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Jeruba's avatar

What's the coldest temperature you have ever been out in? and where was it?

Asked by Jeruba (53630points) January 30th, 2019
32 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

“Out” means going somewhere or doing something—not just jumping outside for a second and then back in. Bundled up and bracing it.

Today in the Midwest, places like Minnesota and Iowa, there are temperatures colder than Antarctica. That’s pretty stunning.

I’ve been out in -7 degrees of actual temperature—i.e., not adjusted for wind chill, which makes it feel colder. That was probably in Iowa, where I spent three years. I think windy Chicago was probably the coldest place I’ve ever been, though (meaning coldest while I was there; I’ve been to Canada many times, but never in deepest winter).

Where I live now, it’s remarkable if it gets down into the thirties.

I’m wondering if the polar vortex this year is going to drive a lot of people to regions like mine, the not-too-hot-not-too-cold zones away from the extremes.

But we do have our earthquakes, fires, and floods. So—pick your calamities.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I can’t really answer the question. I can tell you the coldest cold I’ve ever felt, but I didn’t stay out in it. And really, I haven’t spent the time outside in winter like I did as a kid so all the cold I experience is brief.

LostInParadise's avatar

When I was younger and living on the New Jersey shore, we would get one or two days of what for us was extreme cold, around 10 degrees. I remember the feel of breathing in the cold air and the way it felt on my face.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That jogged my memory @LostInParadise. Waiting at the bus stop, blowing “smoke” rings. If you breathed in through your nose the inside of your nose would freeze up. I really don’t remember the cold. I mostly remember the cools stuff about it.
As a kid, coming in after having broken through the frozen creek up to my knees. By the time I got all the way up to the house my jeans were frozen solid from the knees down.
Running my hands and feet under cold water to warm them up.
The PAIN it caused if we ran them under warm water!

Any more people are weird about letting their kids go out when it’s cold.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Our lowest temperature of -17.1°F being recorded on February 9 1979. I was six so I probably wasn’t out in it much. We did walk to the store in a big blizzard of 78, but it was only a country mile.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember that blizzard. It was fun. I wound up at my boyfriend’s house. We walked to the store, which had no electricity. The clerks were using hand calculators.
Then we went back to the house and smoked pot and drank beer and his roommate told hilarious stories based on stories in the Bible. He was literally looking through the Bible and building on the stories, like, “And Lo, Jesus appeared carrying a loaf of bread, wine and a three joints. These he shared among, like, a MILLION people! Duuuude!”
We laughed so hard.
And then his roommate went somewhere and I got pregnant that day. :(

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III “And then his roommate went somewhere and I got pregnant that day.”

Whoa, that last line took me by surprise!

zenvelo's avatar

I have gone skiing in -6 F at Telluride. It warmed up to zero. With windchill (and also wind from skiing at 30 mph) it was rated at 30 below.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. Took me by surprise too @KNOWITALL. ;(

Inspired_2write's avatar

minus 30 F and had to go to school, froze legs and was off school for a few months. Legs are now sensitive to slightest cold breeze.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The coldest I’ve experienced, but just for a moment, was -50 with the wind chill. I stuck my head out the door to smoke, and almost instantly snatched it back in. I cancelled school per me! As it turns out, they actually DID cancel school. Rumor has it that some fool sent their child to school anyway and they couldn’t get in and were stuck there, hanging out outside of the building. Someone saw them and called the police.

ragingloli's avatar

I was beamed into space once, during a short lived mutiny.
It was about 26K.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Something line -16 or -20 when I was a kid in Ohio.

rebbel's avatar

-10 Celsius, about, in the Netherlands.
1986, while in the military service.

raum's avatar

Technically, -12 in Munich. But the 1996 blizzard in New York felt way colder. And I think that was only in the -20’s.

Brian1946's avatar

It was 50 years ago- January, 1969.

I was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval training center in North Chicago.

The still-air temp was -10º F. There was a delightfully brisk breeze that crossed Lake Michigan before it reached us. When it did, the windchill temp gently rolled down to -62º.

I knew Jack Frost would be nipping at my nose that morning, when I saw icicles hanging from the radiators in our barracks.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Over the years I did quite a bit of vehicie cold testing in Kapuskasing Canada. The temperatures were regularly in the -20F, -30C range. I recall a -24F but there were likely lower ones.
Once, one of my coworkers opened up his Toshiba laptop and the display exploded throwing shards of glass at his face. We all treated our computers with more respect after that day.
Exciting times.

Brian1946's avatar

I was in Hammond, Indiana in December, 1992.

The still-air temp was -15º, but I don’t think there was any air movement.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I thought Jack Frost nipped at toes…..

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Working for a car rental agency in New England, – 23 F on thermometer and the wind chill at beginning of shift was – 38 or – 40 F.
We had to move and park cars for rentals, each 10 minutes the six of us had to go by a heated both and walk through so the manager (she was in booth) could look us over for frostbite and hypothermia.

kritiper's avatar

-50, 1968, Moscow, Idaho.

ragingloli's avatar

Moscow is in Russia.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nope. Moscow is in Kansas

ragingloli's avatar

Fakes, fakes everywhere.
You colonials steal everything.
Raze these fake towns, burn their inhabitants, and salt the earth they are on.

rockfan's avatar

-30 in Wisconsin

anniereborn's avatar

I don’t remember when I was a kid. But I know I have been out in 0 degree Fahrenheit.

ucme's avatar

Brass monkey.

Brian1946's avatar


If my Xmas-related meteorological metaphors are accurate, Jack Frost will nip at your nose, or at your toes, or wherever you’re exposed.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

-5 Asheville North Carolina in 1994

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was thinking of the song @Brian1946.

Brian1946's avatar

I realize that, @Dutchess_III. Could it be that Nat King Cole and the guys who wrote the song got the lyrics wrong? ;-o

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or maybe I’ve just heard it wrong for all of these years!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

in the late 2000’s the heat and electricity was off for 3 days, in the dead of winter, in the whole city of Jasper National Park and the windchill was -55 Celsius.

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