It's mid-January and we've been experiencing the coldest temperature in the past 4 years. It's been 28 below zero - that's the real temperature without wind chill added!
Right now it's about 13 below and the sun is shining. One thing about January in Minnesota - the sun shines brightly on the cold days and the snow squeeks/crunches differently under your feet. After 40 years in Minnesota, I can pretty much tell the temperature outside by the sound and feel of the of the snow. Driving on snow isn't tough with all weather tires and all wheel drive - unless it is a rain/snow mix or it has been well below zero (20+ below) for a while. Right now, the roads are dry but slight snow melt due to friction of other driver's tires on the road freezes into "black ice". I haven't slid around this much on the roads for a number of years - so I've slowed way down even from my already slow winter driving pace. So far so good.
I can also tell how cold it is outside by how hard it is to breath without your nostrils freezing together - that only happens in sub-zero temps...see the nearby buffalo herd above!Back in the 1970's and 1980's I remember lots of subzero weather and it's relatively uncommon in winter now here in the Twin Cities. Despite the weather, we still had to walk nearly a mile to school and your legs were burning & Stinging due to the cold. Mom was a bit wierd and insisted that we all walk to school despite cold weather of any temperature - there were many mornings where we were the only kids walking to school. A couple days a year school officials told the schoolkids not to come to school if you are not given proper rides but we never said anything or ratted Mom out. She was a bit unfeeling in that department. I think that toughened me up because I don't mind sub zero weather now - I just wear more layers and enjoy the cold. I know people from warm climates will be amazed but I love going from the warmth of inside to the refreshing cold of outdoors in the winter. I also dress in layers and have proper gear to be comfortable and safe. It was 16 below when I left work last night and I couldn't wait to get outdoors - I was too warm inside. I only wish my dogs felt the same way - we have had a hard time getting them to do their "business" outdoors in this extremely cold weather. They run outside and back in and have to go out 20 times a night trying to stay out there long enough to go poop. We've indulged them by laying out wee wee pads and Gizmo (our 11 year old) has been using them for poop - though he still goes tinkle outside. Luckily, all three are trained to go outdoors and on paper. I've let their fur coats grow extra long - they are a Himalayan breed of dog so they are definitely a cold-weather tolerant breed and generally they love to go out in the snow. But even they have their limits :-)
I saw a woman walking a greyhound dog and the dog had on boots, a scarf, a hat, a parka and ski googles (doggles is the brand name!) He was walking funny in the boots but was content to walk along side his human in this artic blast zone. By the way, Anartica's high was 13 degrees above zero yesterday and our high was 13 below zero.