Monday, January 27, 2014

It's not just St. Louis

They're freaking out here too. I did a post a couple weeks ago about the absurdity of schools and other organizations closing when the temperatures around here dipped below zero. Well, they're doing it again. The predicted high for today is a negative single digit number, wind chills are going to be nasty, and every single school in the western U.P. is closed. Unbelievable. It's cold, but, Christ on the proverbial crutch, it's not snowing. It's not even that windy. The wind indicator on the weather vane in the front yard is just sitting there, and tree tops are barely moving. Dress the little barracudas in their snowmobile suits, wrap scarves around their heads, and shove them out the door. Either that, or resign your collective selves to having school run into July* because there's a limited number of "snow" days allowed, and all the local schools have pretty much burned through the available supply. There is absolutely no reason to freak out when it's a classic and totally normal Upper Michigan January day: cold enough to castrate brass monkeys, but nothing out of the ordinary for this part of the country at this time of the year.

Or at least it didn't used to be out of the ordinary. Apparently now it is. We've had so many warm winters in a row that when we finally get one that behaves like winter did 20 or 30 years ago, no one can handle it. Back in the 19th century, Bishop Baraga wandered all over the U.P. on snowshoes in some truly godawful weather. He survived without Thinsulate or a climate controlled vehicle; it seems like we modern day Yoopers should be able to cope with a little cold now.

You know what my test is for weather that's cold enough to worry about? It's when I step outside, blink, and my eyelashes freeze together. That hasn't happened yet; when it does, maybe I'll agree it actually is cold.

[*I cheerfully predict that the same parents who don't want their kids going to school now because they're terrified of the wind chill number will be raising hell when it gets to be June and the extended school year interferes with family outings or the kids getting summer jobs.]


  1. Bishop Baraga? Tell us about him?
    I never knew...


  2. you all in the upper peninsula have us beat - but zero with a twenty mph wind yesterday kept me inside.
    the Ol'Buzzard


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