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Winter Weather Chart

Since the holidays have everyone so quiet, it's up to me to be amusing.  Given that my family is from Minnesota, and I grew up in the snow belt in upstate New York, I always find it amusing to listen to the native Nutmeggers here in Connecticut bellyache about what they call "winter."  Heh.  They tell the same joke about the places my family has lived - there are four seasons: almost winter; winter; still winter; and road repair.

I didn't write the below piece - I'm not that clever.  I first ran into it when it was a joke going around the fax machines, but it's been one of my favorites ever since.  It's not really cold enough to post it yet, but I can hope.

The coldest air of the season is soon to enter the United States. As a public service, I am providing the following temperature table to show you the effects of and help you deal with the arctic blast.

(Degrees Fahrenheit/Celsius)

+50 / +10
New York tenants turn on the heat.
Minnesotans plant gardens.

+40 / +4
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
Minnesotans sunbathe.

+35 / +2
Italian cars don’t start.

+32 / 0
Distilled water freezes.

+30 / -1
You can see your breath.
You plan a vacation in Florida.
Politicians begin to worry about the homeless.
Minnesotans eat ice cream.

+25 / -4
Boston water freezes.
Californians weep pitiably.
Cat insists on sleeping on your bed with you.

+20 / -7
Cleveland water freezes.
San Franciscans start thinking favorably of LA.
Minnesota Vikings fans put on T-shirts.

+15 / -1
You plan a vacation in Acapulco.
Cat insists on sleeping under the covers with you.
Minnesotans go swimming.

+10 / -12
Politicians begin to talk about the homeless.
You need jumper cables to get the car going.

0 / -18
New York landlords turn on the heat.
Minnesotans grill brats on the patio. Yum!

-5 / -21
You can hear your breath.
You plan a vacation in Hawaii.

-10 / -23
American cars don’t start.
Too cold to skate.

-15 / -26
You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo.
Miamians cease to exist.
Minnesotans lick flagpoles.

-20 / -29
Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you.
Politicians actually do something about the homeless.
People in St. Paul think about taking down the screens.

-25 / -32
Too cold to kiss.
You need jumper cables to get the driver going.
Japanese cars don’t start.
Minnesota Twins head for spring training.

 -30 / -34
You plan a two week hot bath.
Pilsner freezes.
Bock beer production begins.
Minnesotans shovel snow off roof.

-38 / -39
Mercury freezes.
Too cold to think.
Minnesotans button top button.

-40 / -40
Californians disappear.
Car insists on sleeping in bed with you.
Minnesotans put on sweaters.

-50 / -46
Congressional hot air freezes.
Alaskans close the bathroom window.
Minnesota Vikings practice indoors.

-60 / -51
Walruses abandon Aleutians.
Sign on Mount St. Helens: "Closed for the Season."
Minnesotans put gloves away, take out mittens.
Boy Scouts in St. Claire start Klondike Derby.

-70 / -57
Glaciers in Central Park.
Hudson residents replace diving boards with hockey nets.
Duluth snowmobilers organize trans-lake race to Sault Ste. Marie.

-80 / -62
Polar Bears abandon Baffin Island.
Girl Scouts in St. Claire start Klondike Derby.

-90 / -68
Edge of Antarctica reaches Rio de Janeiro.
Lawyers chase ambulances no more than ten miles.
Wisconsinites migrate to Minnesota thinking it MUST be warmer.

-100 / -73
Santa Claus abandons North Pole.
Minnesotans pull down earflaps.

-173 / -114
Ethyl alcohol freezes.

-297 / -183
Oxygen precipitates out of atmosphere.
Microbial life survives only on dairy products.

-445 / -265

-452 / -269
Helium becomes a liquid.

-454 / -270
Hell freezes over.
Chicago Cubs win World Series.

-456 / -271
Texas drivers drop below 85mph on I-35.

-458 / -272
Incumbent politicians renounce campaign contributions.

-460 / -273 (Absolute Zero)
All atomic motion ceases.
Minnesotans admit that it’s getting a mite nippy.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 28th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
My parents use their barbeque all through the winter...or they did last year, anyway. Mostly for steak.

Seriously, I have (just once) experienced temperatures of -61.6F/-52C. You DO need mittens then. But I wore gloves anyway...I didn't HAVE any mittens. Insanely, I walked down the street (no wind cover) to mail a letter that day. It was SO cold that you couldn't really feel it after you'd been out for a minute...it was just nothing. So not really that bad, unless you were face into the wind, in which case it was difficult to breath. I had to wait for the bus on a hilltop that day and it was definitely an experience.
Dec. 29th, 2007 04:40 am (UTC)
We use the gas grill all year, as do my parents. Our only difficulty at the moment was that we didn't clear it soon enough after the last ice storm and it's become rather... immobile.

The worst I've ever personally experienced was about -20F when we were visiting my grandparents, and I was young enough that all I had were mittens. Mom used to knit me a new pair of mittens every year for Christmas. I've always felt that once it gets below about -10F, it all feels about the same - too damn cold. I might change my mind if I ever spend any time in the -40F to -60F range... But I'm working with people from Atlanta, GA and San Diego, CA, and they WHINE all winter. I have to admit that I enjoy taunting them.

Many years ago, somewhere around '85 or '86 we had a *hugely* warm winter here in CT - it was Christmas, and the Johnny-Jump-Ups were still blooming. We went out to MN for Christmas with my grandparents. You could tell the people on our flight (Newark, NJ to Minneapolis, MN to Seattle, WA to Nome, AK!) - we were the ones wearing short sleeved shirts and carrying sweaters, down coats, hats, etc. It was about 60F in Newark, and I remember the end of the pilot's announcement vividly: "the current temperature at Minneapolis International Airport is 11 degrees below zero. Thank you for flying Northwest Airlines, and have a good flight." I was thinking "I want to get off..."
Dec. 29th, 2007 10:35 am (UTC)
lol...all that is certainly true! You could replace "Minnesotans" with "Buffalonians" & it would ring just as true. People start jogging in their shorts around here as soon as the temp hits 40 outside.

Hilariously, this year's Buffalo Bills (football team) can NOT play in cold weather. They better get it together; our stadium does not have a "lid" & there's no lid in the budget for the forseeable future.

On the bright side there WILL be a historic outdoor stadium NHL hockey game here on New Year's Day (on NBC)...should be fun! We'd have gone if I wasn't laid up. :-/
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )