Take care (brrrr) during this week’s weather

Published 6:25 am Tuesday, January 29, 2019

If you’re not a fan of winter, this week is going to be really unpleasant … but then again, it’s going to be really unpleasant no matter who you are.

After getting by the snowstorm that greeted southeast Minnesota Sunday into Monday, temperatures will begin plunging. Today’s low is expected to be positively balmy at 9 degrees below zero before Old Man Winter really throws a fit and plunges temperatures to 34 degrees below zero Tuesday night and 35 degrees below zero Wednesday night before they start creeping their way back up to that familiar and balmy low of 7 degrees below zero on Thursday.

None of this is factoring in wind chills that will make these same temperatures feel between 20 and 30 degrees worse.

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How about some perspective. The average temperature on Mars, according to Space.com hovers at around 80 degrees below zero. That same article says it’s possible the Red Planet could get as high as 70 degrees during it’s summer season, at the equator.

So there is a possibility that by the time this cold snap is over, we will be colder than some parts of Mars’ atmosphere which is 100 times thinner than ours — and 141.6 million miles from the sun compared to Earth’s 92.96 million-mile distance.

Fun facts aside, however, it’s going to be cold. Real cold, and that’s where the fun stops. It takes only minutes for frostbite to take hold in conditions like these, meaning that getting caught in the open is a real danger.

So we urge all people in Austin, the surrounding area and southeast Minnesota to treat the coming week with caution and take extra steps to remain safe.

If traveling, make sure your vehicle has emergency supplies and a blanket.

Be mindful of your neighbors and keep an eye out for any problems they might be having.

If you have pets, keep them indoors or if they are outdoor pets, please bring them inside. Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they will necessarily be able to deal with the temperatures that are coming.

Always think safety when out and about, because to be completely frank, these temperatures can easily become dangerous and even deadly.

So maybe over these next few days, if you don’t have go out, stay inside with a perfectly good book, pull up a blanket, make some hot chocolate, tea or coffee and daydream about the sunny beaches of Mars … during the summer … at the equator.

It’s all about perspective

Tuesday in Austin: 34 degrees below zero (60 degrees below zero wind chill possible)

Average temperature on Mars: 81 degrees below zero (wind chill not factored)

Average temperature on Enceladus (the sixth largest Saturn moon): 201 degrees below zero (wind chill not factored, but who cares. It’s 201 degrees below zero)