Thursday, February 10, 2011

Weekend Assignment # 358: We Had Winter!

This Week's Assignment was the obvious one:

Weekend Assignment # 356: Brrr!
In much of the U.S. and Europe, this winter has been an especially cold and snowy one. How cold has it been where you live? Have recent weather conditions led to any unusual situations locally?

Extra Credit: What extra measures have you personally taken, if any, to stay warm? 
Yes, I know I live in Tucson, but we did have a winter. Really! We were in the throes of it when I wrote the questions above. No, we didn't get any snow; in fact it's been unseasonably dry. But it has been cold. How cold? Consider this: the all time record for the lowest temperature for Tucson in February was 17 degrees, set in 1899. In the early hours of February 3rd and again on the 4th, it hit 18 degrees here! I went out and bought myself a winter jacket, which John said I'd never wear. I think I've worn it every day since then. Granted, that's partly because I'm driving to my new job before dawn. But still. Even in metro Syracuse where I grew up, 18 degrees isn't exactly warm. In Tucson, it's darn cold! The first night, I wore that new winter jacket to bed!

How did Tucson handle the cold? Well, for reasons that aren't entirely clear, particularly to me, Southwest Gas had a major outage at the time of the coldest temperatures, and only recently restored gas service to all but about 439 of the 14,600 homes and businesses that were left out in the cold on February 3rd. Southwest Gas blames cold weather, high demand and frozen pipes. Or something.

Twenty minutes ago, the official temperature in Tucson was 34. The high was 65. I guess winter is over here - well, for now at least!


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