How cold is it in Canada?
December 31, 2017 11:46 PM   Subscribe

 
I have two extra heating devices on here in Alberta—because old baseboard heating might as well not even be there in this type of weather—where an hour after New Years it is -33 C (-27 F), and -43 with wind chill (basically the same in Fahrenheit). And I am still cold (but I'm always cold). I asked myself, "how can I put this experience to good use?" I decided that I couldn't.

For the first time it struck me today that if those cryptocurrency mining bastards ruin the Canadian electric grid, I'm gonna be really mad.
posted by sylvanshine at 12:09 AM on January 1 [5 favorites]


sylvanshine: For the first time it struck me today that if those cryptocurrency mining bastards ruin the Canadian electric grid, I'm gonna be really mad.

This might be the only time it makes sense to mine cryptocurrencies, so long as you're huddling around the server racks to keep warm.
posted by clawsoon at 12:28 AM on January 1 [13 favorites]


A friend of mine is literally using a crypto mining rig as supplemental heating in his apartment.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:31 AM on January 1 [27 favorites]


Heck, I'm only Canada-adjacent, and I haven't left the house for a week.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:31 AM on January 1 [4 favorites]


It's pretty cold here in Toledo. Our house is drafty AF, and the cold triggers arthritis flares if I am not careful.

Three, blankets, two dogs, one husband, and a space heater seem to be just about warm enough. Change out your human to suit you, but I'm pretty sure the dogs are a must.
posted by MissySedai at 12:40 AM on January 1 [8 favorites]


It's a big brisk...this morning I stepped outside and must've had a tear on one eye because it just froze shut on the first blink. On the upside... my gaming pc is next to a cold window and I've never had this kind of overclocking ability without over heating, so thanks nature?

But my real issue right now is all the idiots who let their cats out in the winter... the rescue I volunteer at has already seen and influx of kitties who've had their ear tips break off and toes need amputation. If you see a cat out in this weather, please take it inside your home or garage then turn it in to a rescue asap!
posted by InkDrinker at 12:57 AM on January 1 [12 favorites]


I look at the numbers back home and I double check the ecobee to make sure the kitties aren't freezing. I hope they're ok in the cold without us.
posted by Talez at 12:59 AM on January 1


Sympathies also to those in the US coldness, but I felt a certain patriotic duty to perpetuate the legendary Canadian coldness. In other words, y'all didn't represent.

Now that the last post of the server year is in the books (cough), I'd like to debunk some of the FPP, some of whose links might be construed as clickbait, though from mainstream Canadian news sources. Niagara Falls often partially freezes; the temperature of Mars is what it is, and at times a comparison with cold Earth temperatures is possible; but holy smokes, cancelling the Polar Bear Dip?!
posted by sylvanshine at 1:04 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


I'm in Calgary, just having gotten back from a NYE party, and I envy the penguins who don't have to go outside.
posted by sagc at 2:03 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Toronto shelter workers are calling on the city to open the armouries for people who are homeless. Mayor Tory is opposed.

More than 70 people who are homeless have died in Toronto this year. As the cold snap hits, people are using Twitter to publicly call on @JohnTory to #OpenTheArmouries ...
I sent a message and encourage you to do the same. It's not okay for people to be turned away from shelter in this weather.
posted by chapps at 2:06 AM on January 1 [26 favorites]


Here in central New York State we have several large waterfalls nearby. I visited one, Chittenango Falls, yesterday and was stunned to note that there is so much ice in the stream above the brink that the stream is being pushed over its banks—there is so much ice there’s no room for flowing water. In 50 years I have never seen things frozen to quite this extent, and the forecast holds nothing but temps under 20 for the next ten days. It is beautiful, awe-inspiring and frightening; I don’t understand how anything can survive in such conditions.
posted by kinnakeet at 2:14 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I don’t understand how anything can survive in such conditions.

Gotta be too mean to die
posted by thelonius at 2:23 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


> MissySedai:
"It's pretty cold here in Toledo. Our house is drafty AF, and the cold triggers arthritis flares if I am not careful.

Three, blankets, two dogs, one husband, and a space heater seem to be just about warm enough. Change out your human to suit you, but I'm pretty sure the dogs are a must."


No SO and only 1 cat, but I feel your pain. Quite literally.
posted by Samizdata at 2:34 AM on January 1


I don’t understand how anything can survive in such conditions.

Gotta be too mean to die


I survived the 1999-2000 cold snap in the north Nordic countries (I was in Finland, it also hit Sweden and Norway), where it hit -42 in Helsinki and was at -60 up north.

There were a lot of "it's THAT cold" stories making the rounds, like tossing boiling water out a window and it turning into snow before hitting the ground, but the one that everyone told was about "an old lady in Norway." Knowing elderly women in Norway and the homes up there, I tend to believe it.

The police call around to make sure people are okay. Small town, everyone knows each other. No one's heard of the elderly woman who lives by herself. They call her up. "How are you doing? It's really cold out there."
Lady: "Very cold outside!"
Police: "We're seeing -60, are you doing okay? Warm enough?"
Lady: "-60?? What?? I'm seeing -40, I'm plenty warm."
Police: "-40? Ma'am, you're at home, right?" They worried she might be delirious.
Lady: "Yes, -40! My thermometer inside says -40 and outside it's -60!"
Police: O.o;
posted by fraula at 2:34 AM on January 1 [55 favorites]


Fraula, that story, OMG!

It's warmed up here; tonight it's only -20 C whereas last night it was -27. We were celebrating New Year's Eve with friends and part of the festivities included throwing boiling water into the air to make "snow." Naturally none of us bothered to put our coats on while we did this. We are hardy but simple folk, easily amused.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:51 AM on January 1 [13 favorites]


The town I live in rarely gets below -20C temperatures, but -40C isn't too rare in nearby inland places. I remember my family renting a cabin in a winter sport area (Oppdal). When we arrived, the temperature was normal, about - 10C. The next morning it was -36C. My parents had left a bag of soda in glass bottles in the front passenger footwell. It had exploded with such force that it broke the front passenger window and pretty much destroyed both front seats.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:38 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I feel better about bringing in the feral kittens last night. We're only in the single digits (F), but I had to debate with SO that it was just too cold for sick, tiny kittens... even with the heated cat bed and the rice sock in the cedar lined dog house.

