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Did you know temperatures have odors?

there is no taking a leak out behind the bushes. How do you start your trucks?

Comments

  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    Minus 40 smells like...

    money. ( OK, you HAD to know that was coming) ;-) Just ask Weezbo, he'll back me up on this.
    Getting our first really cool snap of the year. Dropping to -40 tonight. Weatherman says not to expect it to go away anytime soon. 10 days to two weeks before any relief in sight. Daytime highs of -35, with nightime lows down to -50. One or two days of that is fine, but on about the fourth day, stuff starts going "ker-blewie". After a week of -40's, the phone rings non-stop, upwards of 30 to 40 calls per day, and after two weeks of -40's? Let's just say the equipment is not the only thing wore out. My nerves and my techs are pretty frayed as well. Unless you've been through it, you just can't imagine what 14 straight days of -40 does to equipment, service vans, technicians, and fuel bills. If I come across any interesting scenarios regarding the cold, I will post some pics. Like for instance..at -40 or colder, a hot cup of coffee tossed in the air explodes into vapor, with not a single liquid drop touching the ground. Pretty cool.
    Warm regards from (increasingly) chilly Fairbanks,
    Rocky
  • radiconnection
    radiconnection Member Posts: 29


    And I thought 19 degrees in Hartford was bad last week. What is the design temperature up there?
  • Rocky_2
    Rocky_2 Member Posts: 89
    Design temp for Fairbanks is -47...but its a dry cold ;-)

    Yeah, as in 79 degrees below freezing. Fairbanks has 14,000 heating degree days. Sad thing is, there have been several times when my heating equipment would barely keep up because we were BELOW design temp! Coldest actual temp (not wind chill) I have seen here in Fairbanks since doing this work is -55. That was the winter of 1989. That was a rough winter. We have battery, block, oil pan, and tranny pan heaters installed on all our service vans. You plug them in to an outlet at nite if you are one of the unfortunate techs to get back to the shop late and all the indoor parking spots are taken! Tires freeze with flat spots on them and they don't round back out until you've driven about 2 or 3 miles on them. Makes for a bouncy ride until they round back out again. Seats are literally hard as a rock. Ice fog (frozen exhaust from cars, heating systems, power plants etc) gets so thick you literally cannot see a stop light when you are directly under it. Visibility is sometimes reduced to less than 20 feet. Stuff just snaps for no reason... (well, other than its 50 below). Even though its a pain in the heiny, there is still something kinda cool about weathering a cold snap of this magnitude. Makes you realize you're living in a very unique place. In fact, Fairbanks has the largest temperature swing of anyplace in North America, maybe even the world...Fairbanks' highest and lowest recorded temperatures..99 above, and -61 (I think), for a difference of 160 degrees between the two. Been listening to my boiler fire almost non-stop the last two days. Tonight we should get pretty close to design temps so, in theory, my boiler, if sized right, should hump pretty much non-stop. I'll see how close I came when I sized it!
    Stay warm,
    Rocky
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040


    Has anyone head from Weezbo? Been a while since he has posted, hope all is well...

    Tim
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Rocky_2
    Rocky_2 Member Posts: 89
    Saw him a couple days ago at the parts counter

    He is hale and hearty, just busy these days.
    Rocky
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    everybody who has been to Fairbanks

    in winter has stories. Vehicle at airport would not start. Tow truck driver shows up with metal trash can lids,charcoal and lighter fluid. "Light it and warm your engine in about an hour" He says. He actually had marshmellows. I was amused getting a heating lesson from him. Being exhausted and freezing I took a cab. The cab broke down while enroute. All this during 30 below. I ran one mile home.The driver had the nerve to ask for a fare.He explained he was having car trouble all night. Fourtunatly the Chena river was frozen or it would have been a much longer run. Umiat's temperture changed 100 degrees in a 24 hour period about 15 years ago
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    everybody who has been to Fairbanks

    in winter has stories. Vehicle at airport would not start. Tow truck driver shows up with metal trash can lids,charcoal and lighter fluid. "Light it and warm your engine in about an hour" He says. He actually had marshmellows. I was amused getting a heating lesson from him. Being exhausted and freezing I took a cab. The cab broke down while enroute. All this during 30 below. I ran one mile home.The driver had the nerve to ask for a fare.He explained he was having car trouble all night. Fourtunatly the Chena river was frozen or it would have been a much longer run. Umiat's temperture changed 100 degrees in a 24 hour period about 15 years ago
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    Check out the 5-day forecast...follow the link

