Friday, December 14, 2012

Minus 40: How It Feels?

Quite extreme winter this year. First we had maximum snowfall, now we have minimum temperatures. Three days in a row temperature outside does not get higher than -30C. This morning it was -42C in some districts of Novosibirsk. -40 degrees is where Celsius and Fahrenheit scales match so you don't have to convert. You have to believe :)


Since I am sure many of you have never experienced -40, I will describe how it felt this morning.

Any naked skin starts to tingle in about 10 seconds after it is exposed to the atmosphere. Everything except for your eyes should be covered.

All fabrics harden. Some fabrics can crack break if you fold them. Especially bags love to do it.

Walk in hiking boots or valenki. Sole of cheap shoes can just break in two halves when it is folded as you walk.

It is painful to breath. Inhalations should be short. It is better to breath through a scarf or fleece collar: warm air out of your mouth will warm up your face.

Air is not the cleanest because at -40 there is usually no wind and pollution just stays in the air. And there is HUGE pollution because car engines are running almost all the time - otherwise they won't start.

If you wear glasses - they will fog up and eventually cover up with ice. It is better to take off your glasses or use a special spray to prevent fogging.

Your eyelashes freeze and tiny drops of evaporation or tears cause them glue together. Upper eyelashes freezes to the lower one.

Don't touch any metal surfaces with naked skin. You will feel your skin burning immediately.

Don't lick your lips. They will crack.

All this said, it is not that bad. If you wear many layers of clothes, you can even enjoy this unique weather!

1 comment:

  1. The converter is broken :( wow! It must be really bad! The coldest I have experienced so far is -42 °C but I covered up my exposed skin (even my eyes) and I didn't feel any sensation at all. It was like going to outer space! I was feeling like I was in a spacesuit!

    I don't like when it's colder than 0 °F (-18 °C) because that's where it starts to feel bitter (at least for me) and I totally need a scarf, otherwise my face would freeze solid in 2 minutes!

    The hottest I have experienced is about 123 °F, I think (around 50.5 °C) and it didn't feel that different from -42 °C, it burns to stay under direct sunlight, extreme temperatures (cold and hot) feels about the same, I don't know why.