January 3, 2018

After reading the news in the morning, I'm often surprised, when I go outside, at how warm the cold feels.

It's quite absurd, the hysteria the news media wants us to come down with. About Trump, for sure. I'm not going to talk about that here. But this weather business is truly over the top. I'm reading "‘Bomb cyclone’ to blast East Coast before polar vortex uncorks tremendous cold late this week" in the Washington Post.

"Bomb cyclone" is new to me. I remember when "polar vortex" was new, but it's another terrorizing phrase. "Uncorks" would have been better 3 days ago, with its New Year's Eve evocations, but it's at least a visual image in words that goes along with the graphic, which is bright-colored, hurricanesque whorls over the Atlantic Ocean, right next to the famous cities, the cities that matter — Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.

As for "tremendous cold," that's at least amusingly anticlimactic. What other words did they consider before landing on "tremendous"? "Huge"? Trump ruined "huge." The rapacious glutton gained ownership of it. "Humongous"? Too childish. "Brobdingnagian"? Too schoolmarmish. Colossal, elephantine, enormous, gargantuan, jumbo, mammoth, massive, monstrous, prodigious, super, super-duper,  titanic, tremendous,  walloping, whacking, whopping...?



Speaking of monsters....
First, a monster storm will hammer coastal locations from Georgia to Maine with ice and snow. By Thursday, the exploding storm will, in many ways, resemble a winter hurricane, battering easternmost New England with potentially damaging winds in addition to blinding snow.
I'd like to say the media are turning us into snowflakes, but the one thing snowflakes shouldn't be afraid of is cold.

And how much snow are we talking? Enough to groom the ski trails?
From Norfolk to the Maryland and Delaware beaches, including much of the southern half of the Delmarva Peninsula, 3 to 6 inches of heavy snow are predicted.... To the north, Philadelphia and New York have a better chance for a coating of snow, but — unless the storm edges closer to the coast — the more significant snow should remain to their east from Atlantic City to eastern Long Island, where at least four to six inches could fall late Wednesday to late Thursday.
I'd really like some good snow around here so we could get the cross-country ski trails groomed. Six inches sounds great. Remember when snow was beautiful and fun? Now, everything's a nightmare.

120 comments:

rhhardin said...

Flights delayed. Look for reporters in airports.

rhhardin said...

The standard for cold is whether your nose hairs freeze. That takes about -5F.

Michael K said...

Clickbait.

tcrosse said...

This is what you get when a sports writer does weather. It's biblical !

Quaestor said...

As for "tremendous cold," that's at least amusingly anticlimactic.

For shame, Althouse, you misspelled anticlimatic.

Ralph L said...

"In the storm’s wake, the mother lode of numbing cold will crash south — likely the last but most bitter in brutal blasts since Christmas Eve."

What a mess.

"The responsible storm is forecast to begin taking shape"

At least it's responsible--not blowing drunk.

traditionalguy said...

At least Wisconsin has garnered some snow this year. Out west, snow at ski resorts is MIA.

tcrosse said...

For shame, Althouse, you misspelled anticlimatic.

Maybe she meant antarctic

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm reading "‘Bomb cyclone’ to blast East Coast before polar vortex uncorks tremendous cold late this week" in the Washington Post.

It's awards season. They're competing for the coveted Dishonest and Corrupt Media award.

David Begley said...

It is all hype and controversy to generate audience. Bread and circuses. Up next: Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Kanye.

Ann Althouse said...

"The standard for cold is whether your nose hairs freeze. That takes about -5F."

That has been exactly my observation here in Madison. Exactly the number I'd say.

That's the point where you need to wrap a scarf around your mouth and nose so you can warm up the air a little for breathing.

But when it's at least 5 above, there's no serious problem, unless you're stumbling home drunk in the middle of the night and might lie down and never get up (like George McGovern's daughter).

I went to Whole Foods yesterday when it was about 5, and most of the people going in and out of the store were not bothering to wear gloves. Few wore hats. At least one guy didn't even trouble himself to put on a coat.

Hagar said...

We are at 87th day without measurable precipitation (7th longest on record) and 10-12 degrees above normal consistently. The records were all set 100-120 years ago. Perhaps we are entering a similar climatic period.

Xmas said...

I think the story is leaving out the severity of the storm. It's not that it's going to drop only 6 inches of snow, it's that it will be accompanied by constant 30 mph winds or higher. So you're talking about a moderate amount of snow being driven by high winds, which is going to cause some huge problems.

Bob Boyd said...

How do you tell if your nose hair is frozen?

Fritz said...

6 inches of snow may sound great in Wisconsin, but it can shut down Washington D.C., not that that's a bad thing.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The media are turning us into snowflakes. Yes.
The local media is 30 minutes of tips for babysitting snowflakes.

SteveM said...

In the New York City area, the severity of winter storms are measured by whether Lonnie Quinn, the local CBS weatherman, takes off his suit jacket and rolls up his sleeves, on air.

rehajm said...

In Georgia people contemplate suicide when it reaches the low 50s. When it snows 3 inches they try to follow through by getting in their cars and driving like idiots.

MadisonMan said...

Meteorological bombs -- the phrase -- has been around for 30+ years, I think. A storm is a bomb if its central pressure drops by 24 mb in 24 hours. I think that pressure value might be modulated by latitude too -- bigger drops are required for higher latitudes.

Explosive Cyclogenesis is the less colorful term.

David Begley said...

Here in Omaha, the three main TV stations each have about 3 meteorologists on staff. About 1/3 of the broadcast time is spent on weather. We get granular temps from midtown Omaha to west Omaha. All sorts of equipment and some of it now is good. My favorite is the European vs. American models.

About ten years ago a grade school science fair project measured projections against results. Not so good. But, hey, we've got the global warming nailed down for 2100.

Ambrose said...

Here's my forecast - all those people who admonished President Trump last week that the cold snap was "weather" not "climate" will sternly lecture us this week that the "bomb cyclone" is climate change not weather.

Bob Boyd said...

If you're worried about frozen nose hair try taking a couple of those glove warmer packet things, rolling them up tight and stuffing one in each nostril.
I haven't tried this myself, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Ralph L said...

That's the point where you need to wrap a scarf around your mouth and nose so you can warm up the air a little for breathing.
And ice up your glasses and freeze them to your nose. Happened to me on a ski lift in PA. Had to go downhill blind.

Here in central NC, they're forecasting sunny and windy tomorrow.

TerriW said...

At twenty below, your car seat doesn't depress when you sit down on it, and that is a weird feeling.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bob Boyd said...

How do you tell if your nose hair is frozen?

Check for boogercicles.

( It had to get below -20 before you have to worry about testcicles. )

George Grady said...

According to my back deck, we've gotten a quarter inch of snow here in Tallahassee this morning!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Remember when snow was beautiful and fun? Now, everything's a nightmare.

Normal winter weather doesn't exist in the age of global warming. If normal winter weather does occur it must be exaggerated in order to present it as an abnormal artifact of global warming.

David Hampton said...

Global warming/Climate Change/anthropomorphic... is under attack and the weather channel is trying to keep that story front and center. They have to go over-the-top in their description as it is difficult to push their narrative while ice breakers get trapped in Antarctica and people are freezing to death on benches, apartments are burning down with faulty wiring and space heaters used improperly, interstates shut down with massive pileups, power outages in air ports and train signal systems, plumbers backlogged with frozen pipes, delayed heating oil deliveries, and other predictable inconveniences including the usual communities writing plans to deal with the rise in sea levels as a full moon and tides go about their business. Soldier On TWC, we need the comic relief.

Dan said...

I notice that at 0 degrees F, my breath begins to freeze in my mustache. I have found that to be quite reliable. Here in South Dakota, it has been happening a lot lately.

Greg Hlatky said...

Prediction: 2017 and 2018 will be found to be the warmest years ever.

Henry said...

Love when it's cold enough long enough to freeze our lake. Went ice skating with the kids on New Years Day.

tcrosse said...

But it's a dry cold.

DanTheMan said...

Here in Florida:
Cat 5 Hurricane: Bring it on!
Temps below 32: OMG! We're all going to die!

james james said...

"...monstrous, prodigious, super, super-duper, titanic, tremendous, walloping, whacking, whopping..."

Weather as Pornhub descriptions.

- james james

William said...

Cyclone bomb sounds like something an Islamic meteorologist would use.......Cold weather is quite bearable with thermal long johns and a down jacket. The one unendurable phenomenon of winter in NYC is stepping into the crosswalk and getting a shoeful of cold slush. That happens when the temperature is a little above freezing but it is far more painful than frozen nasal hairs, frostbite, or being attacked by ravenous Artic wolves.

tcrosse said...

