Wednesday, January 22, 2014

22 January 2014 Take me to Siberia in the coldest weather of the wintertime

Cassi Creek:  Today’s low, so far, 9.3 °F.  We acquired our snow in several doses yesterday.  We went to bed with perhaps 0.25 inches on the ground and woke up to 2.5 – 3.0 inches of fairly powdery snow. 
          There was no newspaper delivery this morning.  The bird feeders are receiving steady traffic.  The turkeys have been here and have moved to greener pastures (or less white pastures).  Some smallish beast left tracks on the back deck around dawn. 
          The combination of slick roads, bitter cold air temperatures, and brutal wind chill in the sub-zero range has resulted in many area schools being closed for the day. 
          While these conditions are far less dangerous and persistent than actual Siberian conditions, using Siberia for comparison calls common images held by many Americans into play.  A generation ago, I could have used lower Slobovia as a comparison.  However, the days of Dogpatch are no longer frequently written about.  That’s particularly amusing on this road. 

Capp drew Lower Slobovia to represent Russia.  Dogpatch USA was initially set in the Kentucky hills. 

There is still a great deal of animosity between the U.S. and Russia despite the Cold War having ended decades ago.  The terrorist threats aimed at disrupting the Sochi Winter Games is adding to the tension.  We seem to be unable to allow the Russians to provide the security normally tasked to the host country.   While Russian security forces are often far more vicious and brutal in nature than those of Western Europe and the U.S., there is no advantage to be found in demanding that Russia take a less prominent role and allow other nations to insert ant-terrorist forces onto Russian soil. 
          These recent polar air masses have brought about a huge temperature gap between low and high values.  Should this persist into the spring and summer the storms formed along frontal boundaries may well rival those of the 2011 season. 
This Day in Weather History
Did you know that...
A Chinook wind can have a dramatic effect on local weather. On this date in 1943, the temperature at Spearfish, S.D. rose from -4 degrees to 45 degrees in just two minutes due to a strong Chinook wind. This represented the most dramatic temperature rise in world weather records. Later that day, the temperature plunged from 54 degrees to -4 degrees in just 27 minutes.
The Sochi Winter Games begin in February.  The U.S. Department of State has issued warnings against travel to Russia.  Despite that, many Americans will travel to Sochi.  It may not be the wisest thing that they can do.  Our Navy has plans to insert two warships into the Black Sea to provide stand-by presence in case some act of terrorism occurs.  The Black Sea is a small body of water surrounded by several nations which dislike the U.S. Once in the Black Sea, the only exit is too narrow, too busy, and too difficult to defend. 

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