Cold Air Over Memphis

Wow, it’s cold in Memphis! A cold air mass moved in on Friday, bringing with it sleet and ice overnight, and by Saturday, we woke to a strange scene. Outside everything looked beautiful and white, but the air was so much colder than normal, and the ice seemed to melt in direct contact with the ground, though the ice above it stayed frozen in the cold air.

The low temperature was not a record (16 degrees F today – Sunday – while the record low for February in Memphis is -11 F – yikes!), but the wind chill made everything seem much colder. We actually moved out of our bedroom, which only has an electric portable radiator for heat, and started sleeping in the guest room, which is connected to our main boiler system. In the end, that almost became a very expensive mistake, as we had some pipes freeze in our back bathroom. This bathroom faces north, and it received the brunt of the cold air. The pipes that froze were not on an external wall, but they were close enough. Strangely enough, the drain also froze, and once we finally got the pipes unfrozen, it took a while to get enough hot water down the drain to clear the frozen blockage. It was even hard to walk around on our hardwood floors with wool socks on; the floors were frozen, and there was a layer of cold about a foot deep that made walking around very uncomfortable. Our boiler had a hard time keeping up, and I dread the gas bill for next month.

The real problem really wasn’t really the cold. Rather, it is that the walls, heating systems, clothing, and basically everything we use in Memphis to protect us from the cold weather in winter, is not made to deal with this type of cold for very long. When a cold weather system sits around for a few days, held in place by 10-20 mph winds, it can be pretty rough. It was the coldest I could remember Memphis getting, and the rest of the country was not spared, with L.A. getting snow and bands of sleet making it across Mississippi.

While we were iced in this weekend, I did finally get around to posting some photos from our trip to DC to see Aaron, Carrie, and Molly. That’s quite a cute kid…

Kath and Molly truk and Molly

More photos from the trip are available at the Expats photos area.

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