}

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Baby, it was cold outside

Last night was the coldest so far of winter 2016. Parts of Otago in the South Island got down to -7 (19.4F), and even some part of Auckland, some 1061.73 km (659.73 miles) north, got down to -2 (28.4F). It was cold, and surprising because our winter so far has been quite mild, after an extended summer.

I had no idea the cold weather was coming because I’d missed the evening news. So when I went out to the garage for something at around 7:30pm, I was shocked at how cold it was. I checked our weather station and it was barely above 5 (41F) at our house. The temperature kept dropping.

Around 11:45pm last night, as I was about to go to bed, I posted to Facebook:
Currently 3.4 degrees (38.12F) at our house – coldest night of winter so far. Apparently it "feels like 2" (35.6F).

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter ANYWHERE? Oh, right, I have.
I did my end-of-the-day chores, and as I was about to head to bed I checked again—the temperature was still dropping. I added a comment to my post on Facebook:
As I head to bed, it's dropped to 2.8 (37.04 F) and it "feels like 1" (33.8 F). Thanks to central heating, it's a comfortable 20.1 inside (68.18 F).
This morning, as I woke up in my nice toasty bed, I was aware that the air temperature was colder than normal. First thing I did was check the app for our weather station (photo above). It was down to 0.3 (32.54F), and the inside temperature was 17.8 (64.04F). It then started climbing as the sun rose higher and started to warm the area around our house. It eventually got up to around 16 (60.8F).

When I lived in Chicago, not only were winter temperatures MUCH colder, they could also be bitter cold for a couple weeks. Most of the time, winter temperatures were colder, sure, but not bitter. So, when I arrived in New Zealand, I laughed at all the Kiwis complaining about what was to me at worst the equivalent to the temperatures of early spring or late autumn.

Time changes everything.

At some point I acclimated to my new surroundings, and now any time the temperature drops below 10 (50F), I think it’s quite cold. The same thing has happened with summer temperatures, too, but cold has always been harder for me to tolerate than heat, so the effect isn’t as obvous.

When we lived in Paeroa, winter morning temperatures were usually much colder than Auckland, and there was often ice on my windscreen in the morning. What astounded me, though, was that it was impossible to find an ice scraper anywhere, even though this happened every winter. No gas station, auto store, hardware store, or anywhere else sold them, and that frankly baffled me.

In Auckland, I’ve sometimes had ice on my car windows in the morning, and had to wait for the defrosters to due their job. Windows steamed up on the inside are a much more common thing to deal with, though.

So, while I’m well aware that what we experienced is nothing by Chicago standards, now that I’ve acclimated, I find Auckland winters can be quite cold.

And last night, it was cold.

Update – July 3: At 7am this morning, the temperature was again 0.3. Maybe two nights of frosts will kill some of the weaker invasive plants (since it may damage some of the exotic garden plants, it would be nice if we got something good out of the deal, too).

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