Tag Archives: winter

Vortex Walk

I braved the vortex this morning to walk to a local supermarket (less than two miles round trip). In the end, to my surprise, I overdid the layers. I was hot and sweaty when I got home. The only real challenge was my face. I brought goggles, but the wind wasn’t blowing hard enough to justify them. In the end, I just pulled up my neck warmers and that was fine. Moisture control is a pain, though, with every breath creating crackling ice.

Post-walk frost.

Winter With a Vengeance

Apparently our winter has tired of my mockery. Thus far it has been a toothless sham — moderate temperatures with little snow. As often as not, I’ve walked to work in my summer shoes.

All of that is changing this week. The kids’ school (along with all nearby public school districts) closed yesterday due to snow and will remain closed through Wednesday. My school, generally loathe to close, is closed today and tomorrow. Thursday is unknown at this point.

Polar Vortex 2019

This is all due to the latest polar vortex that’s bringing a mass of arctic air down from Canada. Raw air temps aren’t all that crazy (we see a few days pushing -20 most years), but the winds will be increasing dramatically, creating some insane wind chill values. As someone who walks to work, I can attest to the fact that the wind is the most important factor that I consider when planning my layers. When temps are below zero, even a moderate wind in your face is basically a show-stopper without face and eye protection.

Wind chill predictions

When we got up this morning, it wasn’t so bad. Cold, but safe enough if you’re properly dressed.

Morning temperature. Note the lack of wind chill.

I’ll post updates later to see what actually happens out there.

Another April Sunrise

We’re sure getting tired of winter around here. Turns out the April 4 snowfall was nothing compared to what we received this weekend. The official Twin Cities total was 15.8 inches, the 12th largest snowstorm in Twin Cities history, and the largest on record for April.

Despite plenty of snow fatigue, I was struck once again on my walk to school this morning by how beautiful fresh fallen snow is. Everything was glittering and magical in the sunrise.


Ever since building our modest Ice Castle four years ago, we’ve wanted to build a more proper ice-brick igloo. We’ve steadily filled the garage with half-gallon and quart cartons in the intervening years. This winter, with plenty of arctic chill, seemed like the perfect time to tackle the project. Despite some pictures of me working on the project, this was spearheaded by Sarah who did the lion’s share of the work with some help from Griffin and Maggie. (Oliver was an active observer.) The color in the blocks comes from some drops of food coloring added while we poured the water into the molds.