When he wakes, I'll tell him even the zoo put the penguins indoors. I'll tell him your thing, too, InkDrinker .
posted by slipthought at 5:07 AM on January 1 [13 favorites]


Are people letting their cats out, or putting them out? Ours will sniff at the door for a minute, and if it's too cold, he turns back to the couch. If he does go out in cold, he comes back in a few minutes. I keep an eye out for him, and I would never force him to go out, in any weather.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:09 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I made the mistake of complaining on social media about the 13 F temperatures here in North Carolina (I’m a southerner. I think anything below 60F is cold) last night. My friend in Ottawa simply responded with a photo of the thermometer on her back porch hovering right around -30.
posted by thivaia at 5:20 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


We had to call for an emergency HVAC appointment as our furnace decided to crap out late NYE afternoon!

Yes, Canada gets cold, but this is some long extended bullshit right now.
posted by Kitteh at 5:23 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


Here in Maine the cold snap seems to have caught people off guard and I'm seeing more Facebook posts about being out of oil than ever before. Delivery times are way up as well.

It's the last day of Christmas vacation and I'm not sure whether my kids will actually cause my cabin fever death today or if we will make it. I'm seeing a lot of Netflix and Splatoon on the schedule.
posted by selfnoise at 5:30 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I spent Christmas up in Montreal with my family. I am normally fairly hardy when it comes to cold temperatures, and I figured I would do some research for the novel I'm working on, photograph some architecture, and generally have something to do when I got tired of my dad talking about all his Fancy Wine Vacations.

I did not.

(Although neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could keep me from the Leonard Cohen exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum, which is great).

I was very much looking forward to coming back to Iowa. It's now -27 C in Ames, which is colder than it is in Montreal, and I had to cancel NYE plans in favor of ones that didn't involve doing anything or seeing anyone. But no one has told me about their Fancy Wine Vacations!
posted by Jeanne at 5:34 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


It's the length of the cold snap that's getting to me. I'm used to a couple days of minus -20 but two weeks is too much. Anyway, this is life now so I went to Canadian Tire yesterday and got crazy carpets for the kids and new ice skates for myself.
posted by TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln at 5:35 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Living in a two hundred year old stone house, at the best of times the barrier between “outside” and “inside” is a fuzzy one — right now there’s drafts you could fly a kite in.

We’ve got the windows covered in thermal blankets, and all three fireplaces roaring, and the oven’s on cooking nothing. The laundry is frozen. The side door is snowed shut.

We sit in the living room dressed like astronauts.

This is madness! No — THIS. IS. CA-NA-DAAAAAA!
posted by Construction Concern at 5:37 AM on January 1 [39 favorites]


When things get bad or I'm making a ridiculous payment on a medical bill, I always think maybe I should take my little family and make a run for Canada.

Then a thread like this happens and I think maybe things are still tolerable.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 5:45 AM on January 1 [4 favorites]


I used to walk about three quarters of a mile to work in Cambridge, MA. While I was there we had a few snaps where it was below zero F while I was walking and it was the sort of cold that froze snot and tears instantly and I would arrive at work wearing five layers and still a red and dripping mess.

I cannot imagine -30 C or colder for weeks on end.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:54 AM on January 1


Right now, it's only about -14 in Toronto (-22 with the wind chill). It's cold, but not unheard of.

I'm actually just about to go for a run and may be some time.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:57 AM on January 1 [10 favorites]


Right now, it's only about -14 in Toronto (-22 with the wind chill).

I've heard rumors that the mole people have underdug Toronto and coincidentally provided it with an efficient tunnel network.

More reliable rumors have it that here in Ottawa it will warm up to -11C on Wednesday. Here in Ottawa the surface people have not provided us with sufficient enclosed bus shelters or warming stations.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be in the basement with my pickax.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:07 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Most of those things are pretty amazing, but the Niagara Falls thing isn't all that unprecedented. The falls have frozen much more completely than they are right now. Some extremely intrepid rock/ice climbers have even gotten special permission to climb them.
posted by trackofalljades at 6:08 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


The cold is pretty ridiculous! I'm glad we replaced our furnace a couple of years ago and that my parents replaced theirs last month. They've been working hard.
posted by Calzephyr at 6:11 AM on January 1


here in my part of w michigan, it's not gotten any colder than -9F and has generally gotten up to around 15F during the day - this is a benefit of living downwind from lake michigan

the bad thing about living downwind from lake michigan is it won't stop snowing and west of kalamazoo, the idiots continue to get into massive pile ups on the freeway, shutting it down
posted by pyramid termite at 6:12 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I've been on a road trip through the US and when we were in Dallas the temperature was cold for the people there but pretty pleasant for us. Even coming into Arkansas it was ok but now I'm seeing that it's -11 here and getting colder as we start to head back north. I'm just glad we packed proper winter clothes so we won't be too frozen in St. Louis and Chicago.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:24 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


My favourite memory of the Alberta cold was the way that the tires on the car would harden into not-quite-round shapes overnight. For the first half-mile or so of driving to college in the morning, the car would bump down-and-up each time the tires went around, until they warmed up a bit and returned to their usual rolling self. We were in a valley, so it was always a couple of degrees colder than the surrounding countryside; it seemed like the coldest air snaked its way down and settled in for the night.
posted by clawsoon at 6:38 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]


I've lived in places that got to minus 40, and I could quite happily never experience another winter again, never mind that kind of serious cold. Snow is pretty, but dealing with the cold is no fun at all, even if you have a house with a working furnace and a modern car, which not everyone does.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:39 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Whoever is writing these Niagara Falls is freezing! stories must awfully young. Niagara Falls freezes all the time (as other commenters have noted). I've seen most frozen Niagara Falls at least twice in my career of sporadic visits there. The American side freezes first.

As regards cats, bring them in if you can. Two years ago, one of the feral cats we feed froze to death in our carport. It was 9 below zero. I couldn't get her to come inside and she ran when I tried to get close to her. Very sad.
posted by Modest House at 6:49 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]


-30º C for over a week here in Edmonton. 16 hours to get a car service call. It's weird to think that you could die just from being outside too long in a big city. If your furnace quits, you're suddenly in a dangerous situation.
posted by No Robots at 7:05 AM on January 1 [5 favorites]


-35 here in parts of Montana. W00t!
posted by davidmsc at 7:12 AM on January 1


From hurdy gurdy girl:

We are hardy but simple folk

Somebody claim that name on the blue, please.
posted by datawrangler at 7:13 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Ah, waking up to -30C here in Kingston with a windchill of -41C. Happy New Year! No one leave your fucking house.
posted by Kitteh at 7:14 AM on January 1 [9 favorites]


the bad thing about living downwind from lake michigan is it won't stop snowing and west of kalamazoo, the idiots continue to get into massive pile ups on the freeway, shutting it down

My wife and I did the New Year's Eve 5K on the Chicago lakefront yesterday (stupid way to end a stupid year! It was about -25C with the wind chill) and while it wasn't too awful if you prepared well enough (my scarf-snood that I was breathing through froze completely solid!) on Lake Michigan there was a threatening wall of visible lake effect snow just past the water intake cribs, about 5 miles off shore. All I could think was that if the wind direction changed just a little bit conditions would go from really unpleasant to holy crap dangerous run for shelter.

