Join 3,372 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


brrrrrrr
February 6, 2012 9:56 AM   Subscribe

It's pretty darn cold in Europe this winter, with over 300 dead as a result sadly.
posted by yeoz (137 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Meanwhile, we were above freezing this past weekend in Yellowknife. It's usually -20 to -40 around now. Crazy weather these days.
posted by ODiV at 9:59 AM on February 6, 2012


Meanwhile, it's 53 in New York City. I would love to talk to anyone who doesn't believe in climate change.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, it's 53 in New York City. I would love to talk to anyone who doesn't believe in climate change.

Yes, but, you see, Al Gore is fat. So there.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2012 [46 favorites]


Yes, I'll admit that I feel more than a bit guilty about the pleasure I've been getting from Berlin finally getting some snow and sunshine. As a sometimes-stereotypical Canadian, I'll take bone-cracking cold + sunshine over endless grey + rain any day, but it's not so delightful when you're homeless and your city doesn't have the sort of "cold emergency" measures that places like Toronto and Montréal have (well, it's never delightful when you're homeless, but I digress).

In any case, it's refreshing after the first few months of muddy, grey, suicide-inducing weaksauce, but it's also putting strain on places that don't have the infrastructure for it.
posted by LMGM at 10:02 AM on February 6, 2012


The sad thing: if it's a cooler winter again next year, then Global Warming is a hoax.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:03 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Japan is experiencing some of the heaviest snowfalls (15 feet) and coldest temperatures in recent years. Apparently it is something to do with *low* levels of sea ice on the Barents Sea, which means an extremely cold cyclonic system is stuck over Japan or something. But that's climate change for you.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just worried how the unseasonable warmth here in the US is going to affect pollen count and bug populations, no freeze over, no winter die off.....
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm really hoping for an Elfstedentocht.
posted by Pendragon at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


Also, there's a tropical storm headed for Florida. It's February.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:06 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Should we talk about the weather? Should we talk about the government? Should we talk about how the government talks about the weather?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:06 AM on February 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


The sad thing: if it's a cooler winter again next year, then Global Warming is a hoax.

...and I mean that from a North American redneck and moon-landing conspiracy theorist P.O.V.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:07 AM on February 6, 2012


Japan is experiencing some of the heaviest snowfalls (15 feet) and coldest temperatures in recent years.

Wow, you're not kidding.
posted by ODiV at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm just worried how the unseasonable warmth here in the US is going to affect pollen count and bug populations...

And germs. Plagues are often preceded by warm winters and associated with poor economic conditions.
posted by DU at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


The sad thing: if it's a cooler winter again next year, then Global Warming is a hoax.

Probably a good thing that it's an out-dated term and it's been referred to as climate change in any serious discussion.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:09 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]




I'm just worried how the unseasonable warmth here in the US is going to affect pollen count and bug populations...


I an tell you, I'm looking forward to ticks, pine beetles, wildfires and grasshoppers.
But at least there won't be moisture for the mosquitoes to hatch in?

Very small mercies around here.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:11 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Again? Seems that Europe keeps getting the deep freeze winter after winter while the US gets the mild temperatures (at least on average).
posted by crapmatic at 10:13 AM on February 6, 2012


Wow, you're not kidding.

Wow. I thought Wisconsin/Illinois got a ton of snow last winter (people even got stuck in cars), but I think the snow total was only something like 2 feet.
posted by drezdn at 10:14 AM on February 6, 2012


Snowfall on Rome, Nice and Mallorca is hurting my head a little.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:14 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


And meanwhile, it's been upwards of 76 degrees here in Tallahassee, Florida, though we're smack dab in the middle of what's normally the only sustained period of cold we get in the winter.

That also happens to be pretty close to our average high temperature.

We're really not getting any consistent winter-like weather at all here this year. God only knows what new species of annoying pest will be raiding our cupboards come spring. We only just got used to the ubiquitous clover mites that started showing up in our neighborhood the last couple of years.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:15 AM on February 6, 2012


It's true. There was an inch of snow on the ground in London yesterday and it took all day to thaw.
posted by Decani at 10:15 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I grew up in rural New England, and -35C is beyond my three measures of cold: 1) nostril hairs are stabby, 2) it hurts my lungs to breathe, and 3) eyelids now frozen shut.

I would however like to try this.
posted by zippy at 10:16 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time the temperature gets above 45-50 here in central New Jersey my sinuses let me have it. I look forward to usually getting a break during the winter. This winter, though, I've gone through a lot of pseudoephedrine.

With Europe in the deep freeze and North America balmy, this is starting to sound an awful lot like one of cstross's short stories.
posted by mollweide at 10:18 AM on February 6, 2012


Yeah, usually this time of year there's piles of snow three or four feet high beside my sidewalk where my partner and I have shoveled repeatedly. Right now, it is 6C and it has been running 3-6 degrees C warmer than seasonal all winter; the number of typical cold days we've had so far I can count on one hand. We might get a couple seasonal days this weekend but I'm not betting on it. Summers haven't been too much warmer at all, though. A bit wetter.

The stupid irony if this pattern continues is that if our winters get 5-10C milder, it will be a glorious place to live. I frankly hate the deep freeze locker, though I can appreciate those who enjoy true cold.

On the other hand; shit, walking around Ontario in February with nothing more than a fly jacket for weeks is just fucking WRONG.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:18 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pendragon: "I'm really hoping for an Elfstedentocht."

Damnit, I was hoping it was something like Ragnarok or something. *yawn*
posted by symbioid at 10:18 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


7 degrees right now in Toronto (Celsius). I've never seen a winter like this. The cycling has been great. I haven't even worn my proper winter jacket. It's all very strange.
posted by beau jackson at 10:20 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


ARGH. Okay, one more time, this time with feeling:

KokuRyu: “Japan is experiencing some of the heaviest snowfalls (15 feet) and coldest temperatures in recent years...”

ODiV: “Wow, you're not kidding.”

drezdn: “Wow. I thought Wisconsin/Illinois got a ton of snow last winter (people even got stuck in cars), but I think the snow total was only something like 2 feet.”

