Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cold-Hard-Fact #4

Contrary to popular belief, zero isn't necessarily nothing.

It may be a big, fat nothing when speaking of money or calories, but in reference to temperature, zero isn't nothing.  It's definitely something.   

Around here, we call it warm.

On a day like today, when the mercury hovers in the zero range, kids will actually say, "Oh, man, it's warm out!"  And they'll head off to school or toward a favorite sliding hill wearing short pants and a light jacket or no jacket at all.

According to the airport weather station, our temperature spiked considerably overnight from negative 25 up to zero and it has remained there throughout the day.  All that warm, moist air paired with a relatively stiff wind created just the right conditions for a full day of misty sideways snow.

(which explains why the duck photo, above, looks so blurred)

Wind from ENE (060 degrees) at 21 MPH (18 KT)
Visibility  3/4 mile(s)
Sky conditions  overcast
Weather  Light snow mist
Temperature  0 F (-18 C)
Windchill  -22 F (-30 C)
Dew Point  -4 F (-20 C)
Relative Humidity  84%

During most of our winter and spring, the snow is amazingly dry.  It may come down wet, but cold, arid air pulls the moisture away fairly quickly, leaving a fine powder that is great for sliding and cross-country skiing, but not so great for building snowmen or snowball fights.

Zero snow is very different.  

As I walked to the post office a few minutes ago, I grabbed a handful of snow to see if it would pack.  Piling up in the "toasty" zero-degree air, the snow was still wet enough that it began to melt in my hand and I was able to form a small, walnut-sized chunk of ice.  

Not exactly an impressive snowball, but it's better than nothing....which is what I would have held in my hand if I had tried the same thing yesterday.


Way Way Up said...

Ain't the"zero" grand? It definitely is something, although at first I thought you meant 0 celsius. But after many months of frigid temperatures I'll gladly take 0 fahrenheit too.

Kimberlee said...

Yeah, zero celcius would have been REALLY warm, huh? Today temps have dropped to around -10 F, but it's still a heat wave compared to -30s and -40s. You definitely know what I'm talking about!!!

Bryan said...

The Bigger question, is WHO did you through your walnut ice/snow ball at??? :-)

Bryan said...

P.S. Sorry I've been away for a while!

Kimberlee said...

Hey, Bryan.
Great to hear from you! The truth about the snow/ice ball is that no one was around. But, if I'd had a chance to throw it at someone, I could have done some damage. It was pretty compact and hard, not a friendly snowball by any means! :)

Bryan said...

LOLOL!!! (I'm laughing at "anything" thrown from YOU doing damage!! :-) (Gee, you Do throw like a girl!!)

But I So understand the relative warmth thing. Although nowhere Near the extremes that you deal with, it is always funny to me how the same people who now walk around in 65 degrees with a sleeveless shirt, in another month will put out their down jacket for the same day.

Kimberlee said...

Bryan, Bryan, Bryan.

To begin with, I was referring to the damage potential of the hard little ice ball, not my throwing ability.

HOWEVER, that said, I would refer you to an old story about a boy named David and his little altercation with a nasty guy named Goliath. :)

Bryan said...

Hmmm, a "boy" named David! :-)

(sorry, about the best I could come back with!)

Steve said...

Hey, Kimberlee. Cool article. I like the way you worked the "nothing" theme back around at the end.

Kimberlee said...

Okay, I guess you got me on that one. I had completely forgotten that David's strength was in his being a boy. Whatever was I thinking? :)

Thanks! And it's good to hear from you!