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Crappy weather doesn’t make us wimps

By Staff | Jan 17, 2014

I’ll admit that I sometimes gripe about the weather. Who doesn’t if it’s too hot or too cold? But apparently, some scientists are thinking that because of the weather we are turning into wimps and wussies.

Huh?

According to an Associated Press article, scientists have been finding that cold spells, like that mass of Arctic air that blanketed the state last week, are becoming fewer, but that doesn’t mean they’re not unprecedented. Originally they only happened once every four years since 1900, but last week was the first deep freeze in 17 years. That these scientists consider a national average that’s below 18F (above zero) a “deep freeze” sounds almost laughable, considering at times up here wind chills can be -30 or colder.

Apparently they are attributing these spells to global warming, which in a way seems ironic, considering how there have only been a few days where snow has melted.

Do you know who us North Dakotans think are weather wimps? Those who have to put on a sweatshirt when it’s 60 above. Or even those who start putting on winter coats when the temperature drops to 40.

It isn’t that we’re wimps, it’s that our bodies know that it’s not natural to be too hot or too cold. If it’s too hot it’s only natural to want to stay inside where there’s air conditioning, or to want to be in cold water. Just like it’s natural when it’s freezing outside to want to be as close to a heater as possible. It’s called homeostasis, or to have a balance between how hot it is in one’s body and how hot (or cold) it is in one’s surroundings.

Now just because we’re not weather wimps, that doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t play it smart. Of course, knowing you, you probably do, so don’t take any of the following tips as an insult. If the weatherman, or woman, says that hypothermia or frostbite can occur in 10 minutes when it’s a certain temperature outside, don’t stay out there for 11. If you get stranded, stay in or as close to your vehicle as possible. Pack a survival kit which includes blankets, first aid kit, pocket knife, shovel, water, food (like protein bars or jerky), a flashlight, a phone charger, batteries, medicine, jumper cables, and chain and rope. Dress for the outside, not for how warm it will be in your car.

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