Snowfall may be heavy in Japan, but I wouldn't trust that news source – the crazy photo there is an old stock photo, and is not from this year at all. For instance. (Not sure it's from 2010, either. Probably older.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on February 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've been walking around with t-shirt on and no jacket here in PA. Good thing too since the water pump on our (two year old) furnace is about to die and I'm still waiting for the replacement part to come in.
posted by octothorpe at 10:21 AM on February 6, 2012


Oh, but in the Netherlands it is.
posted by Pendragon at 10:21 AM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I am seriously creeped out by this year's weather. Rhode Island had near-freezing temperatures in October, then it has been bouncing between about 20DF and 60F all winter, with a fair amount of rain, but only one snowfall of any significance (and that was no big deal). Everyone thinks I can crazy for complaining about this, but I want winter to be winter (even though RIslanders can't clear snow to save their lives), and the freakishly warm temperatures make the cold days harder to bear because you have no warning -- it's 60F one day and the next is 20F.... It makes it hard to plan what to wear, and you end up either freezing or carrying overcoats around. Gah!

Heavens knows what it will mean for next year's agricultural season. It's like the year is just pulling random days out of a bag and throwing them around. We'll probably get a hard freeze in April that will kill everything.

Europe, you have my sympathy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:21 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the "you're not kidding" link isn't exactly accurate. Anyway, the blogger at bastish.net lives in Nagano, quite close to the Japan Sea coast (near Joetsu, in Niigata) and his photos are really something to see.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:23 AM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]




The stupid irony if this pattern continues is that if our winters get 5-10C milder, it will be a glorious place to live. I frankly hate the deep freeze locker, though I can appreciate those who enjoy true cold.


As somebody that enjoys cold, and is concerned about the implications of this, I find it really frustrating to listen to the weather people on the radio rant about how nice it is that we're getting week after week of plus zero.

It's warm, but it's certainly not a good thing.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:24 AM on February 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Relevant, perhaps? A loss of sea ice could be a cause of the bitter winds that have swept across the UK in the past week, weather experts say
posted by fleetmouse at 10:24 AM on February 6, 2012


Meanwhile, it's 53 in New York City. I would love to talk to anyone who doesn't believe in climate change.

I hate those people who say that the climate always stays the same.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:30 AM on February 6, 2012


Relevant, perhaps? A loss of sea ice could be a cause of the bitter winds that have swept across the UK in the past week, weather experts say

Yeah, that's what is said to be happening in Japan.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:30 AM on February 6, 2012


I find it really frustrating to listen to the weather people on the radio rant about how nice it is that we're getting week after week of plus zero.

It's downright loony to listen to weather forecasters and meteorologists chirp happily about temperate weather in mid-winter. I agree with you!
posted by KokuRyu at 10:32 AM on February 6, 2012


And meanwhile, it's been upwards of 76 degrees here in Tallahassee, Florida, though we're smack dab in the middle of what's normally the only sustained period of cold we get in the winter.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:15 PM on February 6 [+] [!]


Yep, the Winter warmth this year is freaking us out a bit here, too. We've just ordered thermal blackout shades for the larger windows in our place to mitigate energy costs this year, since our monthly bill was pushing $300+ pretty often last Summer. It's so nice of Tallahassee to subsidize increased budgets with higher rates on the city-owned utility company. Meanwhile, my mother pays a third of our rates down near Tampa.

I'm really hoping the rest of this year isn't this warm.
posted by empyrean at 10:33 AM on February 6, 2012


I used to live in Minneapolis, and I miss that week of cold weather in early February, when the temperature would get to -20F or so. It made me appreciate my body in ways that the relatively tepid NE winters really don't do. The air and snow take on different textures, and you get to learn what your lungs are shaped like, as you feel the cold all through them....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:34 AM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I keep hearing people mentioning the Arctic Oscillation. I tried to make sense of it from Wikipedia but is this something that is strongly predictive? Anyone here a climatologist / meteorologist?

I have to say that this has been the gentlest Minnesota winter I can remember which is great because last years sucked!
posted by The Violet Cypher at 10:35 AM on February 6, 2012


We are fucked, I tell you. Fucked.
Yesterday we noticed that the crocuses are coming up in our garden.
In Toronto. At the beginning of February.
posted by chococat at 10:36 AM on February 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Even though the cold and snow in England now is nothing compared to the rest of Europe and not so out of place for normal, the earlier winter was ever so warm, with temperatures often above 10 degrees in some parts. I hoped we might miss winter wholly after last year, but no.
posted by Jehan at 10:37 AM on February 6, 2012


Japan is experiencing some of the heaviest snowfalls (15 feet) and coldest temperatures in recent years. Apparently it is something to do with *low* levels of sea ice on the Barents Sea

If a mass of air moves over a big sheet of ice, it just gets cold. If it moves over a big sheet of very cold water, it gets somewhat cold and much more humid.

Then, when it hits land, it has much more moisture to work with. You don't even need oceans. Areas around the Great Lakes are frequently hit by lake effect snowfall, which dramatically drops if the lake you are next to freezes over.

Wow. I thought Wisconsin/Illinois got a ton of snow last winter (people even got stuck in cars), but I think the snow total was only something like 2 feet.

Two feet in one storm. Over the last five years, this year has been very light on snow, but the previous four were big. Last season, 57.9 inches -- 4.8 feet, the two seasons before we similar, and 2007-2008 were over five feet total for the season. This year has been very mild by comparison -- so far, total snow is 13.8 inches.

Of course, if you want snow, you want The Keeweenaw Peninsula in the UP of Michigan. So far this year, they've had 120" of snow in total (yes, ten feet) and have just shy of two feet on the ground right now.
posted by eriko at 10:38 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have a vague memory of being told in High School that increased death rates due to cold winters / hot summers tend to be balanced out by a reduction in the death rates later in the year. The idea is that these were already-vulnerable people whose deaths have been shifted a few months earlier, leaving the total number of deaths measured over the whole year roughly the same.

Does anyone know if this is true?
posted by metaBugs at 10:39 AM on February 6, 2012


We are fucked, I tell you. Fucked.
Yesterday we noticed that the crocuses are coming up in our garden.
In Toronto. At the beginning of February.


