Thursday, March 5, 2009

Miss Weatherpants

56 degrees. Right now. At 8:30 PM in Chicago.


I am just ecstatic that the coldest-of-the-cold weather is over with for now. Goodbye winter, hello spring!!

The other night, I had heard that the weather was going to get warmer soon, so I checked it out for myself at Sure enough, the weather forecast for the next week is full of 40’s and 50’s, instead of 20’s and 30’s…and I couldn’t be happier. I am definitely more of a warm weather girl.

Then I decided to check out weather forecasts in other countries around the world.

Yeah, that’s something you may not know about me. I am really interested in weather. (Iwanski calls me a weather nerd.)

Ever since I was a little girl, I was always fascinated with what the weather was like in Hamburg, Germany or New Delhi, India, while we were sitting there buried under three feet of snow in my little Wisconsin hometown. (Just in case you’re wondering, right now it’s 41 degrees and raining in Hamburg, and 62 degrees and hazy in New Delhi. I couldn’t help it—I just had to look it up.)

I don’t know why the weather fascinates me so much—I think part of it is because I think it says a lot about the people that live there. I mean, don’t you think people who live in the coldest place in the world live at least somewhat different lives than people who live in the hottest place in the world?

So of course, as I was thinking about this the other night, I had to look up where the coldest place and the hottest place in the world were at that time.

Although I didn’t necessarily find out where it was the coldest and hottest in the world at that moment in time, I did find out that there are some really crazy-hot places and some really cold-ass places in the world.

One of the hottest places I found was Jakarta, Indonesia, where the forecast is calling for temperatures in the high 80’s for the next several days. That is pretty hot, but I figure there’s got to be a hotter place than that on earth right now; I just haven’t found it yet.

But even more fascinating to me was when I started reading about the town of Barrow, Alaska. Right now, the temperature there is a frigid 6 degrees below zero, and the forecast calls for highs between 16 below zero and 3 degrees above zero for the next several days. And those are the high temperatures—imagine what the low temperatures are like! All I can say is, there’s a negative 23 degrees mixed in there. Yikes!

So then I thought, well, it can’t be that bad there all year round—right?

Um, yeah, it’s kind-of bad.

From early October to late May, temperatures never get above freezing. And get this—the average high temperature in JULY (the warmest month) in Barrow, Alaska is a steamy 46 degrees. That’s it. That’s how warm it gets there IN JULY. How on earth do people live there?

Then I thought, there can’t be that many people that live there—maybe a few hundred eskimos or something, right?

Wrong. There are over 4600 brave (or perhaps crazy) souls who live there—and they’re not all eskimos! I couldn’t believe it.

Oh, and it’s also one of the cloudiest places on earth, and they have two full months in complete darkness—the sun goes down around November 18th or 19th and doesn’t come up for a full two months after that. How horrible!

While I was sitting here at the laptop computer, shocked that anyone would choose to live in such a place, Iwanski remarked that he once saw a picture from there, and there was a school bus in the picture.

Those poor kids!!—was all I could think. I just couldn’t imagine living in such a dreary existence.

I’ll tell you something—the next time I’m tempted to complain about the cold weather here, I will first think of the poor schoolchildren of Barrow, Alaska, who are forced by their heartless parents to live in the coldest city in North America.


Buck said...

You want dreary? Check out Grise Fiord, Nunavut, Canada. It's the northernmost town in Canada. Pop 150. And there are kids there too. (I think they're all Inuit). Once, the high school kids got to come to the big city of Toronto and the first thing they did was get their hair dyed blond and got tattoos.

sageweb said...

Wow I cant even imagine since I have an adverse reaction to temperatures below 60 F. In california we can always tell the tourist from cold weather states, they are wearing shorts and tshirts while we are bundle up and it is 70 F out.

Sling said...

I've never been to Barrow,but I'm guessin' it's 'A different kind of cold' like they say.
That follws what Sage said.
In Colorado,I could walk around in 38 degrees wearing jeans and a T-shirt,but in California I get chilly when it drops below 60..I don't know how to 'splain it.

Mathman6293 said...

Nice to have some warm weather. It boosts the spirits.

Lisa said...

You would get along great with my dad. He's a big fan of the weather channel. I do admit that back when I was in a long distance relationship, I would check the weather in my boyfriend's city so I had some idea of what his day is like.

I think Barrow is the last place I'd like to visit. And I definitely wouldn't want to live there.

rosemary said...

You spelled Barrow's spelled SANDPOINT-IN-THE-WINTER. come here for a winter'll appreciate Chicago a lot more. I have calendar sheets taped to the side of the fridge and I write in the weather every single day.....February had 9 snow days, 18 overcast, 4 rain , 13 sun, 2 sleet. December '08 had 24 snow days, no sun.

Diane said...

I think Iwanski and I saw that same picture or newsclip of the Alaskan school children boarding buses in complete darkness. Crazy! Can anyone say S-A-D syndrome?

MaryRuth said...

Curious to know what the alcoholism and mental illness statistics are for Barrow compared to other places.
The BF is a weather nerd too--his computer is always beeping with some sort of weather alert.
That nice weather in Chicago better hold--I'm going to WI next week and I don't want to freeze!

Anita said...

I have weather obsession, I got it from my father. Beyond the local weather, which I must know, or heaven forbid my children might dress wrong(for gods sake I live in FL, the range is it's either going to be cold, below 60, nice, 70-85 or hot 85+) My oddities include checking the weather in the places I've previously lived, which in include suburbs of Dallas, St. Louis and Chicago, places where I have family or friends and occasionally the odd inquiry of a favorite vacation spot.
Barrow AK has never been on my way would I ever entertain the idea of living there!
I enjoyed your post.