I'm making a list and checking it twice. 1). Thaw out left foot. 2). Check right ear for frostbite. How are you holding up? December is a joyously stressful month, a non-stop treadmill of awkward family togetherness, furious shopping & creeping credit card debt. Oh, let's toss in a dire lack of sunlight and the coldest weather of the entire winter, just to make things a little more interesting.
Too many distractions, taking our eye off what's most important during the Christmas season.
But cheer up! The coldest start to December since 1996 gives way to 30s by the middle of next week. Only in Minnesota can locals get excited about warming up to "freezing".
Temperatures dip again Christmas week, but I have a hunch, a gut feel (nausea?) that this may be one of those rare winters where December is colder than January.
Last winter the snow and cold came late, and spilled over into May. This year the Canadian Express came early. There's anecdotal evidence to suggest we may see an early spring in 2014.
Take it to the bank.
Big storms detour south & east of Minnesota; just a snowy coating to an inch from a Saturday clipper.
Models suggest 6 inches of snow on the ground Christmas Eve.
This year Santa won't need his red SUV.
It’s not even mid-December and the word “BITTER” has appeared on the StarTribune weather page about 80,000 times. It’s time to declare a moratorium on the word and seek other adjectives for this bone-chilling arctic discharge. Bitter is a state of mind, and if you keep using the word, soon we all will be. I challenge you to not use the word through the entire month of January. Feel free to start now.
Fortifying, challenging, piercing, tear-inducing, bracing, stinging, OMGing, cryogenic, invigorating…it doesn’t have to be a happy word. Just not “bitter”. Please?
- Steve Hepokoksi, Maple Grove
Don't know why your reader, Steve Hepokoski, got so bent out of shape about your using "bitter" to describe the cold weather.
He doesn't seem to realize that when you, or anybody else, calls the weather "bitter," you are employing a figure of speech with a long history, called a "transferred epithet."
Also called "hypallage," from the Greek, here's a definition from Wikipedia:
Hypallage (/haɪˈpælədʒiː/; from the Greek: ὑπαλλαγή, hypallagḗ, "interchange, exchange") is a literary device that is the reversal of the syntactic relation of two words (as in "restless nights" instead of "nights that were unrestful").
One kind of hypallage, also known as a transferred epithet, is the trope or rhetorical device in which a modifier, usually an adjective, is applied to the "wrong" word in the sentence. The word whose modifier is thus displaced can either be actually present in the sentence, or it can be implied logically. The effect often stresses the emotions or feelings of the individual by expanding them on to the environment.
So, Mr. Douglas, feel free, with no apologies necessary.
- Doug Manos
Graphic credit above: "Map showing temperature anomalies in the atmosphere, including notes showing the unusually warm air over Alaska (red area) and cold air from Canada to the U.S. (dark blue area)." Credit: Modified from Tropicaltidbits.com via WeatherUnderground.
Photo credit: AP, Oregon Department of Forestry.
Image credit above: "The damage scar left by the EF5 tornado that struck Moore, Okla., on May 20, 2013, as seen by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite on June 2, 2013." NASA Earth Observatory image created by Robert Simmon, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
Google's Road Map To Global Domination. How often, during a typical week, do you tap Google Maps? I've come to depend on it, like many people around the planet. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at Google's investment in mapping, and where it may all be heading, courtesy of The New York Times: "...Where-type questions — the kind that result in a little map popping up on the search-results page — account for some 20 percent of all Google queries done from the desktop. But ultimately more important by far is location-awareness, the sort of geographical information that our phones and other mobile devices already require in order to function. In the future, such location-awareness will be built into more than just phones. All of our stuff will know where it is — and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that they’re still on your desk at work. Your tools will remind you that they were lent to a friend. And your car will be able to drive itself on an errand to retrieve both your keys and your tools..."
1. It unifies the Chinese people.
2. It makes China more equal.
3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.
4. It makes people funnier.
5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word haze)..."
-13 F. wake-up temperature Wednesday morning.
-3 F. high in St. Cloud yesterday.
26 F. average high on December 11.
17 F. high on December 11, 2012.
Minnesota Weather History on December 11 (courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service):
2004: A strong cold front pushed through Minnesota during the early morning hours. By dawn, winds turned to the northwest and increased to 25 to 40 MPH with gusts as high as 70 MPH. The windiest part of the day was from mid morning through mid afternoon when many locations suffered sustained winds in the 30 to 45 MPH range. The highest wind gusts recorded in southern Minnesota during this time included 71 MPH in Welch and 62 MPH near Albert Lea, St. James, Winthrop and Owatonna. Other notable wind gusts included 59 MPH at New Ulm, 58 MPH in Mankato, 55 MPH in St. Cloud and Morris, 54 MPH at Redwood Falls, and 52 MPH at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Scattered trees were downed and a few buildings received minor roof damage across the region.
1939: December gale at north shore; winds clocked at 48 mph at Duluth.
TODAY: Some sun, not as harsh. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 16
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clearing and chilly. Low: 0
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun. High: 17
SATURDAY: Light snow and flurries; coating to an inch possible. Wake-up: -1. High: near 20
SUNDAY: Flurries taper, gusty and colder Wake-up: 3. High: 14
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, still too chilly. Wake-up: 1. High: 18
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, feeling better. Wake-up: 9. High: 26
WEDNESDAY: A quick, fleeing thaw? Some sun. Wake-up: 12. High: near 30
Photo credit above: "Saying it wants to focus on the biggest polluters, the EPA proposes to cut federal inspections by one-third and reduce civil enforcement cases 23%. Environmental groups are alarmed. Above, a refinery in Wilmington." (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times / March 7, 2012)
Photo credit above: