Social Question

jaytkay's avatar

What is life like at -10 degrees F, -23 C?

Asked by jaytkay (23631 points ) January 5th, 2014

The local weather report says a “high” of -11F tomorrow, low of -15F.

We rarely get weather below 0 F. What should I expect?

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42 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

You car might not start right away, in Canada we have a block heater to keep the engine warm.

dxs's avatar

Cold. Very, very cold.

Paradox25's avatar

Keep chapstick or lip balm on hand, and try not to breathe too deeply. It frequently gets this cold during the winter in my neck of the woods though. Also, don’t keep electronics, laptops, cell phones or medicines in your vehicle either.

jonsblond's avatar

You are in Illinois, right? Don’t go outside and keep your pets indoors. Our wind chill will be at or below -30F for most of the day.

josie's avatar

When you spit, it will freeze before it hits the ground. Try it.

flo's avatar

It doesn’t sound like a biggie according to those wearing shorts and T shirts in temprature way colder than that. I don’t know what they are eating.

gailcalled's avatar

When you breathe, your nostrils stick together. The skin on your face will dry out and get very irritated very quickly. Without gloves, your hands will start to sting and smart within minutes. You are liable to get a crick in your neck from looking down for patches of ice. Walking can be treacherous.

Your ears will turn red and fall off without a hat or ear muffs,

Buy lip balm by the gross. I keep one in the side pocket of my car, one in my purse, one in my night table, one on my junk tray in kitchen and one in the pocket of my parka.

flo's avatar

Mittens much better than gloves, is all I wan to add.

gailcalled's avatar

Very hard to drive w. mittens.

jaytkay's avatar

Very hard to drive w. mittens.

I’m not driving, so I think mittens are best.

But I have no mittens. I have some pretty good gloves. Probably I will be outside for stretches of 10 minutes or less, walking to/from the train/bus.

I am looking forward to this. I love the outdoors and cold weather.

flo's avatar

In your car, it would be relatively warm enough except for the first few min. I was thinking genenrally. Some bike all year long. Jaytkay didn’t mention driving.

jaytkay's avatar

@flo I bike when the streets are dry. But I haven’ t had the chance below 20F.

JLeslie's avatar

Just cover every part of your body. Ski mask if our have it. Layer up, bottom layer right against your skin. Don’t stay out long.

@gailcalled Mittens are better than gloves for warmth. In the car he can take the mittens off. Driving gloves or a heated steering wheel solves the problem. In fact, mittens can go over a pair of gloves and then just pull off the mittens.

flo's avatar

Then you’ll be fine @jaytkay no problemo. The problem seems to be the fear more than the temprature from my observation.

jaytkay's avatar

The problem seems to be the fear more than the temprature from my observation

And I have no fear about this, bring it!!

cookieman's avatar

Keep your faucets dripping slightly overnight to prevent pipes freezing.

flo's avatar

This could be interesting, I don’t know.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWiOhlqEDz4

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I use to have to work outside in the cold ( -20* F windchill ) layers and layers.
Thinsulate gloves with lambskin mittens, poly/waffle long under wear then polypropylene then cotton and wool on top. Two neck covers and three socks under thinsulate boots. Limit yourself to ten minutes at a time in the open.

linguaphile's avatar

I lived in Minnesota for 6 years—if I were to be in that temperature for more than 5 minutes, I would never be without my long johns on and tons of layers. Undies, long johns, tshirt, leggings, sweater/sweatshirt, then a windproof coat, wool socks, snow boots with antiskid soles, glove liners, gloves, scarf, earmuffs then a hat. In that kind of weather, my lackadaisical attitude disappears- I take that crap seriously.

Good luck!
Brr!!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jaytkay It’s mean, but it’s not the end of the world. No exposed skin. Cover everything and wear a warm hat. Keep lots of chapstik handy. Give the car plenty of time to warm up and drive slow at first. The tires are pretty cold. You might want to open your cupboards where your faucets come in, to make sure they don’t freeze. Make sure your car battery is up to date. If it’s old it might fail. Don’t touch the gas when you start the car. It’ll probably flood the carburator.

snowberry's avatar

Open the cupboards, and remove enough stuff to allow excellent air flow. Otherwise they may freeze anyway.

ETpro's avatar

@jaytkay I was in St. Paul when we hit 43 below. Wind chills were over 50 below. Life went on, but when I hit the starter, my car did not. It took some work at the BMW dealer to get that former California car ready for Minnesota winters.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

No problemo

Wind chill was -13 in St. Louis today. Not the worst.

Adagio's avatar

I hope provisions have been made for the homeless, that there are groups looking out for them.

Smitha's avatar

OMG that’s really too cold! Freezing rain is also possible! If you can stay indoors, please do so. Set the thermostat above 65 degrees F. Be prepared for, hypothermia and frostbite this booklet for more information.

glacial's avatar

Depends on how long you’re planning to be out in it. If you don’t have a heavy coat, just layer up. Wear a hat and scarf. Gloves probably won’t keep your hands warm enough – keep them in your pockets except when for when you’re checking to see if your nose is frozen. :)

And @talljasperman is right about your car, if you have one. Might be an issue.

gailcalled's avatar

Some fabulous hand-crocheted nose warmers on Etsy

Or a free pattern if you don’t want to spring for the $11.00 and can crochet.

jonsblond's avatar

It’s 11:25 pm here in western Illinois and the temperature is -4F with a windchill of -30F. I just took the dogs out for their final pee of the evening and it took my breath away. The cold wind also stung my eyeballs. It wasn’t pleasant. -4F would be bearable without sustained winds of 25 mph and gusts over 30 mph.

glacial's avatar

@gailcalled Oh my. It’s like a bra for your nose! Not so sure about that.

Symbeline's avatar

We had a coldwave in Québec which reached -44 at its highest. With windchill mind you, the actual temperature was -33 or something. In Manitoba, they had it even worse, it was all over the news and shit.
One thing I can tell you, is that if with this cold, comes a lot of snow, be prepared for the city not being able to deal with the amount, if they usually don’t have to. Few years ago it snowed a lot in France, and my grandmother there told me that plows were all out of whack, traffic was crap and all, because people there just aren’t used to this. Schools and a lot of work places closed down due to like, 10 centimeters of snow. Same happened to England.

Here in Québec we’re more than used to it, but it even made the news during last week’s coldwave that people just weren’t as active as usual. People just wanted to stay in.

I did all my shit as I usually do though, cuz I love Winter.

jaytkay's avatar

@gailcalled Some fabulous hand-crocheted nose warmers on Etsy

Ha ha! I would get a red one and find a hat antlers.

mowens's avatar

My beard froze from my breath.

glacial's avatar

So did you survive, @jaytkay? :D

snowberry's avatar

Skiing all day every day in the mountains (yaaay)! Business as usual, nothing to see here. Move on everyone!

jaytkay's avatar

Well, the cold isn’t as exciting as I hoped, but I’m enjoying it.

Trains were running late, because the switches had a little trouble with the cold. So I had to wait ½ hour for the train. My toes were cold but not too bad.

It was -11F when I left for work, the sun was out, the wind was calm, and there was a nice new blanket of snow. It was really pretty.

I was bundled up, wearing extra everything. I was surprised at the number of people wearing tennis shoes, no hats, etc.

flo's avatar

@jaytkay good for you for not having fear.
Re. ”... the number of people wearing tennis shoes, no hats, etc.”
Some people don’t wear the proper items because they think it looks “goofy” or whatever word they use to expose how irresponsible they are.

ETpro's avatar

@flo Having lived through what Minnesota can throw at you, I think leaving open skin exposed for frostbite when wind chills are 20 or 30 below F looks VERY goofy.

mattbrowne's avatar

Okay without wind.

In my area in Germany we get -20 C about once every 20 years. But -15 C is quite common.

flo's avatar

Exactly @ETpro
Another thing, it is one thing not to wear a helmet while skiing etc. but to say in public that “it looks goofy”, is criminal.

flo's avatar

Do not wrap the pipes with foam or whatever to keep it from freezing because that keeps the warm air away too?

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne What we had in Minnesota was -42 °C with winds gusting to 80 KPH. That sort of weather is Arctic and any exposed flesh can experience frostbite in just a few minutes.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ETpro – Yes. In Western Europe wind gusts are almost always combined with very mild weather during winter. Before Christmas we had a huge storm with wind gusts over 200 KPH in some areas and 120 KPH in many areas. Hamburg was only saved because of its levees erected after the city drowned in 1962.

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