I have sad news to report — my ice skating pond is not finished yet. But we have a good excuse. It has been so cold my husband was concerned the water might freeze on the trip home.
The conditions have been extreme here, even by Alaska standards. We had two nights of 20 below zero (-29 C). And then it warmed up a few degrees, and the infamous Matanuska River wind began to blow. In the nearby town of Palmer, where the wind really howls, signs were flying off buildings and people were dashing from cars to shops as quickly as they could. The Anchorage Daily News had this great photo.
We typically don’t get as much wind at our house as in Palmer, but the past couple of nights we could hear it howling over the tops of the trees and threatening to scatter our plastic sleds about the yard.
The Matanuska wind has been known to reach 100 mph in the winter, although this week I suspect it was closer to 50 or 60 mph. The wind chill factor makes an incredible difference. For example, when it was -10F (-23 C), but the wind was blowing at 50 mph, the temperature in effect drops to -45 F (-43 C.)
But we certainly didn’t have it as bad as some areas of the state. On the Kenai Peninsula, south of here, 70 mph winds knocked out the power to more than 1,000 homes. And north in Fairbanks, where it is often extremely cold in the winter, they set a new record for November 17. The temperature, with no wind, was 41 degrees below zero F, which strangely enough is -41 Celsius as well.
This morning at our house, though, the wind has calmed some and the thermometer reads a balmy 10 below zero, so we’re going to give it a try. Sam is bringing home 200 gallons of water in a tank in the back of the truck, and we’re going to see if we can make that ice skating pond.
P.S. We got some exciting news from Canada this week: CHATELAINE MAGAZINE (Canada’s premier women’s magazine – which reaches aprox. 4 million women monthly) has selected THE SNOW CHILD as their March issue Book Club pick (issue comes out mid-Feb). Previous titles that have been book club picks included The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.