The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Arctic outbreak

Ash mountainMy weather guru reports that Monday night is going to be an arctic outbreak in our area.  The weather forecast is currently showing a low of -3 to -5 Fahrenheit, which could easily be -10 here.  Similar events in recent history (January 1985, February 1994, and February 1996) achieved lows of -15 to -24 in Wise, which is usually a tiny bit colder than us, so maybe it would have been -10 to -19 here then.  No matter what the specific temperature, when it gets below 0, that's cold!

Breaking the ice What are we doing to prepare?  I plan to empty out the fridge root cellar just to play it safe, but that's about it.  Our water line and heated chicken waterer already froze when we hit a low of 8 on Friday night, and we're used to using backup systems there.  I did plug in a space heater inside to back up the wood stove on that cold night, and will do so again Monday.  And Mark talked me into letting our spoiled cats spend the night inside as well, blocking off the hallway so they can't wake me up demanding to be let out/fed/loved on in the middle of the night.

Wood fireIn the long run, I suspect the biggest effect of this arctic outbreak for us will be to ensure we have to find some snags to supplement our firewood supply.  We thought we had plenty of wood this year, but it was all lightweight and a bit damp from the wet summer, so a cold winter has caused us to burn through it awfully fast.  Luckily, last year's fallen oak is raised off the ground and probably has some relatively dry wood ripe for the picking.

I'm also a bit concerned about how our baby figs will fare during this exceptionally cold winter.  They're all wrapped up, though, so there's not much I can do except wait and hope.

How are you preparing for the arctic outbreak?  Stay warm and hope for clouds!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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-12C here, wind chill -20C. BUT, weather prediction for p.m. is "WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT, BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT, SNOW SQUALL WATCH IN EFFECT." Temperature to drop to -20C tonight with up 50 kmh gusts of wind, serious wind chill!

Roads are a tip! We are expecting the loss of hydro during the storm, as is usual here. We are preparing by putting out candles and flashlights for tonight, bringing in firewood, making ice in plastic pop bottles to turn the refrigerator into a large cooler, and shovelling snow, and shovelling, and shovelling.

Canada, Ontario, Georgian Bay area.

Keep warm! I hope you don't lose your hydro and the plug in heater.

Comment by Maggie Mon Jan 6 12:37:19 2014
It has be -29F with a windchill of -60f or colder here in Mn. We knew it was coming so we got the chickens ready and brought in more wood for the stove.
Comment by Canoearoo Tue Jan 7 14:16:51 2014

My winter survival plan is a vacation on the southern hemisphere. :-)

While New Zealand in January is not as warm as it is in Februari, it's still around 20 °C, which is not that bad.

Comment by Roland_Smith Wed Jan 8 01:45:40 2014

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