake Havasu, will be complaining it’s 120+ out.
I have no idea what I’d do if I were to be confronted with -9 degree weather. Cry? I’d probably cry.
Now, when it’s 120 out, what do you do? Jump in the river!
Oh PZ, so you are one of those winter whiners?
It is beautiful here in Minneapolis, sun blazing,
blue sky, fresh air!
Otto, you are insane.
One of those horrible winter people.
Almost as bad as morning people.
It’s -24C right now. Which is a bit better than the -33C I woke up to this morning.
By the way, this is raw temperature. Windchill’s not included, but it raises it up to a good -37C right now.
That’s -34F for yankees.
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
I miss the -20°f Skiing and Ice Climbing days in Wyoming.
We don’t get many of those in Charleston SC.
You could write a book! About the insanity in God belief. Then sit back and watch the money roll in. That should keep the Trophy Wife happy.
It is a balmy 251 K here in Toronto.
It’s all about how you look at things.
Mike in Ontario, NY says
PZ, is that one of those marvelous American-made Weber grills on your patio? I’m still using mine, right through the single-digit temps here in western-central NY, but I sure need to use a lot of extra charcoal and be extra-vigilant about keeping my bride from lifting the lid to check on things. “Leave that goddamned lid alone!”.
Something about cooking out in the deep freeze makes me feel 20% more manly than usual.
Travis, when I came to Minnesota on Jan 10 1972,
it was -30F or -34C during daytime.
Now that was nippy.
Bad Wolf says
You will all hate me but in So Cal it is 80F right now!
To quote the comedian Daniel Tosh
“We love seasons in California too, thats why we got rid of all the shitty ones” :)
Sounds like fun! I’ve had to deal with that but only on occasion. And not for a very long time.
Maybe I am just wimpy now. I lived in Vancouver for a while where tomorrow’s temp is going to be around 10C and I think the west coast really does make everyone wimps. I used to deal with the cold much better, though I still hated it.
It’s scenes like this from PZ’s home state that make me actually feel ok with living in Texas, at least this time of year.
Only 77 here in sunny Poway, after being 80 and over most of the week.
At first I wanted the Eagles to merely beat the Cardinals.
Now they must be broken.
(High of 17 degress F here, and not even any snow, just dead grass)
Scotty B says
Its not the heat, its the humidity.
Got ourselves a balmy 66 degrees here in Reno, Nevada.
Which is not as nearly as exciting then this last summer. Since when California was on fire, all of that wonderful woodsmoke drifted over the mountains and into the valley where Reno is. In what could be described as a soup, since the fog was so thick you could actually see the particles drafting in the air. We were at a stage 4 health emergency for several months, as schools canceled trips and outdoor play so children didn’t suffocate from the air.
But at least the entire place smelled like burning wood, which is pleasant if you didn’t mind the health concerns.
It’s 80 F right now in Los Angeles County (near 1 pm), but we’re expecting a low tonight of 50. Brrrrr! Good thing I have a blanket on my bed.
The temperatures were the same here and I still had to walk all the way to the lab… I never thought I would welcome the warm yeasty current that hits you when you open the shaker full of cultures, most of which have been left there to grow and eventually die and dry up by researchers past…
'Tis Himself says
80 degrees f here, and the weather station unit that’s out on the patio in the sun is reading 97 degrees. Plus, the humidity’s down to 16%, the a/c doesn’t work worth a dark and I have a cold. :P
I could do with snow and snuggly blankets right about now!
HA, the whole country is freezing except for us in CA! w00t for 70 on the central coast!
I wonder, damnedyankee, will the Eagles be confused by the warm weather, just as the Cardinals were recently confused by snow?
Scotty B: Yeah, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity … until it’s 120 degrees out, 30% humidity, and a bright-ass sun. My home town was odd, because it was situated near the water, and in a weird little valley, so you’d get clouds that went ’round and ’round the surround mountains, but would never actually produce any rain. So it’s scorching hot AND humid. That’s always fun.
Don’t forget Arizona, jj! We’re warmer than even you, at least here in Phoenix and on the Cali border. Flagstaff is probably pretty chilly, but certainly not freezing. I hope they get more snow this year, though; their economy can really use it.
Thanks for the info… a cute quote, none the less.
..as is this one falsely attributed to Twain:
Go outside, take your scarf or any other face covering off and take a deep breath. Then tell me how wonderful it is outside in the clear fresh air. :)
The temp here in Dayton made it back up to 5F today.
Cardinal Shrew says
31F here in coastal NC. Not too bad for me, being a Damn Yankee but the local seem to think it is unbearable.
