Weather

Extremes

Last January I had a post on an 80 deg change in weather – that was a change from Kolkata (in West Bengal, India, Asia) to Minneapolis (in Minnesota, US, North America). Understandable, right. Now consider this scenario, and judge which is worse:

This Tuesday – January 10th, 2012 – we had a high of 53° F (12° C), an all time high for this date ever recorded in The Cities. After a high of a breezy 38° F on Wednesday afternoon, we hit a low of 19° F at night. By Thursday, we were back to a normal(!) 12° F (-11° C). A 41° F change in temperature in the course of 2 days. Not in 2 continents, or in 2 countries, or in 2 states, or even in 2 cities in the same state. In the same freaking city.

Talking about extremes, the mortgage rate for 30-year old loans fell to 3.89% in the US on Thursday, January 12th. This is the lowest on record dating to 1971. Refinancing, anyone?

Another (soon going to ‘record’) low: Team India, after falling to 161 in their 1st innings against Australia in the 3rd test in Perth in the current series, are well and truly on course to their 7th straight loss (and 8th as well, taking the 4th Test in consideration) in away Test matches. After their record 17 straight loss in away Tests from 1959 to 1968, this current streak is the longest. Anymore talk about the ‘golden generation’ is unadulterated balderdash. The IPL killed the Test-star (sing it along the tune of Video killed the radio star).

Now a personal extreme: This week was the 1st 5-day work-week for me since the week ending December 9th, 2011. We might see a 42° F change in 2 days, in the future; the way the mortgage rates have been dropping, another new record low might be just around the corner; Team India might touch new lows. But for me to have 4 consecutive less-than-5-day work week …now that is some record that would be hard to beat!

Categories: Economics, Rant, Sports, Weather | Leave a comment

11 hours

That’s how long I slept from last night to this morning! This feels heavenly!

While watching India slump inexorably towards defeat against Australia, I turned the TV on and lay down on the couch. Rachel Maddow started at 11 pm on MSNBC. The last thing I remember was, Zaheer Khan popping a catch to forward short leg. Woke up a few minutes past 3 am, saw the same Rachel Maddow show on (probably the 4th re-run of the night), turned off the TV and the laptop, and trudged off to bed. The internal clock made me peek at the alarm at 7 am but this indiscretion wasn’t allowed to bloom. Finally my body had enough. Woke up, tired, a little after 10 am. Why tired, you may ask. Well, which other activity do you do for 11 straight hours and not be tired at the end?! I was tired after sleeping for 11 hours and needed some rest. So for the rest of the day I’m going to lounge and read River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. Possibly till Tuesday.

That brings to me another astounding fact. I’m on a 5 day work-free binge! Saturday, Sunday and Monday are official holidays. And I had 2 remaining vacation days from 2011, which is either use it or lose it. So here I am – enjoying my time at home, alone, while my wife slaves on at work 😀

Since we are on a roll with numbers, here is another statistic (this one on weather, enough about myself): After the 4th highest snowfall in recorded history in the Minneapolis area in 2010-11 winter with 86.6″ of snow, this winter (2011-12) we’ve had  about 10″ of snow till now, and almost all of that is gone from the ground. This was my first ‘brown Christmas’ (as opposed to white Christmas) in all my years in Minneapolis. With today’s temperature of 39 deg F, and New Year to be 40-45 deg F, this December is on course to be the 9th warmest in recorded history.

Ponder on the stats above. Such extremes of climactic changes can mean only one thing. The Mayans were right. The end is near.

Categories: Life, Weather | 1 Comment

Gen obs

  • Test your Geography knowledge here and see how you fare against 4th, 8th and 12th grade American students
  • Heat wave in the Midwest. Heat index of 119 deg F in Minneapolis last Tuesday, 7/19. That’s all YOU, got??!!
  • Going to U2 (probably my favourite band) concert tomorrow. This is one of the biggest show ever in Minneapolis. A little history on this: They were supposed to perform in Aug 2010, but Bono injured his back and they postponed the tour. I’ve had the tickets since November 2009, the day the tickets went on sale!!
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The Day it touched 103

D-Day-4 -> Friday, Jun 3rd 6:30 pm: After checking the thermometer reading of 85 deg F, we decide to turn on the air conditioner at home for the first time this year. Making sure the circuit breaker is on, changed thermostat setting to ‘Cool’ and set temperature at 77 deg F. Felt the cool air flowing in through the vents. We go down to the basement to watch a movie.

9 pm -> Come up to see the temperature hasn’t changed. Feel the not-cool air flowing in. Switch off the AC, open all windows, deciding to investigate the next day

D-Day-3 -> Saturday, Jun 4th 10 am: While talking to uncle on phone, get some tips on what to check. Realize the air-filter was aligned in wrong direction. Correcting that made the cool air flow in again, but only for 10 mins. Go out to check the air-conditioner unit is functioning or not. Don’t see the fan moving. Decide to shut off the AC completely and call the heating/AC guys on Monday. Not ready to pay for emergency visit.

D-Day-1 -> Monday, Jun 6th 7 am: Woke up to a temperature of 86 deg F. Call the heating/AC shop at 8. Get an appointment for a technician to come out at 8:30 am on Tuesday.

6 pm -> Reach home from work to temperatures of 95 deg F. There is a wind, but all humid and sultry. It is heavy with moisture. Resolve not to spend a single unnecessary minute upstairs. Hunker down in the basement, which is at least 12 to 15 degrees cooler. We sleep in the guest bedroom.

D-Day -> Tuesday Jun 7th, 8:30 am: Technician comes, asks me to turn the AC on, unscrews the cover of the air-conditioning unit and promptly declares that the motor of the fan is the culprit. Calls his shop to see if a replacement is available. Answer is no. Replacement will have to be ordered and will take 2-3 days. I ask him to order it. The tech charges $122 for the 20 minute visit (standard) and leaves. The replacement motor and labour would cost another $350.

Since it is already almost 9, and I have a meeting from 9, go down and start working, thinking I might still make it to work at lunch. No luck with that, things pile up and before I know it, its past noon. I go upstairs to get some food and notice the temperature is hovering just below 100. Haven’t seen a 100 deg F (38 deg C) in the Cities, so am very excited.

4 pm -> Go up again for a break. That is when I see this!

100!

Check weather.com and at 5 pm we are supposed to touch 104 deg F (40 deg C).  Holy crap! I’ve lived in places where summer temperatures reach 50 deg C (122 deg F) so I’m not too perturbed, but in a place where you get to see winter temperatures of -40, 103 is a tad too much.

Ah, and did mention that I had a full-field, outdoor football (soccer) game from 7 pm the same day? Well, I did play. Reminded me of playing in 40 deg C tournament in high school.

Eventually we did touch a high of 103, a 23-year old record.

Fast forward to Day-D + 5 -> Sunday Jun 12, 4 am: Wake up shivering, cold draft blowing through the house. The temperature is 47 deg F (8 deg C).

Welcome to Minnesota.

Categories: Home, Weather | 5 Comments

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