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 weather.yahoo.com. 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.