Thursday, February 07, 2008

Forty Below

Johnny Cash (and a couple other people) did a song called "When It's Springtime In Alaska (It's Forty Below)". And it's often true, come February and sometimes March it can get bitter up here. Our local weather guy had predicted last month that we were out of the bitter cold, which would be unusual, but welcome, and recently admitted on air that he's never regretted saying anything so much. Basically it's been -40 or colder all week.

The Interior of Alaska, where we live, is interesting for its extreme highs and lows. I've seen it over 90 in the summer and I've seen -67 in the worst of the cold (that's Fahrenheit). We do have to compensate a bit. You'll hear people discuss the "R Value" of their windows, complain about square tires, and moan what plugging in their cars is doing to their electric bill

No, we don't all have electric hybrids, up here you add heaters to your engine that run off electricity so your oil will move and your battery won't freeze and even your coolant (which is called anti-freeze here) doesn't turn to slush.

And air conditioning is something stores have - we open our windows.

Anyway, here's a neat chart by the Alaska Climate Research Center. The grey belt is our "normal" temperatures (ha. Climate is what you tell people, weather is what you get!). Those sharp spiky bits are the highs and lows for this winter.

Click through and look at January. We had almost 40 above and colder than -40. can you imagine?

Anyway, our place is warm, we've avoided square tires and major car issues (thank goodness we're no longer running 20 year old vehicles), and things are well. The kids aren't even going too batty from being cooped up inside yet.

Oh, the easiest way to take the chill off your house in cold weather? Bake something! We're making cookies tomorrow. I think we'll blow off the healthy stuff and make chocolate chip. Best recipe: The Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe with Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Chips.

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