Jan 7, 2014

Record cracking?

So the polar vortex (see the post of 2 days ago by clicking on: Polar vortex) indeed came to pay us a visit. Was it cold around here? Hell yes, it sure was. Is it still cold around here? Hell yes, it sure is, still. Was it record-breaking cold? Uhm, that's a more complicated question to answer. Yes and no. Yesterday's low temperature of -16ºF (-27ºC) at 8 a.m. was the lowest ever measured on a January 6th, but still some ways off the all-time low of -27ºF (-33ºC). Yesterday's high was measured just after midnight, and was not even close to the all time lowest high temperature of -11ºF (-23ºC). That said, we never got warmer than -13ºF (-24ºC) during the day yesterday, and that is cold. That was colder than Anchorage Alaska, colder even than the Amundsen Weather Station on the South Pole. Hell yes, that was as cold as in the crater on Mars where NASA's Curiosity is nosing around, 200 million kilometers further away from the sun!
I'm sure it does make a difference to be 200 million kilometers closer; we had beautiful brisk blue skies and plenty of sunshine yesterday, which looked quite appealing from the comfort of our heated home. But wind chills of -40 (the only temperature that is the same in either ºF or ºC) are no cat pee - that's Dutch for pretty darn serious. The warnings for frostbite of exposed skin were no cat pee either, but how does one deal with a hairless dog's pee in this weather? Although this seems like a recipe for an inevitable Ruba Crisis, the solution is twofold. Number one, these temperatures - as well as GABROEN's persistence - turn out to be sufficiently frigid to overcome Ruba's initial stubborn reluctance to do number 1 on a pad in our bathroom. Second, all dressed up in a slim fit thermal suit + fleece body suit + padded wind jacket + snow booties, but by default with private parts exposed, she needs 45 seconds tops to do number 2 and hurry back in. It still is a little challenging for a 16 year old with diminishing bladder control to go through the 5 minutes of dressing up, but GABROEN has the routine down by now and she takes it like a grumpy diva.

Albeit far from balmy, today was a little warmer: we got to +1ºF (-17ºC). The heaps of snow from clearing the entry way to our parking garage create a nice barrier for the frigid winds, at least at Ruba's height, so she spent a luxurious full minute out this afternoon. I still have to take Ms. Diva out once more tonight, and the forecast calls for snow and -6ºF (-21ºC) tomorrow, before warming up to just above freezing over the weekend. Wish her luck and expeditious bowels, and wish GABROEN expeditious dressing skills.

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