It's so cold that...

Wicked Cold! It’s So Cold That…

It's so cold that...

It’s so cold that you have to break the smoke off your chimney.

It’s so cold that when I put on my coat to take out the garbage it didn’t want to go.

It’s so cold that your eyes freeze shut when you blink.

It’s so cold that we had to chisel the dog off a lamp-post.

It’s so cold that that my long-johns are hiding.

It’s so cold that that your coat needs a coat.

It’s so cold that that my internet froze.

It’s so cold that the optician is giving away free ice scrapers with every new pair of eyeglasses.

It’s so cold that we had to chop up the piano for firewood – but we only got two chords.

It’s so cold that my mail broke when I tried to pry open the envelope.

It’s so cold that the mercury in the thermometer is just – GONE!

 

When it gets below zero outside…

Stay inside!

At the time of this posting we are currently going through a prolonged period of WICKED COLD TEMPERATURES.

Today’s high is only expected to reach -6 F (that’s the high!)

Tonight we’re looking at sub -20 temps. Dangerous cold.

For the foreseeable forecast future we’re looking at high temperatures below or around zero with consistent low temps in the teens and twenties BELOW ZERO.

Why do I mention this? Because every time this extreme cold happens, I think about preparedness for this type of very dangerous cold weather.

Those of you who live in parts of the country where you spend days or weeks below zero, you know what I mean when I say that it’s a special kind of cold! Wicked cold!

As you step outside and inhale that first breath of -20, your lungs complain as the cold shocks your tissue. Your nasal passageway crunches and freezes right up while your eyelids immediately begin to feel like they’re turning to ice…

Any exposed skin begins to tingle and send signals to your brain that it’s probably not such a good idea being outside right now.

And God help you if the wind is blowing! The windchill is downright brutal. Especially on any tiny bit of exposed skin.

The coldest I’ve experienced (so far!) has been -32 F (thermometer). Fortunately it was not windy that morning — although insanely cold. Now that’s wicked cold!

Windchill Frostbite Chart

 

Preparedness Aspect Of Wicked Cold Temperatures Below Zero

The most dangerous aspect of this kind of extreme cold is being caught outside in that environment. It will not take long to overcome you if not properly dressed and prepared.

Especially if you live out in the rural countryside and are venturing out in this kind of cold, good preparedness will consist of at least the following:

1. Proper Clothing and Outerwear
2. A Fire starter Kit
3. The means to communicate for help
4. Alternate Heating Source

The reason I differentiated those living rural:

Those who live in population dense regions are more likely to quickly get help if they’re in trouble. The sheer number of people living there will create encounters with others, almost regardless of where you are. That said, only you know the exceptions to that statement based on where you live and where you go…

 

Proper Clothing and Outerwear During Subzero, Wicked Cold temps

I have been living in cold country for most of my life. I consider myself well equipped for it. However even the most well equipped can sometimes make mistakes or overlook something or make a dumb decision once in awhile. So when it is that cold outside, take it seriously. Think about “what if”.

Number one is “shelter” which includes your personal shell, your clothes and outerwear. Don’t wear cotton against your skin if possible. If it gets wet from sweat or water, it will not dry adequately (or at all) until you take it off. Use synthetics.

Layers. Layers create insulated air gaps as well as the important convenience of removing one if you work yourself up into a sweat. Although at the temps we’re talking about in this post, chances are you will not be removing any layers!

Well insulated jacket / coat / hat / face mask / gloves / thermals / neck wear / googles / boots/ pants. There is a difference between ordinary winter wear and that which truly has substantial insulating properties.

Best Gloves With Thinsulate For Cold Weather Outdoors

Cold Weather Boot Socks Are Not Enough

COLD Weather Survival: Clothing

 

A Short Story

Yesterday late afternoon I went outside to plug in the truck. It’s a diesel and it has a block heater for cold weather like this. I didn’t dress warm for this task since it was just going to be quick. Put on an ordinary winter coat and slipped on my winter boots. I did grab a pair of gloves and put on a hat. HOWEVER…

After plugging in the truck I turned around to see a bucket of deer feed placed outside the front door. Mrs.J’s hint for me to go over to the feeder and dump some in. I figured I better, or else… So I walk over to the spot, which is about 100 feet from the house, and do my chore. I’m now getting cold. The wind is blowing too. The temperature was hovering right around zero.

I walk back towards the house. Mrs.J sticks her head out the door and shouts, “Check the propane while you’re out there!”. We had been talking about making sure that we weren’t running low given the wicked cold forecast. So, I change course and head over to get the shovel which is on the other side of the house where the dog does his “duty”. By now I”m getting COLDER…

Walking back around to the other side of the house, I locate the orange sticks poking out of the snow where the access cover of the tank is buried under the snow. I start to dig it out. Yeeesh! I’m getting pretty darn cold! That wind is biting into my face. I didn’t have my subzero coat on so my body torso is getting colder. I did not have long johns on and it now feels like I don’t have ANY pants on as the wind cuts right through them…

I dig faster. Then, clink, I hit the metal cover! Dig dig dig… Got it! Flipped the cover open, checked to discover 560 gallons still in there (I figured there was plenty, but Mrs.J wanted to know for sure).

I quickly head back to the house, step inside, and stand there as my glasses instantly fog over into a thick haze. Can’t see a thing. At least I”m thawing out!

Here’s the point of this rambling story… It doesn’t take long to get really cold when it’s really cold outside! Wow. You might think that you’re okay with whatever you’re doing, but if something gets twisted in your plans, it’s best to have prepared accordingly!

 

A Fire starter Kit for Subzero temps

If you ever did get stranded, this will probably save your life. Just at least having a BIC lighter in your pocket is some assurance.

Fire. Fire is hot. Hot is good when it’s 20 below zero outside!

Fire Starter Kit To Be Kept Within Your Other Kits

A Fire Starter Kit List

 

The means to communicate for help

For most, a cell phone will take care of this aspect. A call will get someone coming to bail you out if you need it.

For us, we live out in the boonies and cell coverage is spotty. Whenever either one of us goes outside, we let each other know what we’re doing, where we’re going on the property. If it’s beyond the local visual perimeter of the house, we take a 2-way radio with us.

Tell Someone Where You Are Going Before You Step Outside

Communication. Let’s say I’m out snow shoeing somewhere in one of the fields or in the woods. What if I twist an ankle or break something and can’t move! If no one knows I”m there, that’s a BIG problem. Communication!

 

Alternate Heating Source for Subzero Temps

Another thing that I think about when it gets this wicked cold, is how bad it would be if someone’s furnace goes out.

With temperatures below zero, especially if it’s windy, a house can get cold surprisingly fast. This depends of course on the home’s build quality with regards to insulation and air-tightness. However it still happens fast.

You literally will freeze in your own home after awhile. So what about alternate sources of heat? Sounds like a good idea to me!

Consider adding a pellet stove or a wood stove as supplemental heat.

Install a supplemental LP gas heater. They make “in wall” units that could be installed at an exterior wall. Propane tank sitting outside.

‘Mr. Heater Buddy’ for Winter Survival Preparedness

 

Are You Having Cold Weather?

This wicked cold snap is presently across much of the country. What affects / effects are you seeing? What might you add to this post?

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107 Comments

  1. It’s so cold there was a knock at my door – it was my thermometer wanting to come in.

    1. It’s so cold outside, that when I took a leak, I had to use a hammer to break it off my willie !

      1. I worked in Northern Alberta doing seismic survey work back in the seventies. One season, the temp stayed between 30 and 40 below zero for the two months I was in camp. We fueled up our equipment at night, and it ran 24/7/365. If a truck shut down, into the mechanic’s shop , from end jacked up, 2 construction blower heaters aimed at the crank case for 4 hours minimum was the only way to bring ’em back to life. Windshields cracked, metal shattered, lubricants turned into solids, just plain hard to work in that environment. Snotsicles were common, along with a raw patch on your nose when you accidentally broke them off. Frostbite was always just a moment away – you really did not want to be outside.

  2. So cold here (Northern New England) that our car had to be pushed into the heated garage (displacing a relative’s car) to thaw out for a few hours before it would start. Luckily we had ample “beef” in the family to make the push.

    Its -14 this morning. Heck, it was only minus 4 yesterday when the car froze up. Beautiful dawn though – but dangerously cold.

    Colder than a brass doorknob. No wait, its colder than that!