The Term of Art in the Twin Cities was Bitterly Cold. We all knew exactly what it meant.

Crimso said...

"3 to 6 inches of heavy snow are predicted"

"heavy?"

tcrosse said...

"heavy?"

Snow can be light and fluffy or dense and heavy. It depends on the air temperature when it fell.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Last night and this morning felt very cold to me because of the wind chill. But I was pretty comfortable running errands and grocery shopping on Saturday and Sunday.

My boyfriend told me of a first year resident he knows who is from SoCal. She said she is getting tired of cheeseheads constantly asking her "How you are doing? How are you dealing with the snow and ice? Bet you've never been so cold in your life!" It's as if they all expect her to break into sobs and wail, "There's no place like home!" Her reply is "I chose to do my residency here and I understood before I came that Wisconsin gets very cold. So I'm bundling up and scrapping the ice off my windshield like everyone else." Wisconsinites do have a way of assuming that those from milder climates are pathetic wimps who will curl up and die if the temp dips below 40, instead of just stoically coping like the natives do. (And the natives - including me - aren't that stoic. We do an awful lot of bitching and moaning while we are coping.)

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Prediction: 2017 and 2018 will be found to be the warmest years ever.

Only until 2019.

MadisonMan said...

I was also pleasantly surprised at how warm +8 felt this morning. It's all about what you're used to.

I will note that even though it's cold -- it got nowhere near -20 here, which is my benchmark for super cold weather. Madison hasn't been -20 for many years now (Christmas Day 2000) -- each day extends that record long interval between -20s.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Heavy snow is the kind that is a b to shovel but good for making snowmen. Light snow is the pretty stuff that is easy to brush off your windshield.

rhhardin said...

How do you tell if your nose hair is frozen?

Breath vapor from exhaling freezes on inhale and moves nose hairs. You feel the movement.

Hairs are force amplifiers. Hairy skin feels bugs move where hairless skin detects nothing.

FIDO said...

In the 70's, we had deep snow: up to my knees (granted, my knees were considerably lower than they are today.

It's gotten this cold before. Honestly, it seems one could make a mint selling Xanax to the NYT and WaPo staff.

MadisonMan said...

So I'm bundling up and scrapping the ice off my windshield like everyone else

Haven't done that once yet, in Madison. Is there anything better than a garage in which you can park your car overnight?

Ralph L said...

Are the dogs sticking to the sidewalk?

Can't remember what comedy that's from.

rhhardin said...

What you want for outdoor work is a heat exchanger, which is two tubes in thermal contact. You breathe in through one and out through the other. The outgoing air heats the incoming air, and the incoming air cools the outgoing air, so ideally the outgoing air leaves at outdoor temperature and incoming air finishes at body temperature.

Yet the incoming air is fresh, in particular free of exhaled carbon dioxide replacing oxygen.

Bundling up gives you pre-breathed air and so air low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide, which limits your aerobic capacity a lot.

Caligula said...

"But all this- the distant trail, no sun in the sky, the great cold,
and the strangeness of it all- had no effect on the man. It was not
because he was long familiar with it. He was a newcomer in the land, and
this was his first winter.

"The trouble with him was that he was not able to imagine. He
was quick and ready in the things of life, but only in the things, and not
in their meanings. Fifty degrees below zero meant 80 degrees of frost.
Such facts told him that it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was
all. It did not lead him to consider his weaknesses as a creature affected
by temperature. Nor did he think about man’s general weakness, able
to live only within narrow limits of heat and cold. From there, it did
not lead him to thoughts of heaven and the meaning of a man’s life ..."

-- Jack London, "To Build A Fire"

Bob Boyd said...

rhhardin said...
"Breath vapor from exhaling freezes on inhale and moves nose hairs. You feel the movement.
Hairs are force amplifiers. Hairy skin feels bugs move where hairless skin detects nothing."

Did you ever think, maybe your nose hairs aren't frozen this time? Maybe there's a bug in there trying to get warm.

dreams said...

The snowflakes are the liberal media so they're just projecting.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I reread Jack London's story "To Build a Fire" the other night. Imagine trekking in the Yukon in the days before Gore-Tex and Land's End parkas and hand warmers. Made me grateful to be inside, with central heating and a gas fireplace.

surfed said...

Bodacious

Hagar said...

I believe record snow depths in the US are usually found in the Sierra Nevada mountains in sunny California?

