Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Thin White Line

Perversely one of the more productive times of the year is when the seasonal yo-yo-ing of temperatures between the extremes begins to wreak havoc on the average Interior Alaskan's mentality. Mind you this isn't the overall seasonal variation (ex: winter temps dipping to below -60F/summers reaching 100F) - in this neck of the woods it's still subzero temps at night + toss in a 35mph gust at zero = minus 27. Makes for a short outhouse run. Still, there was a spot in the sun this afternoon where it was a blissful seventy degrees: talk about a mood swing metaphor.

Always reminds me of a tragedy many years back: the heater conked out at my cabin while I was away for an evening when the temperature happened to plummet to forty-five-below. Upon return I was greeted with the sight of the entire home's interior glazed over with a delicate frosting, including the collection of many, many plants. Soon as everything warmed back up all the organic matter promptly slumped into shapeless goo - my theory is this is the exact same phenomenon that affects the brains of local residents, sapping spirits while simultaneously rejuvenating the will to live. Change you can eventually believe in.

*Update (4/5): speaking of swing: I forgot to credit and link the above table from Christopher Swingley/Swingley Development's "Individual station temperature data" - the one-stop website for all your Fairbanks weather-geek needs!
"The only way I can try to be a little funny is to make something out of the humorous situations which come up even when you don't think life could be any more miserable." – Bill Mauldin


  1. Gee, Jamie, where'd you get that neat weather table? Looks like Chris Swingley's weather site. He sounds like a pretty cool dude :)

  2. Heh heh - ain't it spiffy?
    Seriously though, I've linked to that site here before and use it all the freakin' time: it's the one website I personally cling to when it gets down & dirty winter - you know how much of a BIG difference ten degrees can make when it's -30, and his site compiles all the recording stations that actually MEAN something.

    Nothing's worse than going off the airport, and sometimes all I need is to know it's better off staying home in the hills!