    More seriously, I discovered after the fact that one of my nieces walked out on a small pond a couple days ago while taking a walk. Luckily it did not crack beneath her. No matter how cold it is right now, ITS STILL TOO EARLY to safely walk on pond ice! It will take another few weeks of deep freeze before its truly safe to venture out on…

  3. In this cold I dress for the cold even when I am just going out to the wood shed for wood. I also tell my DH what I am doing. Of course I could fall and be out there for an hour before my DH might think to check on me, this is why I dress as if I am going to be outside for hours.

    Years ago our wood shed was farther from the house and on a slight hill. Every year we all took turns falling in our trek to get wood. Then we had that brutal snow year where roofs were collapsing from all the snow, at which time our wood shed collapsed. When we rebuilt we put the shed off of the deck so we don’t have to trek as far and the deck is level. No more dealing with an icy hill.

    Next year I plan on putting a wood rack by the back door to store at least five days worth of wood. As we age we have to be real careful on falling. Our deck is covered with ice right now making it more treacherous retrieving wood. Salt wont even work in this cold.

    1. Peanut Gallery,
      Several years ago my DH built me a large wood box for the house 3 feet long 2 feet wide and 3 feet tall and on wheels ( I had wanted one but not that big ) At first I didn’t really like it because it was so big and my house is pretty small but now it is the greatest thing ever. We keep it full but when we know a storm is coming we pile it extra high and don’t have to go out for wood for several days.

    2. Wood box or rack is the way to go. it doesn’t get that cold at my place though at 4000 ft i do get snow but 20 degrees or so is about the worst. I was born and lived till my teens in upstate NY so I do know a little about that -20 degree weather. I can remember my father having to get up every couple of hours to start the cars so he and my mom could go to work in the morning. I have a rack by the stove that will hold enough for about 4 – 5 days of non stop burning and a wood box that holds about 2-3 weeks worth just outside the door on the porch. That way if its snowing,raining or just plane miserable out I can choose when to replace wood. Sometimes its just 15 or 20 min at a time then back into the warm house.

  4. this happened back in the 70s im thinking 76 or 77 a friend had spent the night at my place the next day we went to start the car and all it would do is crank over and not start we LITERALLY put charcoal lit it in a a old metal coffee can and slide that under the oil pan it took about 30 minutes but it worked

  5. Live in Ozarks of NW Arkansas, 10 degrees this morning on thermometer. This is cold for us. I decided to buy a 1500w submersible heater for my outside 305 gal water catchment storage tank last week. This is second night of low teens temperatures, so far just thin ice on inside walls of tank.

    I read an article last week that said we are entering an ice-age that will probably last until 2100 and temps may be so low it will affect our ability to raise crops. Oh well, if true I’m sure it will be blamed on the election of Trump.

      1. Theres half an interest in a 33 acre farm lot up above us for a bit over 1mil, great views and an RV trailer sitting on it, excellent soil too,

          1. I know, ive been trying to figure out how i can come up with the down and work out a baloon with the owners, is exceptional, views are absolutely incredible and all the properties around it are huge,

    1. Dennis;

      The article/news I read is the Sun is going into it’s 11-14 year “quiet” cycle, aka lessened Sun Spot Activity. So yes we’re in for about 2-3 years of colder temps.

      Also on the Larger scale, from my buddies down at Langmire Labs they are talking mini-ice age for in the next 10-15 years that may last up to 4-500 years, because of Trump’s bailing out of the France Global Warming Summit.

      Lastly, I do understand the need for a good “chill” to set the Fruit Trees and kill off the Mosquitoes , but this is ridiculous.

      Here in the Four Corners we are having extremely low temps, only up to 56 today and down to 23 tonight….. oops

      1. I thought it was pretty regular for those temps over there? Knew some folks who lived down around there in the early 90s always talked about how cold and windy it was at their place, could have just been their locate though,

      2. NRP,
        Ya it is so cold here I had to wear capris and a tank top to do chores yesterday. . Which is really weird normally this time of year I have several layers on. I also noticed some of the trees are trying to bud out Really hoping we get some moisture soon though or it is going to be a very ugly spring and summer.

        1. Ranchers Wife
          Yep, no fruit this year for sure…..
          WAYYYY!!!! to early for trees to be budding out.

          1. NRP,
            Ya, didn’t have any this year. Sure did miss my apples. No fruit again means another year for a bear problem. Although if we don’t get some moisture soon we are not going to have anything.

          2. Ranchers Wife;
            I agree there, even Wolf has like 1 foot of snow, NOT good.
            Nada but powder here, zero moisture for 4-5 months now.

