Colder than cold

It’s been cold this winter for sure — minus 1 this morning. But there seems to be something else going on below the mercury line on the thermometer, with things freezing up that people have never seen freeze before.

Steller’s jay (quailius westcliffius)

Sure we’ve had a few spells of below-zero weather. But the coldest I can remember seeing is 8 below zero. This is not unusual — we usually see a couple nights of double-digit minus temperatures during a winter.

However, the freezing point seems different.

Gary Ziegler reported a frozen spring at Bear Basin Ranch that he’s never seen freeze since he bought the place in 1972.

My friend Vanessa Taft, who has lived in the area for many years, reported her septic tank frozen. I later learned of a local business that has steam-defrosted 65 septic tanks in the area this winter, surely a record of some sort.

My friend Peter Hedberg had the water line to his barn freeze. Another first.

Many area roads display effects of severe frost-heaving, and a literal glacier several feet thick has form on a nearby creekbed.

Meanwhile, I’ve been breaking ice on two stock tanks with electric de-icers in them. Never seen this happen before.

So, why is all this stuff freezing when it’s not even been, relatively speaking, that cold? Are the thermometers wrong? Is there some other factor beside temperature at work?

Perhaps hell has frozen over and climate change is not something we can quantify with our little glass tubes full of liquid or our fancy digital devices.

3 thoughts on “Colder than cold

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