On a brighter note, in Victoria the snowdrops and crocuses are only just beginning to come out, and it's already the second week of February for godsakes. What a long winter it has been.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:41 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here in ATL it’s been mostly 60’s, 72 yesterday? Things have been blooming at various times all over my place.

"I'm just worried how the unseasonable warmth here in the US is going to affect pollen count and bug populations, no freeze over, no winter die off….."

We’re thinking bugs and violent weather this spring, basically the apocalypse.
posted by bongo_x at 10:41 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I seem to be drawing this one later every year.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:42 AM on February 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


I live in Kansas and its been really warm all winter long. There's only been a couple weeks with really cold temperatures, but they're followed by 50-68 degree weather, which is crazy! Last year starting in november it snowed till after the new year, but no luck yet. I've even seen flys around since last month. Daaaaamn you flies!!
posted by Sweetmag at 10:42 AM on February 6, 2012


Seems like a fair trade-off for the shitload of snow we got last year, where the plows couldn't even keep up and we ended up with one lane roads in some towns even a week after the snowstorm.
posted by smackfu at 10:47 AM on February 6, 2012


koeselitz: Ah, old stock photo, thanks. I should have tineye'd it, sorry for the misinformation everyone.
posted by ODiV at 10:48 AM on February 6, 2012


“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”
― Mark Twain
posted by chavenet at 10:49 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here in Boston the average snowfall for winter is around 42" as of right now we are at 7.6", last year I think we had around 70" total. We are on pace for having the least amount of winter snowfall this year. The current lowest is 9" back in 1935-36. Its so weird going out here and seeing no snow on the ground.
posted by lilkeith07 at 10:50 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Our moron plants are coming up in Illinois, and although this has been an uncommonly warm winter, this is like the fourth of the last five years that we've had spring plants attempting to emerge in January. We've got MORE plants than usual coming up in January/February, but we've had stupid tulips and moron crocuses and idiot daffodils up frequently far too early lately. Farmers around here "believe in"* global climate change, and it is already screwing with farming pretty bad. Farmers were noticing and mentioning it around here before it became a big national issue; they track the weather pretty closely and farmers who've been at it for 30 years noticed the shift.

I don't think our apples will fruit this year; winter-hardy fruit trees need a certain number of hours of cold to know that winter has happened and it's safe to fruit. Ours have failed to set fruit a couple of times in the last few years. Shifting farming to chase the climate is going to suck.

*In quotes because it is not a belief optional situation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:50 AM on February 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Its so weird going out here and seeing no snow on the ground.

And on the rare occasion that we do have snow, it's followed by a warm spell of such intensity that it's basically all gone. The only evidence of snow you see anywhere is the usual set of plowed piles in parking lots that will stick around until May (though maybe not, at this rate).
posted by Kosh at 10:52 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is what is happening with the weather:

The Jet Stream is caused by the temperature difference between the pole and warmer air further south. By definition, temp differences create wind, thus we have a jet stream that circles around the top portion of the globe along a boundary of cold vs. war air. As it happens, the more severe the differences in temp, the faster the JS goes, and the faster it goes, the more of a perfect circle it makes. This perfect circle ideally would be along normal routes for the JS. Likewise, the less of a temp difference between the poles and southern areas (due to the pole warming up), the slower the JS goes, and it then starts to "wobble" in an imperfect circle. These wobbles result in the stream dipping far south in some cases, or far north in other cases. These dips cause extreme warm air, or extreme cold air, in places that normally would not see them. All of this is caused by the poles being warmer than normal. So severe cold in Europe need to be seen in light of warmer than normal temps in the northern pole, which is sort of counter-intuitive unfortunately.
posted by stbalbach at 11:01 AM on February 6, 2012 [67 favorites]


Boston here, snow drops and hellebores are flowering already. Hell, our crocuses were up in December and I saw a daffodil valiantly pushing out of the ground today. In February. Our roses still have last year's leaves. The garden really does not know what the fuck in going on and neither do I.

Meanwhile, at home in Northern Italy, they're having a freeze that could kill all the olive trees if it doesn't let up soon and by soon we mean tomorrow or the day after.

Wonderful all around.
posted by lydhre at 11:02 AM on February 6, 2012


I've recently found a weather blog on Boston.com that has actually been informative instead of the usual fear-mongering from other meteorologists in these parts. This entry talks about the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation that affects the weather in these parts.
And Today's post talks about the recent cold in Europe: "The climate models have done a horrible job predicting the weather this winter across Europe/Asia where they were forecasting a milder than normal early February. "
posted by FreezBoy at 11:03 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is 40 F here in Chicago. I am wearing my autumn coat. I've only worn my snowboots three times. This is not normal.
posted by melissam at 11:04 AM on February 6, 2012


Meh. This winter in Stockholm has been nothing like last winter. It's -15C outside my window right now which is quite normal for February and maybe 10cm of snow on the ground. Last year it was not so cold, but there was much more than 1m of snow on the ground a this date in February. With much more to come.

The dome of high pressure from Russia that's causing this recent burst of cold weather gave us the highest recorded pressure in 40 years and some unbelievably crystal clear days and nights, but other than that it's pretty unremarkable. This is the entirely normal weather pattern for Scandinavia.

Pity that because it means only six months or so until Spring.
posted by three blind mice at 11:04 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


After breaking record rainfall here in Cincinnati by October we had an additional 16 inches of rain by the end of the year. It's been a disappointingly mild winter--I love snow and all we've had here was a dusting that lasted maybe 8 hours overnight. We did get an ice storm though. That was fun.

Typically during winter I try to either get to Mount Washington for hiking and ice climbing, but this year I couldn't go; I'm kind of glad because there was no snow and not nearly as much ice as last year. Last weekend I was going to go to the Michigan Ice Fest but was likewise stymied by time and money. Most of their ice routes are still open, but usually you can walk across the frozen East Channel to get to routes off the mainland. There's no ice to walk across.

It's gotten above 50 for the majority of the past two weeks and was 62 degrees last Wednesday. Beautiful weather. But not really winter.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:07 AM on February 6, 2012


3 blind mice, since you are in a location that is normally far north of the jet stream anyway (I believe), you wouldn't notice it. It's those places where the jet stream normally doesn't reach that far south getting -15C is unusual. Or, if for some reason the jet stream went north of you in the winter bringing tropical air to Stockholm in the middle of winter, would be unusual too. Notice how the jet stream is wobbling around more than usual, dipping further north and south.
posted by stbalbach at 11:13 AM on February 6, 2012


"The climate models have done a horrible job predicting the weather this winter..."

Climate models aren't used for making winter forecasts.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:13 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I work in a fairly conservative place, so hardly anyone will admit to "climate change" as a real thing, but at the same time, we're all marveling that we've scarcely broken out our coats this year and last week, you could have worn shorts in the afternoon and been fine.

Meanwhile, we're still in a drought and it's technically illegal to water your lawn on unapproved times. But the weather people are sure jolly about this warm February, boy howdy. Love that sunshine, Jim! Aint' it a nice change! Not gonna think about what kind of hell summer will be, nosirree!
posted by emjaybee at 11:14 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Montréal here and I spent the entire winter in my early winter coat (I own two, a worn out down parka and an faux wool) with everyone fretting that nobodyès getting to ski and how odd that it's this warm. I wore a minskirt with knee socks today, and I was perfectly comfortable.
posted by Phalene at 11:15 AM on February 6, 2012


I live in St Louis, where my window thermometer currently claims it's 60F outside, and let me tell you, while my neighbors have been enjoying this unseasonable weather, all I've been able to think is TORNADOES.

Just over a year ago, due to unseasonably warm weather, we had a tornado in STL on New Year's Eve. Just to kick off what was pretty much the worst tornado season ever in Missouri. I'm sure you all remember Joplin. And Lambert Airport. And last year at least we had a few weeks of solid freezing temperature and a couple of serious snows in the wintertime. This year it has snowed twice, just barely enough each time to mess up the streets, and it was all melted within a day.

I'm a gardener and the warm weather is confusing my plants, too, which concerns me. But frankly I'm much, much more concerned about tornadoes. Where I live, if spring starts two months early that means we get two extra months to be worried about taking an unscheduled trip to Oz.
posted by BlueJae at 11:15 AM on February 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm really hoping for an Elfstedentocht.

Me too. Luckily I just lost my job, so I've been getting back into form at the ice rink here in Dubai every day. I've already got flexible tickets to Amsterdam booked, I just hope they give me enough notice to fly back.
posted by atrazine at 11:17 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe London will be able to hold the first Frost Fair since 1814
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:24 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Checking in from Denton, Texas... where I spent New Years in shorts and a tee-shirt and the week before the Super Bowl wearing the same (while last year there were record breaking lows in the teens the entire week).
Weather is always neurotic here, as anyone who's either lived or visited in North Texas. However after the past summer the temperatures hit 100 degrees and above almost every day, where it rained twice the entire summer, and where I experienced for the first time in my life the concept of 'cabin fever' associated with the heat (one night it was still 100 degrees at 11pm).
It is bad when you're already starting to get anxiety about the hell that is summer and how the days are ticking down and you have still not had that one or two winter blasts to kill off the bugs and pollen... Even the neurotic ways of North Texas weather can't account for the strange swings this year (in my humble opinion).
posted by hillabeans at 11:27 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Elfstedentocht committee held a press conference today, and the ice is still too thin along southern parts of the route.

I think we will have an elfstedentocht early next week, If we keep these freezing temperatures.
posted by Pendragon at 11:28 AM on February 6, 2012


it has been regularly hitting 50 here in Massachusetts. I bought a snowmobile last summer.
posted by WhitenoisE at 11:29 AM on February 6, 2012


Yeah, I was at the Missouri Botanical Gardens this morning. The apricot trees are in full blossom. WTF?
posted by notsnot at 11:30 AM on February 6, 2012


I have this book on my kindle and it's not very good but I find the title very evocative so I keep it around. It's called 2050: An Oral History of the Great Warming (or something along those lines) and lately I feel like I'm living the prelude.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:36 AM on February 6, 2012


This is an awesome graphic showing the difference between the snowpack in the western U.S. in 2011 (lots!) and as of January 4 2012 (none!).

It's rained barely twice in the Bay Area since November. On the one hand, it's pretty great to not be able to sit in the backyard for too long because it's too hot (in February). On the other: water - we need it.
posted by rtha at 11:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


how the unseasonable warmth here in the US is going to affect pollen count and bug populations

I saw houseflies buzzing around outside recently. It was a week ago Saturday, when it was about 65 F here in Philadelphia. I assume these were bugs that hatched early or something?
posted by Mister_A at 11:42 AM on February 6, 2012


Hardly any winter here in the Hammer. Couple minor snowfalls, both of which were gone by afternoon the next day. Some dips in the temperature, but you can get away with a fall coat most days. Snowdrops are blooming in my backyard.

I don't mind, on the whole (especially when it comes to my home oil bill), but I can't escape the feeling that we're going to be punished for it in the summer, with too many bugs, not enough water, and who-knows-what plants thrown off cycle.

The only thing that bothers me is that the end of winter is an ugly time of year, and that we've been looking at that ugly landscape for months already, with months more to come.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:47 AM on February 6, 2012


I hate to admit it, because I know how bad it is for the environment and what a bad sign it is, but I love mild winters. Last winter I was cold for months. This winter I've been cold only when I am in my apartment without the heat on and not wearing yoga pants and a light sweatshirt.
posted by jeather at 11:48 AM on February 6, 2012


Also, I would love to do an Elfstedentocht.
posted by Mister_A at 11:49 AM on February 6, 2012


It is cold in England, but not that bad. Snowed about 3 - 4 inches on sat night but is pretty much gone round here now.

Lovely weather - fresh and cold, apart form the snow.