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
I went to Whole Foods yesterday when it was about 5, and most of the people going in and out of the store were not bothering to wear gloves. Few wore hats. At least one guy didn't even trouble himself to put on a coat."

I saw a couple of people in shorts. But then again, I shop at Pick N Save.

Vance said...

While you poor people suffer, we out west sure could use about six feet of snow. It's like the weather went to late fall and stopped. I'm glad I don't have the bitter cold (it was 14 this morning and likely to get close to 40 or 50 today) but we need the moisture.

--Vance

buwaya said...

The reporters should migrate to California for the season and investigate politics on this side. God knows they will find a great deal of interest.

Vance said...

Also, in case anyone cares. the LDS church president died last night. A sad day, as he was a giant of a man.

--Vance

mockturtle said...

Hagar suggests: I believe record snow depths in the US are usually found in the Sierra Nevada mountains in sunny California?

On average, the highest snowfall is at Mt. Rainier, WA state, followed by Crater Lake, OR. Highest measured snowfall was at Thompson Pass, AK. Second highest, Crater Lake, OR.

Inga said...

It’s attributable to Trump Derangement Syndrome, no doubt.

mockturtle said...

Every winter, the media treat cold and snow like natural disasters.

Unknown said...

Forecasting a foot of freshies for my locale on the northshore of Boston, MA. Personally I'm looking forward to the new stuff covering up the now dirty old stuff, gives us a Currier & Ives sort of look.

My anecdotal evidence inidicates that all the hyperbole about the cold weather comes from people in warmer climes that moved there from a colder place.

-sw

mockturtle said...

Flagstaff, AZ, gets over 100" of snow per year on average.

MountainMan said...

It was only 6F in East TN yesterday morning, not at all unusual, but you would think this was the worst weather ever. We have no snow and none is forecast. I can recall 25-30 years ago when we might get 8-10" of snow and the city schools would remain open on a snow schedule (1 hour later start) and buses would run "snow routes", going down main roads only until side streets were cleared, kids would walk to the nearest intersection to catch the bus. In recent years. if there is the slightest hint of snow in the forecast, the schools are closed. The weather has not changed that much but attitudes toward it certainly have.

DanTheMan said...

>>Flagstaff, AZ, gets over 100" of snow per year on average.

We were there some years ago, and one of the locals told us they get 300 nights a year below freezing!

Ipso Fatso said...

It was 13 degrees in the Chicago this am and it felt warm. Not warm enough to let the cat out, but warm. Balmy even. I like cold weather. Your mileage may vary.

Tim at large said...

Single digits F with no wind is fine for a healthy human properly dressed, even comfortable. A 10 MPH wind, it’s another matter.

Tim at large said...

I don’t know about a “blockbuster bomb” of a winter storm, but it is chilly and windy here in South Florida. It looks like a tropical storm, except for the chill.

robother said...

Ever since Al Gore's movie, the weather has gone bi-polar. Did the climate change? Or is it us?

n.n said...

In order to sell the prognostication of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change, they need to emphasize extreme weather variability. Higher temperatures, bad. Lower temperatures, bad. Cyclones, the northern hurricanes, clearly bad. Bombs, obviously bad. Stir and bake at 365 days for a recipe that will trigger your perception and capture your imagination.

wwww said...



Anything above -5F is outside weather.

FleetUSA said...

Had a nice 2 mile walk this a.m. in 8 degree weather. Just layer up.

Tim at large said...

A few years back, the climate activists made a decision to push the “weirding” of the weather, even though the weather is not all that weird, and the other thing they do is only look back to the coldest period of the century, which was the ‘70s. The weather channel is big on this propaganda push. It’s like temperature maps where a temp in the 70s is shown not in a nice green color, but a more scary yellow, then you get to use orange for temps in the 80s, etc. They didn’t used to be like that. It’s gaslighting by the left, who view the prospect of climate change as an opportunity to finally end capitalism. Chances as to whether it is real or not cannot be taken.

Quaestor said...

Caligula (quoting Jack London) wrote: Fifty degrees below zero meant 80 degrees of frost.
Such facts told him that it was cold and uncomfortable, and that was
all. It did not lead him to consider his weaknesses as a creature affected
by temperature. Nor did he think about man’s general weakness, able
to live only within narrow limits of heat and cold.


