Monoliths, Minnesota style

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Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

https://kstp.com/news/frozen-pants-in-m ... y/6007133/

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We're freezing our pants off over here, folks.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

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Well done
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by benhall.1 »

I thought you said the bad snow had passed you by ...
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

benhall.1 wrote:I thought you said the bad snow had passed you by ...
It has. Snow-wise, what you are seeing is unremarkable as winter scenes go in Minnesota and most of the rest of northern North America. It's a meh. Normal. Where I live, "bad snow" starts with accumulations of 5 feet - we've been there and more, before - and then you really have to figure out what to do with it all. But when you get snows like that, it's never nearly as cold as it's gotten now. Once it gets this cold, snowfall is usually negligible at most. It's an inverse correlation. One year a lot of the boulevards were piled so high that a driver couldn't see the oncoming cross-traffic. That was unusual, but it's always a possibility in milder temps. As you can see in the pic, this year we don't have near that much; you have to cross the Mississippi eastward to see the monster accumulations of this latest storm system. So MN dodged that bullet; fortunately we haven't had to deal with both heavy snows and the deepfreeze too, this year. Others haven't been so lucky.

What the pic doesn't convey - aside from the frozen jeans "protest" - is how bitterly cold it now is, and with a guest-that-won't-leave vengeance. As I type this, it is -2F (-19C), and we are courting a low tonight of -13F (-25C), and Minneapolis has it easy (the urban thermal island effect, no doubt). Northwest MN is today seeing high temps of -15F (-26C), with lows expected at -30F (-34.5C). Never mind Minnesota; Canada's already had lows of -43F (-41.6C). We northlanders have been experiencing this deepfreeze for a good few days now, but I thought you cats would dig the frozen jeans commentary art, and that inspired me to post about why it's there. Sunday's low in MPLS is expected to hit -20F (-28.9C), and who knows how cold the low will get that day for those in northwest MN. A mere day or two of this wouldn't be worth mentioning, but when it's all over we'll have gone through this grinder for around 10 or so days straight; usually we get more modulation. But after that we anticipate an upswing (probably long-term for the most part), but not as swiftly as I'd like.

January was positively mild (by our standards), so I guess we're paying for it now. This is the sort of weather when you hear trees pop.

Every now and then someone asks, "Which would you rather have: the snow, or the cold?" Seriously? What kind of dumbass question is that? I'm neither a skier nor an ice fisher; I just want to stay warm and keep the sidewalks clear. But once you've made it through, the rest of the year makes me forget the winter and keeps me here in spite of all. :)
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by chas »

My senior year of college (in Maine) was one of those winters when snow removal was impossible for quite awhile. I think it snowed at least several inches about three times a week from October into February. We cut steps into the piles of snow by the side of the street; we walked about ten feet above the sidewalk. My roommate was a bio major and had to dissect a dogfish for a chordate anatomy class; of course I helped him. When we were done, we dug a deep horizontal hole in the mound of snow by the street, so that a shark's face would show when the snow began to melt. It didn't work, as they were able to begin snow removal a few weeks later.

Someone did us one better, anyway. The quad in the center of campus was kind of a low point, so when the snow melted, there was always a pond created. Someone put their dogfish there, so it looked like a shark was swimming in the pond.

ETA: Those winters when it's too cold to snow really sucked. We were on the edge of the snow belt, and two of my four years of college we had little to no snow. There was nothing but brown and we had stretches when we didn't see much north of 0 F (around -20 C) and occasional lows of 20-30 below. It's no accident that I settled south of the Mason-Dixon line.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

chas wrote:I think it snowed at least several inches about three times a week from October into February.
And that, folks, is a pummeling of Biblical proportions.
chas wrote:It's no accident that I settled south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Now, I could make the case that living in Minnesota is existentially analogous to the proper (if endlessly repeated) sauna experience, and as such is therefore most healthsome, but I'm afraid I have to admit that you simply have more sense than I.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by an seanduine »

One beastly winter in Eastern Washington we had three feet of snow the first twenty-four hours. Temps dropped from around 50 deg.F to low thirties the first 2-3 hours. Whiplash. :lol: Next twenty-four hours another three feet of snow. Followed by another two feet the following day. Then it got cold. . .night time temps of minus 20 F daytimes around 0 F. Total snowfall for the month of December was 100 inches. It was like living on the face of the moon. . .or a mountain summit. One lane each way through town with snow piled over ten feet high in the middle. When the temp topped 20 deg.F about the middle of January we had a celebration. Thought I was living in Bemidji :o I borrowed a buddies volkswagen to have a reliable cold weather car. Pretty extreme weather even for that area.

No surprise I now live on the coast.

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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

an seanduine wrote:Thought I was living in Bemidji :o
In its defense, Bemidji does have culture. :wink:

You can bet that after this cold spell, our young bucks'll be wearing shorts as soon as they can brave it. No point in waiting for the snows to melt...
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

Noon, and -7F (-21.6C). Even with central heating, you can feel it.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by PB+J »

Excellent work! Plus the delightful Irony of Easter Island heads made of snow.

I love the cold--snow gets tiresome, but I enjoy the cold and am always a little sorry to see it go and glad for its return. Where I live we don't get too much below freezing very often, or for more than a few days.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

PB+J wrote:Where I live we don't get too much below freezing very often, or for more than a few days.
That would be Shangri-la for an Upper Midwesterner. "Cold" is a pretty relative term with a sliding scale, so my people tend to use descriptive modifiers of increasing intensity like "not so", "a bit", "rather", "very", "bitterly", and "dangerously" (there are others, but they're unprintable here). Right now we're at dangerously cold - some call it bitter, which it is, but it's also dangerous, as the hospitals will attest; the homeless and ill-dressed are hardest hit with frostbite which, when severe, can cost you fingers, toes and ears. And, as you might guess, under prolonged exposure it can kill you. So it's no joke. No cold-related fatalities yet so far as I know, but they wouldn't come as a surprise. Me, I just have to go bundled up from my heated apartment to my nearby car to a heated shop and back again, so my exposure is typically negligible (the car takes a while to warm up, but at least you're sheltered). After this deep-cold snap is over and the temps rise to about 28F (-2C), we'll be calling it "warm, finally". As I said, it's all relative, and of course it depends on who's talking.

What's of real consequence is wind chill: Although the MPLS air temperature right now is -3F (-19.5C), on a windless day it wouldn't be so bad if you're acclimated; but the wind chill right now is at -20F (-28.9C), which means the effect on exposed flesh is comparable to that of -20F on a windless day. There's a way to calculate wind chill, but I just check the weather sources because they do the work for me. When the wind chill is at -20F, you pay attention. Yes, sir.

If one compares today's high (-3F) to the average local high for this time of year (28F), I think one might just possibly detect a bit of a disparity. Apparently records are being broken all over, but I haven't been paying close attention. I'll be in more of a mood in a few days.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

Texas is colder than Alaska

That's just messed up.
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Re: Monoliths, Minnesota style

Post by Nanohedron »

Finally at average temps in MN. That took a good long while.
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