Richard Smith says
Another Ottawan cussing out the transit strike. Live at one end of Bronson, work at the other, and have walked one way or the other three times since the strike began. Not about to try when it’s this cold, however. Given this sort of weather, I often wonder why Ottawa doesn’t have more underground malls like Toronto. With only a short hop to the surface between the Eaton Center and the TSE, you could stay underground from Bay subway station to Union station. Ahh, urban spelunking, how I miss you.
Richard Harris says
I’m pleased to hear that PZ’s forthcoming drop in income is because he’s going to take a sabbatical year. I don’t recall reading that post, so my memory must be failing. My excuse is that we had family over from Canada, & I was also trying to work (from my home office) as much as I could get away with.
I anticipate that we’ll be kept informed of interesting developments during the sabbatical.
I’m sure that the Trophy Wife(tm) must be wholly immersed in Stockholm Syndrome by now. You could prolly chance it moce to a palmhut on a beach somewhere.
Contractor?! Tsk tsk tsk. This is what lack of planning will get you. No handymen(m/f) for sons/daughters-in-law? For shame.
Travis, I have to concede, it is cold.
Forgot to turn the lights off on my car
a couple of days ago and now the battery
is frozen. Just moved it inside, should
be able to charge it once it has warmed up.
Low temperatures in no way hinder the bbq. In fact, I had one a few days ago (I’m in Ann Arbor… not so different from Morris). A snow bbq is *great*, and should be enjoyed fortnightly a the very least.
‘Tis Himself, #60:
He also wrote (with Mark Twain) one of the 19th century’s greatest novels: The Gilded Age .
Curiously relevant to the American politics of our times …
AJ Milne says
Well, okay, so it’s not quite the same rush as say, bathing a cat or sticking your hand in a running food processor. But it’s up in the same category, anyway…
Re your non-stolen car, I’ll have to keep that in mind, next time this comes up. But as it’s a 2003 Echo a bit given to rust (it’s car number two, really just the backup now, doesn’t get driven much), it’s probably still not that much in danger, even all cleaned off and functional again, as it is now.
Emmet Caulfield, OM says
It’s a tolerable -9.6°C (16°F) here in Uppsala, but 21°C (70°F) in Palo Alto — where I’ll be in a couple of weeks. Hope it stays that way so I can gloat at the folks here ;o)
When I was in Svalbard a couple of years ago, there was a logbook in the cabin we rented where there was one entry recording minus 40-something °C with a F8 gale — a face-shattering -72°C including wind-chill, IIRC — definitely the kind of weather where you stay snuggled up in bed!
If this were a conservative blog, PZ would’ve added “Talk about GLOBAL WARMING! Ho ho ho!” Someone actually called in to a conservative radio show today (not Glenn Beck, who would’ve complained that his, uh, “joke” was stolen) saying how cold it was, then snorted and made his crack about global warming.
Stupid, stupid people.
Blake Stacey says
I left Boston at 260 K and arrived in Durham where it’s now 268. . . not quite as much an increase as I’d expected, but hey. It’s too bad you can’t be here — we’re feeling a real lack in the evilutionary superscientist department — maybe you need to be controversial again?
Yeah, it’s even around 70F here in Northern California, but look at it this way: You probably don’t have a $42B deficit.
I got to ride my bike 5 days this week. I’ll have plenty of time for more riding, once our furloughs start.
Still, at least we’re not spending $400/mo on home heating oil.
By the way, Bulwer-Lytton results are now out.
Something to laugh about while making vague attempts to stay warm, cool or whatever.
Sorry for the O/T.
Marc Abian says
You guys really need Celsius.
Fernando Magyar says
Temperature?! who cares about the temperature…
It’s the seas that matter! This means I won’t be going ocean kayak diving this weekend, bummer! We even have a water spout warning for our area.
Synopsis…STRONG ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL MOVE EAST ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH MULTIPLE COLD FRONTS PASSING THROUGH THE COASTAL WATERS OF SOUTH FLORIDA THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF THE COMING WEEK.
$$ .GULF STREAM HAZARDS…SEAS TO 12 FEET TONIGHT…DECREASING TO 10 FEET SATURDAY…AND TO 7 TO 9 FEET SATURDAY NIGHT.
THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF JAN 16, 2009 AT 1200 UTC…
1 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF FOWEY ROCKS. 5 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF PORT EVERGLADES. 12 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF LAKE WORTH.
THIS DATA COURTESY OF THE NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE.
Asemodeus @ 57—Got ourselves a balmy 66 degrees here in Reno, Nevada.. Since when California was on fire, all of that wonderful woodsmoke drifted over the mountains and into the valley where Reno is. In what could be described as a soup, since the fog was so thick you could actually see the particles drafting in the air….
And being as there has been very little percipitation here in the Truckee Meadows (the valley Reno is in) and not so much snowfall in the mountians, we could be in for another smokey year. Not just from California, but from Northern Nevada as well.
