Wednesday, January 30, 2019

North American Freeze-out

My heart goes out to everyone in the Midwest and East suffering through the latest arctic blast. (But of course, there’s no Global Warming. May everyone who doubts it get frostbite today.)

I got out of the East just in time although I was in New York for the huge cold snap last week. Understand that I’m from Southern California where there are frost warnings when the temperature dips below 50.

Last Monday the temp in Manhattan was 0 degrees with a -19 degree wind chill factor. By the way, what’s the real difference? If it feels like -19 degrees it IS -19 degrees!

I watched the local weather forecasts on Channel 2 and 7 and it was like those scenes in every James Bond movie where the super villain tells Bond his doomsday scheme in delicious intricate detail. “You see this big pink blob on the map, Mr. Bond? By 4 PM it will be over Manhattan and all life as we know it will cease. But by the weekend we should warm up.” And I kid you not, one of the WABC-TV weather reporters is named Amy Freeze.

I’m normally traumatized when I can see my own breath so last Monday was an adventure. I needed to go outside a couple of times (once to lunch and once to Brooklyn for a rehearsal) so I made sure I dressed warmly. And by that I mean Under Armour, layers of shirts, a ski sweater, heavy parka, scarf, gloves, and hat. God forbid I needed to go to the bathroom. I looked like a blue Michelin Man. But I figured I was suitably protected against the elements. And maybe someone with actual blood would have been.

I walked outside and that wind went right through me. GAAAAA! For lunch I ducked into the first restaurant I saw. Thank God it wasn’t White Castle.

My other fear was ice, which there was plenty of because it had rained the day before. That’s the other thing: the temp dropped from 50 to 0 in just a few hours. (I really hope climate change non-believers all meet for a picnic today in Grant Park.) I was told how to walk – like a penguin taking tiny steps and keeping my weight above my feet at all times. Tis' the season of broken hips so I was super careful walking.

Again, please be safe and cautious and stay warm. And for God sakes, don’t worry about getting in your 10,000 steps today.

39 comments :

Janet Ybarra said...

Amy Freeze... wouldn't her uncle be Jack Frost?

We're all going to freeze to death, but don't worry, it's all just a Chinese hoax.

We need to rid of this guy and get someone who takes climate change seriously.

Anonymous said...

Writing from Chicago where its currently minus 20.
Look climate change is fantastically complex topic, too complex go into here.
It's not really a "do you believe or not" (the believe issue is "how much you believe manmade CO2 is forcing the issue").
But it should bother you and everyone when it's 30 degrees colder than average and people say "climate change" and then it's 30 degrees warmer and they say "climate change". I mean you can invoke climate change for anything then.
Yes, you can talk about how extremes mean climate change, but extremes don't mean a couple days outside the average.
Point is this cold snap neither confirms nor refutes the issue of whether burning fossil fuels is the primary cause of changes in the climate.

Paul Thompson said...

We're doing pretty good here in Rochester, MN, -27 degrees, with a wind chill of -58.

E. Yarber said...

I think all the rain we got a couple weeks ago went over to my folks as snow. They got a foot in a single storm this month. A couple days ago Dad spent an hour on the phone telling me how he got the curb clear, which seems to be the sort of thing dads live for. When I was a teenager I'd take a shower in the morning, walk two blocks to school in the wind chill, and get to my locker with clumps of ice formed in my hair. Made me develop a liking for hats.

Sean R. said...

The best part of winter is watching it on TV from TX.

Anonymous said...

Noooooooo!!!!
Here I was thinking to myself, "Should I watch the last 10 minutes of THE SHINING for the first time in my life, or briefly look at my phone, and then finish watching it? Oh well, I'm sure nothing will ruin it for me-- DAMN!". I regret to inform you that I must now file an official complaint against you with the Bureau Of Spoilers And TMI, whose job it is to determine whether, legally, it is "too soon" or not. I'm reporting you solely for your own good, so that you will grow as a person. You're welcome.

Gary said...

I've lived in Buffalo, NY all my life and while our reputation for snowy weather has been wildly exagerated, we do get our share of wintry blasts. I blame our ancestors, who came to America and probably stopped in Buffalo in June. I can hear them saying "This is a beautiful place! No need to go further south or west. Let's live here forever!"

Toby the Wonder Horse said...

Do you think Ms. Freeze’s nieces and nephews call her Auntie Freeze?

I’ll show myself out.

TimWarp said...

E Yarber, I used to wait for the bus with wet hair. I'd run a comb through it, the ice would fall out, and my hair was dry. Freeze-dried hair.

Charles Cavender said...

The science is real, Anonymous probably is not. Most experts sign their name. As to experts, the "chief" meteorologist at WCBS is a former soap opera actor. Not to cast aspersions, but there are some terrific meteorologists who received their training in the sciences first, and those are the ones I'm inclined to listen to.

Anonymous said...

@Charles Cavender:
I assure you I am real. I am a scientist, albeit not a climate scientist. I trained a long time in science, trust me.
I understand the strengths and limitations of data and i have peer reviewed many papers.
Nothing I said above should be controversial to someone familiar with the field.
I do not sign my name for other reasons and in point of fact there is no reason to in this instance.
BTW- meteorology is not the same as climate science. But they are scientists, too.

Jeff Boice said...

This is similar to January of 1982- think Bengals-Chargers AFC championship game. Nothing like spending a few days in bed listening to the radio and watching the ice build up on the inside of the windows. At least this time relief will come by the weekend. Chicago had some brutal winters back in the late 70's-early 80's. Ask Mayor Bilandic.


Have to keep things in perspective. My great-grandparents had to put up with cold like this, only they were running a dairy farm in Michigan. In 1900. Can you imagine? Finally they said enough, sold the farm, and boarded the first train for the West Coast. They never regretted that decision.

Earl Boebert said...

Cold climates are like infantry warfare: it's a young person's game.

I once traversed Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on cross-country skis in -20 weather. Once, as in "once upon a time."

Jahn ghalt said...

Living in Anchorage - currently with freezing rain - taking small steps is mandatory.

Boots with textured sole - a good thing to pack certain months.

You layered up - a little surprising that the wind "cut" like that - going to say psychology was involved.

Wind chill - accounts for "mechanical" (convection of a sort) heat-removal. Gauges how quickly exposed skin will cool and approach frostbite.

Jeff :) said...

"Good evening, for ABC news I am Amy Freeze. Learn my name well, for it's the chilling sound of your doom!"

Anonymous said...

Sure, Sean R., rub it in! I am glad you brought this up, Ken. It was -18 this morning in Burlington, Iowa, (-56 wind chill) and we're up to a balmy -9 right now. I heard a lot of booming and cracking sounds last night. Even the mail is not being delivered today. Stay warm and safe! Julie

Glenn E said...

Quick survey for ken commenters: If/when you heard the news of singer James Ingram’s passing, how many of you put on your SCTV to watch his appearance at Dr Tongues 3-D house of beef? It’s the only place to see James perform his classic “Just once” ..and get an excellent cut of beef.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, we here in SoCal are blessed with our own version of "Amy Freeze" over on KABC, meteorologist Dallas Raines.

I still don't buy that's his real name...I'll bet it's something along the lines of "Stanley Schwartzberger" or something.

ScottyB said...

Hi, @Ken Levine. Friday Question for you. I occasionally catch episodes of 1970s game shows "Match Game" and "Tale Tales" on the Buzzr Channel involving Gary Burghoff. The man is genuinely and quietly hilarious. Altho Radar wasn't the big jokester of the 4077, how much of his personal humor seeped into his performance and his contribution/s to the writing and tone of episodes you were involved in writing, overall speaking?

Also,watching the panel shows of the late '50s/early '60s on Buzzr, the genius, timing, and intelligence of Tom Poston is perhaps on the the most unappreciated/unknown talents of most youngsters today, IMO.

ScottyB said...

Amy Freeze came to NYC from WFLD-TV in Chicago, where we know a lot about freezing, even during the summer.

So did Ginger Zee, except nobody's Zeeing anywhere, near as I can tell.

Anthony Hoffman said...

We’re all now dumber for having read this. Thank you, person too much of a coward to use real name!

Mike Bloodworth said...

Why didn't you just slice open a tauntaun and climb inside until the rebellion found you? I know. You didn't want space-PETA on your case.
By the way, here in Los Angeles we have a weather man named Dallas Raines.
M.B.

Cap'n Bob said...

I had a supervisor named Dick Frieze.

MikeKPa. said...

I got a C in high school physics and a D in chemistry, which is why I became a writer and not a scientist. But when I see records broken week after week, year after year - rain, drought, heat, cold - in all parts of the country, and storms more severe causing record levels of damage, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out something ain't right. Australia is experiencing its hottest January ever - so bad even the snakes are taking refuge in homes.

Curious who Ken is rooting for in the Super Bowl. I'm sure it's the same team the Saints fans will be rooting against while cursing under their breath.

Dixon Steele said...

I live in NYC. Was gonna check out your play in Park Slope on the Sun. eve show but the cold kept me in. Sorry.

That Monday was so cold and windy, I thought I was in Fargo...

Curious how it went. Did you find the NYC audience (said to be more demonstrative) much different from the others.

Stephen Marks said...

Ken's excellent post seems, um, familiar. Let's see, where have I seen this before. Bad weather, freezing temps, wanting to flee to warmer climes, I can't quite (BIG) put my finger (WAVE) on it (DAVE'S), maybe it was (PILOT) something I saw on (EPISODE) Youtube.

