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Thread: Temperature question...

  1. #1
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    Default Temperature question...

    How bad is -50? Actually how bad are the rest of the temps? I know what TX in the 20's and the wind blowing 40+ feels like. Does the cold feel different? I know this is a dumb question but is it like heat? 105 in Houston kills because of humdity but 105 in Tempe, AZ does not feel that bad. So... can you desribe it?

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAL1639 View Post
    How bad is -50? Actually how bad are the rest of the temps? I know what TX in the 20's and the wind blowing 40+ feels like. Does the cold feel different? I know this is a dumb question but is it like heat? 105 in Houston kills because of humdity but 105 in Tempe, AZ does not feel that bad. So... can you desribe it?

    Thanks,
    Jeremy
    The coldest I have been in was a mere -22F (-58F wind chill) in Kansas in 1989. Nothing to an Alaskan, I'm sure. On the highway, the radiator in my old Ford was not producing enough heat to heat the air above about 30-35F. My girlfirend's Toyota's heater actually workded, but the temp difference inside/out cracked her windshield. I don''t know how you guys live like that up there.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    As they always say "It's a dry cold."

    And they are right

    -30 in Anchorage is pretty bone chilling and you will have on a parka and sweater.

    -30 in Fairbanks and you might be thinking about a heavier coat, but with or without the sweater? You might be thinking about a parka, but probably not.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default -58

    It was -58F in Shaktoolik one day with 50+ mph winds. The dog did not go out to pee for 3 days. I wouldn't either!

    I just bites right through you and you can't expose any skin for more than a minute. People in Fairbanks handle -50 all the time. Nice picture from COtoAK once where she went to fuel up the diesel truck and the fuel hose broke off in her hand. One of those Oh S!!!! kind of happenings.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Think of it this way, the difference between 32F (where water freezes) and -50 F is 82 degrees, the same difference between 32F and 114F.

    The coldest ambient temperature I've been in is -42F, the coldest with windchill -90F (-30 w/ 30 mph wind)

    I look at cold in different ways

    If it's above zero, no big deal, you go about what you are doing dressed accordingly.

    If its zero to -20, you put on extra clothing and it doesn't really change what you do so much, but it might not be so pleasant. I had to do some wiring in -20, and you just can't use gloves trying to put #14 wires on a small terminal strip. So you'd take your gloves off, fiddle with the wires until your hands were numb, go inside to warm up, and repeat several times til we finally managed to get it done.

    When it's -40 or colder, you acknowledge that you don't go out unless you have to, bare skin can be frostbitten very quickly. On the other hand, sound travels differently and light can do some weird some weird things when the mercury goes south of -40. In the oilfield they shut down most opperations when it gets below -40, equipment starts to break and people spend more time trying to stay warm then getting work done. I remember a buddy saying they lost two truck tansmissions in -45 temps. The seals on the tranny shrunk, fluid leaked out, and the trannies went t/u.

    I've heard the native eskimo languages have different words for cold for the deep deep -60 and colder. You actually think of it as a palpable danger, and it is.

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    Coldest ambient air temp for me is -68F and zero winds. Good thing about our location is that even though we get very low temps they usually occur in dead calm winds. Each location is different. I can go down the road about 30 miles and the winds can be brutal. The cold without the wind is really not too bad in my opinion.

    Anything below -40F and it literally takes your breath away when you go out in it at first and can dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. Like others have mentioned, I try to minimize activity outside by planning ahead. There is really no good reason to be out in those temps unless you have to. You can never really eliminate it completely (especially when those temps last for weeks), but you can minimize it by planning ahead. I get my wood moved close to the cabin and any thing else that requires me to be outside for long periods of time.

    When it gets that cold I minimize the use of my truck, and unless it was some sort of emergency as it risks damage to the vehicle. I had $500 in damage last January do to cold weather use damage when I had to take the truck out for a extended period after it had not gotten above -45F for a week. I do not make any trips outside of quick run to the post office or store (only 2 miles away). A trip to Fairbanks or Anchorage is out of the question - its not worth the risks involved. Last winter we cut our trip to Fairbanks short to beat the cold snap that came in right after Christmas. For those of you in the interior, I am sure you remember how much fun those couple of weeks were

    Temps from 0 to -30F it is usually just business as usual. It can literally go months in our location and never get above -10F. You just dress appropriately and go about your business. There is nothing I can or will not do in those temps that I would otherwise not do in warmer temps.

    I run a lot to keep in shape and do so year round. My usual temp cutoff is around -30F. Anything below that and it just misery. Running in temps of 0 to -25F or so is not bad as long as you do it when the sun is up and high in the sky.

    I remember reading that locations up here in the interior have some of the widest temp spreads in the world. For example, last year the coldest temp we had was -68F and the warmest in the summer was around 90F which gives you a spread of 158 degrees!!

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAL1639 View Post
    How bad is -50? Actually how bad are the rest of the temps? I know what TX in the 20's and the wind blowing 40+ feels like. Does the cold feel different? I know this is a dumb question but is it like heat? 105 in Houston kills because of humdity but 105 in Tempe, AZ does not feel that bad. So... can you desribe it?

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

    Well so far you could say that Al Gore's global warming has not really worked out for Alaska just yet.
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    Default It's brutal... or it can be....

    I'm originally from western Montana. 20 below in MT feels colder than 20 below here in Fairbanks. But 35-60 below is a whole different ballgame. It is deadly cold, the furnace runs all the time, the car suspension is froze up like it has no suspension, the brakes don't work as good cuz the brake fluid gets stiff.

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