Temperature Free Fall

I just got back from a brief walk outside. It’s 60 degrees at the moment, which for Maine is pretty darned incredible for February 23rd. I was out in short sleeves, and it felt lovely. Of course, tonight it’s supposed to get down to 9 degrees. A 51 degree drop in about 12 hours. And as nice as 60 degrees feels when you’re used to temperatures in the teens, that brief respite can make the return to normal feel that much colder.

Another issue with temperatures like this? We’ve got a fair bit of snow on the ground. When it gets warm, snow melts. If you’re a fan of winter, that in and of itself is an issue, but even if you aren’t, you have to remember that what melts can also freeze. This morning I had to walk down a hill just off campus. It hasn’t been kept clear over the winter, and so between the freezing raining last night and the melt off this morning, it’s a miracle I was able to make my way down that hill without breaking something. I was literally ice skating downhill at points, unable to stop and just hoping I kept my balance.

Tonight, when all that runoff completely freezes again on that hill? Let’s just say I don’t think I’ll be using it anytime soon. Thankfully my driveway is clear, so I don’t think I’ll have that issue this time. (There have been some winters where my driveway turns into a skating rink.)

Personally, for as nice as it felt to have it be so warm on my walk today, I’d rather it stay around 20 degrees the whole winter. Cold enough that the snow doesn’t go anywhere and that any precipitation comes as snow, but not so cold that your forehead complains. It’s the yo-yoing back and forth that I really don’t like. And freezing rain is terrible. It leads to car crashes and downed power lines.

Thankfully, we’re supposed to get another 6 inches or so of snow on Friday, so we’ll at least have a bit of the wintry atmosphere back in its proper place in two days. (Except now some of that snow will be covering glare ice, so you’ll never know which footstep you take will be good, and which footstep will make you want to fall down.)


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