      1. factfinder,
        Google Rex, Arkansas. It only exists on maps. Once had a post office/one room school back in homestead days. Now is small farms, scattered homes, surrounded by National Forest.

        1. Dennis, we have those in Wyoming — “towns” that show on the map but don’t have any people.

    2. Cool beans, i like the sound of iceage,
      Been wanting to see how much the taste of kale changesbafter a frost, supposed to greatly improve it, of course its too bad so sad for all those folks who will starve to death, guess thats not so good

  6. Just the opposite here. Should be in the teens or less, but it is so warm the trees are budding out!

    1. Some of our fruit trees are all off this year too, plum trees just now putting out fruit, not so sure whats up with that.

      1. banger,
        You too? My plum and pluot trees never produced a thing this year. My oranges are all deformed and ugly looking. The pomegranate tree simply died. And the yield from the meyer lemon tree was one third that of previous years. Strangely, my olive tree produced olives only on one branch too. I wonder what the heck is going on. Granted we have had zero precip since early spring and temps have remained well above normal all of autumn.

  7. -7 F this morning around 5 a.m., warming up today to +2 F, breezy out, trees are still iced up.

    I did experience wind chill around -65 or so in the Green Mountains where I lived, bundled up just to experience it, make the inside of your nose painful to inhale (dropped the facemask, briefly). Have a 1/2 cord of wood in the basement, fire up the woodstove if needed, generator first, woodstove second, Mr. Buddy third.

  8. We hit -33 yesterday morning real temp not windchill. We have a wood fireplace and propane. A township north of us loss power for 5 hours: when it’s this cold your house cools down fast

    1. We hit -29 without the wind last night. In the 60’s we got colder weather would stay at -35/-40 for a week or two.
      Layers,layers and more layers. Good quality wool socks and boot at least a size big will work to keep my feet warm. Klim gloves seem to be the best for keeping hands warm but expensive.
      Goose Down coat also expensive unless you can find one at a second hand store.

  9. Nobody in Iowa goes out in subzero cold without insulated boots and their Carharts,
    Carhart bibs or coveralls over jeans & shirts, then a hooded Carhart jacket overall, including a hat…long johns if needed. Most farmers, hunters, and anyone else who works outside carry extra Carharts in their vehicle. So popular, they make them in womens and kids sizes. They are sold at every farm & ranch store here. Its below zero right now…do I have to go out?

  10. Colder than Hillary’s stare when it was announced Trump had won. In fact, that may be the reason for global warming’s reversal.

      1. Nailbanger
        So cold with hate for lower taxes and a good economy. There is still a tidal wave of financial trouble coming but it takes time to turn a ship this big.

    1. I should not say this, but ya wonder why Bill is a predator? Try being married to Hillary.
      BURRRRRRRR!!!!!! Talk about cold to the core.

  11. It was a balmy 10 degrees here in South Eastern Pennsylvania this morning. When I was stationed in Colorado at Fort Carson in the 1970’s I remember pulling guard duty for two hours around the Motor Pool. It was so cold I jumped into an empty Dempsey Dumpster to get out of the wind and snow as we were experiencing blizzard conditions. Even with full Arctic cold weather gear and Mickey Mouse Boots, I was freezing! The temp was 15 below with wind chill around -35-40 below.

  12. What is extremely worrisome is the probability of loss of power to the ‘masses’ in times like this.

    Hate to imagine “what-if” the North-East drops electrical to several million people.

    Even more reason to review the Preps, especially ways to keep warm and to keep at minimal one room warm.

    And YES, these cold temps ARE a SHTF for many. I see on the news that it’s already turning “Deadly”. PLEASE be careful out there.

    1. Yes, I agree NRP….
      Strangely at WM yesterday, I saw displays for batteries with this in bold big letters
      “For When the Power Goes Out”…..that seemed a bit odd…

    2. You are exactly right. It would be extremely devastating when it’s this cold. Without electricity to run most people’s furnaces, and if the outage was widespread, there would be no escaping it (unless you had lots of fuel stored to drive south!)