Our seasons now seem to be; smog in the winter, smoke in the summer.
We’re having the two coldest nights of the year here in SE TX. It may just dip a little below freezing. Overall, the winter has been warm according to the biological signs. Banana plants are only moderately frost battered and will bounce back just fine. We’ll have little pink bananas by July. Citrus crop was only moderately battered by Ike and the fruit is heavy. Seems there’s no chance it will stay cold enough to freeze the late crop oranges. Loquats are already 1/8th adult size and will ripen in March rather than April.
While it’s rather cold tonight, I think this is one of those years that the azalea trail people will have to put ice on their plants to keep them from blooming in February. Icing the plants in Feb makes them bloom all at once in March. Unless you ice or there’s some cold weather past Valentine’s (the first day of our drawn-out spring) the azaleas will bloom piecemeal from Feb ot April.
BTW, It may be warmer now in California than it is on the TX coast, but our beachwater temps are higher right now than your early summer temperatures. That’s why we have coral reefs like the Flower Gardens and oral on every oil platform and shipwereck.
It’s freezing down here on Florida’s Treasure Coast! Today, I had to wear a sweater, AND socks with my flip-flops.
Samantha Vimes says
I’d love to send some of our California heat NEE to you freezing states. The high pressure system here is blocking desperately needed rain and we’re going to be deep in drought and high wildfire danger.
Patricia, OM says
32 degrees here today in Dumbfuckistan, Oregon.
You need to get some chickens PZ. Egg sales are doing well.
It was 9 C/48 F today in San Antonio. I brought my sweater, but didn’t use it until the wind picked up when I was pumping gas.
While I love the cold, snow doesn’t get me happy. I like seeing it. Not living in it. it’s pretty when it falls, and when it’s been there a day. After that, it gets dirty and brown.
Up here in tropical Edmonton, Alberta, it was +6C today, supposed to have +11C tomorrow.
PZ, you might be interested to know that the long term forcast calls for -4C for Monday the 26th.
Here in Sydney we got 42 Celsius in the shade this week, which I think is 107-108 in your money. We had to spray our chickens with water to stop them cooking where they stood. However, I have only ever encountered -10 Celsius once and then only for a couple of days in Montreal and I honestly don’t know how you all get through a whole winter of it.
It’s easy. Ski, Hockey, Toboggan, Beer.
Lather, rinse, repeat!
My nephews (10 &12) just went back home to Sydney. They were here for 3 cold weeks and didn’t want to leave.
One advantage of being in England – the temp range over the entire year is generally from about -5C up to +25C. Good old English Weather! No extremes in either direction and constant drizzel!
hey thats like shooting fish in barrel mate!
All these funny people in the North with their barbies iced over on the porch,its just plain weird….
Ah well,29 C tomorrow,33 Monday,esky and up to the beach..:-)
Rev. BigDumbChimp says
Ah yes it was a balmy 22°F (-5°C) in the heart of the old south Charleston, SC this morning.
I’m loving it. So much I’m driving to Asheville, NC in an hour where its 8°F (-13°C)!!
Emmet Caulfield, OM says
You get used to it very quickly. I remember a Canadian friend laughing at me whining about the cold during the first cold snap (between -12°C and -20°C for a couple of weeks) I experienced here, but it wouldn’t really bother me now. The Swedes say that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and there’s a lot of truth in that. Without any wind, -10°C is quite OK — for the short trip (~150m) to the local shop, I’d go in sandals and wouldn’t bother with a jacket, and this is only my third winter in Sweden.
Nerd of Redhead says
We had a warming wind push through the Chiwaukee area last night. This morning woke up to 12 F (-10 C). Unfortunately the warm air also brought snow.
Kristjan Wager says
Chris, I have just spent 3 weeks visiting relatives in Perth, before going back to Denmark. The temperature differences of 40 degrees C was rather nasty.
Having said that, surviving -10 C is fairly easy: live in insulated houses, wear warm clothes, and spend as little time outside as possible.
In many ways, it’s pretty similar to how you survive the heat all summer.
gordon van vliet says
Too bad you can’t get your hands on the 1.4 million your blog is valued at here. It might get the wife into some serious new clothes and other such fine things.
Things are rough all over my friend. I glad your comments shine a ray of verbal sunshine on a cold northern winter.
Woozle> It’s not exactly warm here in sunny Wilmywood either… still below 30. Break out the dry suit if you like. Surf’s nice and glassy, if you like a nice ankle high shore break.
Bjoern Brembs says
It’s too bad you’re not coming! We’re thoroughly enjoying ourselves here and I was looking forward to your contributions to your session.
You were missed. We did not even bring a beard this time!!! But there were four impostors in your session: PZ1, PZ2, PZ3 and PZ4. Will the real PZ please stand up?