Altogether now: How cold is it!
A handy reference chart for determining exactly how cold it really is. Stick it on your fridge.
All temperatures given in °F.
COLD TIER 1: PLEASANTLY CHILLY. +40 to + 20.
Not actually “cold.” Complaining will only be permissible from those born and raised in lands where palm trees and/or citrus grow native, and only to others of like breeding, lest they be seen as a wuss by those more familiar with colder climes. Those native to colder lands may not comment about “coldness” in this tier, unless it’s a drop of more than 20 degrees from the day before, or the month does not contain the letter R. People acclimated to Tiers 3 and 4 will likely find a hoodie sufficient.
COLD TIER 2: PLEASANTLY COLD. +20 to +10.
Legitimately cold, but not cause for complaints UNLESS the day’s high falls in this category and the low drops into Tier 3 or 4, or it’s windy. If it’s the overnight low, complaining is only permissible if you are a strawberry farmer in Central Florida or something comparable, as it affects your business. Wear a hat and gloves, drink a hot beverage.
COLD TIER 3: UNPLEASANTLY COLD. +10 to -10.
Pretty darn cold, particularly if the day’s high falls in this tier. Discussion of coldness prevalent, even welcome. Playing outside in the snow inadvisable. Frozen hair unavoidable if not blow-dried before leaving the house. May lead to war stories regarding Tier 4. Drink two hot beverages, wear your Uggs if you have them.
COLD TIER 4: PAINFULLY COLD. -10 and below.
Your lungs will hurt and the inside of your nose will freeze. It is painful to breathe. Even those familiar with this level of coldness will only spend the absolute minimum required amount of time outside. If you are not wearing gloves, you may be called an idiot be people other than your mother. Complaining and discussion unavoidable, and may lead to scar contests.* For instance**:
“One Sunday we had to walk to church, but it was -22. It didn’t occur to us to just not go, so we walked the more-than-mile. We got there about half an hour late. By the time the service was over, at 1pm, the temperature had risen to -15, and then we walked back to campus.”
“I remember a morning I got up and it was -35. Plus windchill. Had to walk to class. I’ve never felt cold like that. Actually, I couldn’t feel anything after about 30 seconds.”
“Before class, I checked the temperature both inside and out. It was -28 outside, and 75 in. I woke up my roommate. ‘Hey,’ I said, ‘there’s a 100-degree difference between inside and out.’ She didn’t respond. I don’t remember her getting up that day.”
*Those not intimately familiar with this type of cold may wish to sit this one out and enjoy as a spectator sport; only for serious competitors. No tales of Tier 3 cold permitted.
**These are all true stories from my years at Potsdam.