Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Uh, yes, it does get cold sometimes...

For some, Fairbanks' extreme weather is an attraction. When I first came up to Fairbanks from Michigan, the novelty of -20 degrees was bigger and brighter than any inconvenience it caused. For others, the cold is something to be endured. My take on it is that Fairbanksans should look at our winter weather as just one more reason that your experience at UAF is like nowhere else--in a good way. Where else can be on the sidelines for the start of a 1000-mile sled dog race? Or view top entries from the World Ice Art Championships? You can't do it without a little cold.

Here's something else you can only do in Fairbanks' occasional extreme cold snaps. At -20 degrees Farenheit or colder, you can take a cup of boiling water, throw it into the air, and watch it vaporize in an amazing display. If the outside temperature is cold enough, little or none of the water will hit the ground. In the picture to the left, I was tossing boiling water into -40 degree air. That's just one coffee cup's worth of water there. Now, where else can you do that?

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