It is getting…cold again

No need for an explanation here. This is Tok, Alaska.

The Dangers of Low Humidity

Last year I blogged about how dry winters could be in these parts. I even had a doctor in Fairbanks compare the humidity levels in Interior Alaska, particularly in winter, to what astronauts experience in space.

Lately, I’ve been getting headaches, blurry vision and having trouble concentrating. I was concerned it was low levels of carbon monoxide (I’ve had my own CO scare several years back – you can read about the terrible ordeal here).

I did what any person with an Internet connection would do. I Googled. What I found was some pretty clear evidence that the low humidity level is obscenely low and most likely the cause of some pretty significant health issues.

I learned the the optimal relative humidity level for human comfort and health is anywhere from 30% to 50%.

A relative humidity level for an arid desert is 25%.

The humidity level in my home? 2%. Yes – TWO PERCENT.

Here are some of the results of low humidity:

1. Severe static electricity resulting in powerful shocks. CHECK. The static is so bad that I get shocks when I touch my computer, and it often causes my computer to freeze up.

2. Furniture dries out and cracks. CHECK.

3. Severe dry, itchy, red, flaky skin and cracked lips. CHECK.

4. Dry hair, split ends. CHECK.

5. Dry, itchy eyes. CHECK.

6. Sinus irritation, bloody noses, and respiratory problems. CHECK

7. Affects the human body’s ability to get oxygen and can cause headaches, migraines and lethargy. CHECK

8. Affects pets with all of the above.

The cure? A humidifier can do wonders. Even a vaporizer could help relieve some of these irritating symptoms. And the irony is that this house is a rental and came with an enormous humidifier in one of the closets, but we’ve never thought to use it. It’s coming out of the closet  now.

Additional reading: Humidifiers – Mayo Clinic

Have you been affected by extreme climates? What happened and what did you do?

Baby, it’s cold outside…but hot in here!

While it reached the minus double digits again this morning in Tok, it was more than balmy inside. Practically like Hawaii. But without the sun, the sand, the surf and the umbrella drinks.


And it got hotter a little while later, topping off at 86 degrees

I guess the wood stove is working. Really, really well.

How are you keeping warm this winter?

-44 Degrees Again in Tok

Enough said…

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

The Snowman Takes a Bow

With the warmer weather the other week came a little melting of things, including our snowman.

Then the temperature dropped again so he is now solidly frozen in a bowing position.

He’s not budging, most likely for the rest of the winter, unless we get another warm snap.

Winter Driving in Tok

The other week we had a “heat wave” which created more frozen rain than snow. A thick icy crust coated everything, including car windshields. Not exactly conducive for safe driving but couldn’t get the car warm enough to melt it off and couldn’t chip it off with an ice scraper.

Wonder if they make ice scrapers in titanium…

Not So Cold in Tok

The weather in Tok has been incredibly mild, especially considering what we experienced last year when we first arrived here.

Trust me, minus 30 degrees is WARM compared to the minus 50s and 60s of last winter. But this temp was actually a few months ago and about the coldest we felt although when we were out of town, I heard it finally hit closer to 60 below.

Most recently, we’ve been seeing an average of zero degrees. Zero degrees is HOT. It is the kind of weather where you don’t have to wear a hat or gloves. I don’t even zip up my down coat.

I was in Anchorage recently. The temperatures there are incredibly mild. At 20 degrees ABOVE zero, I felt like whipping out the bikini.

When I was in San Francisco a few months back with a girlfriend from Anchorage, we walked a few miles every day to and from our hotel and the convention center where we were attending a conference. And we were thrilled to be in weather so far above zero that we could barely wear our jackets. We had to laugh at all the people around us wearing knit hats, gloves and heavy coats. And it couldn’t have been colder than 50 degrees. Freezing to Californians. Balmy to us.

I guess it’s all relative.

What is the weather like in YOUR neck of the woods?

Sant-o-Lantern in Tok!

I posted this photo on Twitter and someone called it a Sant-o-Lantern which I thought was pretty funny.

This is why Halloween pumpkins last a good long time in Tok, Alaska…

Got a good cold-weather photo from your neck of the woods? Share a link with us!

Downtown Tok Alaska, Winter 2009

It is so warm here this holiday season, like 15 below to zero degrees. I’m not even wearing a hat or gloves most days. Last year this time I was afraid to carry my toddler out to the car for fear her lungs would freeze in the 60 below and colder weather.

But there is still snow everywhere and will be for months. And months.

Here are a few scenes from “downtown Tok” this past weekend.

That last pic was around 10:45 a.m. with the sun just coming up over the mountains in the distance. It may not be cold here, but boy it sure is dark.

How are you faring this winter?

Gettin’ Frosty in Tok!

Now we’re having the weather I remember from our first months here in Tok. Tomorrow – Winter Soltice – will also mark exactly a year that we’ve been here. Finally getting my “Tok Legs” which is an awful lot like sea legs. Takes a lot of getting used to, there are moments of unrest, and then it all feels like no big deal. Then you get out of Tok and realize once again how very different things are here, for better or for worse.

With cold, comes new anecdotes about the cold – things that may seem quite normal and typical to most Tokites, but believe me they are not normal or typical for many others. My latest fun Tok Winter Pics are of the frost and ice forming on the inside of our windows today. Keep in mind we have 12 inch thick walls and two layers of windows!

In my daughter’s room, we had lined all of her teddy bears on the window sill, and they were all stuck to the windows. After some tugging and a little bit of teddy bear fur left behind, all bears were wrapped in blankets (after the requisite teddy bear operations to minimize frostbite).

We’ve just ordered some wood for the first time and plan to light our wood stove for the first time as soon as the wood arrives. Now THAT will be cozy and warm.

How are YOU faring on this fine winter’s day?

GeekStorm 2009 – Unleashing the Weather Geeks

National Oceanic and Atmosferical Administrati...
Image via Wikipedia

Who knew that the photos I posted of a Davis Weather Station showing -80 degrees and another showing -71 degrees would unleash a veritable storm of debate about the veracity of the temperature reading. Not only that, it sparked one heck of a heated argument about whether or not global warming – or climate change – is real (see comments on NPR’s site).

Even the fabulous weather geeks on Talk Weather chatted about the reading.

Now I have government types contacting me curious about the readings and wanting to see the computer data from the computer attached to the Vantage Pro 2 of said readings. That interest has resulted in a guy from NOAA coming to Tok next Friday and chatting with some folks here about the readings, the weather, and why/why not those readings may or may not be accurate.

All I can say is…


All weather geeks welcome!

I’ll report back once the data has been analyzed and give you all the inside skinny.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The -71 Degrees Temp Reading in Tok Alaska

I had mentioned previously that I had a photo on my phone that my hubby texted me from his phone that I couldn’t figure out how to get off the phone and onto the Web but FINALLY figured it out.

Of course, the solution involves AT&T and their viewing web site for multimedia files and the pic is tiny, but hopefully it will show up well enough to make out that it does indeed say -71. This is the day before the -80 registered, I believe.

There are interested parties who will be looking at the Davis weather station data soon. Hopefully, I’ll have those updates.


Davis won’t vouch for these kind of readings, of course. What do YOU think? Malfunction? Or just pretty darn cold?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]