    1. NB…Sending you a virtual snowcone from PA, LOL! ;)
      Please whatever you do just don’t tell us it is 80 degrees and sunny…. ;)

      1. Its not yet, is only 6:37 am and sun is just coming over the horizon, so here at our house is about 52ish but by 11 or so will be 75-80 and is going to be a beautiful sunny day too
        😎☕️🍪

        1. Nailbanger
          If I get taxed into poverty, my last bit of money will go for a plane ticket to your location – what better place to be homeless.

          1. Thats been my thinking, i know enough folks who would let me camp or fix old homes on their property that i could God willing figure it out and not be on the street,,,,

        2. I hear that welfare is also generous there – saw a guy with a recliner on the beach – maybe I could run for office and get rich. What a great place. :)

  13. Good day, Everyone,
    We woke up to -2 this morning, I think it is around 12 now…
    Bitter Bitter, but better than last week with 20 degrees and harsh winds…
    We have our wood stove going, very good
    Animals are well lots of hay and some have heated waterers, others we swap out fresh warm water 2x day….
    Another good reason to keep warm blankets, hats, gloves and water in your car….
    Good Providence to all!

  14. It’s so cold at Four Corners, Blue is waiting his turn for the toilet. Not a dumb dog. :)

  15. It’s been 15 at night for a couple weeks and 20’s daytime. Now warming to 40ish daytime. Glad I got the heat pump as people are having hellashish heat bills right now. Still pondering alternate heat source.

  16. All kidding aside,
    Stay warm yall, hope you had a Merry Christmas, and wishing you all a very happy new Year! Even those of you who think im a jerk,,,,😎✌🏻

    1. hey NB while some may think you are a jerk ( we all are at times ) your still part of the family just like the rest of us so don’t sweat the small sh!t. have a good New Year

  17. Just got back inside from quick run around my place in my fully enclosed Polaris ranger side-x-side. Reminder to all, those low pressure tires on utility vehicles show tire pressure drop more dramatically than regular vehicles in this extra cold weather. Mine all look about half flat. Fine around the place, but will probably add some air before I go very far.

    1. Dennis
      If them side x sides get any fancier, they will be called SUV’s and cost three times as much – does yours have cup holders?

      1. hermit us,
        Yes, two. Actually, mine is a pretty basic one, other than I did pay for a real safety glass windshield, plastic roof, plexiglass rear window and cloth doors to make it all-weather. Basically, I replaced my Jeep with it, because after my heart bypass and hip replacement, the UTV was much easier to get in and out of. It’s been a God-send for mobility while recovering from the surgeries. I can slide into and out of it with no climbing and law enforcement turns a blind eye to it being used on county roads where I live. This particular model employs their “lock and ride” design that allows you to install or remove the cab components in about ten minutes or less. I’ve nicknamed it my “Ranger Walker”.

      2. hermit us,
        My closest neighbor, who is a “weekender” bought a side x side about a week after test driving mine. He and his wife, both school teachers, opted for the sound system, off road lights, and camo paint job instead of the enclosed cab. We passed each other on the road a few minutes ago and he had frozen snot plastered on the side of his face and he gave me a hand sign indicating he thought I was #1 as we met.

  18. Also in NH, and love this post! I needed the laugh, can relate. We were out yesterday with double base layers, so while my long winter coat didn’t have a coat,my merino woolies had synthetic friends. I had on a balaclava and a big furry hat. A second coat doesn’t sound bad actually! :-)

    On a serious note, I wish more people would respect this kind of weather. It’s not enough to depend on you car’s heater when it’s this cold. Everyone I know is running around shopping and errands in sweatshirts, and most do not have a real car kit with warmer gear. Makes me cringe.

    Looks like we’re in for a few more days of extra layers. Stay warm!

  19. We are having highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits and is expected to stay this way for at least a week or more. This is a little colder than what we usually get this early in the season. I generally like cold weather but this is a bit much. Its time to clean up the kerosene heaters and get them going.

    Don’t forget to check your smoke and co2 alarms.

  20. It was so cold this morning that I had to wear socks when I woke up. Expected high of 83 today, here in the land of fruits and nuts. …………. (runs for the nearest exit…… *door slam*)

  21. If you can’t trust weathermen, who can you trust? Checked the TV, Radio, and internet Weather Channel, finding a 12 degree spread, none of which match up with what I’m reading on our thermometer. I swear, if they’d just put it in the contract when they hire a weather guy that he had to walk outside every hour they’d be a lot more accurate. At least him an office with a window.

    Been breaking ice in the water tubs every 4-5 hours, that sure gets old in a hurry. One nice thing about the Ozarks is this cold weather won’t last more than another 45 days.

  22. Yeah, I’ll take the humidity any day. We are also cold this week here in north middle Tenn. Expecting 9 to 6 degrees. Some winters we barely hit the 20’s. This is not new the 80’s had some cold winters. Lived in a 14 x 70 mobile. One of the elements on the heater went out, none in stock, so it never got above 55 inside for about a week. Had to chisel the ice off the back door to open it. Stayed in long johns under clothing. Told husband at the time, don’t even think about, you know, not getting out of my long johns except to bathe !!!
    The La Nina is supposed to bring a wetter winter here. Not so far. I am glad there is a low precipitation chance with this cold. NOT FOND of ice storms………………
    Stay warm and prep on…..

  23. I’m waiting for a book I ordered called “Cold Times: How to Prepare for the Mini Ice Age”.. I think all here would enjoy it. By Dr. Anita Baily, PhD, $18.95, 388 pages and just published Nov 12, 2017. It’s so new there is only one review. Five stars with the comment that it’s the only preparedness book you’ll ever need.

    Just some of what she has done – Nurse, nurse practitioner, Doctorate in nursing, SCUBA
    card, trained different breeds of dogs for rescue, Masters degree in Disaster Preparedness
    and Emergency Management, authored 100’s of articles on small farming, peer-reviewed
    scholarly works on Alzheimers and nursing research and popular how=to works under the
    name Anita Avangelista (think How to Live Without Electricity and Like It).

    Then there’s alternative health, reflexology, herbal remedies, organic gardening, commercial sheep and goat operations…and on and on. “She is married and living the dream in the
    rural Ozarks. This is her fourteenth book.”

    She sounds like she knows what she is talking about and I can’t wait for it to arrive.
    I share as others may be interested.

  24. in the Willamette Valley, we are going through a bit of warm up after 4-5 days of freezing temps. It is nice to have a break from scraping ice off windshields for a few days. We do not get as cold as some reports I have been reading on this site.

    When I walk my dog first thing in the am, it takes me about 5 minutes to suit up in my goretex pants and jacket over fleece sweats, gloves and fleece cap prior to going outside. When it gets really cold, I replace the gore tex jacket with a down jacket. Much of my clothing these days is from Duluth Trading Post.

    When I lived in McGyver’s neighborhood, I wore wrangler lightweight denim because it was frequently too hot to wear thick, heavy garments. ( even in winter ). Global warming? All I do know is I got snowed on ( lightly ) on last years varmint hunting trip in Eastern OR in April. ( unusual but it happens.). My garden did not really start popping out of the ground or blossoming until mid May. ( a short, late spring.).

    For most on this site, how many keep a journal? All of my farmer relatives still do. I found it really useful for fishing and hunting. #1 topic for the journal entry begins with: Weather.

  25. Nailbanger, you’re not a jerk, not even a lolo. Envy you your location. Went back for a visit last January and DW caught bronchitis on the plane. it was a nice place to be sick in. Seemed warmer than I remembered from being stationed there from 1972 to 1977. Can’t complain to much here in NorCal. Temps in the low 50s in the day and to low 40s to mid 30s at night.

  26. Just came in from shoveling the snow away from the garage door. It’s currently a warm -2F (windchill -15F). We’ve been experiencing -40C some nights and that’s way too cold. We’re also in that deep freeze that the NE is getting but so far, not as much snow. Apparently Mother Nature sent it to the U.S.

    My tip is go pee before putting on all the layers. Just like we used to do with the kids.

    Stay warm.

    kk

    1. @ NRP

      Very considerate of Blue. Thought you’d have to break off the pee icicle.

      kk

      1. kk;
        As I was told many MANY times when young, do NOT eat the yellow snow… HAHAHA Now it’s don’t use the Yellow Ice for that Mint Julep :-) :-)

        1. Up here we have a saying, “Watch where the Huskies go so you don’t eat no yellow snow”

  27. It is so cold outside one can ‘freeze dry’ they clothing’, no machine required.😉

  28. coldest I ever saw was -44F in the mid-Rockies around the winter of ’77-78. When it is that cold, only 1 in ten vehicles will start. The mine’s open pit trucks never shut off that winter, just got refueled and changed drivers. Ran 10% gas in the diesel to keep it from gelling. rough.
    Right now I am about 100 miles north of NRP and Blue, and it is in the 50s with sun shining. Very unusual. Trying to get everything I can done before the ‘other boot falls’ and the weather turns sour. watering the trees and the little bit of grass we have. it has been sooooo dry.

  29. At the kids for the holidays, colder here in eastern Kansas than the Intermountan West. Yeah, colder than a cast iron toilet seat!

    1. It’s so cold outside that my chainsaw said to me:
      No…..no…..no wayyyy. Phft
      No….no…..well…..phft…..nope
      Whatttt…..whaaa….whatttt
      Phfff-ta
      Blahhh….blahhhh
      Let’s go in where it’s warm.
      True story

  30. Have an idea that if power was lost in a major way around metropolitan areas, that folks would probably be recommended to go to enclosed arenas. Ideal, no, but still better than freezing. It’s so cold in the Midwest that the lake thought it was funny and just cracked up 🙄

  31. It’s been minus 18 here at night. We have had a couple of days where the temperature never got above zero. Not a record, for sure. It has been as low as -35 since I moved here.

    I have been practicing using some of my alternate sources of heat. My propane wall heater has been set for 70 and it stays that temp here in my living room/kitchen. However, the floors are not as warm as they are when I use my gas furnace. I plan to have my propane tank topped of next week after I have been using it for a couple of weeks so I can see how much I use.

    I closed off my bathroom (have to do that or the cats unroll the toilet paper.) I put one of my Kandle Heeters in there and it keeps my bathroom surprisingly warm. They have ceramic tops that heat up very hot. I tried one in my garage, but it didn’t work. At 18 below, the ceramic top never heats up. So it seems the Kandle Heeter needs to be above freezing to work. Still, it’s great for spring and fall.

  32. Reading all the comments here today now i know why I’m seeing all those license plates from the northern states down here on the gulf coast. It has been a little cooler here, temps in the upper 30’s-lower 40’s at night and 40’s-lower 50’s in the day. I actually had to break out a fleece lined flannel shirt. Next week is when they are predicting 20’s at night and 30’s to 40’s during the day. It’s really kinda funny how the weathermen are freaking out.
    Wonder what Al Gore has to say about global warming now with the prediction of a mini ice age coming.

  33. We are having some mild temperature here. Earlier this winter we had about a week of below zero temp’s but now it ranges from 6 to 30 above zero. I have seen temps here -40 for two-three weeks at a time. In the 80’s & 90’s I worked outside on the ramp at the airport as an aircraft mechanic. We had a Herman-Nelson heater to keep us somewhat warm when we had to work on an aircraft. When I was in the Army here in the mid 70’s we were at Buffalo DZ at Eielson AFB for a winter exercise. The temperature dropped to 67 below. We were living in tents with Yukon stoves fueled with JP-4 for heat. It was quite cozy, I now own one. We still did Army things and one of our helicopters broke. It needed a new fuel control so we put a parachute over it and put the heater hoses from 2 Herman-Nelson heaters into it. Working with Jet fuel in weather that cold if you were not careful you got instant frost bite. I have also worked at Dead Horse (the North Slope of Alaska) during the winter where the temperature stayed around 20 to 30 below for over a month. Needless to say, I have a lot of winter clothing, insulated coveralls, snorkel parkas and boots good to 60 below but unfortunately over the years sitting in the closet most of it shrank.

  34. I forgot to add, some times it got so cold our words froze as we spoke. We had to carry the words into a warm area and thaw them out so we knew what was said.

  35. Something not thought about when temps drop down to the dangerous level, is what if do there is a bad snow/ice storm, and you lose power for a couple days. I think everyone has a plan to keep warm etc. but how would you keep your pipes, water heater even your toilet from freezing? What about your drinking water stashed in different places? Heat lamps, heat tape and space heaters would still work. If you had a good power source.
    I brought this up because we have a closed loop water system. I was transferring water from my water wagon to my inside tank. The air was so cold that the water was getting icy/slushy in the 20 foot hose, and clogging the screen in the water inlet by the 12 volt pump. Then the hose got so brittle, it snapped off on the end.
    Just something to think about.

    1. Livin’ in the Woods
      I have a friend that lives in Sturgis SD; two winters ago they lost power for 3 weeks, well over $60,000 of damages to their home from freezing. They now have a Generator.