But the rest of Europe has took it hard. When they said on the radio that there was snow in places like Turkey and Corsica you know its bad.
posted by marienbad at 11:52 AM on February 6, 2012


My tulips and daffodils have no idea what the fuck month it is.
posted by crunchland at 12:04 PM on February 6, 2012


In Poland, we aren't getting all that much snow but it hasn't been above Holy Fuck (Celsius) is a long time.
posted by pracowity at 12:15 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm in Minneapolis, which is generally a godforsaken frozen hellhole this time of year.


I've been able ride my scooter almost all winter.


It's a vast improvement over the last couple of years, when we've been up to our eyeballs in dirty ice until well into the spring.

I have been enjoying it, but yeah, it ain't right.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:15 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yesterday we noticed that the crocuses are coming up in our garden.
In Toronto. At the beginning of February.


I live in Alexandria, VA. Daffodils are coming up in front of a park sign a block away from my house on the route I walk home from the Metro on, and it's the first week of February. Two years ago, we got the most winter snowfall in recorded history with Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, and the other one that didn't get a cutesy name.
posted by jhandey at 12:16 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Indexes are more diagnostic than predictive. They tell you how atmospheric mass is distributed, and are a handy way of describing jet stream strength and pattern as air circulates the globe.

For most of this winter the AO has been in its positive phase - meaning there's relatively lower pressure over the poles and higher pressure at mid-latitudes. A positive AO means the jet stream is stronger and is correlated with warmer weather in the eastern half of the US and colder, stormier weather over Europe. In the past couple of weeks the AO has shifted to its negative phase, i.e. the jet stream has weakened, which should let cold air move southward.

However, the NAO has continued to remain in a positive mode. You can think of the NAO as the North Atlantic portion of the AO. It is measured by the surface pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores. A positive NAO is usually associated with warmer weather over eastern North America and cooler, stormier weather over Southern Europe and the Middle East.

The NAO is looking like it will stay slightly positive for the next couple of weeks with a short dip into negative territory. The AO looks like it is climbing out of its negative phase. (Click on the graphic on each of those pages). The slight dip in the NAO should be accompanied by a cold air outbreak for much of the northeastern US and southeastern Canada this weekend. As the AO increases, however, there should be a quick rebound to warmer weather as seen in the 8-14 day outlook.
posted by plastic_animals at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


I meant "since records have been kept in DC", not "recorded history" as in the recorded history of the entire planet or anything. It's been a long day.
posted by jhandey at 12:19 PM on February 6, 2012


Beautiful winter here in Winnipeg, which is unusual. We only had a couple weeks of the usual -30. My dog also has no idea wtf month it is and has started shedding like crazy.
posted by utsutsu at 12:21 PM on February 6, 2012


"apan is experiencing some of the heaviest snowfalls (15 feet) and coldest temperatures in recent years."

Wow, I have a difficult time even imagining a 15 foot snowfall.

The single largest snowfall I've ever seen (didn't experience it personally; drove over two days later) was a 76 inch snowfall over about a 36 hour period on a weekend in Los Alamos in 1987. That 6'6" inches of snow was in the town itself, there might have been a bit more over the ridge and more in the mountains. I was taking care of my two cousins while their parents were out of town, and so as a treat we drove up there. Though I didn't take any photos which really show it, the drive on State 4 through the Valle Grande was very much like that "you're not kidding" photo koeselitz linked to above: the highway was tunnel with these towering walls of snow to each side.

I did get some nice photos of the kids, which their parents and other family still have displayed today.

It's been a real disappointment to me that it's so noticeably warmer and drier here in New Mexico now than it was during my childhood from the 60s through the 80s. Back then, we would get a fair amount of snow every winter. I'd looked forward to moving back here from Austin because I'd badly missed the snow, but we barely have gotten two or three substantial snowfalls a winter here. I did wake up to a couple of inches of snow before the weekend, though. It melted away by the afternoon. Sigh.

With regard to the linked photos...okay, I feel like I've seen enough photos of the iced car at Lake Geneva that I could probably draw it from memory. And, okay, Muscovites really do like to prove how crazy they are and how immune to the cold, huh?

Two of the prettiest photos were from Spain, in my opinion. I love that tree-lined lane in the heavy snowfall. Some of the Ukraine photos made me sad.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:27 PM on February 6, 2012


I am not a climate scientist, but I do read a lot of headlines on the internet...

Freshwater bulge in the arctic.

Thermohaline circulation.

The Younger Dryas period.
posted by bastionofsanity at 12:34 PM on February 6, 2012


I miss having snow days from work. But I do like not having to wear boots at all this winter. Just north of Toronto in the snow belt where I am there is two feet of snow.
posted by saucysault at 12:39 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, I'll admit that I feel more than a bit guilty about the pleasure I've been getting from Berlin finally getting some snow and sunshine.
posted by LMGM at 8:02 PM on February 6


I have to say that I would enjoy the Berlin weather a lot more at the moment if my heating would work a bit better :/
posted by ts;dr at 12:43 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Beautiful winter here in Winnipeg, which is unusual. We only had a couple weeks of the usual -30. My dog also has no idea wtf month it is and has started shedding like crazy.

Yep, here in Canada South (about 150 miles south of Winnipeg in North Dakota) it's been quite the warm winter. It was 37 yesterday--37! When I checked in the evening, it was still 36 after sundown. Normal for this time of year would be closer to (though not reaching) -37.

All the snow we received, which is a paltry amount compared to last year, has melted with just a few exceptions. The melt/ice/slush/melt cycle is more typical for late March and April here and it's been happening since early January. It was a brown Christmas and came within 24 hours of being a brown New Year's. Last year at this time there was two feet of snow on the ground. This year? 1.8 inches.

I hope Europe breaks free of this nasty spell. It's been a strange winter all 'round.
posted by librarylis at 12:53 PM on February 6, 2012


In Chicago we noticed yesterday the trees outside my apartment are starting to bud. And this past Friday night my dog ran into a skunk at my parents' in the suburbs. Those little guys are supposed to be sleeping, right?

On a radio show last week a caller asked Tom Skilling, our famous local weatherman, if lake Michigan would be harmed by the lack of snow not keeping it full. He replied that the lake levels were actually high because in a normal year the colder, drier air caused the lake water to evaporate (or something) into the air. The warmer, moister air we've been having keeps the water in the lake, even causing it to rise.

