How Cold is Cold?

Prompted by a conversation I had this morning. Personally, I consider an outdoor temperature below 20°F as cold, but I’ve been accused of having lava for blood. What’s cold to you?

Below zero. Minnesota, son.

Seriously, even below zero isn’t that abnormal. It’s when you get into the double digit below zero temps that it starts to get bad.

I chose below 20 degrees Farenheit – but I grew up in Chicago.

It’s not a question of normal or abnormal, it’s a question of what’s comfortable.

In the pit of winter we often run into temps of -40, with the windchill. But it’s still better for me than England, which doesn’t get as cold, but is so fucking damp I could never get warm.

Below -10C is when it starts feeling cold to me. Beyond that a good winter jacket and some gloves make everything perfectly tolerable.

But then again I grew up with winters that regularly hit -40C.

edit: Before windchill.

It’s all relative. As fall approaches, a sudden drop to -10C prompts a “Whoa, cold!” response. But if you’ve been in a -30C freeze for a week, -10 feels positively balmy.

I’d say around -15C is when it really starts to suck, and you really have to start worrying about coverage, how long you’ll be outside, what the wind is like, etc.

I say 50 degrees F. When it gets below that I need a coat. Therefore it is cold.

I figured you Canadians would laugh at some of the options. I almost left below 70°F off of the poll, but I actually know people who will complain about anything below that, so there it is.

I would be one of those people. I was miserable in Montana.

Oh. Well that’s entirely different question then. I thought “How Cold is Cold,” was intended to capture the stereotypical, “When is it freaking freezing even when you’re dressed approrpriately,” situation. Not the, “When can you no longer comfortably wear shorts and flip flops,” situation.

You know, like this:

(degrees Fahrenheit, then Celsius)

* +50 / +10
      o New York tenants turn on the heat
      o Wisconsinites plant gardens 
* +40 / +4
      o Californians shiver uncontrollably
      o Wisconsinites sunbathe 
* +35 / +2
      o Italian cars don't start 
* +32 / 0
      o Distilled water freezes 
* +30 / -1
      o You can see your breath
      o You plan a vacation in Florida
      o Politicians begin to worry about the homeless
      o Wisconsinites eat ice cream 
* +25 / -4
      o Boston water freezes
      o Californians weep pitiably
      o Cat insists on sleeping on your bed with you 
* +20 / -7
      o Cleveland water freezes
      o San Franciscans start thinking favorably of LA
      o Green Bay Packers fans put on T-shirts 
* +15 / -10
      o You plan a vacation in Acapulco
      o Cat insists on sleeping in your bed with you
      o Wisconsinites go swimming 
* +10 / -12
      o Politicians begin to talk about the homeless
      o Too cold to snow
      o You need jumper cables to get the car going 
* 0 / -18
      o New York landlords turn on the heat
      o Sheboygan brats grilled on the patio, yum! 
* -5 / -21
      o You can hear your breath
      o You plan a vacation in Hawaii 
* -10 / -23
      o American cars don't start
      o Too cold to skate 
* -15 / -26
      o You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo
      o Miamians cease to exist
      o Wisconsinites lick flagpoles 
* -20 / -29
      o Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you
      o Politicians actually do something about the homeless
      o People in LaCrosse think about taking down screens 
* -25 / -32
      o Too cold to kiss
      o You need jumper cables to get the driver going
      o Japanese cars don't start
      o Milwaukee Brewers head for spring training 
* -30 / -34
      o You plan a two-week hot bath
      o Pilsener freezes
      o Bock beer production begins
      o Wisconsinites shovel snow off roof 
* -38 / -39
      o Mercury freezes
      o Too cold to think
      o Wisconsinites button top button 
* -40 / -40
      o Californians disappear
      o Car insists on sleeping in your bed with you
      o Wisconsinites put on sweaters 
* -50 / -46
      o Congressional hot air freezes
      o Alaskans close the bathroom window
      o Green Bay Packers practice indoors 
* -60 / -51
      o Walruses abandon Aleutians
      o Sign on Mount St. Helens: "Closed for the Season"
      o Wisconsinites put gloves away, take out mittens
      o Boy Scouts in Eau Claire start Klondike Derby 
* -70 / -57
      o Glaciers in Central Park
      o Hudson residents replace diving boards with hockey nets
      o Green Bay snowmobilers organize trans-lake race to Sault Ste. Marie 
* -80 / -62
      o Polar bears abandon Baffin Island
      o Rhinelander Birkebeiner
      o Girl Scouts in Eau Claire start Klondike Derby 
* -90 / -68
      o Edge of Antarctica reaches Rio de Janeiro
      o Lawyers chase ambulances for no more than 10 miles
      o Minnesotans migrate to Wisconsin thinking it MUST be warmer 
* -100 / -73
      o Santa Claus abandons North Pole
      o Wisconsinites pull down earflaps 
* -173 / -114
      o Ethyl alcohol freezes
      o Only Door County cherries usable in brandy Manhattans 
* -297 / -183
      o Oxygen precipitates out of atmosphere
      o Microbial life survives only on dairy products 
* -445 / -265
      o Superconductivity 
* -452 / -269
      o Helium becomes a liquid 
* -454 / -270
      o Hell freezes over 
* -456 / -271
      o Illinois drivers drop below 85 MPH on I-90 
* -458 / -272
      o Incumbent politician renounces a campaign contribution 
* -460 / -273 (Absolute Zero)
      o All atomic motion ceases
      o Wisconsinites allow as to how it's getting a mite nippy

I usually consider anything in the 30’s to be cold. But I’m not complaining. I like cold, dark, rainy/snowy weather.

Below 0. We haven’t gotten it that many times in Central New York recently, but its true that we have gotten it. Our winters are usually between the 0-20 range, but I don’t find them cold.

I picked below 20F. Mostly because it rarely ever gets colder than that 'round here.

“Cold” is whenever it’s too chilly outside to wear the best clothing ever invented: t shirt, shorts, flip flops.

I chose +10, but +20 is an acceptable answer too.

For those of you choosing 40 and up - you are hereby sentenced to a winter in Chicago.

(No, I don’t live in Chicago anymore - I did two winters there, and that was enough, thank you very much.)

They do all happen to be women, but I wasn’t going to mention that.

Actually, I’d say it just never gets cold in Vancouver. One of the reasons why I want to move back there.

It really all depends on where you live. When I lived in Winnipeg the cold weather didn’t bother me until it started to get below -25c, and that was only because of the wind. Otherwise I figured I would have been fine until about -30c. But then again it’s a dry cold.

Now in Vancouver, because of the dampness, when it gets that cold it kind of rips right through you. I think around -5c is when I start to get a bit annoyed with it all in Vancouver, but that’s a rare temperature to hit here in the winter, where as -30c in Winnipeg was pretty common.

That’s the fucking truth.
The average autumn/winter/spring here has temps from 0 C to 10 C with the occasional jaunt below 0 - but it’s constantly raining or just damp, so while a place like Norway or even Sweden is colder, I prefer that because it’s mostly dry and freezing.
Frost I can deal with but the damp weather sucks.