  36. Don’t worry about the mini-ice age. Six months from now it’ll be global warming again 😧😥😧😥😧😥, they can’t make up their minds, albeit the sky is always falling. It’s probably both at the same time 🤣 One day we’re getting blasted by solar flares, the next day the sun’s going dark. One day there’s not enough water, the next day the world’s getting hit with catastrophic flooding. Sorry for chasing those rabbits Ken, but they were cold and I just thought I’d help em get warmed up a bit 😯

  37. Livin’…
    That’s a good thought provoking inquiry! The folks with the cold weather plumbing experience could probably offer some worthwhile advice. I watched a YouTube video about wrapping water pipes in Alaska, very helpful, but you still need electricity. Just one more thing that shows how dependent we’ve become on electricity. A little bit too much so, IMHO. Perhaps that’s where a little creativity and ingenuity would come in handy in order to figure out how to keep things warm.

  38. Sometimes it gets so cold here in north Idaho,it would freeze the butt (being polite) off a brass monkey. OH,wait! I’m not sure we have brass monkeys here. Anyway,we had a lot of cold here last week,and now it has pushed off east,thank goodness.But now we are having snow constantly.Getting real tired of it,but more to come. I don’t remember it ever getting much below -30 or-40 in the past though.Been here most of my life, and worked outside for about 35 years. Suffered through a few cold ones.

  39. To: Livin’ in the Woods:

    You are correct about thinking about the house and yard when the weather gets extreme cold. Like most Californians relocating to a colder region, it takes some getting used to and we had a bit of a learning curve:

    We moved into new construction built by people that live up here and build to anticipate below freezing winters and hot, humid summers. The heater and water heater for the house are built within the garage and the pipes are within the walls. The home is insulated. Both heaters rely on gas.

    Garden hoses are drained in winter and a few short ones are kept in the garage for hosing off messy things when above freezing. Other than that, there are frost caps on our outside water spigots. Winter gardening consists of adding seed to bird feeders and hot water to the bird bath.

    1. Hey CaliRefugee;
      I had to chuckle a bit on your comment “it takes some getting used to and we had a bit of a learning curve”
      First winter from San Diego to 6700 feet, 3 feet of snow and sub 0 temps… One learns real quick what Thinsulate and Tire Chains are… HAHAHAHA

  40. Hey NRP: I remember you saying that you are/were in the construction trades.

    I am now watching some California based construction companies moving up here to help build and I notice they are building designs that do not take into account the existance of 4 seasons to include sub-freezng temperatures. ( I saw pipes and elbows in water systems in the ceiling and poorly insulated among other things.). Lots of smooth finish concrete walkways outside homes and apartments to ice over and lots of outside stairs.

    As a retired ambulance driver, I flinch when I think of all the potential for head and neck injuries and broken hips just waiting to happen. Sadly, I see most of these mistakes being made in the buildings where people can least afford to up and move: low income housing areas.

    The four seasons of California being: Earthquakes, Wildfires, Floods and Riots. ( mostly true in Southern California.). Not much frost down there.

    Lastly, studded tires were one of the first purchases for our vehicles upon arrival because I started on my job in December. ( gotta be at work even if the roads are icy.)

    1. CaliRefugee
      Even here I can believe the ‘re-training’ of the drivers when the first snows hit. I make it a policy NOT to go to work the first and second snows.
      All the time I hear people say “Well I have 4 wheel drive” that’s when ya run the other way….. FAST!!!
      I will agree in the building practices. one can always tell when an “out-of-town-er” shows up on a project.
      As far as 4 seasons, here we have Wind, Hot as hell, Very NICE and cold as the ex’s heart. :-)

  41. We’re experiencing historical lows for our area right now-so far we’ve lost function of one of our toilets because the line froze somewhere sigh….

  42. Can I complain on the opposite side? It was 108F in Sydney Australia yesterday. I can take that lol. I don’t think I could take -35F. My freezer is only set to -1 lol.F

    1. Paul! 108 there in Australia! (I wouldn’t mind a vacation there right about now ;) )

      Compared to last night’s low of -20, it’s a difference of 128 degrees! WOW!

      1. It would be interesting if we were dropped in each others environments, immediately. We would probably die lol.

        1. Paul, standing outside sweating, better than worrying if your nose is getting frostbit for me. Arctic air, low humidity, I’m a static spark machine in the house.

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