Saturday, February 12, 2011

As cold as Helsinki

Chicago is known for its terrible weather which is a distinction that may or not be deserved. Minneapolis winters are far colder for much longer, lake effect snow is much more an issue on the other side of the Great Lakes, and I can name dozens of American cities that are far more unpleasant in the summer. It's true that we get both extremes but anyone who's been to places in the Midwest that don't have the benefit of the tempering effects of a large body of water like Lake Michigan, would scoff at our claims of both summer and winter misery.

We wear our weather as a badge of distinction here in the Windy City, so aptly named for our rhetorical bluster as well as the gusts that come off the lake. When we do get hit with extremes, we like to tell the world about it. Those images of the stuck cars on Lake Shore Drive prompted messages of concern from friends from all over the globe. This week the snow was followed by extreme cold.

For me it's not really cold until I see condensation coming off the river. On days like yesterday and the day before I break out the parka that I bought for my trip to St. Petersburg, Russia several years ago. During that trip I had a brief stopover in Helsinki. I am reminded of that cold but charming city by this post, which lists the temperature there as -10C, which if my calculations are correct is a tad warmer than what we experienced this week.

Not bad considering they're only a few degrees south of the Artic Circle, more bragging rights for us I reckon.

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