December 9, 2009 by

Dear God, If It Isn’t Any Trouble…Please Fix The Outdoor Thermostat. Thanks.


Categories: random stuff, What the heck was THAT?

I walked out the door this morning to the second coldest actual temperature I ever remember experiencing. Actual temp: -15 degrees F, windchill -26.

That’s -26 actual degrees Celsius, for my Australian peeps.

I have a blogger friend in Alaska who is probably laughing right now.

The coldest morning in my memory was in Cincinnati, Ohio, 20 years ago this winter. Actual temp: -20 degrees. I remember this specifically because the engine block in my car froze, and I didn’t know it until it started smoking and clunking and died on the freeway while I was trying to go take a test. Things aren’t that critical today. 🙂 I’ve probably been in colder weather, but I was too young to remember. I only remember as a kid living in Michigan that a few times my mom wouldn’t let me go outside and play in the snow because it was too cold, and I didn’t understand why.

Yeah, I know. There are some wise guys both north and south of me that think I shouldn’t complain, that think I asked for this in moving to Denver, and what did I expect? The northerners are going, “You think this is cold? You should have been there in the winter of 19__. Now THAT was cold!”

And the southerners are going, “Serves you right, traitor. Now where did I put that slightly heavier short-sleeved shirt? It’s cold outside!”

So let me just put this into perspective a little bit:

  1. I haven’t experienced this kind of cold in 20 years. (Translation: I’m not used to it yet.) It takes a little time to acclimate.
  2. Even the natives are complaining. One lady who has lived here over 20 years said she’s never felt it like this. So not even Denverites are used to this.
I don’t know if anyone “gets used” to -15 degrees. Except maybe the Inuits. Probably this is swimsuit weather for them.
Thankfully, I think we’ve hit the bottom for now. We’re climbing to a balmy 20 above today, and back to seasonal temps by the weekend.

So…what’s the coldest temperature you’ve ever experienced?

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

7 Responses to Dear God, If It Isn’t Any Trouble…Please Fix The Outdoor Thermostat. Thanks.

  1. co_heir

    I know what you mean. I got used to cold weather living in Cincy, but now that we've been in South Carolina for 14 years, I'd have a hard time with those winters now.

    The coldest I've ever experienced was in college in NE PA. In the morning before the sun came up, a couple of times it was -10 with a windchill of -60. That's cold!

  2. Al

    Take a close look at the picture of the thermometer you posted. It shows numbers down to -40 and -50. And then you can add windchill.

    I now live on the south end of Vancouver Island, only a couple jumps from Seattle. It's been down to perhaps -5 (Celsius) at night this past week. I used to live on the prairies. [Prepare for sad tale here]. We discovered that -40 is the same in Fahrenheit as in Celsius. Ah yes, the memories. Very frosted windowpanes. Block heaters in cars so the engine would be warm enough to start on frosty days. So cold that the red liquid in alcohol thermometers completely retreated into the bulb at the bottom. Gives rise to the ever present conversational gambit–"Cold enough for ya?".


  3. Erin

    The coldest actual temperature that I remember being out in is 9 F. It was here in Portland, 1988 or 89? I can't remember for sure. Not that cold in itself, however, our wind chills here on the east side of PDX fall far below that because we can have gusting winds to 50 MPH in the winter.

    One of my closest friends lives in Fairbanks, and she laughs at me. 40 below isn't unusual for them.

  4. Larry Eiss

    I am from upstate NY. The coldest I have personally experienced is -30F actual. I have spent significant time outside in -25 trying to get my car started, however. There aren't many that start without block heaters once you drops below -25 or -30–although the end of the carburetor (fuel injection and electronic ignition) has improved people's chances significantly.

  5. Randi Jo :)

    I don't know for sure – but I don't think I've felt anything colder than 20…… and I am prety sure I'm scared of any temperature below 20.

    I mean — I don't understand. What do you people in the cold do? How do you breathe? Are you allowed to expose skin? Do you all have garages? Do you heat up your car first? Are kids allowed outside? what if you sneeze – will the spray freeze mid air? I just have so many questions… I can't comprehend that type of cold.

  6. Spherical

    Just found your blog, and must say that I have enjoyed the few posts I have read so far. To quote Arnold, "I'll be back!"

    As far as temp goes, I recall 22 below one time.

    Have a great day!

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