    For Fairbanks through the 5th of January. Hold on to your long johns, its gonna be a chilly one! We were supposed to shoot off fireworks this New Year's Eve at our church, but I don't think I want to be out trying to get my soldering torch to work at -50 below! Ouch! http://pafg.arh.noaa.gov/

    Warm regards,
    Rocky
  • Not even remotely possible

    Some parts of the body just know when you are approaching them with cold hands. And they react accordingly. By the time you get the layers of clothes open and separated these parts have retreated to places you never knew existed. It is almost like having surgery. Damn, I left the tweezers in the truck again. Now how do I get this icicle out of my pants? I used to live in northern Quebec but it only got to -30 or so. AK is too cold for me.
  • Purple
    Purple Member Posts: 2


    I can only commiserate from one instance in my NY career. I had to install a copper condensate drain in a large deep freeze.( they forgot to put it in before they turned it on) Dressed like the Michelin tire guy, I could only stay in there for five minutes at a time. At -20F, the flux was rock hard, the acetylene flame was bent, and the solder ran clumpy.You have to be wired right to stand that kind of cold.
  • csmclean_2
    csmclean_2 Member Posts: 10
    shrinkage

    "...shrinkage...?"

    "...like a frightened turtle!"--George Costanza

    "How do you guys walk around with those things?!"--Elaine
  • csmclean_2
    csmclean_2 Member Posts: 10
    temp range

    Dickinson, ND has "seen" ultimate highs and lows of +114 F, and -47 F, both set in 1936...

    The extreme lows of AK do sound like quite the challenge! Enjoying a balmy day of 10 degrees here in SW ND...
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    We call that particular condition \"Arctic Madness\"

    where by you have 8 inches of clothing on and not quite that much...well...you get the idea. Lends itself quite frequently to the other peculiarity seen around these parts..."The Arctic One-Legged Hop". Weatherman says its going to -60's by Friday night/Saturday morning. Ouch.
    Rocky
  • csmclean_2
    csmclean_2 Member Posts: 10


    -60 degrees! Wow! I seem to recall, while living in Seattle in 1988-89, some "ultimate" low temp readings reached in AK that winter, like -80 degrees, combined w/ some of the highest barometric pressures ever recorded. Must've been great for flying (lift; density altitude must've been phenomenal) so long as the fuel didn't gel!

    Yep, too much clothing, not enough...sorta like an oil burner w/ too short a blast tube...Good luck and stay as warm as possible!
  • Went to,,,

    Orlando for a week two weeks ago. When I left there to come back it was 80* and when I got here a couple hours later it was 15* and I had to blow off the driveway before I could get the car in. Not as extreme as an AK story but still, fun is...

    I only use about 4" worth of layers here and still I have trouble with, uh,,,never mind! ;)
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    You have a good memory...

    Winter of '88/'89 was one of the coldest on record. You're right, highest ever recorded barometric pressure on earth. Wasn't good for flying though, in fact, they shut the airport down because the altimeters were so inaccurate due to the never before seen high barometric. That particular winter we dropped below -40 for about 12 straight days. Never got above that even during the day. Overnight lows were in the -50 to -60 degree range. Weathermen are referencing that winter now, saying we have a real solid chance of breaking that particular cold snap. Right now at 12:30 pm, it is -43 below. Sun will be going down in about an hour and a half, then the slow slide to -50 or colder tonight. Will fireworks explode at -50? ;-)
    Warm Regards from (increasingly) chilly Fairbanks,
    Rocky
  • Josh M.
    Josh M. Member Posts: 360


    I'm guessing you guys don't have a real bad homeless problem up there?
  • Maybe Sarah adopts them?

    because there are certainly no sidewalks with steam mains under them. In my street in Baltimore when you get close to the Inner Harbor there is a section that is like toast. We stand on it for a bit when cold on the walk home unless it is occupied by sleepers.
  • ttekushan_3
    ttekushan_3 Member Posts: 958
    district steam, not Sarah Palin

    Do you suppose the foot warmers on the street is a maintenance problem or a "feature?"

