Thursday, January 23, 2014

Quit Yer Whinin' (A Primer For People in Michigan)

It's cold out right now.  Like single digits cold.  Add a little wind, and you have negative temperatures when the wind chill is factored in.  Most people I've run into in the past week have been moaning and groaning about the weather.  "Oh, it's so cold!"  "Don't go outside, it's too cold!"  "Are you tired of the cold yet?"  You can't even turn on the TV or the radio without hearing how dreadfully cold it is; how miserable the weather is here in Michigan at this very moment (and yesterday, and the day before, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and next week. . . )

Well, Dear Reader, I've heard just about enough of all the bellyaching.  So, today you get the dubious honor of hearing me speak my mind.

Hey, all you people here in Michigan whining about the weather:

Quit Yer Whinin'!  I've heard just about enough bitching.  I've heard enough sensationalizing about the cold temperatures, and the snow, and the wind.

Listen up, all you wussies, and let me educate you on a few things.

1.  This is Michigan.  It is one of the northernmost states in the U.S.  As such, in the winter, it gets COLD.  Don't panic.  Put on some extra clothes when you go outside.  Like pants.  And a coat.  And a hat.  And gloves.  Boots, not flip flops. Duh.

2.  This is Michigan.  In the winter, when it is cold, SNOW happens.  It is nothing to panic over.  It's just frozen rain drops.  In fact, when you are complaining about the foot of snow in your driveway, be glad it's frozen rain and not liquid rain.  A foot of liquid rain sitting in your driveway (or on your roof) would be much more disastrous.

3.  This is Michigan.  Right now is January.  In Michigan, in January, there is always a period of days or weeks where cold air from Canada comes to visit.  As a result, there will be temperatures on the negative end of the thermometer.  Don't panic.  Wear a few more extra clothes when you go outdoors, add a scarf over your mouth and nose, and don't stand still when you go outside.  Keep moving.   When you move, you stay warmer.  It is actually possible to sweat at zero degrees and lower.  But you have to be moving, not huddled up bellyaching about how cold the air is.

4.  This is Michigan.  This is January.  When the wind blows, there will be a wind chill factor.  But, hey, newsflash--if you aren't outside, the wind chill doesn't pertain to you.  Wind chill is only a phenomenon you experience when you are out in the wind.  So if you are in your house, or your place of employment, don't say a damn thing about the wind chill outside.  It doesn't matter.

5.  This is Michigan. This is January.  If the air is 'warm', it will be cloudy and we will have snow.  If the sun is out, it will be cold, really cold. You can't have sun and warm air, not this month, not in Michigan.

To summarize:  Michigan gets cold in the winter.  Michigan gets snow in the winter.  January in Michigan is supposed to be cold.  Damn cold.  This is normal.  Deal with it.  Or move south, your choice.

Oh, and if you really want your mind blown, and something to worry about, ruminate on this: there is such a thing as too cold to snow.  From my memory (and experience living in the Upper Peninsula for a few years) too cold to snow happens somewhere around actual temperature of -20 F or so. That is the air temp on a dead calm day, not the wind chill. That is when the air is so cold there is not enough moisture in it to form into snow.

So if it's snowing outside, be glad.  Because that's warm.  And if it's snowing, don't you dare complain to me that it's soooo cold right now!

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