Should be an interesting spring.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 12:53 PM on February 6, 2012


Snow in parts of Barcelona a couple of days ago. That is NOT what I signed up for here! It seems like it's been a pretty mild winter, and then last week, suddenly super cold (for here, it's been hitting 0 Celsius).
posted by conifer at 2:00 PM on February 6, 2012


Yeah the New York winter has been a joke. If only the extreme summer weather would get this fucked up and backwards. I'd love a 75 degree summer.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:15 PM on February 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain the frozen lagoon in Venice? (Picture 16 in the cold link.)

Either the lagoons are filled with fresh water, or it's arctic cold. Is the picture taken in a fresh water river, or at the mouth of a fresh water river?
posted by Keith Talent at 2:22 PM on February 6, 2012


Presumably groundwater flows into the lagoon from the streets of Venice; freshwater is lighter than saltwater, and will freeze in a cold snap, especially if the seawater is not circulating that much. The same thing happens in the Inner Harbour of Victoria BC, or along the eastern shore of Saanich Inlet.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:31 PM on February 6, 2012


Meanwhile, it's 53 in New York City. I would love to talk to anyone who doesn't believe in climate change.
Yes, but, you see, Al Gore is fat. So there.
I read a certain internet forum that is ostensibly apolitical but that has a preponderance of right wingers, and a significant number of way-out-there right wingers. "Al Gore is fat" is not exactly how they're reacting this year.

Rather, they say that one warm winter is causing more idiots to buy into Al Gore's baloney, when everyone knows that sometimes a warm winter is just a warm winter, and one warm winter doesn't mean there's a trend.

During previous cold winters, of course, their MO was to say that you'd have to be an idiot to believe Al Gore, because it's cold.

"Al Gore" is literal, in both cases. They're really stuck on him, and have been for years.
posted by Flunkie at 2:34 PM on February 6, 2012


There are daffodils and crocuses blooming here in Brooklyn.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:42 PM on February 6, 2012


The snow in Rome is causing something of a municipal political crisis: post-Fascist mayor Alemanno's office misinterpreted the weather warning (reading the predicted 35mm precipitation as the direct measurement for snow - which would have been little cause for concern - instead of factoring up by 10 for density difference between water and snow), and so the city pretty much ground to a halt. Schools are still closed tomorrow. (So me and the kids have had some fun sculpting [self-link]...)
posted by progosk at 2:50 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds
posted by stbalbach at 2:55 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Elfstedentocht
Had a strange moment after looking this up on Wikipedia:

Before doing so, the I-don't-speak-whatever-language-that-is-but-that's-not-gonna-stop-me portion of my brain had already translated it as "Elven City Night". Upon looking at Wikipedia, I saw that it was actually "Tour", not "Night", and it took me a moment to realize that I had read "...ntocht" as "...nocht".

Then after I got over that little mental hurdle, it struck me: Wait a minute, it really is "Elven City"?!

Took me yet another moment to realize that I had read "Eleven" as "Elven".

I can misread in two languages!
posted by Flunkie at 3:02 PM on February 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Pendragon: "I'm really hoping for an Elfstedentocht."

symbioid: "Damnit, I was hoping it was something like Ragnarok or something. *yawn*"

Pendragon: "Oh, but in the Netherlands it is."

Damn right and no mistake. All year long no one speaks of the Tour of Tours, it's like Lord Voldemort joined Fight Club or something. Except we're not scared of it, people just utterly forget it exists, like the nation has collectively lost the faculty of object permanence. Well, everyone. Maybe there's a lone academic who spends their summers studying the event's role in inducing mass hysteria or something, but they'll probably lie about it and insist they're actually researching something rather less embarrassing, like homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.

But then a Major National Event happens, to wit, it gets a Bit Cold, because it is winter and it gets a little chilly sometimes around this time of the year. But oh, Dutch mouths stand agape in a sudden panic, mild at first, as if everyone's suddenly realized at the same time that they've forgot to pick up the kids from day care or something. Pupils dilate as the fleeting thought flashes through the nation's collective consciousness: "Could this year... be the y-"

It soon passes. Look, we're a rational bunch, we think; plus, it's like two degrees below freezing, that thin watery crust over the ditch doesn't even fool the dogs, and it'll be a balmy 9 C again in a couple of weeks, just like every year.

Hell, half of Holland doesn't even believe an Elfstedentocht ever actually took place, they insist it's just a story old people tell to make the past seem more interesting, like how everyone's granddad once told a German to get stuffed, or how the summer of 1988 was a genuine period of time that occurred in real life.

But then the media appear, in just the way you'd expect them to, all A NATION AWAITS and FRISIAN FROST FEEDS FEVER FRENZY and DAY ELEVEN OF THE PANIC CRISIS for all I care.

And then abruptly and over the protestations of our doubts it becomes apparent that the fate of our very society is placed into the hands of a tall, blond, probably very sober and severe man most likely called Siebe or Wiebe or Hidde or Fedde.

And don't call me racist, okay. Some of my best friends are sober and severe! No seriously, if you show "American Gothic" to a Frisian they'll first ask which Frisian painted those Frisians and then call you a liar, because no Frisian would ever do something as frivolous as paint.

And our Siebe will look very sternly into the camera and solemnly proclaim No, because that's his favourite word, further tests need to be performed, the thickness of the ice will be continuously monitored, and same time tomorrow. And the next day will be the same, the press conference live on every network, a solemn No, and DAY TWELVE OF THE PANIC CRISIS.

And rumours will swirl about young men reportedly seen late at night on the ice with bags of de-icing salt, and factions in Parliament will demand the rascals, however probably spurious, be designated Terrorists, and ask why the event, however at this stage wholly hypothetical, imposes no ban on participants wearing the hijab.

And when there is no press conference to carry or repeat, there will be survivors of fabled editions recounting their experiences as if they were first-hand Yeti encounters, and oh, the Hell of Sixty-Three, and people will call in to radio shows to complain to the media, in the media, that the media are spending too much time on the race, which may still very well not take place, and which we are talking about right now, in the media.

