General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Midwesterners in the frozen zone: are you ok? Please check in.

Asked by Jeruba (48169points) 2 weeks ago

Anyone who’s living in an area that’s been hit by drastic temperature drops this week, please let us know if you and your family are all right. Some of us do worry, you know.

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17 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

I live in a place that is 65 degrees. I texted my cousin in Chicago and she texted me back a picture of an upraised middle finger.

I called my other cousin who is a farmer in Illinois and he is doing okay. The horse and donkey have coats. My uncle had his pipes freeze up but they got them unfrozen

Another cousin in the UP of Michigan had her pipes freeze up but the heat was working. She called a plumber and got it fixed.

anonymousmousie's avatar

-46 on Wednesday. I am fine.

BackinBlack's avatar

I live in Chicago… I’m not ok lol. Actually I’m fine but I’m really wondering why I live somewhere that gets so freakin cold.

I had to take someone to the ER when it was -21degrees. I dropped him off at the door and had to park pretty far away, I was so worried about him I ran to the entrance with my coat open and nothing over my mouth and nose. They had been warning residents about that and said not to talk to breathe deeply while outside. I was so out of breath by the time I got to the door I felt like I was suffocating. I have pneumonia now…. I’m positive it was from running in extreme temperatures. I feel so stupid.

Aethelwine's avatar

We broke a record cold temp for the day yesterday morning here in Madison, Wisconsin. It was -26°F. The windchill was horrible. Our son has finally returned to school today. School was called off all week due to snow then the record cold. My son and I hibernated all week and my husband made it to work. Many of his co-workers ended up with dead batteries at home or at work. We have a new car so that must have helped us.

Today it’s a balmy 12°F. It’s supposed to reach the 40s this weekend and we’ll be getting rain, then another cool down next week but not nearly as bad. All in all we did okay.

Caravanfan's avatar

@Aethelwine I have a friend who lives near you and his wife posted a video of him throwing a pot of boiling water in the air and watching it freeze on the way down. Scary.

ragingloli's avatar

I am pretty chill.

Brian1946's avatar

Hopefully these excerpts about the frigid ridge that seized Alaska 30 years ago, will help our below-zero heroes feel like Bahama beach bunnies:

“For many Alaskans, January 1989 is a month that still numbs the mind, because of the cold snap that gripped much of the state for two weeks.

In Fairbanks, fan belts under the hoods of cars snapped like pretzels; the ice fog was thick and smothering, and the city came as close as it ever comes to a halt, with many people opting to stay home after their vehicles succumbed to the monster cold.

The 14 days of bitter cold were not a strictly Fairbanks phenomenon. Every region except the Aleutians and Southeast was nailed by a combination of meteorological quirks that resulted in what some called a good old-fashioned winter.

The cold air that besieged the state was born over the Beaufort Sea and stuck in Alaska as a huge high-pressure ridge from Siberia expanded across the state, according to John Lingaas and Rick Thoman, meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.

Frigid air within the high-pressure system sat over the state like a sumo wrestler, so large and dense that smaller, low-pressure systems in the Gulf of Alaska couldn’t knock it out with warmer air.

From Homer to Barrow, the temperatures fell each day. Fairbanks experienced six consecutive days where the high temperature was no warmer than -40. On Jan. 25, much of the state received a light break when a storm system in the Gulf of Alaska stirred the air over the state somewhat. In Fairbanks it warmed to 33 below.

But we hadn’t seen anything yet. A dome of extremely cold air moved from Alaska’s north slope to the western interior on January 26th. As Thoman, then stationed in Nome, reported, records toppled at every weather station west of a line from Manley Hot Springs to Lake Minchumina. That same day, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner announced that an Alaska milestone was in jeopardy: ‘The Weather Service predicts Alaska’s state record low of 80 below, recorded January 23, 1971 at Prospect Creek on the Dalton Highway, is likely to fall this week, possibly even today.’

The record held but Tanana came close to knocking it off, with an official low of 76 degrees below zero. McGrath followed closely at 75 below….”

“The cold snap was caused by a reduction of warm air advection resulting from a southward-shifted jet stream. This prevented low-pressure systems to move in and warm the Interior, thus high pressures built and temperatures plummeted. The worst of the cold snap, occurring during the end of January, was exacerbated by cold-air advection near the surface from Siberia.
A variety of consequences strained Alaskans because of the cold snap. The troubles included: fuel shortages, congealed heating fuel, cars not being able to start, scattered telephone outages, frozen water and sewage lines, and non-delivery of supplies to villages. Many single-day and multi-day records were set during these two weeks. On January 31 in Northway, the pressure rose to 31.85inHg, which became the highest North American pressure ever recorded, until the record was broken two days later in Dawson City, Yukon. The coldest temperature during this time was -76F in Tanana, followed by -75F in McGrath, but temperatures of -50F to -60F were common, with wind chills in the -100Fs”.

After posting the above tower of text, I guess there’s no need for me to mention Verkhoyansk or Oymyakon. ;-O

Dutchess_III's avatar

Now I’m freezing @Brian1946.

Brian1946's avatar

Whoops: not effect I was hopping for! ;-p

RocketGuy's avatar

My daughter is in college in Troy, NY. -4 F Classes were not canceled. She and her classmates stayed indoors as much as possible.

Aethelwine's avatar

I just went shopping and it’s 20 F degrees out. It felt fabulous with the sun shining on us.

@Caravanfan That is a fun experiment. I tried it once when I lived in Illinois. Something new I saw this time around was the ramen challenge.

Frozen jeans looks like a fun thing to try as well.

(I’d like to make a public apology to you @Caravanfan for the other day. I was quite rude and it was unnecessary. I’m sorry.)

Brian1946's avatar

The Berkeley brow beatings he has endured, have made him a bear of rare resilience. ;-)

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I escaped the cold for a long weekend in Phoenix. Shorts and sandals.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Frozen jeans looks like a fun thing to try as well.

My Wisconsin grandmother loved to tell the story of the day she broke the bath towels. She hung them on the clothesline to dry just before the temperature plummeted and they snapped.

It’s now +20F after reaching -20F two nights in a row. I feel safe, like we crossed a bridge. I was worried about the apartment heat failing.

Jeruba's avatar

I remember seeing my mother try to bring in bedsheets that she’d hung out on the line to dry. They froze solid and were just these large, stiff, cold rectangles. I thought it was hilarious, but she didn’t seem to enjoy it much. I was a little kid, and I guess I wasn’t really very helpful.

Often I’m very homesick for the Northeast, but right now I’m not sorry to be in California. The three years I spent in Iowa, though, I don’t miss them.

Zissou's avatar

Here in Michigan we had a compressor fire at a gas facility in SE Michigan right when it was coldest and demand was highest. Other facilities around the state had to reallocate their resources to cover it. The gas company asked the media and authorities to a statewide alert asking people to turn down their thermostats to 65 F. People must have done so, because gas consumption dropped 10%.

Speaking for myself, my circumstances permitted/required me to just hole up and not leave my neighborhood for about a week. It’s expected to get above 40 in a couple of days.

Aethelwine's avatar

We’re expecting 40s and rain this weekend and flooding might be an issue with the current snow pack at close to 2 ft.. Madison had their second wettest year last year. The isthmus, where I live, had major flooding issues and the water level is still high. We’re going from record low temps to possible flooding in a week.

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