Degrees of frost, the first time I heard that turn of phrase was while watching the wonderful classic film, Scott of the Antarctic (later much lampooned by Monty Python). It was a 16mm print shown every year by the headmaster of my grammar school to boys who had reached twelve years; I guess he thought it was inspirational on the subject of manhood. (Given the likelihood that Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, and practically every prominent Democrat has either never seen it or having seen it promptly forgot it, I'm inclined to trust the the old man's judgement.) It must be an old fashioned formulation, because I've never heard broadcast weather forecasters use degrees of frost — but they should, it focuses the mind better than "below zero" phrases. CBC weather dudes don't have this problem because they use the stupid metric system, probably to assuage their eternally recalcitrant Quebecois Francophonic bacon-loving bastards.

Yes, you read Quaestor aright — he wrote "stupid metric system". Though easier with which to calculate, metric temperature is stupid when applied to the weather. Here's why:

Imperial system — 0 degrees is uncomfortable, 100 degrees is uncomfortable
Metric system — 0 degrees is less uncomfortable, but 100 degrees is fatal
Kelvin scale — 0 dead, 100 dead

Laslo Spatula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

Had to briefly return to comment on this direct Althouse quote from this post:

"Six inches sounds great."

My comment is No Comment.

I am Laslo.

stever said...

@Quaestor your logic is sound, although I'm a scientist by education, simplicity of thought makes things accessible.

Quaestor said...

A few years back, the climate activists made a decision to push the “weirding” of the weather...

The weather is "weirding" in the perspective of the brainless Left who can't remember last Tuesday, let alone appreciate history. However, this "weirding" has nothing to do with CO2, either in its abundance or paucity, and everything to do with the recent quiescence of the Sun and its subsequent effect on the ionosphere above the North Pole.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Tremendous cold?
No, no, no.
The canonical temp range adjectives are:
Warm, cool, cold, really cold, harsh, and... Refreshingly brisk.
According to my teens a few years ago.

Owen said...

I grew up in the Yukon. It went to freezing in October, -10 F in November, - 20 F from December through February with some stretches of -40 F and the odd cold snap of -50 F and -60 F. Once you get to - 40 F it becomes academic how cold it is, you just don't fool around. We became connoisseurs of the best ways to stay warm with felt insoles and double mittens and thermal underwear, but we mostly did not linger outside. The contrast was, when the temperature rose to - 20 F or -10 F, we would stroll around in sweaters remarking on the unbearable heat wave.

Living now in the Lower 48, I treat cold weather (especially windy cold weather) with respect but not much excitement.

Hagar said...

Snow depth and snowfall is not the same.

Rusty said...

" Talk of your cold. Through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail."

n.n said...

this "weirding" has nothing to do with CO2

The assertion is that CO2 either acts as a trigger that unleashes a chain reaction or as an amplifier with cumulative effect. This is based on the characterization of CO2 in isolation, which was summarily integrated into models purported to reproduce a global frame of reference. The detachment from reality, liberal use of fudge factors, suggest that the characterization was progressed to absurd proportions.

Meade said...

Fritz said...
"6 inches of snow may sound great in Wisconsin, but it can shut down Washington D.C., not that that's a bad thing."

Swamp draining is more of a summertime thing. In winter we can freeze the swamp, carve it up and sell it to Iran. Cheap.

Browndog said...

The best snow is a cold snow, usually an Alberta Clipper. Very fine, very light, and shimmers like diamonds in the moonlight.

Meade said...

Btw, I'm seeing "relentless" cold being used by much of the east coast media. So it's not just weather, it's never-ending climate change that is cold, not warm.

Now don't be a denier.

Ann Althouse said...

@Rusty

Thanks for the cue. I looked and found the poem, which I'd never read before. Highly enjoyable!

MaxedOutMama said...

It's snow and wind and extreme cold, with the power grid already pushed to the limit. Yes, this is potentially serious.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It looks like Boston is in for a good old-fashioned blizzard Thursday, snow with wind gusts up to 50 mph. What worries me more is the prospect of freezing rain forecast for next Tuesday.

Owen said...

Rusty: thank you. We used to read Service's poems and shiver with appreciation.

Darkisland said...

I hope that this is not off topic but cold and hurricanes are both weather:

One of the Mikes asked in another comment thread the other day how we are doing down here in Puerto Rico. I did not have internet except over my phone so I did not reply then, I am doing so now.

