Tuesday, November 14, 2006
It's The Wind Chill That Gets You
MIDDLE TANANA VALLEY- INCLUDING...FAIRBANKS...FORT WAINWRIGHT...EIELSON AFB...ESTER... NORTH POLE...MOOSE CREEK...TWO RIVERS...FOX...CHATANIKA... CHENA HOT SPRINGS...SOURDOUGH CAMP 254 PM AST TUE NOV 14 2006
...WIND CHILL ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 12 PM AST WEDNESDAY ON THE HILLS...
THE WIND CHILL ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 12 PM AST WEDNESDAY. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH ON THE HILLS WILL PRODUCE WIND CHILLS TO 51 BELOW.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT LOW WIND CHILLS TO 50 BELOW ARE POSSIBLE. IF GOING OUTDOORS...BE PREPARED. MAKE SURE TO COVER ALL EXPOSED SKIN AS FROSTBITE CAN OCCUR IN 10 MINUTES OR LESS.
I think I'll stick around close to home tomorrow. I was going to go to Fairbanks in the morning with two friends from church, but the thought of breaking down in these conditions doesn't sound too appealing -- or safe.
I realized today that I'm getting used to what "normal" winter weather is here in Central Alaska. It was "only 10 below", so I went out to clear the morning snow off the driveway. Rick usually does it, but he was running late this morning and didn't have time. I bundled up and put on my super-duper anti-cold gloves, and in about five minutes I couldn't feel my fingers. Well, that's not exactly right. I could feel them; it felt like my phalanges were on fire inside, but my skin was completely numb.
I think I muttered something about being a wimp and went inside to warm up. Once warm I went back out and shoveled for another few minutes. I looked around hoping that none of the neighbors were watching me . I expected some helpful soul to emerge from their house and offer me free shoveling advice. Whereas our neighbor's driveway (which is connected to ours) was neatly shoveled in perfect little rows, ours looked like my four-year-old nephew had been let loose with a Little Tykes plastic shovel. Evidently my disorganization extends to executing a snow removal plan for a 10 X 15 slab of concrete. Good grief. I quit after I had cleared two-thirds and Rick finished it when he got home. I think I got a C for effort.
Life is never boring when it gets this cold, especially when it comes to the vehicles. Yesterday Rick got in the car to go to lunch and he couldn't get the driver door closed because it was frozen. He had to hold it closed and shift gears alternately with his right hand while steering with his left. While talking to Rick's boss, he told me the previous day he made the mistake of opening his hatchback and it froze open. He had to drive home with it that way and was able to close it after it thawed in the garage.
The only silly thing I've done so far is continuing to open the screen door - which has a metal handle - with my bare hands to let the dogs in and out. I now have a little burned patch of skin on my index finger that hurts a bit. Pushing on the glass isn't much better because it's almost always heavily frosted with ice. I just need to keep a glove on hand (no pun intended) to put on when the dogs need to come and go.
I thought the swings at the playground looked real neat covered with several inches of snow. I took the last pic of the cars plugged in at the highschool when I went to pick up Bren this afternoon. Engine heaters are installed on vehicles to keep them warm and to keep the oil from freezing. On base we are permitted to plug in when it's 10 below.
Click pics to enlarge