Right now (6:15pm) it is 6 above. It is supposed to be at least 6 below by morning.
This type of weather is not unknown but it has been a few years since our last major cold snap - and the first since we've gotten a new heating system, a "green" gas-run heating system made by a company called Quietside.http://www.quietside.com/Quietside/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=2 Instead of our old hot water heat system, we have a small box on our basement wall and a vent in our back yard that is steaming up quite a storm right now. We also have a tankless hot water heater. We've had this system a little over a year (thanks in part to some tax breaks but it was still a stretch for us financially) and now it is going to have its first real test.
Others in NY would laugh at this trepidation. In Lake Placid, for example, it will probably be around minus 25 or so by morning.
I have a lot of memories of "extreme cold". In fact, our coldest weather within spouse and my experience wasn't even here: it was in Northwest Arkansas. Our thermometer got down to minus 15. A neighbor a little lower than us had his thermometer measure at -21. As all our wild blackberries died, I don't doubt the minus 21. And we survived this with a homemade barrel wood stove. It wasn't easy and it wasn't comfortable, and I'll tell the story (maybe) in this blog one day. But we did it.
It was common, in that part of the country, for pipes to freeze. Radio and TV stations would broadcast warnings for people to keep a trickle of water running in their pipes. Moving water doesn't freeze as fast.
Now, in the comfort of our more mainstream "American" home, we will see how the new heater fares. (and how our gas bill fares.) So far so good.
More later this week.
In the meantime.....dreaming of the South.