And the water coolers of the offices of the country will echo "Why can't they just hurry up and let the damn thing go ahead" and school cafeterias will sing "I'm sure the ice is thick enough" and street corners will buzz "Nah, gots to chill and let that shit Lake Vostok over a bit more, yos!".

And all the nation's eyes will have turned North, to a province so obsessed with ice they just went ahead and called the place Freezeland, like a theme park for masochists, and our man Siebe will appear again, all the journalists in the land having run out of questions to ask him, and it's just as well, because he makes a face as if he is about to be forced to eat something disgusting, and says,

"Yes"

And then, "It. Giet. Fucking. Oan!", a phrase which nobody outside of Freezeland actually knows what it means either, except that there will, in fact, be an Elfstedentocht.

And the season formerly known as winter is now suddenly and exclusively licensed to the Unox company and rebranded The Season of Unox Split Pea Soup, and bright orange beanies are now mandatory, and, well, if you've recently invested in rookworst you may well never have to work again.

And classrooms will empty and workers will inexplicably and simultaneously call in sick, and the GDP will be decimated overnight, and Angela Merkel will have second thoughts about a lot of things. But it will not matter because There will Be an Elfstedentocht, and what is this fuzzy feeling I vaguely recall but can't quite oh yeah! It's national pride! But this time I don't feel bad about it, and Orange! All! The! Things!

And the day will come.

And everyone will be there. Mothers and fathers. Grandmothers and grandfathers. Drunk college students in orange burqas. Children with chairs.

And everyone will finish. And no one will be left behind. Cruyff and Van Gaal will hug and tell each other sorry. And Mart Smeets will for the first time not look out of place in his ridiculous sweater, and a lucky television camera will reveal a brief glimpse of Marco van Basten's face in the crowd, and maybe he will smile a bit and give a subtle approving nod.

And a nation will gaze upon the chiseled features of Mark Tuitert and have all but forgotten about that annoying candy bar advert that all but ruined so many of our quiet evenings in, and remember only the glimmering majesty of his gold medal, and how his Les Paul roared as he played "Rockin' in the Free World", and Sven Kramer will never have made his fatal lane change, and his disqualification will have been erased from the history books, and people will simply not remember, but only think of gold, and orange, orange and gold.

Yes, everyone will finish: professional speed skaters and professional sprout farmers. But neither of those will win. First across the line will be a mysterious giant, a seven-foot tall stranger whose eleven-stamped card identifies him only as a Mr W.A. van Buren of Wassenaar, and a nation will stand and weep, each and all with the exact exalted grace as did his royal bride those ten long years ago, but this time, the theme to Soldier of Orange will play as a people realizes the true nature of its sudden hero, who will then be crowned king, right then and there on the Bonkevaart all frozen over, on the Twenty-First day of the Second month of the year Two Thousand and Twelve, king glorious King William IV, before the eyes of all of Leeuwarden and all of Freezeland and all of the shining Nation, to be august King of all Dutch, for all Dutch, and all will be well again, all will be well we will not be so angry anymore, and not be so tired, and maybe, just maybe, not so greedy or callous, but noble and caring and quiet and strong, and all will be well, for a thousand triumphant years.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:07 PM on February 6, 2012 [303 favorites]


I miss having snow days from work.

We had four of them in the first two weeks of the semester last year. It pretty much threw everything off, and we spent the whole Spring recovering. No thank you to snow days.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:18 PM on February 6, 2012


In Minnesota, nightly news lately is either "what winter sport got cancelled" or "who fell through the lake today". This story features video of an SUV that went through the ice, the driver survived.

It's not that unusual to have a warm day or a brief warm spell in January or February, but this year it's been unrelentingly warm all the way through. And dry, which interferes with snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, etc.
posted by gimonca at 4:19 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


post-Fascist mayor Alemanno's office misinterpreted the weather warning

He did that and then a lot more! It's a meagre consolation, but for once we were actually prepared to handle the problem, except that in the 2009 Alemanno apparently disbanded a so called "snow program", ostensibly to rearrange it by using the Protezione Civile. Failure, unsurprisingly, ensued.
posted by elpapacito at 4:38 PM on February 6, 2012


progosk,
to add insult to...physical slip injury... rumormill has it some companies are exploiting the snow disaster to fire people for coming late, for leaving the office too early, for daring not to come to work, regardless of the fact public transportation was severly disrupted. Fuck that, what's next? Will they blame people for the North Atlantic Oscillation or huge solar flares? I am so tired of fucking crybaby capitalism.
posted by elpapacito at 4:48 PM on February 6, 2012


The most important question this thread has raised is why, exactly, did you have that duck link handy, gnfti?
posted by elizardbits at 5:21 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


We've taken to calling it The Year Without a Winter (referencing this, of course). Here in Washington, PA, south of Pittsburgh, practically all of the weekend's snow has already melted. This keeps happening. I think Washington, PA must be confusing its snow approach with that of my hometown, Washington D.C. (fall, melt within a couple days, none of this "hang around all winter in increasingly large, dirty, and depressing piles.") If this goes on any longer, people around here are going to forget how to drive in it...and then the D.C. transformation will be complete.
posted by jocelmeow at 5:41 PM on February 6, 2012


It is astonishing how dramatically skewed the weather has been all over the Northern Hemisphere this season!

Are there any analogous disruptions in the Southern Hemisphere's regular summer patterns?
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:49 PM on February 6, 2012


There are some interesting articles about the Little Ice Age on slashdot today, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:41 PM on February 6, 2012


> In Toronto. At the beginning of February.

Last summer we planted some parsley in a pot in our backyard. It's still alive.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ha. Non Dutchies can't imagine the Elfstedentocht skating fever. My rather serious colleague is suddenly so excited he can't sleep, taking the afternoon off to train every day until (if) it is held. The reporter on Belgian radio couldn't hide his amusement: there they go again our northern neighbours.
posted by joost de vries at 10:14 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


gnfti, I like your scene of the triumphant Recognition of the Hidden King.
posted by joost de vries at 10:23 PM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


GNFTI, It is not often that I laugh out loud so many times reading a single comment.

And when there is no press conference to carry or repeat, there will be survivors of fabled editions recounting their experiences as if they were first-hand Yeti encounters, and oh, the Hell of Sixty-Three. (That's the trailer, but the whole film is also available on Youtube).
posted by atrazine at 11:29 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have never heard of the Elfstedenstocht and what a glorious way to be introduced to it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:19 AM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that is a fucking fantastic, wondrous comment.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:53 AM on February 7, 2012


Mods!

Every question on the green about the dutch or the Netherlands can be automatically redirected to goodnewsfortheinsane's comment.

Seriously.
posted by Sourisnoire at 12:54 AM on February 7, 2012


Took me yet another moment to realize that I had read "Eleven" as "Elven".

On that note, I always thought it was pretty funny that the Return of the King won eleven Oscars, or in Dutch, 'elf Oscars'...
posted by daveje at 2:00 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not only Europe. Here are some impressive photos from China. (The page has mistranslated the date as Sept. 7, but it's actually 2012-02-07 = today.)
posted by rory at 5:31 AM on February 7, 2012


And then abruptly and over the protestations of our doubts it becomes apparent that the fate of our very society is placed into the hands of a tall, blond, probably very sober and severe man most likely called Siebe or Wiebe or Hidde or Fedde.

Hielke or Sietse, surely?

Every Elfsteden some of the skaters, especially in years with thin ice, get themselves into trouble and disappear under the ice --zo spreekt men over Friezen, zo spreekt men over dooien.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:40 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really hoping for an Elfstedentocht.

Damnit, I was hoping it was something like Ragnarok or something. *yawn*


Actually, the Danish word "fimbulvinter" (meaning "unusually cold and harsh winter") has its roots in Norse mythology. In the mythology, the fimbulwinter is a three year long winter which precedes Ragnarok.
posted by WalkingAround at 9:22 AM on February 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here in Gainesville, FL, I've noticed the car starting to get covered in the yellow pollen. You don't normally see that until March or April.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:41 PM on February 7, 2012


I've never wanted to be Dutch so bad in my life.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:54 PM on February 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


But where do all the ducks go when the lagoon gets all icy and frozen?
posted by book 'em dano at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2012


goodnewsfortheinsane you are obviously a talented, creative sort, and I'm sure that you just banged comment out as the moment inspired. But if you admitted that you were just sitting on it, waiting for the right deep freeze to happen so you could post it, I'd still find it impressive.

Because like LobsterMitten wrote, what a great way to be introduced to a fantastic-seeming thing. A woman I used to commute with, who grew up in the American West (don't remember exactly where, Utah, Idaho, someplace wide and open) once wisely said that, for her, the biggest difference between winters there and here (the Midwest, specifically Chicago) was that the cold was something that you could, at least sometimes, enjoy there (with the nature and the skiing and the like) but in a city like Chicago, it's just something to be overcome. Reading about Elfstedentocht makes me feel like the Dutch have taken that feeling to an irrational yet still logical conclusion. I don't have much use for water sports but if my financial situation were any different, I'd be booking a flight to Leeuwarden if/when a date was announced.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:28 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Um... for 'water sports' above, please substitute 'winter sports.'

I neither intended to comment on nor do I have any knowledge about the piss play scene in Friesland -- or any part of Europe outside of some German pornography I may have been a fan of. That said, I do have to imagine it wouldn't be a popular Nacht van Leeuwarden activity.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:34 PM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


> But where do all the ducks go when the lagoon gets all icy and frozen?

Around here they hang about on city paths and sidewalks, shaking down passers by in great arrogant gangs.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:51 PM on February 7, 2012


There'll certainly be a lot of drunken public pissing if de tocht happens, and if one chap happens to accidentally piss on another chap, and in the course of defending himself ends up in a urine soaked embrace that results in some snowy experimentation, well we can chalk that up to ice hysteria and the wives need never know, eh?
posted by atrazine at 3:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Around here they hang about on city paths and sidewalks, shaking down passers by in great arrogant gangs.

Reading pornography, smoking cigars?
posted by atrazine at 3:53 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe if they played classical music, they'd disperse.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:00 PM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are there any analogous disruptions in the Southern Hemisphere's regular summer patterns?
It has rained all summer here, again. Some floods up north, but nothing as bad as a year ago.
posted by bystander at 5:37 PM on February 7, 2012


I think I am getting a little Elfstedenkoorts over here in balmy Washington DC. Soldiers Sweep Ice on 11 Cities Tour Route: "Dutch troops are joining a race against time to prepare ice for a legendary 125-mile (200 kilometer) race across frozen waterways in the northern Netherlands that could be staged for the first time in 15 years."
posted by exogenous at 8:32 AM on February 8, 2012


An Elfstedentocht?

Let's hope the freeze does not get that deep because that is a puny consolation for all of the shivering. I did like how in '97 the New York Times front page photo had a windmill perfectly framed in the middle of it rising above a bunch of ice skaters packed at the starting line. The weirdest thing about going to Holland is they do not have windmills all over the place. Unlike pictures taken in Holland which more often than not have a windmill prominently displayed; it's like there is a magnetic attraction from windmill to visiting photographer's viewfinder.
posted by bukvich at 10:15 AM on February 8, 2012


Update: Wiebe says "no".
posted by mahershalal at 11:59 AM on February 8, 2012


Update: Wiebe says "no".

NO!!!!! My heart is broken even though I just learned about the race this week.
posted by drezdn at 4:22 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Noooooo! Well, maybe next year.
posted by atrazine at 5:23 PM on February 8, 2012


What's causing Europe's cold snap?
posted by homunculus at 7:45 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Skaters refuse to give up hope on Dutch skating marathon.
posted by Dr. Zira at 3:51 PM on February 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


My colleague was rather sad; he thinks he's seen the chance of a lifetime at taking part go up in smoke. Or rather go down in water.
posted by joost de vries at 11:47 PM on February 9, 2012


I just got back from Amsterdam and saw lots of scenes of locals enjoying the frozen canals.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:13 AM on February 12, 2012


« Older Samuel Youd, who wrote under the name John Christo...  |  "I said before the film has hi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments