Thursday, January 31, 2019

Measure It With Time

The first thoughts grasp at the sensation of this level of cold.

But in nearly every way, it's yet another winter day, sun rising. With the heating plant burning a steady supply of natural gas, it runs without stop and we maintain a temperature nearly 100℉ warmer inside than outside. This is unusual. During extreme cold events it is possible for the power to go out, but we have a plan. Open all the faucets, then, in the basement, drain the water from the plumbing system into the sump pit where the battery powered backup pump will push the water into the septic system. What matters is how long the power is out.

The chilling effect of the cold is enough to keep a car's coolant, normally about 195℉, too cool to warm the car sufficiently. Add a brisk 25mph wind across uninterrupted farm fields, snow blowing across roadways, you will not have much time if you choose to stop, engine running, before moving to get the engine warm again. Should your car quit running or slide off the road because you mistook black ice formed of car exhaust for snow-wet pavement? That water freezes within seconds at negative thirty is not part of our daily consciousness. Road salt stops working around 10℉ above zero. The cellphone will quit, even at high charge, almost immediately. Less people will be out on the road. Frostbite will effect exposed skin in a matter of minutes.

So how cold does -30℉ feel? Just like it does at -10℉. This kind of cold is sensed with time.

Fortunately the snow that fell on the previous, much warmer 8℉ day. I was able to put this old machine to work and, at thirty five years old, it's holding up, doing its job better than our plow man and with no damage to the yard and gardens.

1 comment:

If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...