If hell is in the Midwest, beware of all those things you said would happen when hell freezes over. With actual temperatures double digits below freezing, everything instantly freezes. You may remember reading in one of my past posts that frozen turkeys are flash-frozen at 30 degrees below zero. Wind chills currently are well below that.

Brrrrr does not describe how cold it really is here. But there are colder places.

The coldest recorded temperature in the U.S was -79.8 F at Prospect Creek, Alaska on January 23, 1971. The earth’s coldest inhabited town is Oymyakon, Russia in northeast Siberia. It’s not unusual for residents to experience temperatures as low as -60s, and their coldest recorded temperature was -89.8 in 1933. The long-standing record for the coldest temperature anywhere was -128.6 F recorded in Antarctica in July of 1983!

Frostbite and hypothermia risk is great at subzero temperatures. In addition to the cold, travel remains difficult in many areas due to the heavy snowfall and ice. If you have to go outside, dress in layers, and cover every inch of skin. Return indoors as soon as possible. Use fireplaces and space heaters safely, and never heat a room with your oven.

It’s a good day to work from home or take the day off. Snuggle up with a good book, movie, loved one, or pet. You can fill a need for productivity by cleaning a closet, gathering income tax information, or putting on a pot of soup. You also may give those with limited mobility a phone call to see how they are doing.

Wherever the day takes you, may you be safe and warm.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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