Fire and ice

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julie
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:08 am
Location: tasmania

Fire and ice

Postby julie » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:16 pm

Hi Greg
My state is on fire while you are freezing.

Julie

gregmeister_admin
Posts: 477
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Fire and ice

Postby gregmeister_admin » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:24 pm

The low temp tonight will be -29 F.
This morning the temp was -28F and the wind chill was -57 F.

It is so cold the tires on my pickup truck lost 8 lbs. psi. so the pressure went from 38 psi to 30...
Skin will freeze in less than 5 minutes. Those of us who are 30+ years old remember the last time we had this weather about 20 years ago. Today, I think it is worse because kids are brought up with poor understanding of the dangers and they think they are bullet proof. I have seen some really stupid things over the last 24 hours.

The bird feeder picture on my Instagram was created simply by evaporation. The air is so cold and dry that the heater causes the water to evaporate in the extreme cold and it re-freezes into that ring around the bath.
By the way on Sunday it will by 73 degrees warmer at +45F with rain and snow showers predicted.

Some local news highlights:

A water tower overflowed as the check valve that controls the water level froze and the pumps thought the tower was empty. It froze multiple city streets into solid sheets of ice in a few minutes.

Multiple power poles were snapped as the wires contracted in the extreme cold and pulled the tops off the pole. this caused 8000 people to lose power and heat for the night.

It can be dangerous.
Seeing is more than meets the eye.

Greg Groess
Curvemeister Instructor

Tildy
Posts: 879
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:26 am

Re: Fire and ice

Postby Tildy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:38 am

Yikes. I thought it was cold where I grew up (upstate New York), but the coldest it ever got was -20F and that was very rare; -10 was common for deep winter -- cold, but not life-threatening. To you, Greg, that must seem like spring.

The abrupt jump to 45F is uncharacteristic, right? For my friends who live in the US northeast there have also been unusual temperature fluctuations this year, at one point between 32F and 85F from one day to the next. This fluctuation seems to be a phenomenon of the last 10 years or so, becoming really noticeable quite recently. The potential impact on farming and the wider biosphere is scary.

Greg, what do you do for backup heating? And Julie, what do you do for backup cooling? I know Australia has gone for solar power in a big way, which offers the opportunity to store energy in case of outages, but I don't think the infrastructure is in place yet to supply, say, a city with stored power for more than a day or two.

gregmeister_admin
Posts: 477
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Fire and ice

Postby gregmeister_admin » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:16 am

Tildy,
For our house we keep the funace maintained and do ll the inspections and cleaning required. the problem is electricity. If you lose power you lose heat. we cannot control the power grid. I suppose we could get a generator but it is almost impractical at this point. our power lines are under ground so storms rarely effect us in that way.

As for the weather swings in Minnesota we kind of see it as normal. In the summer we can go from 100 degrees to 50 in a few hours. the upper midwest is prone to wild swings which is why we are in the northern part of "tornado alley" we get very cold air rushing down from canada and very hot air russhing up from the gulf of mexico. Both airflows have open access to the region as there are no real mountains to block the flow. As for abnormal...eh..what temperture is it supposed to be today?? when we hit 45 above on Sunday there will be news stories showing people out jogging in shorts and a tee shirt and we all laugh and say what a goof ball but your body really does feel like its May when this happens. Not to worry the next weather system early next week drives us back below zero and brings more snow...

Don't like the weather...wait 20 minutes it'll change.
Seeing is more than meets the eye.

Greg Groess
Curvemeister Instructor

Ganna
Posts: 599
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:31 am
Location: Estcourt South Africa

Re: Fire and ice

Postby Ganna » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:37 am

Greg, glad I do not live in your valley :D Our mi,=max temp today was 20°-36° Celsius. The coldest I've ever experienced was -13° and all our pot plants inside the house died. Normally min temp during our winter may go to -5 if it is very cold, but mostly 0-24 is a typical winters day.
We are experiencing a very severe drought in most parts of the country and the farmers are panicking. Interesting thing I learned from a farmer last week, if you have a windless day where temp is above 35°C, you lose the equivalent of 7mm of rain due to evaporation and with wind it can go up to 10mm (25mm = 1 inch) So even with loss of electricity, it is never a life threatening situation.

julie
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:08 am
Location: tasmania

Re: Fire and ice

Postby julie » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:54 pm

Hi
It's been a very strange summer here. Normally our weather at this time of year is a bit erratic. We regularly get snow on the mountains in summer and bush walkers need to carry gear for all weathers.
This summer has been consistently hot and dry. The overnight temperatures are not always dropping and there have been multiple 30+ degree days. This is not normal. And the winter was very dry.
Today there are only 5 emergency warnings and 11 watch and act warnings for fire. There is a large fire in our central highlands which is world heritage listed. Unlike most of Australia's vegetation which evolved with fire this area did not. It will not ever recover. These are ancient Gondwanan plant communities thousands of years old. As 2.5 percent of Tasmania is burning the fire service is overwhelmed with little left over to fight fires in difficult to access wilderness areas. It really is a disaster here.

Tildy
Posts: 879
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 1:26 am

Re: Fire and ice

Postby Tildy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:11 am

Julie, are you ok there?

https://wildfiretoday.com/2019/01/04/large-wildfire-in-tasmania-sends-smoke-into-hobart/

When I lived in southern California during a major wildfire, we had to evacuate not because the fire was particularly close to us, but because of the health danger from smoke.

(Yes, this story is from the beginning of this month :D but it sounds like it's all still burning?)

julie
Posts: 690
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:08 am
Location: tasmania

Re: Fire and ice

Postby julie » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi
Yes the fires are still burning. I think it will be weeks before they are all out. At the moment the alerts are lower but that’s only because no people or buildings are threatened. The wilderness continues to burn. Some has been burning since before christmas.
The air quality has been pretty awful at times depending on the wind. One town was evacuating all the old or young or sick etc. Where I live we were told to stay inside where possible and to keep the house closed. I have been in Melbourne for some of this time and as I get asthma I have been relieved about this.
Normally February is our real fire danger time. With no rain forecast and continued higher than normal temperatures everyone remains worried.

Julie


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