Brrrr … it’s cold outside

Dear warm reader,

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.



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mr. Baer
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 09:21:26

    It is a wee bit chilly! The good part is, Bella (the lab) had ACL surgery (a 12 week recovery period and try to explain that to a labrador) two weeks ago and is quite content to spend 90% of her day hanging by the wood stove and I join her now and then with a good book.

  2. Sarah davis
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 09:37:36

    It has been quite mild in London for November although it feels cooler this evening but no where as freezing as Alaska hope you have a good weekend

  3. Vivian Faith Prescott
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 10:25:25

    Yikes! That’s cold! Here in Kodiak we’ve had temps in the high teens and 20s. I don’t know what the chill factor is but not nearly as cold as where you live. Congrats on your book club stint.

  4. Mr. Jim
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 10:44:13

    Still a bit breezy here this morning. A blistering 1 above. The Jotul has been doing an outstanding job keeping the house warm. Any bets we see 40 below this winter? Good luck on the skating rink hope Sam makes it home with liquid and not an ice cube.

  5. Yaya
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 02:51:03

    Buffalo’s forecast is for a sunny 52 degrees today. Much as we would like to live in the beautiful state of Alaska with family nearby, the very thought of 20 below zero cools our ardor. Good choice by CHATELAIN MAG. Congratulations!

  6. AdriAnne Strickland (@adriannems)
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 10:04:16

    I made the mistake of leaving the house with wet hair to go into Palmer the other day, and my hair was frozen solid in about thirty seconds of being outside in the wind. It was clacking as it blew around, which can’t be good for it…

    Congratulations on Chatelain! Our little Lazy Mountain book club met last night and just chose your book for February. Everyone’s excited!

  7. Mrs Penfold
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 14:44:57

    Wow, can only imagine how cold that must be. Last Friday it was 33C here in Melbourne, Aust. and wierdly for this time of year it’s humid.
    What shoes/boots would keep you warm for those sort of conditions?

  8. Penny
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 06:52:55

    GREAT news about Chatelaine’s choice! I JUST pre-ordered The Snow Child and we’ll definitely have to put it out there for our book club choice for our March read! Looking forward to receiving it – I’ve read nothing but amazing reviews for it!

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