Friday, January 05, 2007

How Cold Is Too Cold?

So far we've had a relatively "mild" winter, with low snow fall (1/3 normal) and warmer than average temperatures in December. But now we're in for a real cold snap. It's -25 to -30 F in the town of Fairbanks and hovering around -20 or colder in the hills, which are usually substantially warmer than the valley due to inversions. They're predicting -40 tonight.

This is getting into the realm of too cold, at least for this Cheechako.

As indicated the other day, I'm usually pretty good with -10 to -15 and just dress in layers and prepare to go a little slower. Yesteday at -10 I did 1:35-40 and actually had to take off my warmup pants after a few kilometers because it was just too much. Felt a little cold the rest of the way, but not uncomfortable. By the end of my workout, I was surprised to see that the Birch Hill upper parking lot was nearly full, with at least 25 cars out there.

At -20 or colder things change. Your skin freezes faster, the snow gets incredibly slow, and it is almost impossible to warm up. I went up there at lunch today, hoping to go an easy 40 min, but it was -22. Nah, not today. Maybe we'll do an inversion dance to hopefully bring the temperatures up a bit over the weekend. Meanwhile, it looks like 45 min to 1 hr on the stationary cycle tonight.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked accuweather.com for Fairbanks, and you can take comfort in knowing that while the lows might reach -40F, the "Real Feel" index says it'll feel like a balmy -23F.
Yikes!
High hit 59F in here in Concord, N.H. yesterday. May hit 60F today, with rain.
-Grambo

2:11 AM  
Blogger wilson said...

Grambo, thanks for the note. You have my sympathies with the warm New England weather. And I too am concerned that the US's Nordic hotbed may suffer from the warm weather. How can you inspire skiers when there is no snow?

The cold snap here continues and it hasn't exceeded -20 for three days now, and it's supposed bottom out tomorrow with highs in -30s. I might venture out for an hour of classic skiing today. Things look a little better by the end of the week, with temperatures "warming" to -5.

7:42 AM  

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