And Earl stop laughing and get your ass back here to Canada and suffer like the rest of us. It's even colder up here, temps are minus some number that hasn't been invented yet. Global Warming, fuck you scientists and your funded bullshit, your political agendas, your dire warnings. Unless one of those Bond villains Ken mentioned uses a space based laser to move the Sun 92 millions miles closer to the Earth there will never be global warming, EVER, NEVER EVER. EVER.

One last thing. Um, Hollywood you do know there is winter out there right? Leave It To Beaver, no winter episodes. The Munsters. No winter. Adams Family. No winter. All In the Family. No winter. Green Acres, farm based less then 100 miles from New York. No winter. Cosby Show. No winter. Friends. No winter. Get Smart. No winter. Seinfeld. No winter. An Inconvenient Truth. No winter.

Stubblejumpers Cafe said...

It was minus-41 (screw that "wind chill" business; the temperature is what it IS) when I got up this morning, so I'm goin' nowhere, though it hasn't stopped my fellow Saskatchewanians from zipping down the highway past the house where I'm pet-sitting.

We too get frost warnings when the thermometer dips below 50F. Just sayin. Frost is frost and we all get it at the same temperature. Don't we?

Kate



Angela Niles said...

Iowan who's feeling the effects of this cold snap, too. Practically everything in my town is shut down today because of the extreme cold.

I personally like winter, so I'm fine with cold and snowy weather. But I won't argue that these particular temperatures are a bit much :p. Going to warm up by this weekend, though-and it'll be above freezing, so everything will turn into slushy gunk instead, which should be fun :/.

William C Bonner said...

I dislike that the news has gone to giving more emphasis on wind chill temperatures than air temperatures.

I get that it's cold. I've lived where it gets cold. I participate in outdoor sports when it's cold. Use skiing as a perfect example.

Lets say that it's a calm day on the slopes, and the temperature is just below freezing. Using the chart at The National Weather Service if I'm skiing at 20mph in 30 degree air, it would feel like it was 17.

If I'm sitting in my car with the windows up, 30 degrees outside isn't going to make anything any colder even if I'm going 60 miles an hour. On the other hand, if it's actually 0 degrees, hitting the spray button on my windshield might cause icing on the windshield.

Yes, I want to know that it's cold outside, but I want to know if the water is going to freeze, and how fast it will freeze, much more than what it would feel like if I don't have good cold weather gear covering my body.

sueK2001 said...

I live in Duluth, MN where below zero is a January ritual but this week, the weather is obscenely cold. We had a windchill this morning of 58 below zero. I have worn 13 different articles of clothing on my two block walk to work. I also question why I moved away from Florida all those years ago...Duluth gets a bit weird in weather like this. Today, the weather geeks were comparing our air temp to that on Mars. We were colder. I love this town but I really am tired of this weather. We are extremely excited for Saturday. Our high will be 30 above. A friend posted the following, "Shopping for a new place to live? Come to Minnesota! You'll Find us in the frozen section!"....and for those who have to walk on ice to get where they are going...I have two words for you..YAK TRAX...complete lifesavers!

Joseph Scarbrough Puppet Productions said...

I have been loving this weather! Listen, I come from Tennessee . . . you think Florida is bad, our summers are miserable. Just watch the M*A*S*H episodes "The Nurses," "The Merchant of Korea," or "None Like it Hot," and that'll sum up our summers perfectly. I hate the heat, so for me, the colder the better! I'd rather bask in the crisp chilly air, while wearing a nice cozy sweater and long pants, than sweating bullets in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts any day!

Loosehead said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqejXs7XgsU

Just sayin'.
Dave

Jen from Jersey said...

I like the cold too! It’s refreshing.

Buttermilk Sky said...

My brother cancelled a trip to Boston after Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel showed up there. He's an excellent Harbinger of Doom.

J Lee said...

If you had ducked into White Castle, the burger would have gone right through you instead of the wind.

Nicholas Bacon said...

From this shivering Wisconsinite, if the Packers aren't in the Superbowl, the team to root for is whoever isn't the Vikings. ;) (Or the Patriots.)

Andrew said...

"Seinfeld. No winter."

I recall at least one episode, the one with George's big coat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e58SiFSxLs

Joseph Scarbrough Puppet Productions said...

SEINFELD was kind of "real time," especially in the later seasons: when the seasons started it would be fall on the show, mid-season would be winter, and it would be spring going on summer by the time the season would be over. Both Seasons 8 and 9 started by referencing the mid-season hiatus as summer months - Season 8 refering to the time George spent having to mourn Susan's death, Season 9 refering to how "The Summer of George" was ruined by his rehabing his leg injury from the end of Season 8.

DyHrdMET said...

You mention Amy Freeze, there was a longtime meteorologist in the New York City market named Storm Field (his legal name, but not his given first name, and the son of another longtime NYC meteorologist and one-time competitor Dr. Frank Field).