Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bob-Like Weather Under Cruel, Crystalline Skies

Finally, we got some Xtreme! Weather.™ At least Xtreme! for northern Illinois. Nanavut, we're not. Nor the Yukon nor the Northwest Territory of Bob, either. Probably this would be picnic weather in those front-line Arctic places. Still, Internet-based weather sources tell me that today's metro Chicago low was around -15° F., which is -26 or so C., and the lowest temp here in more than 10 years.

"Thursday's bitter cold is a fluke of a jet stream, a twist in the howling atmospheric winds around the North Pole," notes Tribune reporter James Janega, who then goes on to practice to be some other kind of writer than a newspaperman, since there will be none in the future: "[The winds] buckled overnight, slashed across the Canadian prairie and aimed straight at Chicago, drawing in their wake subzero temperatures and cruel, crystalline skies.

" 'Nothing good,' National Weather Service meteorologist Gino Izzi said. 'It's coming almost literally from the North Pole.' "

I'll say it is. Just open the door and a wind of frosty gusts from those cruel, crystalline skies threaten to freeze your face off.

This morning just before dawn, the phone rang. It was an automated call, so a machine spoke to a machine. But I was eavesdropping, since the ring had woken me up. The message from the school district said that school had been called off due to "wind chill" -- this was a first.

Since similar weather is predicted for Friday, we got another call at 6 p.m. or so to say that school was again off for that day, "due to the weather." Counting next Monday, which is MLK Day, that amounts to a small vacation here in the middle of Bob-like weather, which will be made up for during those hard-to-imagine days of early June.


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