Yes, today I had my sixth consecutive flight cancellation. The sky is clear, visibility is 80 km, but the -19°C temperatures and 60 km/h wind gusts are just too much for the ancient Piper Warrior I rent.
The City of Evanston, my birthplace, bastion of good government, where I have lived for just over three years, has run out of road salt:
[Evanston Public Works chief] David Jennings says that on Wednesday "our salt supplier notified us that they could not honor the balance of our current order, about 1,100 tons, due to difficulties in getting their supply of salt to the distribution point that serves us."
Jennings says city crews have stopped salting residential streets, but are continuing to plow. "This means that most of these streets will develop 'snowpack' which is smooth in some areas, but tends to rut and develop a washboard surface as traffic packs it down."
I can attest to the 'washboard' surface as driving Parker to day camp the last two days was like driving over two miles of railroad tracks. Oh well, snow does melt eventually, and we should have above-freezing temperatures in a month or two.
Yes, this is my 1,000th post since this blog started in November 2005.
I had hoped to write a long, introspective essay on blogging in general and this blog in specific over the years, but it turns out I have work to do today, so that will have to wait until the 2,000th post or so. (Many of you are fighting back tears, I know; though I suspect they're tears of joy.)
No, today I'm just going to mention the two most immediately relevant things that confronted me on my way to work this morning.
First, in the past 24 hours, the temperature in Chicago has dropped 27°C. Spot the cold front:
Second, my preferred candidate, John Edwards, for whom I had planned to vote today at lunch, has dropped out of the race. So I'll vote tomorrow, once I formulate Plan B.
For the first time in 11 days, the temperature in Chicago got above freezing this afternoon. It's odd how warm it feels out there right now.
Speaking of chilling, I saw No Country for Old Men last night. Great film. Very chilling.
It's time for the semi-annual update of the Chicago sunrise chart. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)
||Latest sunrise until Oct 28
||Earliest sunrise until April 12th
Earliest sunset until Oct 28th
||Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 22nd
||7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
||Equinox 00:48 CDT
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunrise of the year
||Solstice 18:59 CDT
||Latest sunset of the year
||6:30am sunrise; 7pm sunset
||Equinox, 10:44 CDT
||Latest sunrise of the year
Latest sunset until Mar 5th
||Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 2nd
||6:30am sunrise (again)
||Earliest sunset of the year
||Solstice, 06:04 CST
You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.
Today is already the warmest January 7th ever recorded in Chicago (right now 17°C), and if the temperature hits 19°C, it'll be the warmest January day ever.
Just three days ago, Thursday morning, the temperature in Chicago sank to -18°C, with a wind chill of -23°C. Right now, it's 16°C. Did I mention it's the beginning of January?
I'm so happy the U.S. has taken the lead against global warming.
Gotta love Chicago weather. Right now it's -18°C outside, which is the point where Chicagoans are allowed to complain about the cold without looking wimpy. It builds character. And I do have to get to my office, but you know? I don't want to go out there. Even Parker lasted just long enough to do his business before sprinting back to the door like his tail was on fire. (Of course, that could have been about breakfast and not about the cold.)
But this being Chicago, the forecast calls for 10°C weather on Saturday. A 28°C rise in two days? Heck, I've seen that happen in two hours...
Returning from the West Coast after staying up late (in a different time zone) every night got me off to a slow start this morning. I'm glad to report that Half Moon Bay still exists, San Francisco is still the second-coolest city on the continent (after Chicago, and only just the barest fraction of a point above New York), and it's still winter.
The good news is that 48 hours of above-freezing temperatures—with almost 18 hours at or above 8°C—melted just about all the snow and ice in Chicago.
The bad news? A cold front moved in overnight and it's now -9°C with 57 km/h winds giving us a wind chill of -19°C.
Chicago weather builds character.