    Perhaps the steam company could place a tent or yurt over that section. This would a) lower heat loss, and b) house the homeless. Win-win. Uh, right?
    terry
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    THANKS

    Thanks for the t-shirt!
    Wasn't certain that the guys in Alaska wore t-shirts!!!
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    Thanks for the books!

    Wasn't certain that the guys in New York actually read ;-)
    Seriously, I am very appreciative of the fine selection of reading material, and the personally autographed "Residential Construction Academy HVAC" book. I have already started learning from them. I think I got the WAY better deal than you. I got four great book, and you got one lousy Rocky's Heating T-shirt! The books are great. I am already using them for my in-house training I do three days a week.
    The invite stands...if you ever get to Alaska, I will reciprocate with a great boat ride on an Interior river and catch some salmon. Of course, liquid water seems a LONG way off today..-49 at my house this morning.
    Warm regards,
    Rocky
  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
    So Rocky.......

    How cold is it now? Did the NWS prognosticators hit the nail on the head or did their prognostications miss by a mile?

    I'd like to see a picture of a thermometer reading less than 50 below.

    A friend of mine has a son living in North Pole, how far is that from you?
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    I'll hold you to it!

    I look forward to it!
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
    I have an uncle

    living in Moose pass Alaska...

    I asked him if he has Air Conditioning season like back here..

    he said "yes...from 2pm - 4:45pm July 21st.."

    I like him
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 222
    What Kind of Boilers survive

    What Kind of Boilers survive those types of Arctic temperatures. Will a mod/cond survive?
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    Yep, weatherman was right

    Was -55 in North Pole, Alaska, which is about 14 miles south of us, last night. Tomorrow's highs are supposed to be between -40 and -50...that's tomorrow's HIGHS! Currently it is -48 out. Weatherman says no change for the foreseably future. This crap will remain for at least another 7 days they said. They shut down Fairbanks International Airport today for several hours because the ice fog is so thick visibility is less than 100 yards. Lots of folks stranded in Seattle 'cause planes can't land here. I missed my chance to take a great picture two nights ago. Drove by a Fred Meyer grocery store about midnight and it had a reading of -62. (It was not accurate, it was only -52 ;-) But it would have made a great picture. I did get one yesterday that was -50 on the button. Will post when I get a minute to relax. Getting about 4 freeze-ups a day. Today we had one whereby the goldfish were doing a Walt Disney...cryogenic suspended animation. Aquarium was a solid block of ice with three poor little gold fish right in the middle. Housesitter said, "I don't know what happened, I just checked the house yesterday". Yeah, sure ya did.
    Warm regards,
    Rocky


  • Yikes! I actually prefer winter over our summers but -55F is almost insanely cold. You all have my sympathies.

    Winter has been pretty mild so far in the mid-Mississippi valley. One week cold snap in mid-December, otherwise lows usually only in the 20s and highs in the 30s or 40s.

    No snow, but fair amount of freezing rain. Light freezing rain and freezing fog again this morning, but roads are warm enough that its not freezing on them--that's good because freezing fog will often leave an invisible and extremely slick surface on roads. Take a curve too fast and cars slide off and SUVs roll--stability control or not ;)
  • Rocky_3
    Rocky_3 Member Posts: 232
    Yes, we have several installed

    We have some Ultra's , Knights, and Munchkins installed and they do just fine. Be prepared for LOTS of frost though. Most (99%) of Fairbanks is still oil though. Gas just starting to make some inroads.
This discussion has been closed.