Americans from the warmer parts constantly say stuff like "As a Canadian you should be able to handle the cold" and my response is "Yes, Canadians can handle cold. Mostly by avoiding it"
posted by srboisvert at 7:16 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


14 F here, we're gonna go have a cookout I guess
posted by thelonius at 7:16 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


All that cold air not in the arctic where it should be, so sea ice is vanishing. Fuuuuu
posted by anthill at 7:17 AM on January 1 [9 favorites]


Even here in SW Ontario it’s not supposed to snap until next Sunday. On the plus side, pretty pictures like this (not by me).
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:17 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Hello from Australia! it's 1:20 am here and I'm just taking the pillows out of the freezer before bed.
posted by adept256 at 7:20 AM on January 1 [43 favorites]


fraula & hurdy gurdy girl:

Thank you super muchly for reminding me about boiling water snow! It's been waiting on my 'fun things to do' list for a day that's cold enough. Kettle's on!
posted by Lizard at 7:21 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I used to tease my Canadian co-worker mercilessly because every time it got below freezing here in the balmy midwest he'd start complaining. I have no idea how he survived Ottawa.

It's pretty effing cold here too. I am giving the chickens as much cracked corn as they want. They seem okay but are mostly just hunkering down in the coop fluffing up their feathers and giving me dirty looks.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:21 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I live directly across the lake from Kitteh, and it’s a balmy 6 degrees here. When it gets like this, I put on my Nostomo shirt and pretend I’m on a spaceship.
posted by valkane at 7:26 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I feel better about bringing in the feral kittens last night.

I bet you'd feel even better if you shared a picture of them!

When I was a kid, we had this one cat who was an ex feral, and neutered late enough in life that he still had many of his Tom habits. He would flip the F out if he couldn't get outside to use the bathroom. (“Litter what, now? What box? What what?). In cold weather, we'd stay right by the door to let him back in because he'd be very quick and efficient about his business and hurry back in. We used to joke about him peeing icicles.

Several of my cats over my lifetime have been strays who got brought in during freezing weather and never left. (We/I didn't keep all of them, but they all went to good indoor homes). I remember once we found two little kittens who had gotten into the cellar somehow, huddled under the water heater for warmth, and had their wee whiskers singed off by the pilot light.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:27 AM on January 1 [10 favorites]


When things get bad or I'm making a ridiculous payment on a medical bill, I always think maybe I should take my little family and make a run for Canada. Then a thread like this happens and I think maybe things are still tolerable.

Yeah, that was the exact realization that stopped some fantasizing when I visited Montreal and Ottawa some years back; I was wandering around starry-eyed, thinking "hey, maybe I should move here", but then went to the Natural History Museum in Ottawa or something and saw a big map with the "average temperatures through the year" depicted on it, saw how cold it got in winter and thought "yeah, never mind."

I'm going to sound nuts saying this, but the cold has felt like a bit of a relief here in New York City - because it's been unseasonably warm up to this point. I was going out without gloves and a light jacket in December and that just felt wrong; at least now it feels like "okay, I need mittens, this seems more appropriate." ....Mind you, I would like the temperature to come up just a FEW degrees, because the cold is also cutting into wanting to go outside.

But my slow cooker is getting a hell of a workout.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on January 1


Yeah, it almost hasn't been worth going outside to smoke, the cold makes you cough before you even take a drag and then your lungs are numb so you aren't even sure you inhaled.

On the plus side, I learned how to do emergency plumbing yesterday thanks to the deleterious effect of repeated freezing/thawing on my pipes & the refusal of local plumbing companies to either answer their phone on New Year's Eve or, if they did answer, hang up when I asked what their emergency billing rate was. Thanks Sharkbite Company and Instructables!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:30 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


@soren_lorensen, maybe your fowl would like some chicken sweaters.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:32 AM on January 1 [4 favorites]


Shit, it’s so cold I mispelled Nostromo.
posted by valkane at 7:32 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Good things about this weather (in Montreal). 1. Feeling smug that I bought a heated mattress warmer this winter, 2. making boiling water turn to snow with the kids, 3. reading back to back Patrick Rothfuss fantasy novels on the couch and not feeling guilty at all, and then buying another epic fantasy series because there's another week to go, 4. playing so much Mario Kart with my kids that I actually beat them on a race once in a while, 5. chocolate chocolate chip cookies, 6. every night is family movie night.
posted by Cuke at 7:35 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


It’s around 20 F here in Dallas and it’s killing me. I’ve read this entire thread. I might be a wuss.
posted by double bubble at 7:42 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Okay I am a pansy. I will not being going out today. I live in the Texas Hill Country and it is 23 here at my house. That is too cold for this southern girl.
posted by bjgeiger at 7:44 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


maybe your fowl would like some chicken sweaters.

Cold weather brings so much drama on chicken Facebook (Facebeak?). To heat lamp or not to heat lamp? Sweaters, yea or nay? Bring them in at night?

Fortunately, even though three of mine did their molt pretty late this year, they have all mostly finished at this point and I don't need to learn to knit.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:45 AM on January 1 [5 favorites]


I posted previously about dressing properly for the cold. I winced at the people in the Global News link with no sunglasses or googles.

I was going to go hiking today with a group in below zero (F) temps with -20/-25 (F) wind chills, but I didn't sleep well and I feared my judgment would be impaired. Forgetting something like mittens could be Very Bad.

Fun fact: -40 F and -40 C are equivalent.
posted by AFABulous at 7:46 AM on January 1 [4 favorites]


We had to call for an emergency HVAC appointment as our furnace decided to crap out late NYE afternoon!

HVAC companies have been working overtime these past few weeks because of the cold.

On a loosely-related note, looks like we picked the right year to have our attic insulation and furnace replaced...
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:47 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Is there a point on the positive side that C and F are the same? Or does it just grow further and further apart? I clearly did not pay attention in science class.
posted by double bubble at 7:48 AM on January 1


Btw, due to radiator heat, it's 72 F (22 C) in my apartment even though it's -3 F (-19 F) outside. Last night I slept in my undies with only a top sheet. If you're freezing in Milwaukee, come on over. (I'm fully dressed now.)
posted by AFABulous at 7:49 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Is there a point on the positive side that C and F are the same?

No: imagine a graph of both C and F vs. some other linear temperature scale (Kelvin, lets say)-- both C vs. K and F vs. K will be straight lines and so can only intersect at one point (unless they're the same line and intersect at every point).
posted by Pyry at 7:56 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Is there a point on the positive side that C and F are the same?

Nope, they're only the same at -40. Fahrenheit degrees are smaller than Celsius degrees - 5/9ths, I seem to recall - so they go up (and down) faster from -40 than Celsius degrees do.
posted by clawsoon at 7:56 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


But it can be handy to remember that 28C = 82F.
posted by janell at 8:08 AM on January 1 [24 favorites]


It’s cold enough that just breathing the air has given me a nosebleed, but eh, been colder.
posted by rodlymight at 8:08 AM on January 1


Here in Toronto, I'm fine with deep cold for about 15-30 minutes as long as there is little or no wind and I have the right layers on. We went out last night to see the new subway extension and I was fine for periods outside in a zipped hoody, unzipped winter coat, T-shirt, skaters skirt, and the fleece lined leggings I will marry, plus hat, gloves and neck gaiter. But any exposed skin, such as my face, did NOT appreciate the temps.

I'm facing winds gusting to 50 km/hr today. That will be decidedly unpleasant. But at least I have a warm home to return to. This fucking mayor and much of this fucking council have decided not to open the armouries for the homeless because "staff advise that it's not an optimal choice". You know what else isn't optimal? The safe injection site downtown that crammed in as many people as possible into their trailer on the weekend. The private citizens who collected their own cash to put some people up in hotel rooms. And, of course, it's not optimal to let our shelters continuously operate at 95%+ capacity (which means the geography and miscommunication leaves some people unsheltered) when the official max is 90%.

Tory et. al. are very ready to ignore staff advice about transit, expressways and the like, but pull out this bullshit when it suits them. Because we must keep property taxes low, you see.
posted by maudlin at 8:08 AM on January 1 [9 favorites]


It's -3F in southern Maine, actually now 2F as the sun is warming it up as I type and putter around. -16 when I got up @ 7:30. I ran out of oil while I was away for Christmas (tank indicator is borked) and had to make a lot of calls to get delivery the next day. Fortunately it mustn't have been out long, house was still warmish, pipes fine. I have a little wood stove that I am feeding constantly, so I keep the living room cozy, and the rest of the house is brisk. It isn't expected to be above freezing any time soon. Yay for down comforters that warm up fast.

When it's this cold, there is no moisture in the air, and my skin is dry and itchy. Inflammatory arthritis is flared up. I don't do winter sports anymore except for a bit of snowshoeing in milder weather. I've blown off several holiday parties due to cold and bad driving conditions; the wood stove and couch are far more appealing. This is how one becomes a hermit, but, screw it.

We have snow on the ground, and the moon is full tonight. Moonlight on snow is incredibly bright and pretty. I stood in the window last night and watched the smoke from the chimney cast mysterious shadows on the snow. In addition to the boiling water -> snow trick, you're supposed to be able to blow bubbles that will freeze. Many pretty images on google. Stay warm, y'all.
posted by theora55 at 8:11 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Yay for down comforters that warm up fast.

Heated mattress pads are awesome. Seriously, it feels so luxurious as to be immoral.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:26 AM on January 1 [3 favorites]


To be fair, it's summer in the Antarctic.
posted by RobotHero at 8:26 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Our condo in Toronto is directly over the building's cantilever so there is nothing below up other than cold, cold air. And the boiler for the radiator died on Christmas Eve just after we left to visit my parents.

We can home on Boxing Day and the internal temp was about 14C. We've got it up to 18C or so and as long as we're not putting bare feet on the cold wood floor we're fine. But the difference between being inside at 14C and 16C was stark. 14C made my fingers cold and thumbnails starting to turn blue. 16C is cold but you can deal with it.
posted by thecjm at 8:31 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


"I made the mistake of complaining on social media about the 13 F temperatures here in North Carolina (I’m a southerner. I think anything below 60F is cold) last night. "

My Chicagoan parents live part of the year in North Carolina, and I went to law school in North Carolina, and we all agree, a "real" winter in North Carolina sucks way worse than winter in Chicago. I mean some years you're swimming outdoors on Valentine's Day, but the years it's cold and snowy, it's balls. First of all, they have no plows and nobody can drive, but much more importantly, none of the buildings are fucking insulated so you are absolutely freezing all the time. My mother's almost 70 and has a bit of arthritis in a few joints, and she HATES wintering in NC because she is cold all the time and the cold makes her joints ache. At least in Chicago she is warm indoors and only cold outdoors!

I mean I keep my winter heat at 62 during the daytime here in Illinois, and usually wear short sleeves all winter -- I don't really get cold! -- and in North Carolina I was constantly piling on the heavy sweaters because THE WALLS ARE MADE OF CARDBOARD AND SPIT, it's fucking ridiculous. I am sympathetic because while I'm unbothered by below-zero temperatures in Illinois, at 13*F in NC, I would be fleeing the state to one where they know what insulation is and how to apply it to walls.

It's -4 here right now -- going up to 7 later! -- and my big complaint about this cold snap is that it's happening over Christmas break so I've been stuck indoors with my children for a solid week because they can only go outside for half an hour or so at a time. At least in school they can go run around the gym like little demon children for a while, even if it's too cold for recess!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:38 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, i checked and it's 31 f in Vancouver, BC. That's about 35 f warmer than here outside of Chicago. I don't know why all you Canadians don't live there. Come to think of it, I don't know why I don't live there.
posted by ambulocetus at 8:55 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


We can't afford to.
posted by Kitteh at 8:58 AM on January 1 [27 favorites]


Many Albertans do move to BC. But the grey rainy winters on the coast are tough to deal with if you're used to mostly sunny conditions even in the coldest weather. Yesterday and today here in Edmonton have been brilliantly sunny, with the snow intensifying the light. It's like the ice castle in Dr. Zhivago.
posted by No Robots at 9:06 AM on January 1 [6 favorites]


every time it got below freezing here in the balmy midwest he'd start complaining. I have no idea how he survived Ottawa.

By complaining every time the weather got too cold. Or too hot. Or rainy, snowy, windy, sunny, foggy. A truly Canadian pastime.
posted by jeather at 9:09 AM on January 1 [5 favorites]


Yesterday and today here in Edmonton have been brilliantly sunny, with the snow intensifying the light. It's like the ice castle in Dr. Zhivago.

"Sunny Alberta has never failed us yet."

Is that something that just my mother and grandmother said, or do other people say it, too?
posted by clawsoon at 9:13 AM on January 1


I'm in Calgary, where it was -27 C on my back deck last night at midnight. I had to drive my mother-in-law and brother-in-law home because his car wouldn't start after we finished up last night. This morning it is -20 C, and apparently we will be above freezing by Wednesday/Thursday. I'm expecting that there will be burst water pipes around the city as we go through the temperature change.
posted by nubs at 9:14 AM on January 1 [1 favorite]


A lot of places cancelled their polar plunges. New Haven did not. The water was a practically balmy 33f. This year's pratfall into the water was courtesy of iced sand which I slipped on on the way in.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:31 AM on January 1 [4 favorites]


Same reason that the rest of the US Midwest hasn’t relocated to the PNW. Mind you, there are a lot of you here.
posted by wotsac at 9:36 AM on January 1


I’m visiting my folks in Illinois from where I live in Fairbanks AK, and I’m super-annoyed that it is warmer in Fairbanks than in Chicago. We’d like our weather back! I don’t mind -40 in Fairbanks (at least it’s not windy), but this -5F and windy in Chicago kinda sucks.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:38 AM on January 1


Just out of curiosity, i checked and it's 31 f in Vancouver, BC. That's about 35 f warmer than here outside of Chicago. I don't know why all you Canadians don't live there.

Because Vancouver has the least affordable real estate in Canada (and the US for that matter; it's more expensive than NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles).

I mean, that's why I don't live there anymore. Well, that and the fact that being able to live somewhere that regularly gets temps of -40 means I get to roll my eyes at Vancouverites when they are freaking out about...well, any of their "winter temperatures" really. Plus, it's a dry cold.

Just kidding, Vancouverites! You all know I'm just jealous *weeps softly, tears immediately turning into ice crystals*
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:54 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]


It's not that cold in Boston, yet. I like to walk everywhere, and I am still working up a sweat when I do so.
posted by Coventry at 9:55 AM on January 1


The Card Cheat: Even here in SW Ontario it’s not supposed to snap until next Sunday. On the plus side, pretty pictures like this (not by me).

Wow. And given that the current at that spot in the St. Clair River is somewhere between 2-3 mph, that sort of freezing takes some prolonged cold.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:02 AM on January 1


I left the house and it wasn't that bad here in NYC. However, I only went one block, up to Best Bar In The World for brunch (yay they had the weekend brunch menu today). Now I'm about to go back out and 5 blocks down the street on a quick grocery run, and I may have a very different view of things after that.

I reached out to a friend yesterday asking if he wanted to hike. His only response was "it's going to be 20 degrees."

"So," I replied, "in other words your're saying OH MY GOD ARE YOU CRAZY HELL NO."

"Exactly."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on January 1


Right. Off to bundle up as some friends a few streets over hold a Sherry and a Biscuit drop-in gathering every New Year's Day. I checked the weather and well, at least it's now -18C, so yay, I guess.
posted by Kitteh at 10:27 AM on January 1


Sherry and a Biscuit drop-in gathering every New Year's Day

Dammit, I overslept. I will pick up Sherry and she and I will head over at once.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:43 AM on January 1 [18 favorites]


I'm glad your furnace got fixed, Kitteh. I think that's the nightmare of every cold weather dweller!

I'm excited that it's only -13 today! That's the weirdest thing about living somewhere so cold, it really messes with your relative perceptions of temperature. I even see it with our dog; he drags his ass on walks and sulks when it goes down to -30 (we have to put booties on him and he hates it), so when it goes back up to only -15 he perks right up, even though three months ago he was sulky about -15...
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:46 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


It hit -27 C here in Niagara Falls last night and I had some people asking me to go out and stand and listen to a live concert featuring Simple Plan and Marianas Trench. I'm not really fans of them when its regular temperatures, so going out and standing in arctic temperatures for several hours was just not my idea of a good time.

I was in my pjs watching Game of Thrones and drinking beer. It was a decent night and I didn't end up with hypothermia or frostbite.
posted by Fizz at 10:59 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Glad that we had the boiler serviced and repaired a few weeks ago. It hasn't gone down below 2F so I probably shouldn't complain but I think that I've been outside once since Wednesday.
posted by octothorpe at 11:11 AM on January 1


It's 19ºF in our backyard right now, but the temperature has been dipping into the single digits at night. At temperatures this low, "heat pump" is a misnomer.
posted by emelenjr at 11:22 AM on January 1 [2 favorites]


We're on day 3 or 4 of carrying all our dishes down to the basement to wash them in the grimy old laundry sink. I had noticed dripping in the basement, coming through the ceiling, so I pulled off the drywall to reveal a 3-foot crack in the pipe that drains the kitchen sink and runs along an outside wall in our old brick house. Plumber is away until Jan 3rd so we're almost there...trying to think it's a fun thing, like camping!
In the meantime, I continue my ritual at the other end of the basement, warming up the frozen copper pipe with a hairdryer every morning.
Not complaining at all though, because as maudlin mentioned above, due to the appalling lack of leadership in our city, there are many at-risk people on the streets who are in some real danger in these scary temperatures. Toronto or non-Toronto mefites might consider checking out the hard work being done by Toronto Overdose Prevention Society and donating to their GoFundMe Page. They'll take any kind of financial donation as well as gift cards, but are not set up to accept donations of clothes/physical items. #OpenTheArmouries
posted by chococat at 11:24 AM on January 1 [7 favorites]


In Portland OR all the drama was last year, where we had a few weeks of way more cold weather and snow than usual. This winter has been pretty boring so far, with historically typical mid-40's highs and mid-30's lows most of the time. Long-range outlook suggests that will continue. And yeah, lots and lots of gray rainy days, you'd only get depressed if you moved here.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:39 AM on January 1


It got down to –6° F where I am in St. Louis overnight, though right now it's about 6° F. Walking the dog we're sitting for has been painful, but not as painful, I'm sure, as what you all farther north are experiencing. Still, ughhhhhh. We didn't get a lot of participants for New Year's Eve game night.
posted by limeonaire at 11:41 AM on January 1


the cold triggers arthritis flares if I am not careful

my spine is banging on pots and pans screaming like an angry drunk toddler
posted by poffin boffin at 11:43 AM on January 1


I went to the grocery store after brunch

It was five blocks away

It was only 8F out

that sucked

I am not leaving the house any more today
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on January 1


I should probably go out to the garage and make sure my car starts so that I don't have to be calling AAA at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning but I really don't want to go out there.
posted by octothorpe at 12:27 PM on January 1


the bad thing about living downwind from lake michigan is it won't stop snowing and west of kalamazoo, the idiots continue to get into massive pile ups on the freeway, shutting it down

I live just east of Lansing, and a couple of years ago I was taking one of my kids to Grand Rapids a couple of days a week for a program he was in. Driving back and forth all winter, I learned there is a vertical line just a bit east of Grand Rapids where the weather changes--the eastern limit of the lake effect, I imagine. I was surprised by how stark it was, by what a clear boundary existed rather than a sort of gradual petering-out.
posted by Orlop at 12:41 PM on January 1


In this weather the cold tap water is bracing! (If the pipes don’t freeze.)
posted by Jode at 12:44 PM on January 1


For The Underpants Monster:

Feral kitty one and feral kitty two.

They have been washed, combed, divested of fleas, mites, and worms, and been generously fed for over a week now. They are sneezing, snotting, and making poops of spectacular stink.

Anyone in the market for a pair of kitties saved from arctic blasts?
posted by slipthought at 12:45 PM on January 1 [14 favorites]


Toronto or non-Toronto mefites might consider checking out the hard work being done by Toronto Overdose Prevention Society and donating to their GoFundMe Page. They'll take any kind of financial donation as well as gift cards

Great opportunity to remind folks that registration for $25 gift cards from Loblaw's due to bread price-fixing shenanigans opens soon; those cards can go a long way for local non-profits, and plus, fuck you, Galen.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:52 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


Apparently they also limit the grocer's liability in any class action suit, so if you plan to become involved in (what is sure to be) upcoming legal action, maybe think twice about registering for one.
posted by sardonyx at 12:55 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I love the cold so I am digging this cold snap. However, the people I keep seeing on the news and social media complaining about the cancellations annoy me. Usually it's some sentiment of "We're Canadians, we're used to the cold! This is wussy!" Being Canadian doesn't give you like, +100 cold resistance. We still die from exposure the same as other nationalities, especially when we're stupid and think we're too tough for proper cold weather preparation.
posted by Stonkle at 12:56 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I'm east of the Dallas metroplex, and it got down to 15 degrees last night. Right now, man and boy are outside with various methods to attempt to unfreeze our pool pumps before this becomes a problem with multiple numbers in front of a comma. I cannot imagine it being 60 degrees colder. Y'all have my sympathy and hot chocolate thoughts.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:07 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


One time I was in Fairbanks in the winter and it was so cold that the transmission froze solid in the truck while we were driving down the highway at 55 mph. It was about -70F at the time, people thought, because all the thermometers had bottomed out days before. We were able to make it back in the Subaru as long as we pulled over every 10 miles or so and idled to let the transmission and brakes thaw a bit because -if it's -50F and you don't brake for a while then you try to brake? No brakes! At least with a stick you can feel for how solid your transmission fluid is before trying to shift so you don't mangle your transmission. I don't think we turned that Subaru off for 4 days straight in case it never turned on again. We were supposed to be flying and did down to -30 but after that keeping the plane fluids fluid is such a hassle we quit. Field work- sometimes I don't miss you at all.

The world is so beautiful at that temperature and it's plenty survivable if you're careful. On a hut-to-hut ski trip one time we had a surprise cold snap of -30/-40 for the two days we were up high crossing a ridge. We were fine clothing wise and the huts are warm but the main problem at that temp is that skis don't slide because the snow gets sticky where it's packed and turns to sugar snow off the trail and the aufies gets bad which really makes your skis not slide! Long days of basically tramping along but it's such an incredible feeling to be out in the middle of nowhere in the Big Cold. Nothing like it.
posted by fshgrl at 1:17 PM on January 1 [16 favorites]


Greetings in solidarity from LA. Last week I was able to work outside in my shorts as temperatures crept up into the mid to high 80s. This week, however, I may have no choice but to dig out some long pants in order to face harsh temperatures in the low 70s. But the real problems will start next week when temperatures are threatening to drop into the 60s. And there may even be as much as 0.08" of rain. A real double whammy. But if you can survive then so can we.

Seriously, we could use some of your winter down here. This "winter" in SoCal has basically been spring weather so far.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:17 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


by the way, i'm reminded of a question - is it true that lobsters scream when you throw them in boiling water?

if you throw the lobster and the water into -20 F air, do they turn into snow, clouds and frozen lobster?
posted by pyramid termite at 1:25 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I just went on a walk around our local arboretum in Boston, where the squirrels are puffy and the geese that were lulled into a false sense of security by our 70 degree days in November are flying West. Most of the leaves have finally off the trees, though not all, which was beautiful when everything iced over but also likely a problem. It's beautiful but strange here, and I'm very happy to spread the gospel of layers and warm socks, even if it is a balmy 11 degrees out.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:25 PM on January 1


I suddenly feel like an awful person for complaining when it was 56F last night. I even feel bad complaining that tomorrow it won't break 70 and will be raining. Oh, Miami. At least it wasn't 85 on Christmas this year. It's nice for it to be slightly brisk so you remember what season it is.
posted by wierdo at 1:35 PM on January 1


I just texted with an old friend who moved down to Florida last year after 60+ years in Pennsylvania and with only a year and a half down there, he's all "10 degrees!? You people are crazy to live up there".
posted by octothorpe at 1:40 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Nothing helps you find the badly insulated parts of your 50-yr old house like several days under freezing. You could hang meat in our shower stall and there's a bracing wave of cold radiating off the wall behind our headboard.
posted by emjaybee at 1:57 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Heh, at work we paired -20 temps with half a metre of snow in 16 hours this weekend.
posted by Mitheral at 2:25 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Currently -14 C heading for -20 C tonight in northeastern Massachusetts. (Saturday the *high* will be -18 C.)

To convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit.

1. Multiply by 2.
2. Subtract 1/10 of that result.
3. Add 32.
4. Say “That’s f***ing cold!”
posted by haiku warrior at 2:38 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I wish I was back in Chelmsford. It's 24C/75F here in Perth at 7:30am and only going up from here.

The joy of being on a coastal plain with air coming in off the nearby desert.
posted by Talez at 3:34 PM on January 1


I wish I was back in Chelmsford. It's 24C/75F here in Perth at 7:30am and only going up from here.

If only there were some sort of atmospheric circulation system which could mix some of your air with some of our air and even things out a bit.
posted by clawsoon at 3:45 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


Southern Ontario here. It's cold, and it's bearable in its way, but what disturbs me about it is that it's much too early. A white Christmas is rare enough -- snow comes and goes by this point. There's a January thaw where everything gets cleared away, and then we go in for the real cold and snow. This cold snap is at least a month early. Not in itself bad, but it's going to add an extra month of real winter, I fear.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:25 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Just another check in from Calgary, where the temperature has been climbing all day. We are about 20 C warmer than this time yesterday, and the extreme cold warning has been lifted.
posted by nubs at 4:49 PM on January 1


Chinook?
posted by clawsoon at 4:57 PM on January 1


We were lucky enough to be able to go to Costa Rica last year at this time, as a family. My daughter took the train back to school in Montreal yesterday and I just looked at the temp there and it is 83F degrees colder than where we were last year. 83 DEGREES COLDER. That's fucking insane.
posted by chococat at 4:59 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


"Parts of Canada colder than Mars and Antarctica"
I felt like that "and Antarctica" was a bit superfluous since a planet further from the Sun than we are was being cited. Reading that Oymyakon in Russia can go down even lower to -50C made me think maybe Mars was superfluous too. How can humans or societies even operate in these temperatures?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:36 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


How can humans or societies even operate in these temperatures?

Like most places that are bitterly cold. You spend as much time as possible not outside in the elements. Even when you're living in a yurt in these conditions they can be heated up to normal (i.e. 68F) temperatures pretty easily.
posted by Talez at 5:55 PM on January 1


And if you dress for it, it's not bad being outside. Unless the wind is blowing because fuck that, but if it's still or sunny even, then -30 or -40 is ethereal. The air doesn't move, smoke doesn't go up, it goes sideways. The air is so dry that the snow dessicates and turns nearly like sand. It won't hold your weight and you can't ski on it unless it's been packed down. The dogs disappear into it. Ice is sticky, not slippery. If you get near water you get these immobile bands of ice fog that just hang there- you can walk through them and leave a trail because the air doesn't move enough to close up after you. Often they are just off the ground and sometimes are so well defined you can run a finger down the edge. Your eyelashes grow ice and start to stick together as you breathe. Streams grow ice over their banks and make crazy ice mazes, birds can't fly, it's silent and generally pretty cool to experience.
posted by fshgrl at 6:23 PM on January 1 [20 favorites]


I once encountered something a bit like that when I worked at a West Virginia ski resort one year. After a day and night of pretty serious snowstorm action, I woke up to piercing sunlight and a deep blue sky. Only our mountaintop and a few others were above what I assume was the fog level. It was probably in the 20's, possibly teens (F) as I took a walk in the magic silence (except for the noise of my boots in 2' of snow) enjoying the unbelievably crisp bracing air and checking out all the animal tracks. Definitely a peak moment in my life.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:46 PM on January 1


It's -22C now in Ottawa. Yay!! I love this cold weather. I let the temperature in my place drop to about 16C (=60 F). You get used to it after a while and can imagine yourself to be a rugged hardy tundra type. Then I invite friends over without saying anything about how cold it is. MUHAHAHAHAH. But look, who came up with the official definition of room temperature of 20 C (=68F) anyway? The benefits of lower room temperatures are:

1. Lower carbon footprint
2. Lose weight without exercise or
3. Maintain weight by eating more yummy Xmas fruitcake.
4. Kill off all of the dust mites in your house.
5. Brown fat = good for you.
6. Sleep under a heavy duvet, so comfy! Delight in the thought that you're snug and warm while Nature howls outside to no effect.
7. Cold showers make you dance and scream like a lunatic.
8. Discover unusual science - e.g. shampoo stops foaming at temps around 10-15C.
posted by storybored at 8:28 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


My friend rents a drafty old duplex and the heating bills are ridiculous so he keeps it as low as he can stand it, probably 55-60. No one visits.
posted by AFABulous at 9:14 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I keep my thermostat at 59-64. It never bothers me, then again I have snuggly blankets on all the chairs.
posted by fshgrl at 9:28 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I've been maintaining a balmy 66-68°F temp in my apartment, but y'all are inspiring me to drop it a bit. I did get a pair of cozy wool+Thinsulate fingerless gloves/mittens this year, so I'm ready by golly!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:33 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


My friend rents a drafty old duplex and the heating bills are ridiculous so he keeps it as low as he can stand it, probably 55-60. No one visits.

Yeah, we could burn $350 a month worth of natural gas keeping our drafty 1930 duplex in Tulsa at maybe 62F. About $400 a month was what it cost if it literally never turned off, which was good for about 65 degrees above ambient outdoor temperature.

It was quite a shock after living in a well insulated late-80s build with a hydronic heating system (still forced air, but used hot water from the gas hot water heater to warm the air) that could easily hold 80 degrees F above ambient for maybe $60 a month worth of gas in total, which was maybe $25 more than it cost to run the water heater in summer. Running that thing flat out would keep the house at 68F in an Antarctic winter. I have zero doubt it could have easily held 100 degrees above ambient if asked, and that's only partly due to the well insulated house.
posted by wierdo at 10:40 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I keep mine at 58 overnight, 62 during the day, and I'd keep it colder but my Floridian husband is awfully whiney about it. (My children run around in their underpants and complain bitterly when I tell them to put on pants, so I think four of us are JUST FINE with the thermostat!)

When the heat kicks on about 5:30 in the morning to turn the heat up before my husband has to get out of bed (I'm not a total monster), it reliably wakes me up because suddenly it's 59 degrees and too hot for sleeping.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:11 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


It makes a hot tub all that much sweeter when you get in.
posted by fshgrl at 12:21 AM on January 2


We have a word in Quebec for this cold. The word is frette. It can be use interchangeably with froid (cold), but also is used to indicates a more intense cold.

Il (ne) fait pas froid, il fait frette.
posted by phoque at 4:53 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


Our 150 year old townhouse with original windows has the thermal advantage of being bolted to a much larger apartment building next door on the west side of the house. So that side of the house effectively has about 80 feet of insulation and since the wind here generally blows from the west, it cuts down on the drafts quite a bit. That combined with the hot-water cast-iron radiator system makes it so our 2700 sq ft house only costs around $100 a month to heat.

At some point we need to get interior storms for the windows which will make things even better but we're not quite there yet.
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on January 2


I grew up in houses heated with wood, and with parents still anxious from the oil crisis. We NEVER had the house over 65, and much lower at night when you're under the covers. I still keep my apartment at 65; 70 feels suffocating. And I'm most comfortable sleeping under three layers of covers; it's like being hugged by your blankies.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:22 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


My friend rents a drafty old duplex and the heating bills are ridiculous so he keeps it as low as he can stand it, probably 55-60. No one visits.

When I bought my place, it was hooked up on oil. "High-efficiency oil", whatever sales bullshit that was. And a newish furnace, too, so it didn't make sense to get rid of it.

I couldn't have been more wrong. It wound up costing me $15 a day. Those oil bills were punishing, and I couldn't save up to get rid of the hungry bastard. And I was keeping the temp absurdly low in the house, but yeah, 90 year old house, not much you can do that hasn't already been done.

Eventually I was able to switch to gas, and my bill dropped by two-thirds. Or something. I don't notice, don't care. Crank that fucker up, I've suffered enough.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:28 AM on January 2


Speaking of how humans survived the temps, there was a great thread on r/AskHistorians about just that: How did Native Americans in Canada survive the massive snow dumps and -20/-30 degree weather?

Essentially: They stayed inside shelters with a ton of people. Transport of goods actually became easier (because sleds and sliding).
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:48 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


With radiator heat (which I don't pay for), the only way I can get the apartment below 70 is to open a window. It's ridiculous. I usually sit around shirtless. It is 12 degrees outside and this building is from ~1928.
posted by AFABulous at 8:55 AM on January 2


Eventually I was able to switch to gas, and my bill dropped by two-thirds. Or something. I don't notice, don't care. Crank that fucker up, I've suffered enough.

We moved into our drafty little house in February of 2014, and switched from the original 1922 oil furnace (really; it was a cast-iron behemoth roughly the size of a Smart car) to gas shortly after. That was three years ago and, even with especially cheap oil, I suspect that we're coming up on breaking even on the conversion.

I still need to get around to sealing the house up better, but in the meantime, the heat is on 67-68 while we're awake and 63 or so at night and the gas bill is manageable. I probably ought to set it lower at night, but we wake up early and it takes so long for the radiators to heat up that it would have to come on at like 4am to make the bathroom bearable by shower time.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:20 AM on January 2


I live in Toronto, so I can never complain about the cold: if I do, entire squadrons of residents of the prairies and Northern Ontario will mock me. ("You call *that* cold? Ha ha ha ha.") And, if this were February, residents of southwestern BC (Victoria/Vancouver) would in turn mock me by pointing out that the daffodils were already in bloom there. I can't win!

When there isn't any wind, the cold hasn't been too bad - I went for a walk yesterday in -8C weather with the wind safely behind me and it was quite enjoyable. But I am looking forward to next Monday, when the forecasted high temperature is set to be 0C. That's a temperature without a dash in front of it! Woo hoo!
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 9:32 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]



I had no idea this Aussie gal could do this weather given that the coldest I've ever been is maybe -5° in my life. But I just walked out on to the street for a few blocks to get some elevenses donuts, and found myself hysterically giggling at how fucking fabulous I am for not dying immediately in the -35°C.

The snow is brilliant white, the sparkles are amazingly luminous and the snow's texture so fluffy. Everything sounds so crispy and magnified in intensity. It's like I've walked into my Aussie childhood fantasy of living inside a Christmas card at last.

(My mother sprayed fake snow drifts on all of the windows of our dusty, remote, western Australian sheep farm homestead for Xmas)

I can't feel my toes or my face and my eyeballs are frozen, but yay making snow angels! Yay, real snooooooowwwww!
posted by honey-barbara at 10:18 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


Sitting here this morning in my 16°C apartment in Tokyo where we've had perfect, clear blue skies for most of the past couple of weeks, but yeah no insulation and crappy single pane windows so when it is cold(ish) outside it is just as cold inside. So, when it dips down to 2°C in the morning it is damn cold getting out of bed. The one good thing about a tiny apartment is that a small gas heater gets it pretty toasty fast (since 18-20°C 64-68°F is a good value for toasty). Went for a hike in the hills west of town yesterday and had to peel layers down to a t-shirt for a while. My sister in northeast Massachusetts meanwhile is sending me pics of ice orbs she and her mate are making. I gave them some novelty giant fish balloons in the summer that they filled with water and now they have a school of vaguely fishy ice blobs on their deck. They plan to add food coloring, glitter, and (waterproof?) tea lights to the next round of their ever expanding orb population.
posted by Gotanda at 3:47 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


A very short list of things I did today:

Applied Vaseline to the combs and wattles of two chickens.

(I have one girl with quite a large single comb and another with a medium, as well as two with tiny peacombs. The Big Comb Gal is going to be dancing with frostbite if these temps don't ease up soon, but it doesn't look like we're getting a break until Saturday.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:29 PM on January 2


How did Native Americans in Canada survive the massive snow dumps and -20/-30 degree weather?
Essentially: They stayed inside shelters with a ton of people.


Me, 14 minutes in: "I am just going outside, and may be some time."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:53 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]




That um, sounds bad.

That makes me want to weep.
posted by slipthought at 6:14 AM on January 3


i am super excited to frolic in the snowpocalypse but 01) i don't have to shovel it and 02) i don't have to commute anywhere
posted by poffin boffin at 8:58 AM on January 3


you're supposed to be able to blow bubbles that will freeze.

#Bubblemadness from last week in Canada
posted by nubs at 9:07 AM on January 3 [1 favorite]


My feelings about snow changed drastically once I became responsible for commuting in it. (And slightly altered further when the prospect of being snowed in with a rambunctious young child turned into reality.)
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:11 AM on January 3


the prospect of being snowed in with a rambunctious young child turned into reality

For some reason I am suddenly crying and hearing the Shimmer & Shine theme music repeat over and over.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:12 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


I've just picked up cross country skiing this year so I have no complaints about the south-central Ontario winter so far. I'll report back on how I feel* after tonight and tomorrow morning's skiing sessions in the alleged -30.

* all feeling may cease
posted by LegallyBread at 1:47 PM on January 4


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