Frigid February

We are deep inside a real big frosty.

With temperatures of -42C and wind chills of -52C, it has been interesting. And I understand that a lot of North America has been whacked by a polar vortex, so apparently there’s lots of cold to go around. Polar vortex – doesn’t that sound vicious? But here, cold in February? That’s normal.

I’m used to dressing warmly – a heavy, long parka – and walking to work, but the windy conditions the last couple of mornings – with gusts up 70K – have been, well, glacial.

My eyelashes have been frosting up within seconds.

I dare not expose my cheeks, chin or nose. They might freeze and break off.

Taking a deep, unprotected breath might sear my lungs. That actually happens, by the way. If I breathe in too much cold air without some sort of scarf buffer, I will start to cough.

Going bare-handed, even for a few seconds, produces instant skin cracks. Ouch!

But, there are good things. My coffee thermos keeps my homemade mocha really hot, even though the outside of it gets really cold during my walk.

My parka is stellar.

The winter sky is a crystalline arch.

And, this weather makes me totally appreciate spring, summer and autumn. 🌸

What’s the best and worst of your winter?

35 thoughts on “Frigid February”

  1. That is COLD! It makes our current daytime -1C almost tropical, Lynette. And we’re facing a -4C overnight, so I’ve a heater on in the garage to prevent burst pipes! I bet that seems really odd for you up there in the frozen north, but we’re not really prepared here in UK for very low temperatures as we get them so infrequently. You keep warm and safe and stay well.

    1. No, it doesn’t seem odd as my home in Penticton has temperatures around -5 in Dec, Jan and maybe Feb. I’ve also lived in Phoenix, so I understand that it’s often more about differentials. But yes, by any standard this is cold. We’re very prepared for cold-weather issues and know how to handle most of them, … but it’s still really cold! 🥶

    1. I do, but I only live a seven-minute walk from work. It takes longer to get the truck warmed up and ready to go, so walking is actually a lot more efficient (better for me, too). But I have to say that when it’s windy like that, the truck is very tempting. It’s supposed to be windy like that again tomorrow. 🥶 Yes, the best part is the end of it!

  2. My worst is the polar vortex. We are slightly warmer than you right now. Best is any day around or above -10 with light winds. Stay warm Lynette. Allan

  3. It’s warmer here than there – 6F, -15 or so C the past several days. Best – the snow is beautiful! Worst – it keeps snowing on Tuesdays, and Wednesday is the one day of the week I need to get the car out! At least last night the neighbor didn’t plow snow into the bottom of my driveway –

  4. It’s warmer here than there: 6F, -15 or so C the past several days. Best – the snow is beautiful! Worst – it keeps snowing on Tuesdays, and Wednesday is the one day of the week I need to get the car out! At least last night the neighbor didn’t plow snow into the bottom of my driveway –

  5. I remember how that first breath of outside air hurt my lungs. The other thing I remember is feeling my eyebrows on my face (I mean without touching them). Temperatures like that shouldn’t be allowed!

    1. Hahaha. 🙂 I cover everything up so only my eyelashes are sticking out, and they freeze quickly! I hold them between my fingers to melt the ice when I get inside. Eyebrows will freeze quickly, too. I have one more winter here and then my contact will be finished and I will be back in Penticton. 🙂

    1. Thank you. 🙂 It’s not too bad when you have the right clothes (a thick long parka) and other tools and the right attitude, too. I like to whine about the winter but there’s much to admire about it, as well. I have one winter left before my contract is up and I return to the very temperate Okanagan Valley. 🙂 I won’t miss these cold windy mornings.

  6. Now I feel silly about complaining about the cold here in Toronto. It’s not too bad today -7C and feels like -11C, that’s practically t-shirt weather for you. When it becomes that cold outside you really learn the importance of layering and quality gear. But hey, at least there are no pesky flies or mosquitoes out there.

    1. Hahaha. 🙂 One of the advantages of cold weather – no bugs! I have a terrific parka (handmade by a local seamstress – she didn’t take any measurements, just looked at me. Then she produced a perfect fit!) and wear lots of layers underneath. I have flown from here to Toronto and have “basked” in +5 or so after arrival. It’s all relative, isn’t it?

  7. I can’t even imagine temps THAT low. It’s supposed to dip below 0 F this weekend, which is about as cold as we ever get. At least with temps that haven’t even seen the freezing point in a week, we’ll be a little used to it. Still….. BRRRR!!!

  8. That is real, full on cold. It hit -23c last night in Scotland which is the coldest it’s been in the UK for 26 years, apparently. A balmy -9c down here in the south. I have experienced -35c in Alberta and remember the feeling that my lungs were being stabbed with every breath!

    The thing about our winters is that they stop and start. We freeze and thaw, over and over. There are usually complaints about ungritted roads and cancelled trains. Even when you think it’s done, snow sometimes comes back in April, or even June on extremely rare occasions. But we’re British and love talking about the weather, so the more variety and surprise the better, I suppose.

    1. Wow! -23 in Scotland! Yikes. -40 isn’t unusual for us; we’re in the Subarctic, after all. And Alberta tends to get hit once or twice a winter with some cold temps. When my work contract is finished 16 months from now, I will not be missing these winters. I admire their beauty, but they are tough to get through! The Okanagan Valley has winter temperatures that are similar to yours, and I am looking forward to that.

      Hahaha. 🙂 I like your comment about the British love for discussing the weather. I thought Canadians had the market on that one, but apparently not. We love that topic, too!

  9. Wrap up nice and warm Lynette. What a great description of the freezing cold conditions. Sounds lethal! I don’t enjoy the short daylight hours of winter here in the UK that much, but at the same time the lack of daylight gives me permission to semi-hibernate. I appreciate the slower pace of winter more than the hectic energy of summers. Take care 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Mei. 🙂

      It can be lethal if you’re out too long and not dressed well enough. I agree that there are many good things about winter; it’s important to recognise them, but the short daylight hours aren’t great. We go as low as six hours at the solstice.

  10. Yowza, that’s some serious cold! I guess I won’t be whining about our -22F to you. 😉
    Sounds like you know your way around cold weather and are smart about it. My husband and I went out for ice cream yesterday (yeah, I know) and as we were leaving, a young woman came in wearing a hoodie and leggings. Now, I’m not going to be judgmental over wearing leggings as pants, but seriously woman! It’s -22 degrees! ⛄

    1. Thank you. 🙂 It’s important to be informed about the weather here in the Subarctic. It has been warming up over the last few days (and amazingly enough, the temp in Texas was exactly the same as ours today!) but most other places would still find it pretty cold.
      When it was -40 out, I saw a man walking down the road in a thin jacket and sandals. My assistant called the police because we were worried he was drunk or drug-addled. Apparently not. He waved off the police when they did a welfare check on him!
      We eat ice cream in the winter, too. We have some in the freezer right now. 🙂

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