We are not -5 degrees, that is certainly one thing to be thankful for. On the other hand, 100+ days after Hurricane Maria 45% of Island residents still do not have power. Myself included, though the neighborhoods on both sides have power.

We need to replace several hundred transmission towers. The huge metal towers that march across the countryside. Since most power is generated in the south and most people live in the north, the transmission lines are a huge problem.

Additionally, the distribution system has been trashed. We need to replace something like 50,000 poles (38KV and down) and 5-10,000 miles of wire.

Right now we have about 5500 utility workers restoring power, about 5,000 from the upper 50. Including Wisconsin's power company.

I've been blogging about it at www.darkislandpr.blogspot.com along with plans for the future SOLAR!!! BATTERIES!!! though I have some other ideas and am thoroughly unconvinced of solar. I do believe that batteries may be useful.

There is a detailed assessment of system damage and recommendations for hardening by a committee of NY utility execs here. Interesting throughout:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/PRERWG_Report_PR_Grid_Resiliency_Report.pdf

Executive summary: $17 billion dollars.

Water has been mostly restored but a lot of that has required putting generators at each pumping and sewage station. Then we need trucks driving around keeping them fueled. Foster Fuels and Macron Services have a couple hundred tank trucks doing that.

Cell service, voice and data, are coming back though they can come and go at times.

Liberty Cable has brought crews from all over the US to restore cable/internet service.

FEMA is providing a lot of help to people whose homes were destroyed for the first time. This is not our first rodeo and after Hurricane Georges FEMA gave reconstruction money on the condition that reconstruction be in concrete. Apparently a lot of people took the money and rebuilt in wood. When they got blown down again FEMA is saying "Nope. No money for you!" Which I think is a good policy.

Personally, we came through OK. Lost a couple trees, no damage to my all concrete house. My son lost a garage door, daughter came through OK.

I am getting DAMN SICK AND TIRED of schlepping gasoline every day for my generator, though. OTOH, I thank God that this is my biggest problem. Many people are much worse off.

Thank you Mr Brigs. Thank you Mr Stratton. The cheeseheads know how to build good motors.

To all of you taxpayers who are funding this, we really do appreciate it. Thank you.

(And don't get me started on our very own Prince of Darkness cancelling the Whitefish contract!)

John Henry

MaxedOutMama said...

rehajm - Indeed. The common procedure for an ice storm such as occurring now in parts of south GA is to scream, shut your eyes, and hit the gas pedal. I'm not sure as to why, but I suspect the basic theory is that it is very dangerous on the roads, so the thing to do is get off them as soon as possible.

I will not go so far as to post a link about the story about the 3 Cobb County policemen who wiped out on ice. One of them is badly hurt so my feelings quail at the inevitable mockery. But let us just say that a GA native's snow/ice driving skills are negligible, and the intuitive response is not generally the best.

Yancey Ward said...

The exaggeration going on is hilarious. I pointed out a few days ago that this cold snap, while significant, isn't historically cold in an extreme sense. The cold snap in January of 2015 was much worse, as were a number of such events I literally lived through in the 1980s and 1990s.

Darkisland said...

In the other thread someone commented about FEMA requiring that the grid be built back as it was.

Not quite true. It is the US Army Corpse of Engineers that is in charge and they have issued a $1.2BN (so far) contract to Flour to do this.

The question is whether to restore a system that worked, even with all it's problems and get power back quickly or whether to take longer and build a new and improved version.

There are pros and cons to each approach but basically when half of residents are without electricity, you don't have time to fool around with the time it would take to design, source, permit and then, and only then, construct the system.

They are making some upgrades and improvements as they go along but the goal right now is to restore power.

John Henry

Richard Dillman said...

I live in central Minnesota, where if it is really cold my coffee freezes instantly if I take it outside. Expresso takes a few minutes longer to freeze. Yesterday a freezing muskrat tried to get in our house. He came to the front door and scratched for about 10 minutes at the adjacent side window. Eventually we persuaded him to move to the backyard pond. We suspect that his lodge mates evicted him for his incendiary
tweets.

Annie C said...

Laslo, thank you!!!

Richard Dillman said...

Another cold weather reading tip. Read "Snowbound" by John Greenleaf Whittier. Its a great depiction of the "joys"
of winter.

Richard Dillman said...

Another cold weather reading tip. Read "Snowbound" by John Greenleaf Whittier. Its a great depiction of the "joys"
of winter.

mockturtle said...

Any Seattle-ites here remember Harry Wappler, weatherman? According to him, anything above 70 degrees F. was uncomfortable and 75 degrees moved it into the 'hot' range.

mockturtle said...

"Six inches sounds great."

Are we talking length or circumference?

Sydney said...

Our newspaper's front page was full of warning about frost bite this morning. The story said there were more frost bite cases in the emergency rooms last weekend than anyone can remember. It wasn't even sub-zero here last weekend.

Meade said...

"Are we talking length or circumference?"

Or dilation.

Sam L. said...

I prefer "ginormous".

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

What is not to like, Prof.? There are three complete thoughts in the sentence. The sentence structure increases indeterminacy.

A "bomb cyclone' will blast the East Coast. Later, a polar vortex will uncork tremendous cold. One or both of these events will take place late this week.

There are hyperbole and weird metaphor. This is good "news" writing.

But an additional separate thought, packed in with "while" or "even as" or "since" and at least one worn out word such as "plummeting" which could be worked into a phrase like "send temperatures plummeting to the mercury-freeze zone" plus at least one contraction or double possessive, almost mandatory in any good writing, could really skyrocket the sentence into excellent "news" writing territory.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Bob Boyd asks: "How do you tell if your nose hair is frozen?"

Blow your nose. If broken bits of nose hair come out, the hair was frozen.

320Busdriver said...

If it would warm just a bit I could stomach taking the kids skiing, but not at these temps. I can barely get through walking the dog. It's dropped a ton since just this morning.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"When out of the night, which was fifty below,
And into the din and glare
There stepped a miner, fresh from the creeks,
dog-dirty and loaded for bear."

In other news,
"And think, 'tis the morn when fond memory turns
To haggis and whiskey - the birthday of Burns."

Hagar said...

@Yancey,
How would you have gone about illiterally living through them?

rhhardin said...

Airplanes really perform in cold weather. What's dragging out over the wires in the summer is 500 feet in the winter.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

"Airplanes really perform in cold weather. What's dragging out over the wires in the summer is 500 feet in the winter."

Cold and Low [pressure]
Look out below.

Particularly IFR conditions.

Robert said...

They love to go on about the "wind chill factor" temperatures. You never hear of the wind chill factor in the summertime. The weather reports don't say, "It's 90 out there, but with the wind chill it feels like only 83." Because they'd rather hype how hot it is, and in the winter they wanna hype how cold it is.

BJM said...

@Laslo

UPDATE: Get ready for a pounding. Some of us could see 8 inches or more. That's too much — even for me. pic.twitter.com/uR0S5GLtIr

— Blaine Stewart (@BlaineStewart) January 3, 2018


The tweet has been deleted, but it has to be the funniest faux pas of a nascent year.

mockturtle said...

Earlier today I was in the grocery checkout line and an elderly gentleman ahead of me had difficulty with his credit card in the machine. The checker fixed it and he asked, "Did I do something wrong".
She: "No, you just didn't get it in far enough".
He: "That's been the story all my life."

She and I both looked at each other with raised eyebrows and then we all burst out laughing. It made my day.

Tim at large said...

90% of teh “humor” women come up with amount to approximately the same three dick jokes.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Cold, dry air = power and lift.
Too bad most of those conditions also come with high field elevation.

Unknown said...

Just watched Gable Puttin' on the Ritz in Idiot's Delight. One wants to strangle Norma Shearer by film's end and is rather glad Burgess Meredith got swept up by the police.

But, it is the only film in which Gable sings and dances and that piece is great.

Gable does Berlin!

mockturtle said...

90% of teh “humor” women come up with amount to approximately the same three dick jokes.

Tim, that wasn't my joke. It happened exactly as reported and it was the male customer who made the remark.

Face it, Tim. Guys don't like dick jokes. Shall we say that is their Achilles heel? Men may make all kinds of crass and demeaning sexual jokes about women but they blanch at phallic comments by women. IOW, they can dish it out but they can't take it. ;-)

Gary Petersen said...

You know you're from Wisconsin with 10F feels downright balmy.

Jon Ericson said...

duh

Big Mike said...

@Robert, right now it’s warmer than Wisconsin but still pretty cold. And the wind is very fierce so I can assure you that “wind chill” is real.

HT said...

It's not a "cold snap." Do you people not read non-Wisconsin news or something?

Well, apparently any story is occasion enough to tell each other how Wisconsin has the "real" cold.