It is getting…cold again

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

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?

Snow Scenes: Last Week in Tok

4 year old running in the leftover snow last week.

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

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?

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?

A Chinook Blew Through Tok Today

img_0643I don’t know what it is about chinooks that feel unsettling to me. The temperature in Tok today is in the 30s. That is PLUS 30 degrees Farenheit for those who know that the temperatures here can get pretty cold. This time of year minus 30 is common.

I should be enjoying this warm weather. But there is something haunting about a warm wind blowing.

I’m not sure what it is about a chinook in the middle of winter blowing across a snowy landscape that disturbs me. Does it remind me of something from my past?

I remember these chinooks  in Wyoming. Maybe this wind is carrying me back to my time spent on the vast open plains of the West, at a time in my life when I was disconnected and alone.

Maybe these chinooks are like the loneliness you feel when you are with someone you love and then they have to go away – deceptively warm at first but intensely cold and empty once they’re gone.

When I stepped outside today, I was overcome with a feeling of foreboding, as if the warm winds were bringing bad news or sad feelings amidst their swirls and gusts. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was promising blue, I wanted to retreat back into my car, back into my house, and wait it out until the warm winds stopped blowing through Tok.

Am I the only one who feels haunted by chinooks? Tell me I’m not crazy.

UPDATE: Kay noted in comments that there is a study about women 20-49 and chinooks. Fascinating excerpt:

Autonomic reactions and skin disorders were found to be significantly related to chinook conditions. None of the psychological symptoms was related to chinook conditions. However, a significant relationship was found between symptoms and chinook conditions in women with a history of emotional disorders. This type of information is important to educate chinook-sensitive women and health professionals as well as for hospital emergency departments in order to be able to prepare for potential increases in workload.

Marja J. Verhoef1   Contact Information, M. Sarah Rose1 and Savitri Ramcharan1

(1) Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, T2N 4N1 Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Received: 4 February 1994  Revised: 14 December 1994  Accepted: 15 December 1994

Guess this means I AM crazy, eh?

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And For Those Who Need Proof…Minus 80 Degrees F

This is a shot of the weather station temp gauge at the Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge offices in Tok, Alaska.


I’m still looking for a thermometer for the house that will register lower than -60 degrees. Any ideas?

Tok Weather Forecast on Weather Underground

I’ve been told that Weather Underground is the best source of Tok weather updates. Most other sites tend to show Tok is warmer than it actually is. For example, says:

Feels Like

But on Weather Underground it says:

-47.0 °F
Partly Cloudy
Windchill: -47 °F

Of course, at our house, the thermometer is still set right at -60 since that is as far as it goes. I am now searching for a thermometer that will show even colder temps.

And for next week, things are looking even…DRUMROLL PLEASE…colder…


Got any cold weather tips for us?

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